Saturday, December 8, 2007

Too Many Foreign Players in English Premier League: Good or Bad?

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Arsenal is in great form this season both in English premier league and Europe. And at the beginning of the season, most experts and football did not think that Arsenal would be able to put any serious challenge to the other the clubs. They thought this way because Arsenal sold their best player Henry before the start of the season and Arsenal did not buy any big stars in the transfer window.

Arsenal Coach Arsene Wenger

Now, Arsenal is at the top of English premier league and Arsenal is doing equally impressive in UEFA Champions league. The team is achieving this kind of result thanks to a group of highly motivated but inexperienced young players. Of course, the coach Arsene Wenger is getting a lot of credit for the amazing run of the club. However, not everyone is happy with Arsenal. A recent report criticized the matter that Arsenal had mainly imported players and was neglecting English players.

England failed to qualify for Euro 2008 and that caused a lot of unhappiness in the country. Many people got frustrated that English clubs are among the richest in the world but England is not doing well in the world football stage. So, they want to see a change in the condition and they want to see that English national team performs much better in the football world.

For doing so, England needs a lot of talented and skilled players. This is not a very easy as the clubs like Arsenal mainly rely on foreign players and they spend millions of dollars for this of foreign players. Arsenal has been heavily criticized in the report because in the present a squad, there are not enough players from England.

The critics feel that this way, English national team can never become a world champion. While, I have to say that they have a good point here. Of course, without supporting local talent, you can never expect that your team will be world champion. However, Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger does not share the same view with his critics.

Arsene Wenger feels that he has to think of the best interest for his club. He is happy lead the way things are going at the moment. After all, Arsenal is in top without any star players and without spending huge amount of money on foreign players. Arsene Wenger thinks that he has to get the best players for his club and it does not matter to him about the location of his players.

There is a proposal that at least 3 home grown players should be in field. This has been suggested by Professional Footballers' Association and this surely makes some sense to many people in England. Of course, there is no indication at this moment that this proposal will be accepted by FA. Nevertheless, if it becomes a rule then Arsenal will be badly hit. In the first eleven of Arsenal, we can find that most players are foreign. So, naturally, Arsene Wenger is against this proposal.

Arsene Wenger has another reason not to except it. He does not believe in this kind of restriction. He feels that football clubs should give most priority to most talented players instead of thinking of promoting home grown players. He has a strong point in this regard. English Premier League is now the most popular and richest football league in the world because of the quality footballers it has. The international players have contributed most in this regard. In fact, at this moment, intentional players are the top names for most clubs in EPL.

Arsene Wenger has in mind the French experience in this regard. France one time wanted to promote young players in club level and it did not bring any benefit to French football- this is what Arsene Wenger thinks. He feels that if FA wants to impose any restriction then it would only damage English football in the long run.

"I was at the centre of an experience where we had to play three players in the squad under 21.

"You know what these people became? Professional bench players. Every week they sat next to the manager.

"Not only did more French players not play, but they did not even play in the reserves or practice enough and in the end we cut the rule and we opened it up completely again because what happens is you produce professional subs."

This is the reaction of Arsene Wenger.

At the end of the day, football has become a very rich and competitive sports. Arsene Wenger has to ensure that his club can remain as one of the top 3 clubs in England. He also has to ensure that his club can compete with big names like Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea. This is not easy.

Now let us go back to the original question. Are there too many foreign players in English Premier League? I think there is but it is an inevitable process of globalization. English clubs want to earn a lot of money from TV rights and for doing so they have to bring best footballers from around the world. It may be good or it may be bad but the reality is that there is nothing that FA or anyone could do about it at this moment.

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1 comment:

Maarten L said...

I composed a Google Earth file to show the countries of origin of the players of the biggest 4 Premier League teams. You'll find more info on my website here:
Kind regards,