Mark Schwarzer's continued absence from the Chelsea line-up may be affecting his chances of maintaining his role as Australia's go-to glovesman, according to Holger Osieck, a 65-year-old German who has enjoyed a three-year incumbency to date.
A Premier League mainstay since 1998, Schwarzer, 40, has featured in a total of 504 matches in England's top flight, yet has not had a game since switching local west London allegiances of Fulham for Chelsea.
When the veteran exchanged terms with the reigning Europa League winners, he proclaimed them 'one of the best clubs in the world' and that he took 'little convincing' to sign a contract with them. However, his ambition to represent the Blues has seen him play second fiddle to Stamford Bridge's ever-present goalkeeper; Petr Cech.
And Schwarzer's continued absence from the pitch is now inhibiting his international pedigree.
'He needs to have game practice,' Osieck is quoted by the Australian Telegraph to have said. 'The more games he can play [for Chelsea] the better it is for him and for us.'
However, he did concede that he remains the best 'keeper that Australia has at their disposal: 'I know what he can do. He’s our number one goalkeeper but if I keep playing him, what about the others we may need?
'I had a long chat with [Schwarzer]. I explained the situation, he accepted it because he’s a good professional. Right now he’s still number one.'
Schwarzer will miss out on the friendly internationals against France and Canada, however, Jose Mourinho has hinted that players who did not feature for Chelsea last weekend will start in the Capital One Cup clash against Swindon Town on Tuesday evening.
image: © nicksarebi