England manager Roy Hodgson says that Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur have “scotched” England’s friendlies by scheduling post-season friendlies in the United States and, in Tottenham’s case, The Bahamas.
Here’s what Hodgson said:
“My thinking, which is based a lot on having been a club manager, is that they’ll probably want a few days after the season ends, they won’t want to go straight from the end of the season to us, so let them have a week and then we’ll keep them a week and then they’re free.
“So we’ve been scotched a little bit by the teams who decided to go on long close-season tours. It’s made in particular the first match (against Ireland at Wembley) a little bit difficult because some of the players will only have been back a few days when we’ve got to play and also we’re scotched in that all the teams have decided to go far west to America and Bahamas, so they’re going backward and forward on these long journeys. But that’s again the situation we find ourselves in. We can’t dictate to clubs what they do.”
Chelsea plays Manchester City in St Louis and New York on May 23 and 25, while Tottenham plays a game in The Bahamas on May 23. In the Chelsea-Manchester City friendlies, several England players including Joe Hart, James Milner, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole may feature for their club team. Tottenham, meanwhile, may play England’s Kyle Walker and Jermain Defoe.
After the Premier League games this Sunday, the players will travel to the western hemisphere, and then back again to England to play for their national team. And then they’ll have to fly to Brazil before their June 2nd friendly before returning to the United Kingdom once again.