Football

Danny Mills Takes Stick For Strange Comments About Nigeria

Danny Mills Takes Stick For Strange Comments About Nigeria

Danny Mills has never been one to waste too much time dallying with restraint. After Luis Suarez bit Giorgio Chiellini at the 2014 World Cup, for example, he called for Suarez to be locked up.

He's once again taken some stick today for some strange comments made on BBC Two. Mills was doing co-commentary with Guy Mowbray on the U-20 World Cup final, which has ended in glory for his native land: they beat Venezuela 1-0 thanks to a goal by Everton's Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

Such success will naturally excite the English media for the future, although during the game Mowbray did sound a note of caution: playing for England at U-20 level will not prevent a player from declaring for a rival nation at senior level.

Mills was having none of this on commentary, claiming that players should stick around for England, to play in the Euros and the World Cup, as they are the competitions that "really matter".

Again, I'm going to be biased but if you have the opportunity to play for England, you have to take it.

The quality of England, for me, far outweighs the chances you will have for Nigeria. OK, you might go to the African Cup of Nations, you might pick up a medal.

But in terms of competitions that really matter on the world stage, the Europeans, the World Cup...England would be your first port of call.

Of course I'm going to be biased on that.

 

He at least declared his bias, but these remain opinions couched in nonsense. Where, suddenly, does the conviction that England are in some way better than Nigeria, and are more likely to win major competitions come from?

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Surely it is admirable for a player to show ambition, and decide that winning the African Cup of Nations or other tournaments is preferable to not winning anything with England?

It also ignores the more abstract but deeper issue of national and cultural identity, but we doubt Mills is overly troubled by the possibility of nuance in this department.

Wilfried Zaha, for example, has done exactly that, which led to some ludicrous criticism from Mills.

This fell out of his mouth on TalkSPORT, as he claimed Zaha took the "easy option"

Would you rather play for England or the Ivory Coast? Ultimately he's taken the easier option and thought 'well, I might get a few more caps and I might get to play in a few more tournaments because my chances with England are probably going to be limited...

...I probably did over 30-odd squads and never got any game time - sat in the stands, sat on the bench - but you still turned up every single time in that hope that you might get a chance and take it.

It is just an easy option from Zaha to go and play somewhere else.

Mills clearly felt strongly about his country, and fair play to him for that, but he shouldn't assume that his worldview is the dominant one.

See Also: Didier Drogba Scores On Debut, Dedicates Victory To Sadly Departed Cheick Tiote

 

 

Gavin Cooney
Article written by
Changed the spelling of his name upon pressure from Michael Owen.

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