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City And The English Factor

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

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The journalist

Writer: Johnny Baguette Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday September 29 2007

Time: 8:48AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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Excellent and enlightening column and things can only get worse reagarding English players especially when you get clubs paying way over the odds for mediocre players 16m for Bent just one example no wonder managers look abroad for talent.
Report Abuse
29/09/2007 09:57:00

Fully agree, alph. The rags stumped up 17 mill for Hargreaves, 30 mill for Ferdinand, 20 mill for Rooney, 18.6 mill for Carrick and not so long ago 7 mill for Smith. That's a 92.6 million outlay for 5 Englishmen. Crazy money. When you consider Stevie Sidwell who could have been brilliant for us now doing a SWP at Chelski who themselves have spent serious money on Englishmen, I suggest we are bordering on a future crisis. Those wins against Isreal and Russia were impressive, but the depth in the England squad is questionable for tougher assignments to come.
Johnny Baguette
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29/09/2007 11:11:00

Saw it in the SPL during the nineties - huge influx of imports choked the supply of indigenous talent, which led to the demise of the national team some time later. Now clubs are being forced to nurture local lads and are bringing them through to the first team earlier and in larger numbers, the national side has benefited as has competition within the domestic league. I still regard the best sides to have left these shores as anglo-celtic btw. Aside from the national side showing the impact of this(which it is) my concern would be that once the money stops or tails off so will the foriegn interest from players and investors - this will then weaken the market power of the EPL, the TV revenues it can command and the flow of cash to the clubs. We would then have the situation faced not so long ago with the game in crisis and no english telent of any depth - disaster.
Craig Cain
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29/09/2007 12:11:00

Top, top comments, CC. I well remember when Scotland were a force to be reckoned with and certainly are improving all the time. The key for English football now is how long hedge company backed characters like the Glazers, seemingly bored oligarch's like Abramovich and Jury still outers like Frank are prepared to stick around. Should these individuals gradually pull the plug, then teh Lurdoch family would have to adjust their plans accordingly and I still forsee, and indeed dread, a European Super League.
Johnny Baguette
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29/09/2007 12:36:00

Excuse, me I meant to type "the Murdoch family." Combination of French keyboard and pre match nerves. Although "Lurdoch" does have a ring to it.
Johnny Baguette
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29/09/2007 12:38:00

and I thought it would take them 10 games to gel, what do I know
Buzz Lightyear
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29/09/2007 15:20:00

Ah well, 8 games wasn't far off Buzz!!!
Johnny Baguette
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29/09/2007 15:45:00

"The national side and it's coach could only benefit and the Premier League would become more competitive as a result"... Shall I say the PL players will become more opportunistic instead. Instead of asking UEFA for help, why dont we ask FA to have good academies and nurture young talent. I wonder what they are doing with all the money that is coming in. Arsenal might have played only one english player so far but its academy produced some very good players who are playing around in the League. The problem is when they know they are good they demand fortunes. Dont restrict the clubs on english players... if they are good enough they will get through automatically. Really I dont want to hurt anyone's feelings... just thought of giving my views
Report Abuse
01/10/2007 00:23:00

Thanks for your input KnightOfArsenal. I totally agree regarding the massive amounts of money that could be used towards youth set ups but surely it is the clubs that should be financing that with their Murdoch money. Many prefer to buy from abroad like Bolton for whom Allardyce did not see any point in pursuing a youth policy and he has left them in a right mess. I maintain that the future is bleak for England. Look at Sidwell and SWP. Going backwards at Chelsea. SWP only got in for England because the millionaires who let Sven down so badly are not prepared to play through pain barriers. These young players should be playing week in week out. McClaren dropped lucky recently IMHO when the youth stepped up to the mark and they showed what can be achieved.
Johnny Baguette
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01/10/2007 18:21:00


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