Magazine article The Spectator

Club vs Country

Magazine article The Spectator

Club vs Country

Article excerpt

Every four years, the World Cup presents an opportunity to see what English football would be like with only English players. The difference is more striking with each tournament. Our club game may well have become a global industry - but it is hard to see how the money has helped the national team. Our club sides are filled with global talent - but a young native player has never found it more difficult to reach the top.

Since the Premiership's inception in 1992, the number of English under-25s in the league has fallen by two thirds. Certainly, English players benefit from playing alongside the likes of Didier Drogba and Fernando Torres.

And it says much for England's open-mindedness that we have Premiership matches without a single English player in the starting line-up - and the fans care only about the football. But this is small consolation to footballers who have been overlooked in favour of 17-year-old Latvians signed by global talent scouts. …

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