Date: 7th October 2006 at 12:34am
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Although David James and Sol Campbell have again been over looked for England, probably confirming an end to their International careers, Pompey still have several others heading off for International duty.

With no Premiership matches this weekend due to the busy weekend and midweek International qualifying matches Pompey have no game until next weekend, but we still have plenty of players heading off to represent their national sides. Who are they, and who is it with…

Niko Kranjcar has been called into the Croatian squad for the two home Euro 2008 qualifiers with Andorra on Saturday and England on Wednesday so he would be hoping to add to his 20 odd caps so far.

The out of favour, yet still Pompey defender Andy O’Brien is in the Republic of Ireland squad for their away fixture in Cyprus, then home game with the Czech Republic, both again in qualifying for Euro 2008, so he too would be hoping to add to his 20 plus caps already earned.

Richard Duffy, who apart from his League Cup second round outing against Mansfield has not featured for Pompey this season is in the Welsh squad for their 2008 Euro qualifiers so he would hope (I’m not sure he will though) to add to his growing collection of caps in the games with Slovakia and Cyprus, both games taking place in Wales.

Should Lomana LuaLua be deemed mental fit after his much publicised personal problems he would almost certainly add to his caps collection in DR Congo’s African Nations Cup qualifier with Libya, whilst Benjani and Kanu, also making the trips to Africa for the respective Zimbabwean and Nigerian African Cup qualifiers will both also expect to gain further caps. Kanu does have a slight injury however, but should be fit enough to represent the Super Eagles

Had Manuel Fernandes been fully fit, and been playing regularly for Pompey in the run up to these International games I’d have thought he’d have been in Portugal’s European qualifiers, and although I’m not certain that the Cameroon are even playing, although I’d expect they are Rodolph Douala would have been a part of their squad if he was fully fit, if in fact he isn’t?

I may have missed something, maybe he is injured or no longer a part of the Serbian International set-up, but I’m surprised Ognjen Koroman isn’t playing against Belgium and Armenia in the Serbs home qualifying matches.

Again, although I’m not sure but I’d assume Pompey forward Svetoslav Todorov, currently on loan with Wigan is in the Bulgarian squad for their home qualifier with Holland, and away tie with Luxembourg.

International players are very important to Pompey, and although when away they can pick up injuries, be talked into moves by colleagues or come back with illness, as often happens with our African players, having them is important to Pompey’s progress.

If Pompey really want to move forward as much as we all hope, and they say they do we need the best, and the best often play for their country so this is something will have to get used to, like it or not.