Home > England, Premiership > The foreign invasion.

The foreign invasion.


The debate about foreign players in the Premiership is beginning to grate.

Of course, in the wake of England’s exit from the Euro 2008 reckoning it was bound to happen: a world-wide debate on why it happened. The coach? Arsenal? Overpaid? No pride in their nation?

The fact that Arsenal have little or no English influence in their first team these days is a shame for Arsenal’s fans who have grown up down the road and have seen former Arsenal greats grow up alongside them. Nothing makes a fan more proud than a Carragher, a Terry or a Neville. Ok a Gary Neville. Ok a Giggs.

However looking back over the years, ask the fans who they idolised in the 90s. Would the names Cantona, Zola, Henry and Schmeichel figure? You’re damn right they would, and they’d figure right at the top of favourite players lists.

The fact is, the foreign influx of players is a necessary one. England has to stop believing it is Brazil. That the English team underperforms is unquestionable given the context of their last campaign. But are they justified in assuming they should be challenging for the World Cups every four years. Of course they should be challenging, the fact remains though that there are other nations who are simply better.

The likes of Argentina and Brazils’ finest players make their trade in Europe’s finest leagues. Their domestic leagues are highly charged, but not crammed with top players. The likes of Tevez, Mascherano and Batistuta and Maradonna before them, left for Europe and yet they regularly compete at the same level that England do. Brazil have won more World Cups than anyone else, the latest in 2006. They did so with Ronaldinho, Ronaldo and others who play in Europe.

Players moving between nations to find their team is not the problem. The problem is possibly the expectant nation waiting for the 40 year drought to end. One World Cup win. That hardly justifies belief that England should be winning these tournaments. They can win. But they invariably won’t.

The Premiership is the league it is because of the foreign players who have come in and melded their styles with English styles so we can have Crouch and Torres playing up front together.

Vidic and Ferdinand comman United’s back line: Carragher and Agger, Terry and Carvalho. English and European and amongst the best defences in Europe.

Leave this limit on foreigners stuff alone: let’s enjoy the Premiership and acknowledge that England have a team which can compete and will eventually end that drought…..

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Categories: England, Premiership
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