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England's international quantity gap

International England
by Matt Slater (U1647490) 27 May 2008
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Fifa boss Sepp Blatter

The number of England-qualified players starting in the Premier League crashed to an all-time low last season.

BBC Sport research has found that only 170 of the 498 players who started matches in the top flight in 2007-08 were English - just 34.1% of the total.

It marks a big slide from 2006-07, when 191 (38%) of the starters were English. The previous low came in 2002-03 - that season, 179 English players appeared in Premier League starting XIs.

The English numbers are considerably worse than Scotland's. OK, the Scots aren't going to Euro 2008 either but they made a better fist of qualifying than we did, in a far tougher group.

Need I point out the other major leagues in Europe also fare much better in this regard than England?

When asked about these numbers on Tuesday, Fabio Capello played a very straight bat (those English lessons are really paying off).

He gave the kind of "quality not quantity" response Premier League officials reach for whenever somebody suggests the clubs bear some responsibility for the national side's struggles on the international stage.

But he did reveal a chink of what his real feelings must be - the numbers speak for themselves, I could use a few more options.

Sepp Blatter thinks he knows what is needed - quotas. Limit the number of starting places available to foreign players and you give local lads the chance to play and develop.

A nice idea, perhaps, but will it work? Will it even be given a chance to work? As far as European Union employment law goes, footballers really are the same as painters and plumbers.

Perhaps that is closer to the (inconvenient) truth for the England national side. Is our problem not that we have too many foreign artists playing in our domestic league, it's that we have too many English artisans?

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posted May 30, 2008

also irish/scottish and welsh should not be considered as entirely foreign in terms of distinguisment for the quota."
that would be silly, because a lot of English have decended from one one those countries including the Eire which was formally part of the UK

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posted May 30, 2008

Dutch player are injury prone (Van Persey, shnider, Van Basten etc). South American players are there this season and the next they are down there (Rivaldo, Adriano, Ronaldinho, Gibelto etc). Italian Players dont do well outside Italy. Spanish players implode at international level. French players last long they are durable and relatively cheap. English players play with a lot of inferiority complex at international level. They are over hyped by the English press, few make it thru the youth academies, they are too expensive etc.... sorry i was just thinking aloud. thank u.

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comment by davser (U1195784)

posted May 30, 2008

"As for Scottish football, well Celtic and Rangers would struggle for a few seasons in the Championship let alone the EPL hence your manager has to look at even Championship teams."

What a crock.

Celtic - last 16 Champions League
Rangers - UEFA Cup finalists

Do you realise that there were more Scottish players registered to play in the champions league than English players?

Not that it is going to happen but Celtic and Rangers would be competing with the top 4 of the EPL in a couple of years if they were admitted. They are among the top 25 clubs in the world as it is.

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posted May 30, 2008

"Not that it is going to happen but Celtic and Rangers would be competing with the top 4 of the EPL in a couple of years if they were admitted."

In all honesty there's no way of knowing that unless they regularly played against better opposion than what they're up against every week in the SPL. But like you say they won't ever join the Premier League and rightly so.

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comment by davser (U1195784)

posted May 30, 2008

I know.
If Celtic and Rangers joined the EPL, the top 4 would leave for a pan european league out of the control of UEFA whcih they won't let happen

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posted May 30, 2008

to be born English is no guarantee of being born talented!

Spot on.
The answer isn't quotas, it will merely stifle the league.
The FA should concentrate on coaching youngsters at an early age.

England, welcome to the world of Wales, Scotland and Ireland, who for so long have had to survive on very limited resources.

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posted May 30, 2008

This is just typical journalistic rubbish as usual!!! Always seeking the excuses!
Firstly, Blatter and Platini do not like the fact that English clubs are dominating Europe. They are not trying to help England!!!
Secondly, what have we won when the percentages were higher? Answer - Nothing!!!
If we have 170 players in the Premiership, they should be top class, as they have to compete with the "foreign" players to get a place.
This should be more than enough.
Bigger question for me is, why are we always under achieving? We've had the players (man for man) with the best teams in the world, we don't seem to have the heart anymore (compare us with the RoI, when they pull on the "green" shirt, they'll give everything to win).
Currently we're missing 2 world class strikers, we create lots of chances, but don't take them.
We need to "blood" the youngsters in friendlies, not play all the oldies.

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comment by ajak25 (U12165096)

posted Jun 1, 2008

As admirer of European and English football, I am hooked to watch great players all over the world showing their ability not their nationalities! if English are in dire need of finding the best out themselves, they should they should concentrate on the academies but not introduce quotas which will let the quality of football degrade and encourage racism and may others vices!

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posted Jun 3, 2008

The true problem with the England national team is that too few English players play abroad, not that too few play in the Prem.
Clearly other nations benefit from having their players playing abroad, whereas at the minute i can only think of one English who plys his trade in a foreign league, and its not even a major one!

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posted Jun 18, 2008

I'm not sure that English players could or should play abroad. I can think of a few who have played abroad (eg Ian Harte, Jay Bothroyd, Gascoigne, Des Walker, Mark Hughes) and it didn't exactly turn them into world beaters, arguably they all got worse as a result.

Also, look at the Germans and the Italians nearly all their players ply their trade in their domestic leagues and all have better players than the English, the problem is coaching and the insane thing about players being an hrs drive away.

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