Earlier in the week, The Guardian highlighted the massive decrease in English players playing in the opening game of the English Premier League season.
They noted that in August 1992 73.1% of players featuring in the opening games of the season held English nationality. This season a record low 33.6% was recorded, leaving the Premier League behind La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1 by some distance when it comes to showcasing indigenous talent.
This is reported to be the main reason for England’s failings at senior level particularly.
For example, during Monday Night Football, Manchester City and Newcastle United fielded just 4 English players between them (Steven Taylor, Sammy Ameobi, Joleon Lescott and Joe Hart).
In comparison during West Ham’s opening game against WELSH side Cardiff City, the Hammers fielded 5 English players, 3 of which have senior caps.
Both goals during the game were scored by English players as well as the assists being supplied by English players, also.
Even with that being the case, West Ham are relatively average compared with the other 19 Premier League teams during the opening weekend.
Southampton fielded 8 English players out of the 15 used (the highest of all teams) giving them a personal percentage of 53.3%. Even Southampton are almost 20% short of the opening day in 1992 but they are 20% above the average of this opening weekend.
Southampton are closely followed by Norwich City, Cardiff City and Hull City (all 7). Then comes Mancheser United and Crystal Palace (6) followed by West Ham, Aston Villa, Spurs, Liverpool, Fulham and Arsenal (5) who are bang on the average of the opening weekend this season.
Chelsea, Everton, Stoke City, West Brom and Swansea City are below average (4), and Newcastle United (2) are by far the back marker with 87% of their players featured being foreign.
Of course the clubs are trying to buy the best players that are available, and within their price range. Manchester City and Chelsea are attempting to challenge for the title but neither have signed a single English player during the transfer window with Man City closing in on £100million spent.
West Ham have forked out £21million on two England internationals who are both working towards a place in next years World Cup squad.
I personally feel an immense amount of pride when a squad to any England match but especially for a major tournament is announced and includes even one West Ham player. If we can get 1, 2 or even 3 in the World Cup squad then we can feel we are making a contribution to the national side.
It is also worth noting that with exception of the defence and goalkeeper West Ham could field a competitive side of Englishmen. The Hammers are also owned and managed by Englishmen, who have obvious interest in bringing in fellow English players.