Thursday, February 21, 2008

West Ham the English Team

Sorry to get all little Englander on you all but The Mail had an interesting article the other day that I've only just discovered via the Hammers Mad forum.

The article starts by asking who were the last all English team to win the FA Cup. The answer is of course West Ham in 1975 (The Mail even claim that all the team apart from Alan Taylor were 'born locally').

The Mail then look at the 210 English players currently in the Premier League and who they play for. Here is the break-down:

West Ham 18

Tottenham 17

Middlesbrough 15

Manchester United, Aston Villa, Bolton Wanderers, Derby County 13

Everton, Wigan 12

Newcastle 11

Portsmouth, Sunderland 10

Chelsea 9

Birmingham, Reading 8

Manchester City 7

Fulham 6

Blackburn, Liverpool 5

Arsenal 4

I think EUFA / FIFA should introduce their requirement that teams have a certain quota of English players in every side immediately ;).


At 9:55 AM, Anonymous portugal said...

makes a change- the daily mail actually saying something that could be viewed as positive. 1 out 100 - that s an improvement for that ragsheet

At 9:59 AM, Anonymous West_Ham said...

Our English players would soon depart if the top clubs were forced to buy English. Ashton would move to a top four club for a start.

So perhaps capping the number of foreign players will not be good for our tradition of grooming and playing English players.

At 11:38 AM, Anonymous Helleborus niger said...

not looking forward to all mediocre football... all the time.

At 4:15 PM, Blogger supernumbersix said...

You're not being a 'little Englander'. It's something that pleases me very much about WHU and I am not pure bred from these shores. WHU were also the last all English team (1965) to win a European trophy. But we were the first team to field three black players. The first all english team to win the World cup, the first team to beat Arse at the Emirates, the list is endless. The (hate) Mail are wrong (surprise), the late great, Graham Paddon I am fairly sure was not a 'local' boy but hailed originally from up north.

At 7:56 PM, Anonymous greendressinDUBLIN said...

i guess that if England can pull it off the way Italy has, the league can still be fine. Italy has a boat load of foreign players but has no problem finding Italian talent to fill the national squad. good luck with this one.

At 8:29 PM, Anonymous greendressinDUBLIN said...

actually Ed, i would really like to understand, from your point of view, what is the problem with the system the way it is today.

besides the recruitment problems the national squad may or may not have, what is wrong with this system?

furthermore, is the problem the amount of foreign players starting in the EPL or the amount -and even quality- of English players coming out of the English academies? (sorry about that bad run-on sentence.)

one thing i did find interesting: last night many English fans had the opportunity to see Karim Benzema play. and what was the upshot of this? today i read English fans expressing what a great thing it would be if he were brought over to the EPL. i just kept asking myself, 'why do they want to buy this player rather than develop their own prodigy?'

i do wonder if the English fans think that the fantastic players coming out of France are just nice accidents.

At 12:59 AM, Blogger Keir Clarke said...

greendressindublin - good name by the way!

I'm not really sure where I do stand on this issue. I am the least patriotic person you are ever likely to find - except when it comes to football. For some strange reason I care about West Ham football team. However despite being brought up and living in West Ham I have no great emotional attachment to this actual part of London, this part of England or this part of the world. In fact wherever I travel in the UK or the world I always end up thinking - 'I wish I lived here'.

My patriotism only rears its ugly head when it comes to football. I do care about West Ham and I care about the England football team - so I guess I support in principle the idea of having a core of English players in a team. But to be honest I don't care passionately either way (although if England don't qualify for the next world cup I might have a different view).

And to totally avoid committing myself to an answer let me ask you a question -

"Would you prefer to see Ronaldinho or Noble playing for West Ham?"

(that's the Ronaldinho of two seasons ago as well)

At 7:05 AM, Anonymous portugal said...

i think west ham have struck a nice balance on the issue ,in that the club has a strong english/uk core, but also has a very diverse international representation.i hope that the club can continue to make its youth set-up a top priority to ensure a flow of domestic talent to the club.

as for ronaldinho or noble? NOBLE .
one of our own. what could be better than that?

At 4:37 PM, Anonymous greendressinDUBLIN said...

Ed, thank you for your response and the compliment.

normally, i never care where talent comes from. that sentiment goes headfirst out of the window when i see the MLB poaching players from Cuba, Dominican Republic or Venezuela. not because i think they will take good jobs from an American, but because i know that it takes resources, sacrifice and patience on the part of those countries to build sporting infrastructure and invest in their potential talent pool.

"supernumbersix" said that some responses were negative. however we should all think about the comment from the moniker "west_ham". that person's post reminds me of the French team AUXERRE during the 90's. Auxerre had one of the most successful, if not the most successful, domestic academies at the time. while the manager was nurturing his potential talent on a shoe string budget, teams such as PSG and OM did not take so much care of fostering their own potential players. unfortunately, all they did was to wait for the best and brightest to come out of Auxerre and poach them immediately.

the entire discussion is just riddled with conflict: short term vs. long term success. as pertains to the short term aspect, managers want to win now and fans want to see their teams wining. but if the short term success damages the future prospects for an entire country, region or even club...

regarding noble vs ronaldinho.
that depends: if one picks noble because he came out of the WH academy (hopefully that is where the "one of our own" comment emanates from), this i can agree with. if he is picked only because he is English, as regards to WH, i would not find this defensible.

sorry, but i have even traveled to see the ronaldinho of this season.

btw: how many players are in the EPL in total?

At 8:03 AM, Anonymous portugal said...

yes ,"one of our own" refers to the west ham academy


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