Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp might be relying heavily on foreign talent in his team to push them up the table in the English Premier League but deep inside he wants to have more England players dominate the Premiership.
The current England group is fantastic but when you start going down lower it is going to get harder because big clubs are signing more foreign kids. It’s not ideal.
At Portsmouth we’ve had a couple of kids in from Trinidad this week who look very good players but you think, ‘where are the English kids?’
We need to start finding some and need to produce them at a younger age. But where will they come from? They’re not playing in the streets, we are not producing and I don’t see a great amount of talent about.
I watch youth games and there aren’t too many players who are jumping out at me.
I don’t see too many coming through like Joe Cole or Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard or Jermain Defoe.
In addition to that, Redknapp would also like the Premiership teams to shun the long ball (Route 1) football and play a more passing game. Redknapp states:
I’d like to see every manager get his players to try to pass the ball to each other. That would improve the standard of the game throughout the country from the lower divisions all the way through.
I’ve seen a few games lately and thought ‘what is that, a football match, why don’t they try to play some football?’
We need to encourage young players. It’s going to be a problem for the England team in years to come unless we do something. The standard at youth level at the moment in my opinion is at an all-time low.
It was Barcelona against Valencia. There were four minutes to go and Barcelona were losing 1-0 and the commentator said they had to get the ball forward.
But they just didn’t kick it upfield in the air and hope it would drop to someone. They kept playing and passing and they got a goal. They had a belief in how the game should be played.
We need to produce more managers and coaches who believe in playing football. A lot think the long ball is the way to play and are quite happy to lump it and play horrible and win.
Now this is a call to limit the number of foreigners in the Premiership which is not feasible. And about that long ball game? Well, in spite of all the hype and the mega TV deals, the stark, naked truth is that football played by the Premiership teams is boring and after you have watched La Liga or the Argentine championships, you wouldn’t feel much inclined to buy Premiership football.