In light of alarming statistics and comments from Roy Hodgson regarding English talent could we look to Germany as an example of how to change it all?
England manager Roy Hodgson has recently come out and declared his belief that English talent is being stifled in the Premier League and the statistics most definitely back him up. Last season only 38.6% of players in the Premier League were English and so far this season the total stands at 35.2%. When the Premier League began just 10 years ago that figure was 71.9% which is quite obviously astonishing.
The Premier League is one of if not the most exciting sporting league on the planet and this influx of foreign players has of course played an extremely large part in its rise, but a quota system is surely not a bad option. Spain have their non-EU player rule which seems to work, even if the distant relatives from Poland occasionally help some guy from Argentina obtain an EU passport, or the lackadaisical approach to citizenship on the Iberian peninsula.
But getting into that conversation is the equivalent of banging your head against a brick wall but an interesting topic is Roy Hodgson’s comments on the matter…
‘We, as England, can’t start asking clubs to consider us when they’re making decisions about their players’
My question is, why not?
Because if you take an envious look at our so called bitter rivals Germany they did exactly that before hosting the World Cup in 2006 with excellent results.
Jurgen Klinsmann and his coaching staff including Joachim Loew went to all the Bundesliga clubs in a plea to give the young German players a chance in the upcoming season in order to blood new talent sufficiently for the World Cup. They also asked whether the teams could all adapt to playing similar systems, with possession and pressing at the forefront of the game. The amazing thing is that it actually worked.
Teams actively listened to the national team and decided to adopt this system in order to fulfil a national hope of winning the World Cup. They may not have exceeded in that respect, losing out to a destined Italy side and the might of Spain; but we as Englishmen can vouch for its success after succumbing to a 4-1 mullering at the hands of Die Mannschaft. The sight of Gareth Barry clumsily chasing Mesut Ozil as the gap between the two continually grew is still one that makes me shriek with internal agony.
The appointment of Oliver Bierhoff, in a PR role definitely helped. He acted as a familiar liaison officer between the clubs and the national team that worked wonders for the relations between the two. We know of that strained relation in this country so perhaps a similar role should be adopted over here. Gary Neville springs to mind as a public and well known face that could perform such a role (apart from with Liverpool maybe).
Could it work, should we just ask our clubs for a favour?