Never before has the debate about the state of English football been so prevalent. Just looking at the evidence, it is not hard to understand why.
So we have Arsenal, top of the Barclays Premiership. We can all agree they are a team who play attractive football, a fantastic manager and some world class players including the sub lime Fabregas. However it is also time to agree that a team with little or no English player representation other than the elusive Hoyt is not good for the future of English football.
And then there is Sir Trevor Brooking stating in The Times (3rd February 2008) that he believes the condition of children’s football is the key – stop playing kids on over sized pitches, start teaching the 5 – 11 age range the basics and technique. Again I believe he is correct – especially as they turn up in their droves with Man United shirts marked Ronaldo or Arsenal shirts marked Adebayor. Our kids and youth systems need ownership, direction and a strategy and most importantly more English footballing hero’s.
And finally there is our national teams inadequacy – a group of players who look world class surrounded by other world class none English players – but actually are too self promoting to play as a team.
Truely talented foreign players deserve a place in any team whatever its nationality. However too many times an average cheaper foreign option takes the place of a young potential English player. And so I would like to propose change, encourage debate and state that the time for limited foreign players in each starting 11 is back upon us. And a time for investing the FA’s £1 Billion revenue for F2008 at getting the grass roots right is overdue.
I believe the only thing holding us back is the FA themselves – out of touch, dinosaurs of industry who need to make way for new footballing blood. A maximum 5 none British players per 11 – is this not a start?