So the football hierarchies such as FIFA, UEAFA, The F.A and the Premier League seem to believe that overseas players are squandering the chances of home-grown players from their own country and hence supposedly making the national teams worse. Well let me remind them that a couple of years ago in the Champions League second round 2nd Leg, Inter Milan faced Liverpool and not a single one of the Inter players were Italian. And which was the country that won the most recent World Cup?
The way they are trying to infiltrate this is by the 6+5 rule. This is a maximum 6 overseas players in a team with a minimum of 5 home-grown players. This would mean you would have to be brought through the team’s academy at a young age. At the beginning this will be used in European competition in a few years time, however my opinion is this. Players whatever nationality they are should have to earn their right to get into a side, not by default and not by this 6+5 rule. I can imagine a scenario like this happening if this rule does come to fruition. A team’s Goalkeeper, Right Back, Centre Half, Centre Midfielder and Star Striker are all home-grown. And on the Friday training before Saturday’s game, their Star Striker gets injured. Originally to replace him would be a foreign player who cost £30 million the previous summer. But due to this rule the 17 year-old youth team striker has to be drafted in to replace him. Just imagine how the 17 year old striker would feel to be put into the side. Not on merit but by default thanks to the 6+5 rule. That in my opinion would demoralise a young player’s confidence.
As I mentioned earlier people believe that having too many foreign players in our Premier League is to the detriment of our national side. Let’s reminisce that actually the last time our country experienced success internationally was 43 years ago. We most certainly haven’t had foreigners in our leagues for 43 years so it’s more of a fundamental issue with the quality of our coaches rather than the quantity of non-English or in some cases non-British players in our leagues. The main issue is at grass-roots level with under 7s, under 8s under 9s and so on. The coaches of most youth teams are mainly parents of players and the majority have the coaching ability of a fridge door. In addition the football that they encourage their team’s to play is utter rubbish and dire and makes Sam Allardyce’s football look like Kevin Keegan’s football at Newcastle in the mid 90s. I am speaking from experience of when I played a few years ago for a team with a coach who told the team that when we regained possession to ‘boot the ball down the line’. Hence why I left at the end of the season.
Basically what I am trying to say and promote is that football players should only be judged on ability alone. Not age, not size and defiantly not nationality. As the great Arsene Wenger says ‘don’t judge a player by his passport.’ At the end of the day players like Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney will always play for their clubs and national sides regardless of a quota system. What I am trying to say is that I would rather watch a foreigner busting his gut and trying his hardest for a club like Bacary Sagna rather than watch an over pampered, over hyped and over priced Englishman like David Bentley as Spurs fans would voucher for I am sure. I am a firm believer that if you are good enough and want to be a footballer then you will eventually come through and rise to the top. If you are good enough and don’t want it then that should be purely your choice and shouldn’t have pushy parents living out their child’s glory in a selfish way. If you don’t have the ability but do want it then all I can say is that I wish you all of the best of luck.
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