At least three home grown players should start each EPL game? Think again!



I see that popular theme of the moment was raised again – the number of players in the England squad who started in the premier league games was 9? Perhaps they should be forced to put Gibbs in the squad to get the quota up?

I am not sure if the new commission have thought it through, with this idea that at least 3 homegrown players should start every EPL game. Do they not realise that the big money clubs will simply buy up all the best young talent, so instead of the talent being spread around, it will be concentrated in fewer clubs, and although 3 may play, you can guarantee that at least 3 or 4 others will be sitting on the sidelines?

Where will that leave the game in 5 years time?

Not only that, can you imagine the divisions and rifts it will cause if a club has its best homegrown players injured and has to use a 3rd tier player to fill in, at the expense of one of their really talented imports? In reality what is more likely to happen is the bigger clubs will simply lose a substitute or two and haul off anybody who is not there on merit?

That is the real point. We want homegrown players to be in our top sides on merit

So, perhaps the size of these academies should be looked at?. Then look at the period after the young players who sign their first schoolboy, then by the time they are 16, govern more closely where they move on to at 18 or 19. If these academies were given a rating for their development skills, and getting players into their first team for a minimum number of matches, then they were have their quota raised for their junior entrants, and more important, clubs that fail to upgrade their juniors into their first team, have their their opportunities to cream off the best also cut.

So, you begin by setting up a limit of how many players academies can have in the first place. Arsenal for instance, have around 80+ under 18’s.. This may well be a reflection of what the club can afford, but does it give all those the same opportunity than if they were in smaller units spread around? Then you have the ratio of those juniors which have been selected from their immediate area from the age of 9 through to age 16 and their first contracts, against those that are imported aged 16-18+?

This to me is the first stage of the imbalance that worries football chiefs. Do the locals really get squeezed out, or are the foreign player simply better coached at an early stage, and thus show more potential by the time they reach the time to sign professional forms? If it is the former then they can negate that by quotas. If, as seems evident in most cases, it is the latter, then we lose talent that could strengthen the premier league status to other country’s leagues, and without addressing the fundamental problem of coaching skills?

My proposal would be to do a full background check on clubs throughout the league, not just the premier division. See how is it, that a smaller income club like Southampton can be so successful, it appears, in all respects, than say some clubs who have bigger resources, who do relatively little in terms of progressing youngsters? May be like Arsenal, they can distort the final figure of successfully trained juniors into first team players by the huge numbers they process? It is not that simple of course. A club like Arsenal will attract a large number of aspiring youngsters that simply do not have the required talent, and may not be good enough to break into even a lower league side?

But how, if at all, are these clubs assessed?

I quoted the figure from Coventry’s academy recently, that 11 of the 18 players in the squad that beat Wimbledon AFC in the FA Cup game were homegrown, most had been there since the age of 9. If it were not for their 10 point penalty, they would be 4th in Division 1. They must be doing something right, and others less so?

Moving on to more general assessment. It should be able to get a figure from all the clubs of what %age of the clubs income is spent on development of young players, and from that how many players each club will then coach from all divisions. You then can have a better idea who is doing it right with regards to getting players to first contract level?

With all that in place you can also have from the basic quota of the numbers of players that are in the system from the %age of income, and can adjust that according to success rates. Up and Down!

Remember this is throughout the league, and at the bottom end clubs do not have the finances to run large academies, or even the successful ones being able to expand if they are given an increased quota if they are not one of the mega rich clubs.

This is where I feel the massive income from TV sources should be used. So a successful but not a club but not with a large fan base or income, could be allocated X millions to fund another 10 places for quality players to get the best coaching right through until they are able to sign professional contracts age 18. The lower league clubs could get similar assistance so every local club has the facilities in place to coach youngsters no matter where they live. But they will be assessed on the quality of their coaching. Indeed, if this money is spent wisely, using techniques that are implemented at the best clubs, by paying these ‘best clubs’ to train and educate new coaches. Particularly the lower league clubs who run really good academies, would have openings for these newly trained coaches who have working experience as well as their merit badges? Many of these people will be ex-footballers, who going through a properly funded system where they learn from the best, will then be our future skilled managers? 

That brings us to ‘Best Practice’ 

What determines best practice? Each club, and it’s manager, will have a favoured style of play which they want to instil into players that go on to have a future at their club. But before that, the basics that are worked, over and above precocious early talent. Techniques of ball control, passing and team work, are the fundamentals that good coaches should be able to get right, long before formations and style of play come into it?

The clubs that take in huge numbers of youngsters, and turn the average 8 or 9 year old into a good footballers, and the very talented into top class ones, are the models the commission should be looking at. Rather than the clubs who simply scout their adjacent clubs and cream off the best ones. This will simply distort their performance of improving techniques, by just adding a bit to the most talented? This does not mean all big clubs are not models for best practice. However, if thoroughly skilled coaches were spread over more clubs, even if not directly funded by the clubs themselves, it could open up diversity where the kids could see where they are best suited, before they get into club allegiance? There could be teams of coaches who visit clubs on a regular basis to do coaching sessions, which the clubs can back up themselves. I thinking here at very grass root level of non-league clubs, who with the best will in the world cannot employ highly qualified coaches. But the aim is to have as many clubs assist their local children in giving them the best football education, without having to travel miles and miles, before they know if they want to pursue it further?

Monitoring young players.

It is important to know if what is being done, is working the way it is intended. By the time players reach 14 or 15 their natural talent beyond technique should have revealed itself. They are now on schoolboy forms which makes the follow up easier. However, players that leave the system should also have an input in case it is something that can be corrected, and they can continue their interest in playing. There may be a shortage of local clubs, referees, or even pitches to play on, which another area where centralised funding could help?

The breakthrough years between 16-21 are where the pressures and disappointments start to surface. But if these players are monitored and assessed, and the players have had an input, the quality players with an abundance of natural talent, and years of the best coaching practice behind them, should be able to find clubs to employ them professionally.

Only then, when all this is in place, can you say to clubs who they should or shouldn’t play. In the meantime, perhaps those clubs that horde quality youngsters could be given a push with a ‘use them or lose them’ ultimatum? So 16 year old not getting a minimum number of games appropriate to their talent or age should be made available to other clubs who can claim a shortage of top young talent, if they meet the criteria of being models of best practice.

Opportunity, not money, should be the guiding principle?


Written by: Gerry.

113 thoughts on “At least three home grown players should start each EPL game? Think again!

  • Any typos are down to my poor editing, as TA had little to to peruse it before publishing it. Okay?

  • Superb, well thought out post, Gerry 🙂

    Please dont worry about the typos. No time now, but will respond to the content later on today.

    Thanks buddy.

  • Hi Gerry,

    That is a passionate and well written Post, but I have to admit that I am not clear what the premise for it is. This may be because it is something that has appeared in an English press article which I have not had access to, in which case I apologise in advance.

    Everyone who plays for his country, in this case the country in question is England, has to be qualified for his country.

    The ‘Home Grown Rule’ was brought in to ensure there was a minimum of 8 home grown players in every EPL squad of 25 players.

    To remain on the right side of European Law, the definition of Home Grown was not based on nationality, but on the age and length of time a player had been with the club before the age of 21. By inference this means there can only be a maximum of 17 ‘Foreign’ players.

    That being the case it seems to have no bearing on the England team which is based on nationality.

    You have started the Post with two statements:
    A) — “I am not sure if the new commission have thought it through, with this idea that at least 3 homegrown players should start every EPL game.” I

    B) — “the number of players in the England squad who started in the premier league games was 9.”

    For the reasons given above these two statements seem to be non-sequitors.

    You see, in recent years Arsenal have had many ‘home grown’ players like Sczezney and Cesc who have gone on to play in the Premiership, and they were very definitely not English but most certainly Polish and Spanish respectively.

    There have been and still are many more ‘home grown’ qualified players who are not qualified, or do not want to play for England.

    Therefore statement (A) would not help the English national team. And I simply do not understand the relevance of statement (B).

    As I said at the start, I seem to have totally misunderstood what the ‘commission’ (who they?) were saying.

    Help please. 🙂

  • The FA applied to to Fifa to have this quota inserted into the rules. Fifa returned it to the FA saying it was up to individual countries.

    The other quote came during the England v Chile game when the shortage of English, or those qualified to play for England, were not getting regular games at their clubs.

    Whilst not directly connected, they are what is prompting the new Commission have suggested might make a difference. General consensus would have it that ‘most’ home-grown players across the EPL would be available to play for England?

    Arsenal are a club that take a large number of foreign players into its academy, but also have produced a number of regular such ‘English’ qualified players, who when fit do play for us. We are one of the clubs that these proposals would not affect very much.

    But it was the thinking behind it, i.e. that you can start with end product before tackling the real problem, which I believe lies in coaching children at the very beginning?

    This is what I was trying to suggest a better way forwards. I have to admit, I could have done more work on it, but knowing TA’s available time is short during the week, and I had an interruption in my thinking, I let it go as it was.

    But you have come to the conclusion that I did. The basic proposal is flawed.

    Cheers, back shortly.

  • Simple way to get more good English players. Let the big teams have a Bside that plays in the championship like Barcelona and RM do in Spain. Most of the Spanish world cup winning team started in these Bteams.

  • Sorry RA – Early dog feeding after an early walk.

    The other point of the term ‘homegrown’ as opposed to ‘English’ is to bypass European legislation on employment law?

  • Gerry,

    I was puzzled by the commission comments mainly because I had not seen the source documents.

    If what the commission were saying was, the way to improve the England national squad was by requiring the EPL clubs to have a certain minimum number of England qualified players, that puts the theme of the Post into perspective – thanks.

    Any such rules would no doubt have to apply to other European Leagues/ clubs too.

    I agree with you that the commission (whoever they are, FIFA/UEFA) do not appear to have thought this proposal out properly.

    Prior to the implementation of the ‘Home Grown’ Rule, a similar UEFA proposal had been widely discussed in the European Parliament and then abandoned because of what was seen as a potential breach of a number of EU community employment laws, including Human Rights, Restrictive Practices, Restraint of Trade and many more.

    Why they would think they can now find their way around the self same EU Laws is a mystery to me – but then politics is a mystery to most people.

    Anyway, well done for highlighting this and I guess it is a case of ‘watch this space’. 🙂

  • Gerry,

    Yes. The terminology and wording of the ‘Home Grown’ rules for EU clubs was to avoid the politically unacceptable ‘national’ overtones of the original proposals, which as suggested breached EU employment law.

    The intention of the HG rule was not to improve the national teams per se (that is why I was puzzled earlier) but to curtail the purchase of expensive, usually older non=EU players which was seen to disadvantage European youngsters being given a chance at a football career.

    The effect in the longer term would, of course lead to more players qualified for the EU national teams — but that was not highlighted at the time because it could be seen as anti non-EU countries, and might have created a backlash.

    But what do I know? 🙂

  • The link I found on the BBC website is here:

    It makes the point that it is the lack of under 21 age group playing has fallen, both in this country and abroad.

    This is something Roy Hogson has touched upon with regards to player development.

    However, I am sure if the players are skilled, and physically capable, more opportunities would be available. We have Gnabry, Man U have Januzaz, who are one that received their initial coaching abroad. W.Brom are playing a striker who could play for England, and we have also played OX when he was fit.

    I guess from the number in the academies, it is a small %age?

    Like I said, I was more interested in the direction the Commission need to be looking at if they are going to raise the standards of future English stars.

  • Gerry,

    Having better understood the context in which the Post was written, I think it is very impressive and a lot of time and thought has gone into the suggested proposals for establishing systems and monitoring of younger players.

    There should be a way of funnelling fans’ thoughts on specific topics such as this to the FA/UEFA authorities, and your Post would be one of these.

    I suppose we can only dream. 🙂

  • nice one Gerry, you put a lot of effort and thought process into this one and it shows

    i personally think, that there is not much wrong with the system, it’s the way it’s used is that leaves much to be desired really – for instance, there are plenty of reserve games, next gen has come in and added to that as well, plus the loaning youth players to lower divisions at any time is also a win win, a great example of this is Townsend, Wilshere e.t.c e.t.c

    alternatively, you can always invest in a feeder club of sorts, and have a team of home grown’s there ? like an Arsenal B club, registered to play in the lower leagues –

    i look at the state of english football now and it’s much much better and healthier then it used to be say 5 to 10 years ago ? why i say that – well, look in the squad, before it was heavily reliant on Man utd – now it has a nice blend and mix of both youth and experienced players from all over the country and in the future it may well have 3-4 quality Arsenal players, along with the likes of Liverpool, Everton e.t.c e.t.c

    AW, has taken the step in the right direction and has understood that there is no substitute for “Home Grown” players, as you can’t buy loyalty even if you are passion about a club – for this lesson, we must thank and be grateful to our Ex-Captain who goes by the name of Cesc Fabregas !

    to all those people, who point out flaws in the system and criticize England , i show them Ross Barkley, Ravel Morrison e.t.c – the future is bright, as long as the right coaches, system and people are involved.

    also, it would be wise to have a cap on salaries for players under 21 , this will help keep them grounded and work that much harder instead of having their heads turned, for instance take Zaha as an example ? just because he signed big for Man utd, he thought it’s his right to walk in to the u21’s and be treated like a superstar ? which links it nicely to your last line which happens to be a gem ” Opportunity over money”.

    PS : Hi RA 🙂 interesting and informative comments !!!

  • RA & JB – My posts are not long in the producing, it is the follow up work that takes the time.
    This one I have to admit, is not my finest hour on the latter part, which is why there are flaws that hopefully I would have wheedled out.

    But I thank you both for your compliments.

    It would be nice if somebody making the decisions took on board the points made, both in the blog, and here in the comments section..

    As you say RA, we can only dream.

    One such such suggestion is your salary cap JB. Alas, if that was not European wide, the other countries would do what Arsenal have been doing to Barcelona for years, tempt them away?

    I am not sure I can agree on the state of English football. If you are talking about the diversity of players, yes, that is better. But can you honestly say that with all the money that has gone into the game over the last 10 years, the grass roots level has had its fair share?

    You see for the country the size of ours, and football being the main national sport, we should be producing far better players, and in greater numbers, than we do? Sweden, Switzerland, Holland all do better than us given their relatively small populations?

    I think if we gave opportunities to more players, somewhere a gem would emerge, and we would have a better quality league throughout. So promoted clubs would instantly hold their own in the premiership, without spending vast sums replacing players who got them there. It is this bottom up approach that will take 5 or 10 years for the benefits to show through. But then we would be exporting talent, rather than importing it?

    The B Team has its merits, but if you are talking of a reserve team playing in leagues against season professionals, they will get clobbered. We had a few pre-season ‘friendlies’ with the local area sides, and it always came down to the physicality of grown men not wishing to be shown up by talented teenagers.

    Indeed, we had a similar thing the other night in their own age group against Chelsea? They played with a number of regulars from the Under 21’s who were physically bigger, We had Chuba Akpom. Dan Crowley, skilled as he is, is small and only 16. Their goal scorer was also 16, but had a night to remember.

    I agree the Next Gen and the Uefa Tournament are great at pitting the best of youth together. The reserve league also helps for the older lads, or exceptional youngsters. Despite the money, Aston Villa won the Next Gen trophy, where again, we plundered Crowley from?

    Anyway, I have just put the topic out there for discussion. See what comes out of it, eh?

  • Well I am going to do a bit of dog doo darring, then I’ll watch the Under 21’s stick 7 past San Marino?
    Catch you later.

  • Evening Flapsicle Flangepene`s 😆

    The biggest compliment I can give you is……you bastardo !……writing all this detailed intelligent stuff again !. Too big a post to have without a smidgenous mention of porn !. hahaha
    It definitely deserves a more intelligent type of blogger, so it is of no surprise to read a big helping of RedickulArse, he doesn`t just ooze intelligence ( same with Prof` Geoffers ….what is it with these Septic`s ?, what are they being fed ? ), he sweats it !.
    Just a little adjustment, I think you`ll find Gibbs is/was in the England squad !.

    Personally, I don’t give a Gareth Bale who plays for Arsenal and only take an average interest in England. I bleed Arsenal and live in England ( although the inbreds around here think Cornwall is a separate country and are fighting to allow only so many of us outsiders rodger their wives and any dogging sessions have to have an home grown rule of at least 3 locals peeping into the tractor ! ) and our success only matters to me.
    On the part about the likes of Southampton.
    I`m sure there is some sort of mileage rule where clubs can only pick up talent in a certain mile radius from the club !. So with so many teams in London ( 14 ? ) , in theory it is easier for the likes of Southampton to pick up just as much talent, they only have Portsmouth ( I think ) as competition. Also, Southampton where close to going bust and like a lot of teams in such a predicament ( Coventry etc` ), they could not buy players and where forced to play a lot of their youngsters, who may have not got their chances had Southampton been in a healthy state of affairs, with them possibly buying players instead of playing the youth !.
    Fcuk it, I`m boring myself now !. hahaha

  • thanks for the detailed reply @ Gerry

    it’s a slow process, one that takes time , what i’m trying to say is that we have come a long way since we used to play the long ball game a.k.a stoke e.t.c e.t.c

    you know things are headed in the right direction when Everton , Wigan , Swansea, Liverpool , Southampton e.t.c are playing proper football and the focus is on passing and technical abilities – it’s a trickle down effect that goes from top to the bottom (grass route youth ) hence the statement of mine that English football is headed in the right direction.

    agreed, about the investments and us needing to produce more and do more – it will happen , i’m confident about that because football is a passion in this country and with the added coverage of footy due to BT sports , it only helps in nurturing, motivating and encouraging more young players with added incentive of mega size investments ?

    also, the likes of man city, chelsea and co building new training facilities and investing in youth development programs is another step in the right direction.

    i hope Jenks has a decent game as he didn’t have a good outing last time and was the worst player on the pitch for me in the u21’s.

    am gonna watch the big boys !

  • Totes, are you going to the real important game tonight ?…………Arsenal U21`s are playing in your back garden @ 7pm !. It might be on Twitter !. Remember that commentary I did of the game you and GIE went to !. hahaha

  • England U21s 6-0 San Marino
    Danny Ings beats Carl Jenkinson to toe-poke in a loose ball and England have their sixth right after the restart. That defending was just, well, horrible…

    Gerry’s 7-0 is well on, ha

  • our lad is doing quite well and has done better than expected :

    England U21s 8-0 San Marino
    More goals in Shrewsbury – Carl Jenkinson and Raheem Sterling adding their names to the scoresheet.

  • get used to the future (this will happen a lot in the next 3-4 years at the first team)

    Arsenal FC ‏@Arsenal 56s
    Zelalem plays a clever ball into Toral’s path but the Spaniard fires his effort over (19) 0-0

  • Nacho starts for spain but great news, Santi is on the bench !!!

    France to win 4-0 !

  • i’m going to make a bold statement (yeah Fozzie that what you get for calling me Tarzan and you too @Glics

    i reckon we should play our U21’s in the world cup, instead of sending our usual boring team, let’s send the U’21’s along with the likes of JW, Gibbs, Ox , Ross e.t.c e.t.c

    sorted !

  • Gerry, interesting post. To me its the FA’s job and then maybe the parents and of course the kids needing to be good enough. Get of the PS3 plainging fifa and go and really kick a football. That is my input , i am afraid like Cockie it is all a bit to cleaver for my brain cell. It is already having problems working out weather to watch England or the France match so i have decided to watch both at the same time 🙂

  • Benzema scores and goal ruled out OFF SIDE – never in a million years was it off side, what the F ?

    should have been 2-0 France, argh

  • there you go there you go, Benzema score (and guess what, it was OFF SIDE every time in a million years) ahahahhaahahhaah, lines man having a shocker but justice done ?


    oh and benzema scored – ran straight to Giroud on the side lines for a group hug – hmmmmmmm

  • Wow Gerry, you covered all angles on this one. I agree it always has to be on merit and I am sure if English players are as good as foreign ones they will get picked first. It is all about investing in infrastructure, top trainers and applying a long term philosophy and strategy. But this is just not the English way….

  • Gibbs gets capped to right to, he deserves it he has been great this season. We have Arsenal player on the pitch

  • Ozil, Ramsey, Rosicky, Giroud, Sagna, Koc, Santi, basically most if not all of our players are adequately rested hence no more ” Jaded” BS.

  • anyhow, spain lost to s.Africa

    and France look favourites, i predicted a 4-0 ? they are half way there with Benzema missing the 3rd goal with his left foot

    Captain Mertersacker is sinking England.

  • Roy the boy should do all everything in his power to pursude John Terry to play for England in the world cup. We need him he is our best CB with Cahill, he deserves to play in it on his football alone, it will be his last chance at a world cup, he needs it the country needs it and if we want to far in it Roy needs to make it happen.

  • I expected that JB it is looking like we have not lost any body , touch wood.
    Now come on England , the challenge is to break down a defending Germany team and score at least 1 in the last 10 mins.

  • the booooing of England at the final whistle was very unfair of the fans , disapointing result fair enough but i can totally understand that time when Rooney said to the camera that time “thats nice isn’t it your own fans booing ya” they should not do that when England were the better side just did not get the result,.

  • like i said earlier @ PG

    let our under 21’s go to Brazil, they will do us proud 😉

    anyhow, such is life – this was the Old German style of play and they are still better than us – i expect them to be no.1 in the rankings soon as Spain lost ?

  • i don’t know how Sturridge has managed to score so many goals, he disappoints me every time, is well and truly over rated and over hyped – he’s average at best, very selfish and not a team man as such

    only a matter of time before he brings down liverFOOL with them – watch this space and you heard it here first.

  • Opta Joe: 0 – England failed to have a shot on target in a home game for the first time since losing 1-0 to Scotland in November 1999. Rare.

    were we really the better side @ PG ?

  • JB,
    Maybe i was wrong then, i was watching 2 games at once well sort off. I thought we played well and had more of the ball, but not 1 shot on target is very bad.

  • so that’s Ronaldo winning the balloon d or , pardon the spellings

    but worthy winner and by far the best footballer on the planet, currently.

    scored a hat-trick to take his country to braaaaaaaaaaazil.

  • I agree JB, we aint going to win it !, play the youngsters !.
    That’s two England games I`ve watched on the trot and we`ve got about as much chance of winning the WC as John Terry winning a MOBO prize for a best Racial Harmony Rap !.
    I don’t know what the problem with Jack is and I`m sure you lot will defend him, but he looks to have gone backwards to me !. I`ve said plenty of times he has a very laboured running style and players are leaving for dead . Great footballing brain but lacking a athletic physique, maybe he`s been rushed back to early, but then he needs the game time, I just don’t know but something is just not right.
    Townsend looked dangerous again and I think Theo will have a hard time getting his place back….nice summer rest !.

  • having more of the ball doesn’t make us better, it just proves that we are useless ?

    it’s how we use the ball that really matters, Joe hart had to make a world class save just before their 1st goal.

  • Hart had very little to do,. I think Defoe is better the Sturidge i dont know why he always gets over looked but at club level i am glad he does even though a spud he is i rate him

  • It is England JB i am used to it, expect nothing from them is what we should do. They always let us down,

  • Good evening Brave Bollick Banjo Bandits!! 😆
    Thank you Gerry for all your hard work! I’m afraid however that my fozzled brain that also needed paddles from JGCs last post is now floating near Uranus 😆
    Combined with the fact that I’m a kiwi and the water in my brain goes the other way and I truly have no chance!! 😆
    I guess the Oilers and chavs will always find a way to bypass the system … What’s that I hear that the Qatari foundation sponsor PSG 200 mill a year or something like that?
    Can’t wait to see theo on sat!!
    JB … Calling you Tarzan is a compliment of the highest order!! 😀

  • I haft to agree Fozzie B, defo with the Tarzan thing i would love to be able to the Tarzan call thing,

  • Cockie if your there can you post that you tube after you tazered Tarzans schlong? … That’s a goodie which PG will love! 😆

  • Damn that mans good, no wonder Jane amd all the animals loved him. I could never do that , that good. Practice just could not do it.

  • All done il be sitting in the pub and after my text goes il be expecting a stampied of elephants and monkeys lol

  • Very thorough post Gerry and a bit hard to follow at first but in the end makes good sense. I come from a country that has a very poor record of youth development because we lack qualified professional coaches, have little organized coaching support, where Football is a poor cousin to other more high profile sports and where the monetary value of a sport outweighs its public participation value significantly. IMHO, it appears that too many national associations place the emphasis on basic skills development without moving on to the next step, which is developing higher level skills such as accuracy in shooting, one touch passing, ability to play with both feet,ball retention skills and dribbling, accuracy in heading, and off-the-ball positioning and movement, etc. When one sees Spanish players perform these skills and compares them to the average British player, the gulf in skills is evident.

  • Spain are a good nation to compare England to, Spain for years and years and years were massive football under achievers this is true of England. But like Spain i feel that with a few more great players and for something to click in to place England could be a massive force. That is imo, it does still feel like players try and perform much better for there clubs.
    Gerry has brought up a very important topic, one that must be sorted out because at present the next generation is not as promising at the moment. I think the best thing they could do is open some football schools in each region were the best young players in each region will be offered a place in a school where they will be taught English, maths and science etc but mostly football.!
    When i played as a kid i went to Bobby Chaltons soccor school, it was only for a week were my parents paid for me to do so, but the idea to me is workable,
    It would be like a bording school most likely ness they live close enough. Could this work? I don’t know, i think it could but it would be depending on the kids wanting it enough to move away from friends and knuckle down.
    Or it could be 6 weeks every summer holiday trail andor just for 6 weeks.

  • Football after all is a trade and profession , Kids are taught other subjects near daily where as PE when i was last there only an hour or 2 a week, not enough for a young athlete. We need to increase the numbers of kids given a chance some blossom late and could be missed or completely over looked , look at Rambo some were saying get rid of him last season now he is a worldy.
    The only problem is some and many at that if we increase the numbers wont make it and will be very dissapointed but at least they had they chance and other lines of work should be taught as a back up.

  • Okay peoples. i am suitably refreshed to do the the other bit, replying.

    But first, the Under21’s were pretty good last night. However, San Marino were very poor.

    MOTM went to Jenks. Not totally undeserved either. He might have been on a hattrick in the dying minutes, and put in some superb crosses all night. Rarely called on to be a full back and had the freedom to run the wing all night. He ended the night with just the one goal, but a big turnaround from his previous effort.

    To my mind though the game was interesting to see who made the team tick. Liverpool paying £12m to Derby for Hughes looked like as good a bargain as Carrol from Newcastle in the first half. He did score the final goal that made it 9-0, after putting in a decent shift all night. The lad has qualities, but he did not make best use of the possession he had. The worst offender, imo, was Sterling, from ‘Pool. He was just a glory seeker for most of the time. Whenever he played a good pass it was for him to get on the end of the return. If he couldn’t, he played it back. But his runs with the ball were invariably overdone, both in and outside the box.

    The best player, emphasis on the word ‘PLAYER’, was Ward-Prowse of Southampton. What is it about them? Lallana the other night in the grown ups team, and this lad in the Under 21’s.
    What I liked about him was that he kept to his job, basically, a deep lying midfielder, and playmaker. He sprayed the ball about intelligently all night. Think about jgc’s post the other day, and WP typifies the essence of a great team player, against the ‘magican’ wannabe Sterling who was the opposite of what he did in their previous game. Somebody must have said to him ‘Go on, show us your tricks and things’ … He did, no matter how useless the end product?

    Others weren’t much better once they realised goals were to be had, but as footballing lessons go, Ward-Prowse was head and shoulders above them.

    I promptly fell asleep as soon as England kick off and missed the entire match…

  • TCM – Thanks for your kind words.

    I agree with the link with Coventry and Southampton – ‘necessity being the mother of all invention’, and all that. Their immediate area re the recruitment zone they operate in is also similar. For all London has the bigger population to draw from, they also have greater competition from the number of big clubs(PL) clubs. SH have Portsmouth and very little else. Coventry has the Birmingham clubs 18+ miles to the north, and nothing much else within their catchment area?

    Their financial positions too, meant they could not buy in players. So the youngsters that came to them, came for the right reasons, which probably helped their motivation to do the best they could?

    Good stuff, I am not sure about straining necks to get a view looking up at a tractor cab though 😀


  • Gerry

    Interesting article. I’m not at all to speed on youth systems, but, the trade offs I do see are between what we in academia call:

    Build or Buy

    Build a few greats from many lower cost beginnings, or just Buy the best now. Economics on which is better vary hugely, of course, and each has their backers. Truth lies in the middle often so it’s difficult to pick the winning formula.

    I suspect you’ll see Arsenal slowly ease up the youth ladder buying more at Theos age (of purchase for Soton) rather then going younger as some Spanish sides seem to do.

    Will that hurt the England team? Hard to say… I think it as long as players who want a shot have one. I think the real issue is at the top, where so few, as you noted, get a look in due to the hyper multi national nature of EPL teams. Especially compared to other countries, with admittedly weaker leagues. A player gets close but then if he’s not an uber star the next step is hard, and other countries for it is hard too

    So, my question, why aren’t more English younger stars playing in Germany or France? What are the hurdles or roadblocks? Can England do the same perhaps?

    Cheers — jgc

  • JB – I can be fairly certain we have radically different political views. We also diverge here.

    I have absolute no faith in the ‘trickle down’ theory, whether that be in financial terms, education, or indeed football.

    It is a phrase used by those at the top say when expressing how their success will help those lower down the scale. The reality is, as with water, the biggest flow is at the top, and it helps maintain their position at he top? By the time anything has trickled to the lowest level the improvement is negligible.

    The teams at the top can afford the best facilities, coaches, and attractive financial packages.

    My argument is, if you promote the best practice ideal from grass roots up, you can improve the quality of players throughout the league. You mention the Under 21’s going to Brazil. At their level they can draw on players from the Championship division. You don’t see that very often in the England squad? If the gulf between the two divisions was not so great, perhaps the player that best suits could be drawn from any level if the gulf was not so wide?

    I am not sure that another TV channel offering coverage of football does much more than add to the army of armchair ‘players’ like myself? What gets kids motivated is going to see live matches. If they were not being priced out of, or seeing lower level football played differently to what is on the box, it can be yet another deterrent? Money rules again?

    Your final point about the fine facilities that Man City, etc, have, is good long term. But I still feel there is something fundamentally wrong when they can get more applicants that they can cope with, who come from their local area, yet they can still import from others, taking away their best talent, and by the same token, deprive another ‘local youngster of a place?

    Don’t get me wrong, I am all for the best young talent having the access to the best coaches and facilities, but why should that be taken away from the club that brings a player up to that level. Money!

    Just suppose a club has a very talented youngster who would love to play for his local club. If his club could retain his signature, so when he has finished his two year spell at X club – the years 16 to 18 – then the youth can decide to stay with the club who has trained him to the higher level, or return to play for his home club. That way, the home club can improve their squad, but Club X must be paid for the coaching, and Club X can hold first option on the player, should the lad’s home club decide to sell,or he wishes to stay at Club X.

    This brings me on to the FA ‘sponsoring quality players to be coached at the best facilities, without the player being ‘hoarded’ by the bigger clubs.

    An example; Would Arsenal have taken the OX on that basis, remembering that the Saints were still in the Championship at the time? Would Ox have liked to return to them? Who would actually lose out under this scheme, if the 18 year old has the final say?

    Perhaps more importantly, would it make the spread of top quality players, always getting regular games, and thus strengthening the league across the board, rather that retaining the usual top 6 clubs dominating? Isn’t it more healthy to have the Saints up there challenging the top clubs, than have every team below Everton as scrambling for mid table ‘success’, else fighting relegation?

    If the facilities are better the higher up the divisions within the league, then this scheme could operate throughout, thus raising the stature and playing quality throughout, and even into the non-league clubs. That will encourage far more youngsters to play, than the weekly diet of TV Premiership viewing?

    Mind, I do applaud BT’s innovation with these early round FA Cup matches. I saw the Brackley match the other night and it was far more entertaining than recent England matches?

    It does come down to money, but it is not as though there is not a shortage coming into the game? If the FA put a ‘Coaching Tax’ on this TV money, I am sure it would go a long way in financing what I have suggested above?

  • OMGArsenal – Great input there. Thanks for that, and yes, I made my apologies early on the clarity issue. Sorry about that.

    I was in Hungary a few years back, and i was surprised that Basketball had overtaken football as the main national sport. They also typify your thoughts on the financial front.

    I am interested in the Spanish angle. For instance do they incorporate the whole package of techniques from an early age, or do they do the basic techniques I highlighted, and then move on to the advance stuff? Is all of it instilled in players by what age, 10, 12, 14?

    This is part of the seeking out best practice research that should be done. Much of what I have said in my reply above( JB’s not Fozzies, obviously), as a way to take away the money element. ironically by using the money generated by those who would like to keep it just for themselves?

    So I will repeat, a great input. Many thanks

  • PG – I had your reply done earlier, but my broadband kept cutting out, so I too the dogs out.

    To resume
    Thanks for your twin posts. The first on Schools Of Excellence. What I would like to see is those clubs that have the facilities, be supported to be the local area School of Excellence. This to go down right into non-league clubs as well.

    However, I would also like to see changes where the club that brings the player forwards to the point where he is considered a candidate for such a step actually retains the registration, or at least has the opportunity to give the player the option of return to that club. In other words I would like the better players to be spread around the clubs, where they are more likely to get better playing opportunities.At the lower levels you can have no idea how far a young talent could go unless they have the opportunity?

    This moves on to your second point of those falling through the net. Where the centralised Schools of Excellence could do a useful job is monitoring progress of the players. So the late developers, or even as something simple as off-field issues, could be picked up at these times when they attend?

    The more players who get better coaching should mean that those that don’t get a place with a club are the ones with the least talent to play. However, they may still want to be involved in other aspects within football that may prove more suitable?

    It all comes down to Money. If the FA put a tax on the revenue that the big clubs receive from TV rights, ironically taking it off those that have least to gain, but do much to attract it. There are enormous sums going to the a narrow band at the top, which distorts every aspect from players wages to ticket prices.

    The change has to be fundamental to make any difference long term.

    Thanks for your input PG, much appreciated.

  • JW10 – If only you were the real one, I could put plenty more questions your way 🙂

    I am sorry more editing was not done, but that was more or less the first draft. When I came back to complete it time was pressing to get it in before the start of the working week for TA to process it.

    However, I am glad you have such sufficient grammatical tolerance that you still thought it was a good read. Thank you very much for that, it is appreciated.

  • Geoff – I appreciate that being often so distant physically from the club that some of the nuances of this leave you in the dark.

    To your point of; ‘To build or to Buy’.

    Personally i would like to make it much more difficult for clubs to entice the under 18’s away from clubs that could benefit them, if the player should decide to return when professional terms are offered at the 18 year old stage.

    In reality, the ambitious ones would like to move to the club that can fulfill his dream of playing at the highest possible level. But the previous club should not be ‘selling’ the until he is 18. That would apply to foreign players too. The safety net of a club that just recalls the player with the intention of selling on would be the idea of have the club that has done the final bit of coaching always has first option to buy. The price would be set at market value, minus their coaching fee. The original club who sent the player for the coaching simply pays the coaching fee, should the player return. This, I think add a little more responsibility to both parties to do their best for every player?

    The answer to your question at the end is probably at the very heart of what the New Commission has been set up to look into. Are our coaching standards not producing talented, skillful players at the end of it?

    I want to see the top quality young players being spread around more clubs, thus giving them the playing time to improve, which in the long term will help the England selectors choose from a greater number of options. And also stop a number of talented players disappearing through lack of being hoarded by the richer clubs.

    Wishful thinking I know, But I ave at least got a few more discussing it?

  • Yipee, I have caught up. I’ll go and feed the dogs. Not a nice day for dog walking. The fact they are all asleep now, tells me it is still bad out there …

  • Gerry…Well, I’ve read and followed all the comments and I still feel not much closer to understanding what’s going on. England are off to Brazil with nothing more than hope, it appears, after hosting two friendlies and scoring no goals. It doesn’t bother me a bit, but I guess others feel differently… How much does it cost to get into Wembley? These are training exercises, so maybe they should be free (or very low cost). Maybe the issue is that the International game is attempting to skim money from the real (i.e., club) football and it’s only an anachronism. With the playoffs (esp. France-Ukraine…) there was a measure of excitement even if the football put me to sleep. I woke up at the end to see that France hadn’t even used their highest paid player (one, Samir Nasri) but made it to the needed scoreline… The way I see it, we’ve survived another Int’l break so let’s discuss the Arsenal… Of course, that’s just me…

    On the other hand, ALL the football (for me…) is an exotic thing so it’s interesting how the “natives” think about it. I probably should just hold my silence and stay in a “read only” mode…

    So, I dunno what to say. As long as money rules the day there has to movement towards competitions that feature the best individuals spread across the best “teams.” The question is, how does it get there? Even the gazillionaires don’t want to keep pouring money down bottomless holes. The “stars” should be rewarded, but so too should the boot-men. It’s all so (very) different from the US sports, but that’s a big reason I find it fascinating. I still can’t believe that the top teams (in Europe) haven’t formed their own (break-away) Super-League. On the other hand, why should they? Smaller clubs (with no hope of real glory) keep at it, providing the players and the venues and the willingness to take a beating. I guess the big teams visiting means the prices shoot up and there’s always a chance for an upset and for the smaller guys to “play a role” in where the title (or cup) goes. At some point however, like with the friendlies, it has to be seen as merely an “exhibition,” (doesn’t it?) and something will have to be done. People’s “entertainment pound” can only be sliced up into 100 pennies, correct?

    So, nothing to say but still words to write…(and maybe the strange old ways of the game reward the careful observer, much as a complicated puzzle would…) Rainy here as well, it seems…


  • Hey guys 🙂

    Just noo time to participate at the moment. If I had time I would now write a post titled ‘is it time to give the BFG the armband for good?’

    If anybody with a bit more time – ooh how I envy thee – wants to pick up a writing challenge, please be my and our guest! 🙂

  • 17HT – I try to separate the performance of England’s game and get at why we have so few players at the younger level not getting regular games before competing in international tournaments. These should be the players of the next World Cup?

    I did not see last nights game against Germany, only the Under 21’s. like you I fell asleep for the big one and woke up in time to catch a few choice comments.

    What I tried to get people to think about, and it has been said elsewhere, that the current game is pretty unsustainable the way it is heading. For you over there who likes to enjoy football chat and all things Arsenal … well except fanciful transfers? So this exercise is a bit too much like navel gazing?

    But if more people would rather watch on the box, than pay high prices and see live matches, as seems to be the trend, you get people who are more result orientated than having affiliation to any particular club. So when the National team disappoints through lack of results, the boo culture will only get worse.

    To involve more young people playing means engaging them in real football. That means it needs to be accessible, affordable, and enjoyable? I think that also means challenging the mono culture of the same teams competing for the same trophies season after season.
    Wigan were a bright spot last year. Southampton could be this year. But the way it is heading, those bright spots will have the ladder taken away as soon as they reach the first rung.

    This Champions League will probably have the same 4 of the previous year’s knockout stages competing again? The World Cup will end Up with Brazil, Germany, Italy and one other in the last 4. The exciting rounds will be watching the African Countries progress, rather than the demise of England, Holland or France. They bring a new enthusiasm.

    From little acorns mighty oaks grow. Just perhaps, changes in our development of young and exciting talent will reinvigorate the excitement that currently is not engaging fans enough that they no longer support teams, and find it easier to destroy them?

    Back to the real footie chat shortly ….

  • No, no Gerry, carry on…I don’t mind a bit…and I actually find it interesting… I understand the lamentations about the English game, but not from a personal or emotional perspective… More people playing sports is never a bad thing…Oh how I wish I had been part of the Soccer wave here in the States… I was a runner (long distance) instead…and then later I played a lot of golf and a field sport (quite seriously, I must admit)…which employs a flying disc (also known as a frisbee). 😯 These days (or at least once we get some snow…) it will be about back-country, xc (skate) and telemark skiing…

    If the Int’l game must persist, I hope I live long enough to see US soccer develop into a world power. In South Africa, as I recall, we were in your group and played a brutish match that ended Rob Green’s tenure as English #1… I have big reservations about the influence MLS (with traditional US elements like playoffs and drafts…) will have on our ascendance. The big reason, if it happens, will be Mexican kids coming to the US for better coaching and education. Already, with the latter country barely making it through to the WC, we may be witnessing a permanent drift of power northward…As Ross Perot might’ve called it…a giant sucking sound… 😉 Or maybe those chicos will play their club football in Europe and return to play for the glory of el tri?…

    Quien sabe? Certainly not me…

  • Busy, Mr ToTL…I’d write a little something but I haven’t seen enough football lately…I *was* looking forward to the France match yesterday, but with no Arsenal guys in there (and the quality of the play soooo poor…) I couldn’t keep my eyes open… I tend to have some moments available if I wake up early but then things to do once the daylight hits. Personally, I really enjoyed the discussions (your post) about our MFs and Geoff’s post about team vs individuals…

    How about this one…and a switch-up on the one you want to write about PM4 and the armband…Why do we feel the need to have a “permanent” wearer of the armband? It’s just a tradition, isn’t it? I guess, technically, you need somebody to stand next to the refs and do the coin-flip and all that…but that falls to the wearer on the day, right?…

    Personally, I’m loving the situation we have and think it’s an incredible thing that our Captain is currently not in our first 11. If we assume that our individuals aren’t as good (because they cost less or are paid less than, on average, than those at the Manchester clubs or Chelsea…) then maybe we have to overcome that problem by each of them taking on more responsibility for our team play. It’s called collective leadership and something that AW has harped on about forever…

    Clearly we’ve got “leaders” all over the pitch. Ozil leads by example and is an incredible technician despite his quiet nature. Ramsey runs and runs and runs and (currently) is oozing confidence. That can’t be bad, can it? Giroud and Mertesacker, not the most talented guys in their positions, work soooo hard to overcome their lack of pace AND they stand out (head, shoulders and in Ollie’s case, hair-do…) above the rest. My candidate would be Bacary Sagna, for being so fit and so great, but then we’d get accused of giving the captaincy to a guy to try and convince him to stay…

    Scszeney, on a new lengthened contract, probably is the longer term candidate for the Captaincy, if we’re really being honest, right 007 😉 … Or maybe Jack Wilshere, if he can work his way back to the first 11… 😉

    Finally, if you were to ask all the players if they think *they* should be Captain and were to take the most confident respondent… we would probably have to give the armband to Nicky Bendtner…Or perhaps he’s already got it tattooed on his bicep and we would see it if he were only to take a page from Matt the Flame and cut off those sleeves…

    😯 😉

    Obviously, this inter-lull has gone on a bit too long (for me)…So’ton on Saturday…


  • Gerry,

    As I said previously, there are a number of important ramifications to the theme in your Post.

    Reading the comments from 17ht, he can clearly be forgiven for thinking the discussion is all about the parochial interests of a foreign national team, which by definition does not seem to impact on anyone who is not English.

    However there is rather more to this than at first meets the eye.

    The paucity of skill and talent displayed by England at national level is a reflection on the ‘home grown’ skills and talent available at all the Premier League clubs, including Arsenal.

    If anything comes out of the FA discussions that would improve the skills and talent of home produced talent for the England team, then one of the beneficiaries would of course be Arsenal, as well as other clubs too, of course.

    In the greater scheme of things any improvements in encouraging English kids to participate at club level, and help to increase their skills, would also apply to kids in America and the rest of the world, too, as FIFA would not permit any one country to change their systems without permitting all the others to do the same thing.

    Naturally that can only come about by an increased participation by many more kids taking up football worldwide — and that has to be a good thing for the local communities as well as the individuals concerned.

  • RA, everybody… Please don’t get me wrong. I really enjoy the discussion but just seek to broaden it to a point where I can (perhaps) add something…

    I totally agree about the home-grown talent, I just don’t see the need to continue with the national emphasis. It may be an individual political thing but the national zeal just doesn’t run through my veins. I root for el tri over the red, white and blue when we play “our” derbies, for example…

    So, in the end, and to contradict the title of the post…What would be so bad about further intensifying the roster, starting line-up, etc., elements of the youth developed players? The requirements would seem to be putting the onus on the clubs to think beyond the first team, right? If academies are net money-makers (selling the players who seem excess to first team causes, while releasing the ones who aren’t…) all the better, no? As long as the kids get a first-rate education along the way…

    Arsenal seem to be ahead of the game in England. Man City, with their big facility (a write off against FFP, no?…) would (seem to) be headed in a good direction. So what if the Sheik keeps buying players and none of their academy guys makes the first team? If those players go on to star at mid-table clubs AND for their national teams can we fault City for having developed their talents?… At least they keep trying with Micah Richards… 😉

    It’s all about trying to harness all this energy (read: money) flowing into the game in ways that cultivate “merit” and “fairness” for the benefit of (all) the clubs (supporters and players, too) rather than those already sitting at the top…Obviously, I don’t have the answers and it’s a little bit hard (for me) to relate to what Gerry is suggesting. Still, I think we’re (all, more or less…) on the same page…

    As for the English and other national teams…I wonder… Maybe it’s economic and cultural. If parents are off working and kids are forced to play on fast pitches (the streets, ideally made of dirt, with only the occasional car coming by to “scout” the match… and older siblings there to teach the game…) maybe it’s better than babysitting them with screens…

    Haha, the irony isn’t lost upon me as I sit here staring at one myself, wearing my rain-gear and procrastinating on the physical labors (labours) I should be doing…

    Like I say, carry on…

  • Total,


    Why don’t you write the other half (since, I think, you’re more into the need for a “real” captain…) and put it out there as a “question” post… I would want 0.5 credit towards my tagline at the top, however… 😉 It could get us all the way to a match preview, maybe?…


    OK, into the rain, I go…

  • TA and 17

    TA wrote: “is it time to give the BFG the armband for good?”

    Very short post.. “yes” .. for many reasons that make it longer..

    17: I would be happy to write the other half of whatever it was about, and we can count on me to be contrary, difficult, or just off topic.. tho not as far off as CM et al..

    cheers from NZ … jgc

  • Gerry, RA et al,

    I think the big question I would ask coming from someone who did go far in soccer but without the level of coaching avialable now. Simply:

    What is missing? Is it:

    a. lack of interest

    b. lack of places to play – you cant play in the streets as much anymore

    c. my favorite – lack of opportunity. Kids today are so programmed here in NZ, the US and I bet the UK they are always somewhere else. No gangs congregate with a football like they did when I was a kid. This was where all the real skills came from in some ways, the 12 hour running “game” down at the schoolyard or local park. Now that is unsafe etc etc blah blah.. mutter (censored)…

    d. lack of quality coaching

    IMO, you can tell from what I spent time on above, it’s mostly “c”, but of course you can find elements of all of them, and cherry pick as you like.

    But, simply, kids today dont play enough for fun, and thus actually play LESS then when I was a kid. By less I mean touches and time with the ball (and others), not formal, organised drills. Skill levels have thus dropped.

    cheers — jgc

  • Gerry, RA et al,

    In support, consider american basketball moving from strength to strength. The best grow up playing darn near 24/7 in school yards etc. The best go on to clubs and “rep teams” and learn the finer points, from which come these amazing top athletes and players

    I use this as one example, because like football it can be played almost anywhere and for long periods of time with any number of players or by yourself. I would note I am not actually a big basketball fan, or any type of such fan, really.. But, it is a good point to talk about how in some places kids simply dont play enough in less organised ways.

    cheers — jgc

  • I could do a long post on my experiences as a youngster in primary school football through to playing for one of the most productive ( producing international players past and present )local clubs of England….Senrab !. Why some less skilled mates went to play semi-professionally and why I didn`t and my thoughts ( visionary ? ) as a youngster which are only now being taken seriously by the FA, but I`ve already bored myself silly with the thought of such an epic !. Instead I will tell you boys ( If you still want to be bored ! ) when we meet with a pint in our hands at an Arsenal game . hahaha

  • Nice one Cockie….I’m trying to get to a game in March. Perhaps we can arrange a mass love in, at the Tavern. 😉

    My Son played in a league against Senrab for years, up until he became approx. 13/14. His side was called Little Thurrock Dynamos. They always had a fierce game against those boys.

    They have a long string of successful players. John Terry, Ledley King amongst them.

  • Yes Vickers, we have spoke before on the subject of my old team. I played one whole season with Ray Wilkins in the side and scored numerous goals in every single match in winning a league and cup double ( my favourite game was scoring the two goals in the semi-final 2-1 win ! ) alas, stirring loins was too strong a pull and I never took as much interest in balls as I did with juicy jugs !. hahaha
    Sol Campbell…..invincible legend….and Senrab !.

  • Gerry- Cockie,
    Well i never, can’t believe you did not tell us this before Cockie . You played wih Ray Wilkins well done for this post Gerry for teasing this info out of Cockie.
    Football schooling though clubs and the FA independently is the way forward i believe, the only problem is whislt we may come up with good ideas it falls on the FA deaf ears to make it happen saddly.
    Glad to have put something useful to a post you feel and think about a lot Gerry , you sure have written a lot of replys and dog walks and i too am having problems with my laptop its a pain i know.

  • The schools could be for all athletes with strong classes in different sports catagries if you see what i mean to really take advantage of the schools and push the nation on really push our athletes to the next level.

  • England is the home of football, we invented the game and with the best league in the world we really should be pressing on to produce and pool of talent to in the end make an England team that is always in with a strong chance of winning the cups.

  • Gerry,
    The England players always give the wages for playing for England away they should be able to say were the want they money to go, if the agreed that could go to start up a school and as you said the FA have plenty of money and it should be spent here.
    Also for many kids who full a little short of English league, i would say that the best thing would be to start selling many many of them to other leagues in other counties if you look at other leagues they have hardly any English players, probably because of our inflated prices for English palers this should change. With the amount we bring in from other nations, we are missing a very big trick i think. That is something to think about.
    Bring down the price of English players and ship them abroud to gain expiriance and graft out they trade else where, How mny English play in Germany, Italy Spain etc? why??

  • OK, the rain’s getting a little thick for my liking…

    Agreed PG, good young players need to go to the continent (or beyond…) to play. Eventually (if not already…) there will be the story of a young kid whose parents wanted him to learn the language and culture of somewhere warmer and then returned to England to become a superstar. Kicking it with the kids on the beach got him on his way…

    Of course, to do that he’ll have to integrate pretty deeply into the culture. You’re not going to find the right kids on the beach in the Algarve, the Costa del Sol or Benidorm… 😯 Likewise, it’s not normal for English kids to seek playing opportunities elsewhere. It’s a big cultural jump (language, esp.) to go from a wealthier place to a poorer one and not the usual form of migration…The social structure (often…) just isn’t there either. A small club in England gets the same attendance as those who come to watch Falcao play in Monaco… A kid might not mind playing for a solid workman’s wage for a few years and being a hometown hero (free pints? more birds…) for years to come… The jet set isn’t for everybody… Take for example Lee Cattermole… Hero of Northeast English football AND he gets to party with Nick Bendtner…

    And speaking of club captains….JGC, giving the armband to PM4 means the end for TV5, no? Is that what you believe we should do? A hungry (mature) fellow on the bench, putting team first seems good to me…but AA WTF DIK?…

  • 1 question , how many French players play in England now how many English players can you name that play in France??
    I can not name 1 of the top of my head. lol that is a worry.
    Why is this the case? Over inflatted price for both fee and wages is the answer.
    Increase the numbers of players and lower there price and let them make a trade abroud.
    Agreed totally , but this has to change, it can’t all be about money, as a kid i loved playing football just for that,
    If they want it they must do this if not get a trade be a plumber. Look at Giroud from 2 tier football in France to where he is now as an exvample, kids must be taught this.

  • In fact the more i think about it, this is the first thing we should do offer clubs in other countries our young players at a price they can afford.
    How many English play in Holland , Belguim Greese for exvample. Basically none lol,
    It is a joke it is a bit of our way these days sadly import and export nothing. We need to change this asap

  • Look at the West Brom lad Belhadino ex spelling the lad is class he plays for £850p/w 🙂

  • My point is for me personally its ok to play in the 2nd Division earning a grand or a few a week, my godness i would love that. It is a stepping stone. We must have a tonne of young players that could play in your Turkeys and USA and Denmark etc

  • PG, who is this “we” you are talking about?… It’s up to parents (and the kids themselves)… There must be a few, but how many English families would be willing to uproot and live in another country? How many would value that experience as an education–not just for the football, but for the experience of another culture and other subjects taught in the school or academy?…

    Of course, that’s if you do it on your own, which is the normal route. I’ve met people (on construction sites) who’ve talked about recruiters coming to their home towns (in South America) and looking for kids to take back to Europe to play soccer…That’s what they call 3rd party ownership, I think…

    There are other routes which could be explored. If the English FA wanted to set up “exchanges” with other FAs it could be considered an investment and maybe some fun travel for the people in charge. My hunch is that it’s not lucrative enough for them. It also might be seen as a form of “colonization,” which might not go over well…

    Didn’t Joey Barton and Joe Cole go on loan in France?… I guess they’re back now. Can’t say about younger players actually being sold or otherwise currently playing in France…

  • 17,
    I must have not typed it out clear enough, i meant the kids should be taught here then some you should play in other countries when there are older.
    Joey Barton is back at QPR, dont you think that only 2 English players in the French league is not good enough and the reason is the price again. Anyway i am done with this it is up to the FA

  • 17 ,
    I meant for them to play in other countries when they they are about 18, you have misunderstood i should of made it clearer , i was just putting a fewe ideas out there lol

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