Looking at the England match last week and the current Newcastle first team, you do question why anybody would ‘Buy British’ these days.
Sir John Hall’s dream of a ‘team of Geordies’ was just playing to the crowd, telling fans what they wanted to hear, back in the nineties there wasn’t even a full eleven Geordie select playing in the Premier League and there isn’t now.
Things have changed so much in English football, mostly for the worst if you ask me, that now I think you struggle to come up with an English eleven who could compete at the top end of the Premier League.
In fact the only reason that maybe they could is because of the clear weakening of the Premier League as a host of players have deserted to sunnier climes, particularly Spain; Fabregas, Mascherano, Robinho, Alonso, Ronaldo, Carvalho and so on.
German players tend to love their own vibrant football culture and are generally reluctant to move, while language and weather are always going to be two factors going against English clubs when competing against the Italian and Spanish clubs for both South American and southern European players.
The result? Crazy transfer fees for Downing, Milner, Carroll, Barry, Henderson, Lescott and the rest.
I just found it embarrassing watching some of the England v Holland match last week, the creative heart of the team was Gareth Barry and Scott Parker! I bet that’s really got the rest worried in advance of this summer’s Euros, then to cap it all Milner was added to the mix. In advance of that match those three named players were actually amongst the main competitors for the captain’s armband and indeed Parker won the race, by default.
So what about Newcastle United?
The last time Newcastle seriously looked towards home nations players was five years ago when Allardyce brought in Alan Smith and Joey Barton , sizeable transfer fees and eye-watering five year contracts on mega money. No wonder it put Ashley off buying British.
Since then here is a sample of the players Newcastle have brought in…..
Gosling, Elliot, Perch, Best, Williamson, Routledge, Simpson
Cabaye, Ben Arfa, Cissé, Tiote, Ba, Marveaux, Obertan, Santon
haveQuite clearly the English market has been targeted for cheap and cheerful squad/fringe first team players while when looking for players to go straight into the team they have come from abroad.
In the relegation season there was some panicked activity in the January when Nolan was brought in on a similar deal to Barton and Smith as Given and N’Zogbia were sold to pay for him and Ryan Taylor but I doubt there was much forward planning put into that transfer activity.
Unless Newcastle are going to seriously compete for very young English players like Arsenal have risked with Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain then I think we can wave farewell to seeing many English/British players in the team, unless we become rubbish again!
Diamonds like Steven Taylor will only come through rarely so prepare yourself for the more likely team of Frenchmen than Sir John Hall’s team of Geordies.