Journalists in the Swiss media expect national team manager Vladimir Petkovic to force Stephan Lichtsteiner, among others, out of the national team.
The apparent clear out of the older generation of Swiss players began with Valon Behrami. He told the media he received a call from Petkovic to tell him he would no longer be playing for the national team anymore.
“Vladimir Petkovic called me today at noon,” Behrami said. “I thought it was a courtesy call, but no, it was to tell me that I would not play anymore for the Swiss team (…) I am convinced that this decision is a political decision.”
He’s not the only one though. According to the Swiss media, from various different sources, Stephan Lichtsteiner, Johan Djourou and Gelson Fernandes are all expected to be next, despite the fact none of them have expressed any intention to end their international career.
If the decision to force Behrami out of the team is based on age, Lichtsteiner has every reason to be concerned, as he’s a year older than his Swiss teammate. Of course, it’s a bit easier to play a defensive role later into your thirties than in midfield like Behrami, so we’ll have to wait for confirmation from the player himself.
Most Swiss outlets are reporting it as a certainty though. RTS write in no uncertain terms that Petkovic “has also decided to separate from Stephan Lichtsteiner”.
Fernandes has already hinted that he’s also received the call, confirming he’ll speak to the press on Tuesday. Let’s see what he says.
Suite aux informations qui circulent dans la presse au sujet de l’equipe nationale et ma personne, je communiquerai demain mardi 7 aout la dessus.
— Gelson Fernandes (@GelsonFernandes) August 6, 2018