Stoke City: Simon Lowe column
SO, he finally made it.
Having sat on the bench for three internationals without troubling the football historians, Stoke captain Ryan Shawcross finally became the first Stoke City player to represent England since Mark Chamberlain back in 1984.
I'm pretty sure Stokies everywhere – even ones like me who have fallen out of love with the national side after years of arrogant, under performing 'megastars' – will have felt similarly excited and proud of our club and captain at that moment.
But what a fall was to follow.
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Up against one of the world's top strikers – albeit one that flatters to deceive more times than an Arsene Wenger team – Shawcross was completely outdone by Zlatan Ibrahimovic and allowed the pony-tailed one to chest down a through-ball and lash home Sweden's equaliser.
In that moment you just knew that there would be Stoke-hating journos everywhere reaching for their phones to tweet about how Shawcross wasn't up to it.
And sure enough one was soon at it claiming that Shawcross had won two caps in Sweden – his first and last.
Harsh to say the least.
But then I wouldn't be too bothered if that prophecy came true.
Because Ryan's experience just reconfirms to me that in this day and age international football is not the pinnacle, is not what really matters.
It is no longer the stage on which every footballer and fan aspires to achieve greatness.
Teams in the Premier League would be considerably stronger than the current England set-up.
Goals scored, saves and tackles made in the Premier League and Champions League are watched by countless millions every week.
International friendlies are now meaningless in the grand scheme of things.
When the likes of Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha can't commit themselves to play for a particular country, hedging their bets to see if a better offer comes along, then, quite frankly, that sound you can hear is the death knell of serious international competition.
No, international football isn't something which engages me any more. Which is amazing because it used to be the be all and end all.
Nowadays international football is the thing that gets in the way, interrupting the continuing drama that is the Premier League.
It's a gravy train for sportswriters.
It is the summer window dressing that fills alternate close seasons and earns players big money moves.
Let's hope our Ryan doesn't fall into that category.
At least he can console himself that he will feature on YouTube forever more with his despairing lunge to try to keep out Zlatan's wonder goal.