Writer: Johnny Baguette
Date:Saturday September 29 2007
France Football, 'La Bible du Foot,' gave yet another indicator of just how popular throughout the world The Premier League has become by running a special dedicated to the English national game this week.
Headlines such as 'L'Angleterre c'est fou!' (It's crazy in England!) were followed up with The Gooner's Arsehole Whinger stating that there is a 'soul to preserve' within the game and a focus on what happened to the imploded Lids United. I found Whinger's comments stunning considering his almost total lack of use of English players this season.
Manchester City certainly figured. A list of the increasingly powerful foreign owners developing an influence on English Football saw Frank Shinawatra come under the microscope, highlighting his positive impact on the running of the club's fortunes to date. But once again the article referred to the summer comments of the City Supporters Trust, giving an example of just how far reaching those statements went and the impression to anyone reading that all is not well with City fans. It's worth noting that those statements have yet to be repeated to the national media during City's excellent start to the season.
The perceived 25 most media friendly and powerful figureheads of the modern game saw our very own Micah Richards get almost a full page to himself at number 18 alongside a host of millionaire luminaries such as Benitez, Terry, Fabregas, Drogba and the rags Potato Head and Taggart. Richards' stock is rising as much as City's, Blues. He is making waves throughout Europe and is going to be massive. SGE will have to use all his legendary powers of persuasion to keep the lad on board.
The most striking aspect of the whole fascinating read was just how English is the Premier League, where is it all heading and what are the implications for the national side? Statistics of course, tell the story. An analysis was carried out of the season so far with interesting results.
The most English of Premier League sides were Aston Villa, West Ham United and Middlesborough in that order, all using 11 English players amongst their teamsheets so far this season. Effectively a 50% 'English Factor.'
At the other end of the scale, Arsenal have used only 1 English player so far and have an English factor of 4.60%. Joining them in the non English relegation zone are Fulham then Bolton. But they are in a mix of clubs with a very similar record including in ascending order: Liverpool, Blackburn, and Manchester City. City have only used 5 English players this season and have a 27.80% English Factor. I know we have a couple of Irish lads on board but this was a strictly English focused analysis.
The rags have used 3 more English players than us and this saw them in mid table with a 38.10% factor. Chelski have used 7 English players to date and The Pompey Globetrotters 8. It is important to point out that Chelski and the rags have spent enormous funds on English players because they have the resources to do so.
To sum up, only 142 English players have figured so far in the Premier League this season. That's an overall percentage of 35.10%. An alarming trend which if continued, will surely have a detrimental effect upon our national side if it hasn't already. Small wonder that English players are so expensive to sign.
We of course at City can applaud Jim Cassell and his Academy for bolstering our ranks and above all else I urge Frank and Svennis to continue their policy so far of placing emphasis on the Academy's future and constructing a young City side.
That said, looking at the bigger picture, this cannot go on and I would fully support a European rule whereby each side is obliged to field at least 5 home grown nationals in each side that takes the field in league, cup and european games. The national side and it's coach could only benefit and the Premier League would become more competitive as a result.
Over to you, Monsieur Platini...
source: France Football
Date:Saturday September 29 2007
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