With the shadow of Financial Fair Play looming over several clubs and an FA Commission desperately trying to scramble together a plan that makes it look like they care about homegrown player rotas whilst conjuring up even more football marketing ploys, the topic of English players in the squads of English clubs is as hot a topic now as it was back in the late 1990s.
Back then, the Premier League saw somewhat of a revolution as it embraced the foreign influence which particularly took effect at clubs such as Arsenal and Chelsea, and led to the glory era of Arsene Wenger’s sexy invincibles.
Now, the league is a glorified financial rat race with teams looking for investors to enable them to buy the world’s best players.
But if the foreign influence were to have suddenly disappeared from the sport entirely, who would have won the league?
That is a hypothetical question John Zongmin Chow and Kevin Quealy have tried to answer at the New York Times, using a fantastic interactive league table which compares the real final 2013/14 standings to how it would look if only goals by English players counted.
The results are certainly food for thought, with not only Liverpool topping the table instead of Manchester City, but the actual champions finishing all the way down in 18th – inside the relegation zone.
No wonder so many people feel James Milner isn’t attacking enough…
Joining them in qualifying for the continent of all teams are West Ham United – whose fans have come down hard on their own manager Sam Allardyce for the style of football used to keep them up – and Manchester United, who perhaps wouldn’t have missed out on the Champions League for the first time in two decades after all, had they embraced their domestic talent more under sacked gaffer David Moyes.
Newcastle looked like a relegation-form side in the second half of the season, and the study shows just how much their overseas investments ended up keeping them stable: the English-only table has them second from bottom above only West Brom.
Chelsea and Arsenal, meanwhile, would have been left to rue a mid-table finish with Tottenham doing even worse in 15th – thus proving St Totteringham’s Day as one of the few consistencies of an English-only Premier League.
You can check out the original article here.
- Sports & Recreation
- Premier League