If your child was an aspiring child rock star, which forms of music would you offer the ears of his growing prodigious talent? On one side you can choose from a collection of stadium filling, multi-platinum selling artists regarded as some of the finest their industry has produced; The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, and the like. Conversely, you could ignore all these talents, and provide him with a host of the mediocre and the ridiculous. The Wurzels, Shakin Stevens, Jive Bunny; a veritable slew of ear splitting punishment, containing less depth than a GoCompare advert. The rational answer to any sane mind? Quality always wins…
Apparently, England were an impenetrable world force before non-nationals started to arrive by the boat load in the mid-1990’s; slowly changing the average foreigner-per-squad ratio from two, to around twenty. This Fort-Knox England, who between 1967 and 1995 failed to qualify for three world-cups out of a possible seven; (compared to the five straight since), and reach one semi-final and two quarter finals, (again, in comparison to the ensuing semi-final and four quarter-finals since), were at best – barring the odd Paul Gascoigne or Kevin Keegan, deceptively average.
While true there are less places for English youngsters in top-quality sides these days, it also means the level needed to reach a professional standard is much higher; leaving minimal margin for error in all forms of their game.
The result of this means that while we lose twenty Geoff Thomases to the lower-league Barnet and Gillingham’s of the world, in return we gain one very solid and conditioned in ambition, Chris Waddle. Not only this, but a Chris Waddle who instead of playing and developing around sub-standard players whose downtime involves punts and pints, has now risen to the level of top-drawer compatriots like Mesut Ozil and Christiano Ronaldo. Like any walk of life, when the bar is raised, only those who can reach it will remain there; leaving England players much stronger, smarter, and adaptable.
Three: Because of foreigners, the general influence upon our game is negative.
Pasta based diets, constant ball retention, and skilful flair of the highest order, are just a small measure of positive traits the Premier League has benefited from over the past two decades, due to foreigners. Anyone who sees this as regressive, need watch the first real crop of young English footballers breaking through; Andros Townsend, Jack Wilshire, and Ross Barkley as examples, who spent entire youths awash in the sights of Zola, Henry, Drogba, and some of the best of an entire generation.
While these players retain the natural fight and heart of an English footballer, they also have the continental flair practised to perfection as easily influenced children. When you mix Italian style, Spanish flair, and an English spirit only equalled by the Brazilians and Japanese, we now find ourselves holding some very formidable English footballers on our hands; and how in any way, is that negative...
Ultimately, the English are one of the smartest nations on earth at utilizing imports, and don’t yet fully realise how much they have made the globalisation of football work in their favour. If all the naysayers were accurate, the English national team would now be on the level of – with all due respect to our tartan friends, Scotland; and that hasn’t and isn’t going to happen. England are a much better international team in 2014, then they were in 1974 and 1994 – without any Polish goalkeepers to make them look like clowns, or Carlton Palmers clogging up a mid-field who even perennial whipping-boys San Marino, managed to penetrate.
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