It didn’t used to be like this, you know.
There was a time when I was very proud of the number of Celtic players who got international call-ups.
I used to think it was great that we could field a team of footballers recognised by their countries.
Lately, it’s become a lot less fun than it used to be.
Nowadays, I do an inventory of all those we know aren’t going away and thus can’t come back injured.
Too many of our players have returned from these things carrying knocks, or manifestly unfit.
Nowadays I feel a familiar despair whenever I hear that a Celtic player has been picked for his national team.
It shouldn’t be like that, but I feel we play more games as a club than ever before and dotted amongst them are more internationals than ever before too.
The Nations League has made things worse, not better. Back before this was a thing, there was a chance that a national coach might leave first team players out because some games were friendly matches. Not now.
The Nations League means our footballers play more competitive fixtures than they ever have before, and more injuries naturally follow.
There’s an especial feeling of concern for those players who have to travel furthest away, but actually we’re just as likely to get an injury amongst our Scotland squad players as we are to suffer one to those going further afield.
No call up is good news right now.
Liam Scales was the latest, this morning, getting the call to hook up with the Republic of Ireland squad. There was a time when I’d have said I wished these guys well, and of course I still do, but “well” is the appropriate word. I don’t particularly care if their teams win or lose, as long as our footballers make it back to the club in one piece.
I really hate international breaks.
This is what we’re reduced to; watching games through our fingers and hoping nobody gets hurt.