The Foreign Influence

The only English export

The only English export Watching all these Euro 2012 games has got me thinking… Would I prefer to have the Premier League in its current form whereby players are bought in from all over the globe to play? Or would I prefer a stronger focus on home based players creating a better national side?

Well its a no brainer for me, I’d much prefer a stronger league with NUFC able to compete on the European stage, but does this mean that our national side will never succeed?

It was BillQuayDad that said to me during the England v France game how strong the French squad looked compared to ours. Now he doesn’t know much about European football but can judge players on ability like most of us can. After he made the comment I really took notice of the technical ability on show, and the number of players on the bench who I myself have watched many times in European and French football. Granted it wasn’t Barca or Real but on the whole the squad looks a lot stronger than ours. So much so that when Parker was clearly shattered and had to be brought off I didn’t know who we had on the bench to replace him.

Personally I think this is down to the amount of players plying their trade in foreign countries. Of the current French squad 11 players play outside France, and 7 of which play in England. The Dutch squad have similar figures with 15 players based abroad, and 6 in England. For me this shows two different issues which amount to the same problem with football in our country. Firstly the players playing abroad get more experience of different styles of play so meaning that when they are selected to play in an international tournament for their country they are better prepared to play against these nations (and as an aside would get used to international refereeing). Secondly the more players from different nationalities playing in England, the less chance English players have the chance to play in the best league in the world which can only be bad news for our national footballing future.

Now who can guess how many of England’s squad play abroad? Of course, its none at all. Joe Cole is our only recent European export and he hasn’t featured in the national squad since his loan move to Lille. Other than that Owen Hargreaves played on the continent, but he grew up in Germany so that really doesn’t count. I think our young players are missing out because they aren’t given a chance to play in Spain, France, Italy and Germany. When I say aren’t given the chance what I actually mean is in most cases they aren’t good enough, which is certainly the case in Spain and Italy but in Germany, Holland and France the issue is money. The wages can’t be that high in these countries so players will be unwilling to relocate.

Now after doing some statistical work (I’m a geek, get over it) I have worked out that 7 of our top 8 clubs had less than 50% GB & Irish in the playing staff last season. Man Utd being the only exception to the rule but even then they had 17 from 31 eligible for home nation plus Republic of Ireland, and of those Giggs and Scholes are retired from Wales and England respectively. No prizes for guessing that Chelsea, Man City & Arsenal are the main offenders, not only due to first time recruitment but also if you take a closer look at their youth ranks they are swelled with youngsters from all over the globe…which is only set to continue with the new youth academy recruitment rules but that’s for another day.

And finally with the news of the increased price of Premier League TV rights (3billion squid) the future of our flagship league looks only like getting stronger financially so leading to more and more foreign stars choosing to play in England and equal numbers of our young stars rejecting going abroad in case they get the chance to earn massive wages. It’s a sad indictment of the society we live in, but lets face it who would turn down stupid money (but still receive way better money than most other professions) to go abroad and have to learn languages and cultures (work hard) to fit in?!

Oh hang on, hard work you say?! Oh no thanks.

16 thoughts on “The Foreign Influence

  1. “Newcastle has also proposed this week five million euros for Mathieu Debuchy under contract until June 2015. An “unacceptable” offer yesterday by Michel Seydoux, chairman. “We are not sellers. We did not prolong Mathieu last year to get a further season. He is part of our plans. He is a man of Lille! ”

    For anyone who cant decode google translate: Lilles chairman has confirmed they’ve knocked back a bid for Debuchy, We offered €5m and they are after €8m according to L’equipe…


  2. Good read mate and I agree. None of our players get the chance to play abroad and it does inhibit us somewhat. Is it to do with just money? Or is it to do with the fact that they don;t have as much technical ability?

    Obviously money will play a part, but if a player is that good then surely the big teams in Europe who can pay the wages would be wanting them? Yet nothing….

    Talent is coached out of English players I’m afraid. Those with raw technical skill are often looked over as they are deemed as selfish or not being team players which is something that has to change within our game from the bottom up before we can can ever seriously think about catching up with other, bigger, footballing nations.


  3. CC – You got a link for that mate? I started writing it up earlier but binned it as I couldn’t find the article 🙂


  4. I think 5-6 euros is his value. He’s in the 2nd half of his twenties and playing in the French league. Little European experience and only recently breaking into the national team.
    That being said he has 3 years left in his contract and his value is really whatever Lille say it is.


  5. MM
    I agree, its only about £5.5m isnt it?
    On the article, it seems that your right as there will only be an increased demand for players over-sea as they’re generally better and less expensive. England’s team is poor, I said to my dad “Why the hell did Roy bring on Henderson?” and my dad replied with “Well who else is he gunna bring on?” and he’s right, England’s quuality is very poor, the only regulars in midfield are past their play-by-date or never had one.


  6. JG
    What about Hulk then? He’s done little to justify himself as a good player outside the portugese league and isn’t that young, yet Chelsea are supposed to be bidding in excess of 30m for him


  7. Toonsy, still seems a bargain, its only 1m more than what we payed for Santon and if Tuesdays performance is anything to go by hes worth it.


  8. Im an outsider looking in but I think the problem in England is actually the quality of English managers and coaches.
    Few have an international kind of quality which pretty much means tactics. And these are the men that are developing the youth in the lower leagues and even within some of the prem clubs academies.
    You have young players who never reach their potential because they aren’t properly guided.
    They don’t leave because English players are too expensive. There is a massive gap in finances between the top teams in other leagues and the ones below them in their own league. There is a gap in the prem as well but it’s closer than other leagues.
    Prem teams don’t like to buy from the lower leagues because prices are high for players with no top league experience. Mean while top clubs in other leagues can buy players from equivalent financial clubs that are operating in the top league therefore having players with league experience.
    There are clubs in the prem like ours that look to Europe to get good value on players. These clubs are wealthier than most clubs in Europe so if they can’t afford the local talent, surely the rest of Europe can’t either.


  9. Andymag- if we’re going to ask Chelsea to set the mark on player’s values we’re finished.
    Of corse hulk is not worth that. His value is probably around 10 mil but that won’t stop chelski.
    We are also not talking about a hulk type of player we’re talking about a right back. We can’t afford to over pay for right backs especially those on the far end of the age cap.


  10. BillQuay – A squad is only as good as the players selected. In my opinion there are quality young England players who are not in this squad through either injury or because Hodgson hasn’t selected them. I agree that it is far easier and cheaper to bring it young foreign talent that English lads. But in my opinion, our national teams biggest problem is a very narrow minded FA and an over critical sports media.


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