Monday 16 September 2019

Tony Pulis wants countries' FAs to pay players during international friendlies

Tony Pulis is not a fan of international friendlies
Tony Pulis is not a fan of international friendlies

Tony Pulis has aimed friendly fire at Football Associations and insisted they should cover the costs for his international stars.

The West Brom boss believes the governing bodies should pay the players' wages while they are with their countries for friendly games.

James Chester played 90 minutes in Wales' 3-2 defeat to Holland while Jonny Evans and Gareth McAuley also played the full game as Northern Ireland beat Latvia 1-0 last week.

Pulis has been a long-standing critic of international breaks and labelled friendlies as a 'waste of space' this month.

And, ahead of Saturday's visit of Arsenal, the Baggies chief has questioned whether the respective FAs should pay for taking players.

He said: "If you went to all the FAs and said that for friendly matches, you're going to pay the wages for two weeks, and if they get injured you're going to cover those injuries, and if they never play again you cover the insurance, let's see how many friendly games are played then.

"My argument is that at this time of the year there are lots of games. They have played lots of games. For Gareth McAuley to go away and play for Northern Ireland when he is 35 years of age and plays every game for us, then plays another 90 minutes for his country - I am not so sure as a manager I would do that.

"I'm not criticising the manager of Northern Ireland (Michael O'Neill), that's his responsibility to do what he wants."

McAuley is banned for the Gunners' visit while Ben Foster remains out with a long-term knee injury having been sidelined since March but Chris Brunt should be available despite pulling out of Northern Ireland's squad with a groin problem.

The Baggies have won just once at home in the Barclays Premier League this season and Pulis expects Arsenal to finally sustain a title challenge.

He added: "Arsenal are an absolutely wonderful football club, it's always been a very special club for me, as a lad who was born in the 1950s, They have a great opportunity this year of winning the title, they have a genuine chance."

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