This debate has been raging over the blogosphere, and I thought I’d put my 2 cents in. As England fall flat in the Euro 2008 qualifiers, typically, they need a scapegoat.
No, England isn’t on the verge of not qualifying because they’re a bunch of lazy, greedy wannabe tabloid-fodder. No, no, no, they aren’t qualifying because some clubs aren’t producing enough English players. As with all frustrating crap, this saga begins with FIFA.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter says:
“The European Union does not cover this issue in its constitution at the moment but sport will be mentioned for the first time when they change their laws in December,”
“There are a number of processes coming together to stop the overwhelming presence of non-national players in club leagues.”
So Sepp sees this rosy image in his mind, where the English national team is full of great young talent brought from clubs all over England, just waiting to take the world by storm. These players are hard-working, committed, loyal and proud to be on the team. Someone please take off his glasses and crush them into rose-coloured dust. If Sepp got his way of restricting foreign players to only 5 a team, English football would look something like this:
- The price of English players, already overpriced, will go up dramatically. Though please, don’t expect their work-ethic to improve…now that English players get paid even more, what’s to stop them from spending it on booze, partying and women?
- Only the top 4-6 clubs in the country will be able to afford these overrated fat-asses. What joy we’ll get by watching pure, raw talent like Jermaine Jenas and Kieron Dyer trying to get the ball to the predatorial Dave Nugent before collapsing into a wailing mess, insisting that they’ve been crippled for life by that knock on the ankle.
- Lesser clubs will have to buy up players from the Championship and talents such as Kolo Toure and Cherno Samba would never have been discovered, why waste your precious foreigner slot on an untested African?
Yes Sepp, I totally see where you’re coming from. The game of football is in disarray and this is the only way to fix it. Nope, you’re right…foreigners do ruin the game. That’s why people go to see the blundering oaf Wes Brown instead of the man-mountain that is Nemanja Vidic. Jermaine Defoe is definitely going to work harder now that Berbatov isn’t around to put him off. And why pay â‚¤16 million for a Thierry Henry when you can get the stylish Darren Bent?
Sepp’s right people, money is much better spent when it’s English.
Editor’s note:: If the topic of Foreigners in the English Premiership interests you, check out Sam Adriance’s “Oh No! The Big Bad Foreigner Is Coming to Ruin English Football!” excellent discussion on the subject, here on Soccerlens.