Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Why Newcastle Are England United

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Why Newcastle Are England United

Article excerpt

Byline: By Lee Ryder

Newcastle United supremo Sir John Hall once dreamed of fielding a team of 11 Geordies at St James' Park.

But even back in the mid-1990s when the Tyneside tycoon plotted the audacious plan, nobody quite believed it could happen.

And in the current climate of the hustle and bustle of Premiership life, the likelihood is even less in 2007.

However, with the Newcastle United Academy becoming somewhat of a conveyer belt of talent in recent times with Shola Ameobi, Peter Ramage, Steven Taylor and Paul Huntington proving vital cogs in the black-and-white wheel this term, perhaps Sir John could take some solace out of the fact United are potentially one of the best sides in the top flight when it comes to English talent.

Chronicle reader Brian Taylor e-mailed us to say: "United started against Liverpool with seven English players and beat their fancy foreign stars.

"We have easily the best English squad in the country ( so why isn't more made of this?

"Compare this with Chelsea and Arsenal who have fielded sides with not a single English player.

"Who is doing most to further the progress of England?

"Oh yes, of course, we also have an English manager and coaches!"

Indeed, fielding teams packed with foreigners has almost become the norm for the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea these days, with their only contributions to English talent being shown the ropes in football elsewhere, such as Theo Walcott and Shaun Wright Phillips.

Last Wednesday's FA Cup replay between Bolton and Arsenal at the Reebok Stadium featured just one Englishman ( Kevin Nolan.

And it's fair comment to say that if you take away the big-money buys from around the world, many Premiership sides would struggle to field a side capable of winning a Premiership match let alone roughing it for the whole campaign.

Nobody can doubt the impact many foreign players have had in the English game.

United themselves have had a glittering array of top overseas talent, with the likes of Tino Asprilla and David Ginola gracing Gallowgate with their sublime skills, while the Magpies would be in big trouble this season without the goals of Obafemi Martins and Antoine Sibierski. …

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