The Daily Mail is today telling us that ‘The Premiership is the biggest league of nations in the world’. The Daily Mail triumphantly yells that ‘new research reveals that more than half â€” 316 of 569 â€” the players in the top flight last season were foreign.’
So, the Premier League has the largest amount of foreigners at 55.4 per cent, beating Germany (44.8 per cent), Spain (34.3), France (32.2) and Italy (28.9).
And the Mail claims this figure is set to rise even more this season, saying :
“On the opening weekend of this season, for example, only 37 per cent of players in Premier League starting XIs were English”.
Aside from the underlining xenophobic tub thumping, does any of this matter? Following the now mythical 1966 World Cup win (on home soil) we have consistently ebbed and flowed, but more often than not flattered to deceive, in International competitions. A mere eight years after winning the whole thing, we didn’t even qualify for the ’74 World Cup Finals…Is the International team we have now better than the bunch of layabouts who couldn’t even qualify for USA ’94? I don’t see any downturn in our International performances, indeed, it is very doubtful that we are at all hindered by the influx foreign players.
On the other hand, England’s national team is arguably filled with even less creative players than ever before so its not like the country is suddenly flowing with Zola-like magicians thanks to the influence of foreign players.