Writer: Steve Shepley
Date:Friday September 7 2007
The current England squad is said by many experts, including Trevor Brooking, to be short of quality due to the fact the Premier league clubs are buying to many foreigners.
Strangely, and without justification, City and Sven have been slaughtered by the tabloids (followers of the Yankee red socks I wonder?) for not buying English. Rather unsurprisingly, so called bigger clubs appear to avoid such criticism. Well I may not know more than Trevor with regards to football, but I think I may do better with maths and factual evidence.
Take the England set up; there are two main teams, full international and under 21s. Each squad would consist of say twenty four players which to my reckoning is forty eight players. Let`s throw in another half dozen on stand by. Let`s accept that very few English players play abroad and that most considered for selection will be playing in the Premier League.
With me so far? Ok, there are twenty teams in the Premier League and we need around fifty five players. That equates, on average to each Premier League club supplying between two and three players in order to cover both squads. Previous and current English teams are usually made up from the top six or so sides, so Premier League teams seven to twenty would actually supply less than the average figure; Man City are not top six (yet).
If as the tabloids suggest, City are indeed the typical none England international supporting club that the FA and Trevor constantly moan about then perhaps they should note that in recently selected England squads City have produced the following players: Micah Richards, Nedum Onouha, Joe Hart, Michael Johnson, Shaun Wright Phillips and Joey Barton. That is six players, granted the latter two have since moved on, that have come through the English Academy at Manchester City. The FA should be extremely grateful to our club for bringing on more quality English talent than most other clubs. I do not have stats from other clubs but I am sure the evidence would simply confirm that Trevor and co have absolutely no right to have a dig at City or Sven.
It is the very fact that we at City have so many English players coming through that enables our management team to look abroad for cheaper players that will blend with our outstanding English talent. Now, if every other team followed our example, then maybe, just maybe we would stand a chance of having a very successful England side.
Nevertheless it is still surprising that academies can produce the likes of Richards, Gerrard and Lampard etc but still the majority of top flight clubs would rather spend huge amounts on foreign talent rather than plough a few million into academy resources. When things are not going as well as they should we all look to place blame elsewhere. The FA and Trevor should look closer to home before being critical of clubs like City who have done nothing other than support the international set up.
There is always flip side to every story. If the premier was loaded with English players, we would have the FA saying we never do well at international level as our English players are not learning because week in week out they are not playing against quality foreign world class players. Then I guess clubs like City would be being urged to go out and get some overseas talent so our home bred players could learn new skills and techniques from them.
The middle ground sensible fan would claim a mix of young, quality players coming from both England and abroad is the recipe for ultimate success for both domestic and international clubs.
That is exactly what City are doing; but don`t wait for Trevor, the FA, and the red tabloids to congratulate us. They are all far to busy trying to justify their support for an under-achieving England side and their take on it.
Date:Friday September 7 2007
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