Friday, 16 November 2007

International Blues

The sports pages have been full this week of statistics on foreign players in the English Football league.

Arsenal, a team who used to be known for its youth training, fielded a completely non-english squad. Seeing as they are top of the Premiership it is a telling statistic of the direction in which the league is moving.

I had always believed that Ipswich, with their famous youth training academy, were an example to all with their home grown talent - Kieron Dyer, Richard Wright, Titus Bramble and Darren Bent have all done us proud (to some extent!).

But when I thought more about it I realised that our starting team actually contains a majority of non-English players:

Neil Alexander: Scottish
Tony Wright: English
Alex Bruce: English
Jason De Vos: Canadian
Dan Harding: English
Jonathan Walters: English
Tommy Miller: English
Owen Garvan: Irish
Billy Clarke: Irish
Alan Lee: Irish
Pablo Counago: Spanish

(N.B. English player Bruce has been called up for the Irish squad and Walters has been linked to the country's B team!)

6 out of 11 foreigners in the first team - and when Wilnis and Legwinski play that can go up to 8.

But is that a bad thing? Counago, De Vos, Alexander and Lee are all from foreign shores but Town's story this season may have been completely different without them.

So I say thanks to the Spanish for giving us Pablo and I raise my glass to the Canadians for Jason.

What difference does a player's nationality make if that player is passionate and committed to his team?

As for the worry that these international players will overshadow our own talent - perhaps the English should develop the mentality that a little competition never did anyone any harm and maybe it could even improve us.

So I say all for one and one for all - unless you are from Naaaarfalk!!!


Ibrahim Mustapha said...

Here, f**king here! Funny, I hadn't read yours but wrote something along similar lines over at the ibyss.

Amy Downes said...

Stop plugging your blog mister!