With the recent influx of Frenchman into our ‘wee’ North East team, it got me thinking about the leagues condition on a certain amount of home grown players being a part of a teams 25 man squad.
With nine Frenchman being part of that (Massasio Haidara is under 21 years old), a further seven are not in the home grown category and are above 21. That leaves by my calculations nine home grown spots.
You may think that isn’t so bad and that seems like quite a few actually, and you’d be right, however several of such players may soon be exiting, the likes of Danny Simpson, possibly Dan Gosling and quite possibly a few others when they realise that they are three places behind a young foreign prospect.
Added to this a few of the younger foreigners brought in who will be over 21 soon, adding to the problem. I have no problem with these foreign players, on the contrary I love seeing skilful players pull on the black and white, but at what cost?
European footballing standards are even stricter on this and it could be that we have Gallic flair but can’t qualify for European competitions. The problem these days is that English/homegrown players are overrated and so their prices sky rocket, look at Wilfried Zaha for example, he’s probably no better than Sylvain Marveaux but as he’s come through the system he’s apparently a £17m player.
What’s the solution then? It’s simple, bring through our own academy talents. Achieve that top academy status, which I hear we’ve failed to achieve again, and find talent in the area. We’re a footballing rich area rivalling Merseyside for producing talent. Find them, bring them in, train them (properly), and gradually integrate them with the squad. the Beardsley’s, Gazza’s, Shearer’s and Milburn’s are out there just bring them through and combine the best of here and abroad to have a team that we can support as well as the rest of Britain and further afield.
However we need a shorter term solution also…
Written by Andy Mag