Date: 5th August 2010 at 3:09pm
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Martin O’Neill has slammed the timing of the England v Hungary friendly as it comes just 72 hours before the big kick off.

Villa could lose five players from the squad as England look to regain some pride after the World Cup debacle with Stewart Downing, Ashley Young, James Milner, Stephen Warnock and Gabby Agbonlahor all potentially poised to kick start the new look England.

I say new look England, can you really see Gerrard, Lampard, Terry, and Rooney as the main South African culprits actually playing no part?

The contradiction comes as O’Neill has prided himself on players gaining England caps based on the progress of the club but it’s hard not to disagree that a friendly that close to so many opening kick offs is frankly ridiculous and proves once again that the FA simply do not have their finger on the button when it comes to club football and fans.

Speaking to the Express and Star O’Neill said:

‘It is a problem to have an international match the week before the season starts.’

O’Neill continues to add that he believes the Premier League and the clubs have been more than fair for friendlies and so on, but on the back of a World Cup year where England players get less of a break before being called back into action, it cannot be anything more than a ‘nuisance’ for the international squad to have 3 more matches before even October.

‘Then, in early September, there are two internationals in quick succession and the players are away for almost two weeks. It eats into the season.’

Question is, will anybody bother with them or have England successfully turned fans back to what is important….club football.

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