Much has been said about the declining quality of English football, and what would happen were foreign players removed from the premier league.
So, having looked at how successful our youth team had been, I thought I would look at how well English players were doing in the league.
77 English players played in the premiership last weekend – enough to fill 7 teams – and many more played in the championship. In that respect, England definitely have sufficient talent form which to choose from, so foreign imports cannot really be used as an excuse. If you want to find more English players, look t the championship – but they are playing in the championship because they are not as good as the ones in the premiership, whether or not they are English or not.
England has the number one goalkeeper in the Actim stats this season, in Portsmouth’s David James. 7 clean sheets have taken him to 24th overall – 1 place higher than his closest goalkeeping rival Jose Reina. Not only this, but he is the only English keeper in the top 5.
England have 3 of the top 5 defenders, Rio Ferdinand top of the lot, 4th overall, with Glen Johnson coming in 3rd (12th) and Lescott 5th (16th).
England has the second best midfielder, 3rd overall, in Frank Lampard, but below that, we are decidedly lacking. An area deemed to be one of our strongest positions has a seemingly devoid area. Beyond the top 5. Portsmouth’s John Utaka is still nestling in 5th place.
2 out of the 5 players in the top 5 forwards are English, Agbonlahor, and Ashley young in 4th and 5th place. Benjani remains second overall in the index, and top of the strikers.
So, what went wrong? With so many English players playing so well in the premier league – much better represented than any other country, (Croatia only had 3 players in the premier league (1 more likely to join) – none in the top 5 of every category – you would expect England to qualify with ease.
Unfortunately, of these players, only Frank Lampard started for England against Croatia – and he has consistently under performed for England over the last year. David James was given a place on the bench; Rio Ferdinand was out with a suspension – but Glen Johnson, England’s second best defender this season, did not even make the squad. Nor did Young or Agbonlahor, England’s best two forward players – in a time when McClaren was complaining about a lack of talent upfront.
The idea that the best players from the premier league could not get into the England squad, and then have people complain about the lack of English talent is at most, a pathetic excuse – but more worryingly, the people who have complained, are now appointing the next England manager.
Written by pompeycarpet.
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