Reader Letter: Some maths on our England Football talent pool
I firmly believe, like many of your savvy readers I suspect, watching England participate in international football is akin to the proverbial “watching paint dry” theory as the last thing they constantly do is inspire success at the sharp end of tournaments.
I have often reflected on the probable reasons for this so decided to do some pretty basic arithmetic and simply tot up the number of overseas footballers (which does include a huge plethora of very average journeymen players simply trying to make a quick fortune in England) who actually took to the playing fields of England last week (w/e November 23/24) under the guise of being part of the current top five teams in the Premier League.
That numbers game has taken even me by surprise to be honest. Within the combined total of 85 match day squad members (5 x 17 including substitutes) in last week’s teams involving the two Manchester clubs, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool there were 72 foreign players!
I could have gone further down the table with similar calculations but I would suggest that with 85pc of this country’s supposed best players coming from around Europe and South America, we simply stand no chance at all even in the distant future of having a successful England national team which we all, let’s be honest, yearn for.
Dare I say that we must be grateful for the supreme efforts of clubs like Tottenham to pin their flag to the mast of English home-grown players, bless them, but the problem is they will not, sadly, win anything one would speculate to say — but I yearn to be proved wrong on that score in Europe this season.
I also ask just why the average passionate supporter would really want to ardently align him/herself with those sort of teams at the expense of developing home grown talent — is a trophy in the cabinet really that all encompassing?
The sooner the sadly-doomed initiative a few years ago of trying to ensure that at least five English born players must be present in all Premier League teams at match day kick-off be revisited the better and would be a great start in turning around this dreadful purge of our talents.
Having said that we all know exactly why your average supporter would dread this actually coming into sharp focus again — a total lack of young, creative English managers and, you guessed it, money, the real evil in today’s game.
Mike Holmes, Clover Drive, Sheringham