Date: 6th November 2006 at 6:00pm
Written by:

There has been complaint from many people in football in recent times about the lack of English players in the Arsenal first team. It started out amongst rival fans calling us ‘the foreign legion’ and ‘a French team’ but these xenophobic views soon spread to other areas of football with people such as Alan Pardew and Trevor Brooking expressing their dislikes about the Arsenal team.

At first it infuriated me that such xenophobic views should be expressed in public but I soon got bored of them along with many other Gooners.

So, why are we REALLY targeted? Is it really because there are few Englishmen in our squad? No, it`s because of the success that having these foreign players has brought to our club. How often do people target Bolton for the number of foreign players they have in their ranks?? Never, that`s how often!

Why do teams such as Arsenal dip into the European market more often than the domestic league? There are a few, simple reasons.

1) There are very few technical English players around and, as I’m sure you`re all aware, Arsenal’s style of play is amongst the most technical in Europe.

2) MONEY- The transfer fees demanded for English players is extortionate. A prime example is Carrick to Manchester United for £18.6million, compare to a mere £7million for Tomas Rosicky. Shaun Wright Phillips- £21million or Hleb for £9! I could go on.

3) Wages. English players are less interested in football and more interested in
money these days. Look at the likes of Ashley Cole and Rio Ferdinand who demand wages between £80,000- £120,000 when players like Kolo Toure and Manu Eboue are on £5,000- £10,000 a week!

How do we address this issue? Arsenal have just invested a large sum of money in a new youth training centre which concentrates on technical ability. It will however, take much more than that, the FA and other clubs need to invest more in youth.

The fact of the matter is that if you took all, or even half of the foreign players out of the EPL it wouldn`t even be in the top 7 or 8 leagues in Europe.

Article submitted by Simmy8_2000.


25 Replies to “Arsenal – The ‘E’ Factor”

  • I totally agree, is so stupid when idiotic people like Manchester United supporters etc have a go at us on this, just wish I could remember this exact reply.
    We are a good club and do not base ourselves on passports.

  • its just jealousy. thats why the media and other clubs target us for so much abuse. if we played boring football and were 15th every season no one would give a damn. its because Arsene is widely seen as the best manager that people have to have something to beat him with.

  • I agree about the wages, and also the money costs. However I think you are wrong in talking about the technical inabilities of English players. There are a number of talented youngsters with great ability who for whatever reason have not been pursued by Arsenal. I think it is completely acceptable that Arsenal look overseas to replenish their ranks but this shouldn’t be justified by saying English players aren’t good enough … I imagine a number of 16-21yrs old English guys would do well at Arsenal. I personally criticise Arsenal for their non English selection when they play players like Alumina, Cygan etc etc. There are young English goalkeepers better than Alumina, defenders better than Cygan was etc and that is when it gets ridiculous. It is good to see Hoyte having a run in the team and proving that English players if given the opportunity can hold their own.

  • Who are these young English players? will they be willing to learn from the bench unlike the likes of Bentley and Upson? I dont believe English players have previously been trained correctly at grass root level, the next crop will be far better having had a better education and thats when they will make it at Arsenal. An example would be A discussion I saw on the spurs Vital site regarding Lennon playing on the left, we used to have Marc Overmars who was right footed and just as quick as Lennon and he played on either flank no problems because of the eduacation he was given at Ajax, its a problem English football is only now addressing but I dont think we should take the blame and responsiblity for the nations football education mistakes.

  • Maybe not talent wise SH, but the english players could learn a thing or two about attitude from Zinedine Cygan.

  • Yeah a very good post, and I agree 100%, if there was good English talent, which is cheap enough, Wenger would buy them, but at the moment its hard to come by.

  • Curtis Davis would have cost more than amount as Eboue, Senderos, Clichy, Djourou, Toure and Lehamann combined! you could even throw in a cesc and have change!

  • Wiltord cost more than Dawson,Robinson,Lennon,Huddlestone and Carrick combined. you could even throw in king and still have change! Seek and ye shall find.

  • Wiltord helped us win 2 titles and an FA cup, what have the players you have listed above helped you win? If you win the title with those players you have mentioned then your policy of buying young english players will be justifed if you win nothing (again) then you have done a good job for english football but are still a merry bunch of losers. Are policy has already been rewarded with success.

  • Curtis won’t cost as much as that. The initial quote for Jenas was £20m, the final price £7m. There are negotiation skills courses available if the hierachy at Arsenal aren’t capable of doing that sort of business. And Curtis being very young could be bought for £7m and still sold at a profit in 5 years time.

  • With the profit margin we have created on players like Anelka, Petit and Overmars of all the clubs in the world I dont think we need those lessons I think maybe Mr Kenyon should sign up. Toure cost 500k how much is he worth now? Jenas at £7m is more than cesc and Gilberto combined but like I say the only judge of a transfer policy is sustained success.

  • Xenophobia?!?! You having a laugh?! other fans are not anti French, Ivorian, Spanish or anything else! We’re dissapointed that an ENGLISH team has only one (sometimes no) english players in the 16 let alone the starting 11!! It’s bad for the english game and means you Goon fans have to cheer on upto 6 tottenham players as gfull internationals! NOT EVEN 1 GOON!!! so Sad

  • To be totally honest Baldy, Arsenal takes priority over the national team these days. Look at the way England play compare to the wya Arsenal play and tell me how many English players have the technical ability to play our attacking game?? Gerrard, Cashley (I would rather play Almunia at LB now), J.Cole and Rooney. How much would one of those players set us back?? Why would we fork out £15M for J.Cole when Rosicky only cost £6.8M?? As for the Xenophobia, I stand by that, why else would so many people make such a big deal out of it??

  • good article.. not just arsenals problem but a much wider ranging issue.. investment and time should help the cause for more english based players..

  • good article simmy, and you are right. arsene will go for players of tecnical ability regardless of nationality, if they are english then so be it, if not, he doesn’t lose sleep. he will look at a player to fit his style of play. funnily enough i have adopted the same stance in my FM07 team 😉

  • It is down to the fact that you are contributing nothing to the England team, I am a chelsea fan and i was dissapointed when Vialli fielded an all foreign team. I can also remember a certain manager saying “as a foreign coach you must respect the fact that all clubs contribute to the national side of the country they play within, what chelsea is doing goes totally against that” can you remember who said that?

  • Don’t worry,most Goonheads can’t even read english.It’s only French,German,Spanish,I.coast,Swedish,Czech etc etc etc there fine with.

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