Tony Gillan: Sunderland could do without Defoe being called up for England

England's Jermain Defoe.
England's Jermain Defoe.
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Good luck to Jermain Defoe as he joins the England squad for two vital fixtures against whoever they’re playing.

Doubtless he is delighted with this development and no one could argue that he doesn’t deserve to be there.

But I’m afraid that not too many Sunderland supporters will share his joy and not just because of the ever ever-increasing indifference to international football.

It would be nice to see a Sunderland player rattle in a goal or two for his country.

But the main hope is that he returns to Wearside in one piece.

Prayers for the longer term are that Jermain will be at the same club next season; regardless of which division they are in.

We have no idea what his plans would be in the event of relegation.

But it seems that he has at least an outside chance of making the 2018 World Cup.

He will be 35 by then, but it’s only 15 months away and he is unlikely to regress much in that time; if at all.

However, his international ambitions would be nullified if he was playing in the Championship.

Therefore any chance that Sunderland had of retaining his services should they go down – are obliterated.

Gareth Southgate hasn’t selected Defoe to annoy people.

But nothing good for Sunderland has ever come from the England set-up.

The FA’s unprofessional dawdling over their appointment of Sam Allardyce was disrespectful and seriously impaired SAFC’s transfer activity last summer.

On the rare occasions when Sunderland have a player worthy of England caps, they tend to be ignored.

This goes back to Gurney and Carter in the 1930s, through to Shackleton, Clough, Montgomery, Phillips, Bent and Defoe himself last year.

Now, when Sunderland could do without their man being called up, they put him back in the squad.

Oh well. We can only hope that England don’t qualify.