Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has called Newcastle United a disgrace for the lack of English players that the Magpies are fielding in their starting eleven this season.
In our three Premier League games this season, Newcastle have fielded one Englishman in each of their fixtures, with defender Steven Taylor starting away at Manchester City, while striker Shola Ameobi started in the home matches at St James’ Park against West Ham and Fulham.
It was the match at the Etihad Stadium that Ferdinand was particularly referring to, as he spoke to the Mail on Sunday about the issue of foreigners in the Premier League.
Ferdinand said: “Having so few English players in the Premier League diminishes the English team, of course it does. Look at the Manchester City game recently against Newcastle. There was barely an English player on the pitch, three out of 22 starters. That is a disgrace.”
Rio continued: “If you look at it and ask whether there should be a stipulation that you have a minimum number of players who are English, even just in your squad, I think that should happen. If you look at a lot of teams, there are England players who aren’t playing for their clubs — yet we’re hoping to go to a World Cup and do well!”.
The 34-year-old makes a valid point about having a minimum number of Englishmen in the squad, as that’s already a rule that is place! Clubs can have no more than 17 players who are not deemed to be ‘home grown’ in their 25-man squad.
With Newcastle’s recruitment of players from France, Englishmen are being pushed out, but when young, English talent is so expensive, you can hardly blame clubs for looking elsewhere on the continent.
However, should there be a stipulation of having a minimum number of English players in your starting line-up?