As an example, look at one of the high points of last season, the home derby. In that game six English born players started. This season, Chelsea away, we had only two.
Now I want to point out now that I’m not concerned how this affects the English national squad, I don’t care either, where a player comes from.
There is more and more emphasis nowadays on playing computer games, watching tv or going on social networking sites. I’m twenty six but feel older when I say that when I was young all I wanted to do was play football, ride my bike etc etc. and surely it is our duty to stop kids in this country all turning into fat, lazy slobs.
I feel there is a real social responsibility held by football clubs, they should be actively seen to be doing a lot more to promote all kinds of sport. More should be spent on pitches, equipment and coaches who can take a group of kids and let them play safely for enjoyment, as well as to be signed up. In America the percentage of foreign players in the NBA is 13%, for baseball it is 27%. In the states they treat their youth sport extremely seriously. The amount of time and money put into college sport would embarrass most of our Championship clubs.
The level of professionalism and dedication that goes into organising clubs is a testament to the drive for youngsters to get picked up by one of these teams. There is no reason why youth team football, with the right marketing, couldn’t be as big as college football over there.
Why not merge the youth and reserve league to make one more professional competition? A look at most of our reserve team games last season shows how many games our first team squad play in that league.
So is it important that our first team has more foreign players by almost 2 to 1 who are non-English born? For me, no. Definitely not.
However, in terms of saving money in the long run, rather than going to France (Abeid), Holland (Krul) and Italy (Santon) for our youngsters, why not spend a little extra developing our own young players?