EPL Champions 2009/2010 – how many Brits in the photo?
England’s dismal failure at the World Cup can be blamed on the Premier League’s inability to promote home-grown talent, according to the president of Spain’s La Liga.
José Luis Astiazarán has questioned the number of young foreign players at Premier League clubs and said the principal reason Spain have reached Sunday’s final against Holland is that “77.1%” of footballers in their domestic league are Spanish-qualified, a direct result of home-grown players being given the opportunity in their clubs’ first teams. In the Premier League fewer than 40% of players are English…
Astiazarán said. “Our strategy is to work very hard with young home-grown players and to try to have a mix between them and experienced players.
“Why is it not a high number of foreign players in La Liga? Because we invest more and more in young Spanish players than in young foreign players. England has many times taken young players from outside who are 14, 16 years old. These kind of players are not English. This is one of the most important differences between Spain and England. We invest in young Spanish players. In Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United there are a lot of young Spanish, French and Italian players – maybe this is why at the moment you are not creating young English players…
Spain are also the reigning European champions and Astiazarán does not deny that imported, established foreign stars have aided the development of domestic footballers. “OK, there are very good foreign players who help improve the Spanish players’ level because we have players coming from the major leagues who have played in the Champions League and big competitions in Europe and this is important,” he said.
I agree. But, anyone who knows me – already knows this.
Our own MLS is just getting into the addition of star imports as well as a healthy addition of a number of players from Central and South America. That is only natural. But, I doubt we have much worry of repeating the days of the NASL.
Now, we’re getting full steam into pushing our best players forward into Euro leagues; but, that’s a different problem/context than what the Brits face. Think about the fact that nine players on the Dutch Team, Sunday, also were in Madrid for the Champions League Final.
The rap from those who favor the “international teams” like Arsenal and Manchester United – or even Inter Milan in the Serie A – is that these are teams that provide the most entertaining and winning football. Maybe so.
Maybe they don’t need fans anymore, either.