Is it impossible to get Premier League clubs caring about English talent when so few of the managers and owners of the 20 teams of our elite are English in the first place?
Previously I asked the question whether we as a national side could not simply ask the Premier League clubs to play more English talent in the wake of alarming figures about English players playing in the Premier League.
Germany were used as an example, as Klinsmann and Loew managed to coax Bundesliga managers into playing more young talent and in a certain way in order to strengthen the future of the German team. Oliver Bierhoff is instrumental in this process by providing a familiar face as a source of liaison between club and country.
One suggestion would be to appoint somebody in the same ilk perhaps one of the Neville brothers, who have previous experience in the England set-up already. However I believe even the appointment of Russell Brand using his flirting techniques would make very little difference to the response.
Leaving aside the dismissive comments of club managers only care about their clubs etc. another huge stumbling block lies simply in the nationality of Premier League managers.
Currently, of the 20 in the Premier League, only Alan Pardew, Brian McDermott, Nigel Adkins and Sam Allardyce are English. The remaining 16 are from Scotland, Holland, Italy, Wales, Northern Ireland, Portugal, Spain or Denmark and therefore have no innate responsibility or reason to develop English talent.
Spain, Germany, Italy and France have a much more nationalistic approach to their managers. In La Liga for instance only 8 of the managers are from different nations. Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid is of course Portuguese and then there are the 4 Argentines and the Frenchman, Chilean and Serbian apiece. One of these foreign managers however is currently in charge of a team who only play men from a certain region of Spain, so Athletic Bilbao’s Marcelo Bielsa can be stricken from the record; his hands are tied from national disregard.
Yet it is unfair to blame the managers either, they are employed to win games that is their job. By employing young national talent they will fail to succeed on a simply logical basis. If you narrow your talent pools down whilst everybody else is signing players from Paris to Podgorica and beyond you barely stand a chance.
Then maybe ownership is the problem. Using La Liga as an example again only three teams are owned by foreign investors. Getafe and Malaga have a Middle Eastern connection with Granada owned by the Pozzo family, recent buyers of Watford FC.
Compared to England that is minuscule with investors from Russia, USA and the Middle East owning some of our biggest clubs. Just Everton, West Brom, West Ham, Wigan, Norwich, Newcastle, Stoke and Tottenham are currently owned by English parties.
Arsenal is run by a group consisting of majority shareholders from America, Uzbekistan and Iran. Russia is in charge at Chelsea and Reading while the Middle East controls Man City. Americans regulate Manchester United, Aston Villa, Liverpool and Sunderland and Swiss, Egyptian and Malaysian investors control the rest of the Premier League.
With our clubs run from top to bottom by foreign investors and managers why would they really care about the success of the English national team?
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