Not The Best Jamie Carragher: International football a step down

Former England defender Jamie Carragher criticised the "awful" quality of international football, insisting it is a step down from the Premier League.

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Former England defender Jamie Carragher criticised the "awful" quality of international football, insisting it is a step down from the Premier League and Champions League.

Club football returns to take centre stage following the international break, music to the ears of Carragher, who was less than impressed with what was on show during World Cup qualifying across the globe.

Carragher - who amassed 38 England caps - made it clear international football has become boring after watching Wayne Rooney and Co. follow up their 2-0 win over minnows Malta with a disappointing goalless draw in Slovenia.

"The past fortnight has been awful. No excitement, no games to get you talking or goals that you simply had to see. Once again the international break has been memorable only for its boredom. Something has got to change," Carragher wrote in his column for Daily Mail.

"When I was growing up, there was a mystique about international football. You couldn't wait for the World Cup or European Championship so you could see the players you had read so much about. No matter which nations were playing, you felt you were tuning in to watch the best against the best.

"There was a sense of that when I started playing for England. When you turned up for training, you quickly realised it was a step up from playing for your club. The pace was quicker, the play was sharper — there was no hiding place and you had to raise your game to hold your own.

"I can't help but think now that reporting for international duty is a step down, considering the talent players are leaving behind at their clubs. They certainly aren't going to contest matches that are of a better standard than the Premier League or the Champions League, that's for sure.

"Who actually enjoys watching internationals now? Compare it to how you feel watching the Premier League. If I'm out of the house and there is a game on I want to watch, I'll do all I can to make sure I'm back for kick-off. But would I rush back to watch England? Certainly not for a qualifier."

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