It would be hard to find a Englishman who does not sing the praises of the significantly large contingent of foreign players that ply their trade on the world’s biggest stage, the Barclays Premier League.
Machester United’s Portugese winger Cristiano Ronaldo had a stunning 07/08 season. Liverpool’s Fernando Torres is the most successful debut foriegner in the Premier League’s history. Arsenal’s Cesc Fabregas is the heartbeat of the Gunners. Chelsea’s Didier Drogba has roared the Blues into a great period of success. And all of these players have an impressive supporting cast made up of many cultures and countries.
So why does Sepp Blatter want to end it all?
The UEFA president is heavily pushing the bid for a 6+5 quota in domestic competitions, which would mean that six players on the side are eligible to play for the national team of the country of the club. So in England, twelve English players would have to grace the pitch for the game to start.
Sit back in your seat. And think of the complications, the revolution this would bring to domestic competitions around the world.
Chelsea would be in a position where their English players would be forced to play every single game – and Chelsea’s current first team has these English stocks: Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard, Joe Cole, John Terry, Michael Mancienne, Scott Sinclair, Jimmy Smith and Lee Sawyer.
Only four of those players play in the first team on a consistent basis. Michael Mancienne has only played in two games for the club. Scott Sinclair, Jimmy Smith and Lee Sawyer are all out on loan at the moment – and only Sinclair has played for Chelsea first team with five appearances.
The idea for 6+5 is that it would be gradually rolled out slowly, with 4+7 the starting point. In a hypothetical situation, if 4+7 was to be introduced for the last game of the current season, then A. Cole, Lampard, Terry and Mancienne would have to start – Joe Cole is out for the season, and the three other players, are, as mentioned before, on loan.
And so, with the introduction of Mancienne, in our hypothetical situation, would mean that Bosingwa or Ivanovic would have to be dropped so the Englishman can take the right back position. And doing this, would weaken the team. And that is just 4+7.
Now we enter the transfer window, and Chelsea must get ready for the 6+5 ruling. So we purchase, say Aston Villa’s Ashley Young, and sell the services of Kalou, seeing that we need Englishmen and not Ivory Coast men. But the wrecking ball of 6+5 doesn’t stop there. Aston Villa, now without the option of Ashley Young, must go and purchase another Englishman to make up their 6+5 quota.
You can see the where this is going to take us – eventually teams like West Bromwich Albion, with their English players poached by the lure of money from bigger clubs needing to fill in the gaps left by the English players that have moved from their club to an even bigger club – the Big 4.
And so lesser quality players would have to be purchased by West Brom and such, taken from the Championship and such. But if they were better than the foriegn players already at these clubs, they would be there. Put simply, they’re not. So that’s why the foriegn players are purchased, to improve the standard of players at these clubs.
I cannot fathom the possibility that Chelsea would be where they are now without Michael Essien, Didier Drogba, Ricardo Carvalho, John Obi Mikel, Nicolas Anelka, Michael Ballack and many more. Indeed, if it weren’t for Ballack’s goals last season, we would’ve been 13 , not 1 point behind United. Makes you think.
I can see the positives in Blatter’s proposal, and I do admit that England does have quite a few top players. Obviously, there is some sort of a problem when Liverpool have more Spanish players on the field than Spanish side Real Madrid. But if 6+5 were to come in, just take a look at Arsenal. They would have to forego a lot of their talented foriegn youngsters in favour of lesser talented Englishmen.
It is not the foriegners’ fault that England did not qualify for Euro 2008. It is not the Premier League’s fault that Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool have invested better in their squads and are more successful in the Champions League. A while back, Spain were kings of Europe. Now, it’s England. They will move on, to be replaced by another dominant nation for a period of time.
Losing the foriegners and introducing lesser players into the top flights around the world is not the answer.
This & more at The Chelsea Blue.