Blame the Foreigners… Or Not

A lot of excuses have been made about England’s poor performance in the World Cup. The players commitment, the manager’s tactics, and a large contingent of football fans are blaming it on the high proportion of foreign players playing in the Premier League.

The Impact of Overseas Players

Back in the early and mid-90’s when the Premier League began, as the Premiership, a maximum of three non-British players were allowed per team. Famously there were only 13 foreigners who did start the opening day of the Premiership back in 1992.

England’s Performance at Euro 92

Back in 1992, the England team were worse off than they were today. Finishing bottom of their group which consisted of France, Denmark and Sweden, with Tomas Brolin putting the final nail into the national team’s coffin during that tournament. Brolin would later sign for Leeds in the Premiership and turn out to be one of the worst foreign imports this country has seen.

England Failed to Make USA 94

Still, that was better than World Cup 1994 when England failed to even reach the finals. Graham Taylor did not have the likes of Wayne Rooney, John Terry and Steven Gerrard to pick back then. Instead, the likes of Carlton Palmer, Andy Sinton and Stuart Ripley were called upon. The quality of English players has improved as the number of foreign players has risen. As has the enjoyment and viewing figures of the English Premier League itself.

Figures Getting Out of Hand

That said, with more than half of the Premier League now made up of foreign imports it is becoming of a joke. The Arsenal squad barely has an English name to them, and the likes of Winston Bogarde, Jared Borgetti and Mineiro all made their Premier League debuts the wrong side of 30 and went on to make a limited number of appearances. Were there really no better domestic players to pick from? And are really short of British talent that we feel the need to bring in the likes of Hilario, Mustapha Riga and Philipp Degen to keep our benches warm?

The One-Time Luxury

When the likes of Peter Schmeichel, Eric Cantona, Georgi Kinkladze, Juninho, Igor Stimac, Aljosa Asanovic, Dennis Bergkamp, David Ginola, Gianfranco Zola and co came over to embrace the Premiership, it was seen as a luxury as they entertained us with tricks we weren’t use to seeing from the likes of Neil Ruddock, Graham Hyde and Tony Cottee. The luxury has since long warn off and it feels like it has become a necessity to sign players from overseas.

The Premier League has been a better league for the influx of foreign players. It’s a privilege to see the likes of Didier Drogba, Fernando Torres, Cesc Fabregas, Michael Ballack, Steven Pienaar and co plying their trade in England.

Manchester City have already started the influx or extra players from overseas into the Premier League this summer, with Jerome Boateng, David Silva and Toure Yaya already signed.

So, willkommen, bienvenido and bienvenue to our newcomers to the English Premier League. And while we’re on that note, benvenuto, bem-vindo, velkomen, yokoso, g’day…