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[Archived] British And Irish Players


Paul
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During yesterday's game my mind wandered back to the days when virtually every Football League team was made up of "home" players, English, Scottish, Welsh, Irish (apologies to our Irish friends, you know what I mean). A side with a foreign player was, as I recall it, unusual and noteworthy. I don't remember these sides as being poor or full of under-achievers, so where are they today? Have years of importing foreign players destroyed the opportunity for home talent, where they never that good and now find themselves in the lower leagues because the game has moved on dramatically?

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Inferior technique has a lot to do with it.

Watch virtually any youth international match between England and a decent continental side.

One side will keep the ball, playing passing football - and the other will pursue a more direct, rudimentary game.

Wenger takes a lot of criticism for his aversion to English players but you can see why - to an extent. With football being the national sport and so many lads playing, we will continue to produce good players but not to the same technique levels as on the continent where ball retention is drummed into them from an early age.

Having said that, imo there's a lot of mediocre foreign players keeping out equally talented or even more talented home nations players in the Premiership imo. Gab Agbonlahor is now arguably Aston Villa's best offensive player. It beggars belief that this is the first season the Villa have actually been using him regularly despite him scoring for fun in the reserves for a couple of years.

Edited by rover6
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Managers often cite cost as an issue but that is an absolute myth. It's really down to short-term attitudes and feeling that buying a foreigner is a safer bet. The Premiership has seen plenty of foreigners who are absolute garbage or very very mediocre at best - Mokoena, Amdy Faye, Benjani and Paul Stalteri are just a few who spring to mind.

Managers need to have confidence in their judgement when signing a lower league player. Darren Bent cost Charlton £3m, Michael Dawson cost a similar figure from Forest. There's bargains to be had - Wigan paid a quarter of a million for Jimmy Bullard and Kevin Doyle came over from Ireland for £78,000.

For what we will pay Nonda over the course of this one season, we could have purchased and paid a young striker such as Billy Sharp or Will Hoskins and had someone who could have been a great asset to the club for 5/6/7 years plus.

Edited by Bing
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During yesterday's game my mind wandered back to the days when virtually every Football League team was made up of "home" players, English, Scottish, Welsh, Irish (apologies to our Irish friends, you know what I mean). A side with a foreign player was, as I recall it, unusual and noteworthy. I don't remember these sides as being poor or full of under-achievers, so where are they today? Have years of importing foreign players destroyed the opportunity for home talent, where they never that good and now find themselves in the lower leagues because the game has moved on dramatically?

I have been saying this for ages dude!

Look at Reading then, high flying... the vast majority of there squad is from Great Britain or Ireland... Doyle and Long who id love at rovers any day!

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Inferior technique has a lot to do with it.

Watch virtually any youth international match between England and a decent continental side.

One side will keep the ball, playing passing football - and the other will pursue a more direct, rudimentary game.

Wenger takes a lot of criticism for his aversion to English players but you can see why - to an extent. With football being the national sport and so many lads playing, we will continue to produce good players but not to the same technique levels as on the continent where ball retention is drummed into them from an early age.

Having said that, imo there's a lot of mediocre foreign players keeping out equally talented or even more talented home nations players in the Premiership imo. Gab Agbonlahor is now arguably Aston Villa's best offensive player. It beggars belief that this is the first season the Villa have actually been using him regularly despite him scoring for fun in the reserves for a couple of years.

Inferior technique has a lot to do with it.

Watch virtually any youth international match between England and a decent continental side.

One side will keep the ball, playing passing football - and the other will pursue a more direct, rudimentary game.

Wenger takes a lot of criticism for his aversion to English players but you can see why - to an extent. With football being the national sport and so many lads playing, we will continue to produce good players but not to the same technique levels as on the continent where ball retention is drummed into them from an early age.

Having said that, imo there's a lot of mediocre foreign players keeping out equally talented or even more talented home nations players in the Premiership imo. Gab Agbonlahor is now arguably Aston Villa's best offensive player. It beggars belief that this is the first season the Villa have actually been using him regularly despite him scoring for fun in the reserves for a couple of years.

Playing in a cobbled street or an un-even flagged school yard with a tennis ball is good for ball retention. This was something that all small boys of my generation did; and it worked!

Edited by Fife Rover
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The first team that I really saw play regularly the ,team of the early sixties had-

Fred Else ,born in Wigan.

John Bray, - Great Harwood.

Keith Newton - Manchester.

Ronnie Clayton - Preston.

Matt Woods - Liverpool.

Mike England - Wales

Mike Ferguson - Burnley.

Andy Mc Evoy - Eire

Fred Pickering - Blackburn.

Bryan Douglas - Blackburn.

Mike Harrison - Ilford.

That was it , 8 Lancastrians, a Welshman and a lad from Eire plus 1 Southern Softie. We could have easily fielded Byrom and Ratcliffe for Mc EVoy and Harrison and had an all Lancashire forward line , with 4 of them from Blackburn itself. Where have all our local talented players gone ?

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The first team that I really saw play regularly the ,team of the early sixties had-

Fred Else ,born in Wigan.

John Bray, - Great Harwood.

Keith Newton - Manchester.

Ronnie Clayton - Preston.

Matt Woods - Liverpool.

Mike England - Wales

Mike Ferguson - Burnley.

Andy Mc Evoy - Eire

Fred Pickering - Blackburn.

Bryan Douglas - Blackburn.

Mike Harrison - Ilford.

That was it , 8 Lancastrians, a Welshman and a lad from Eire plus 1 Southern Softie. We could have easily fielded Byrom and Ratcliffe for Mc EVoy and Harrison and had an all Lancashire forward line , with 4 of them from Blackburn itself. Where have all our local talented players gone ?

If you want to know why we no longer produce loads of local talent and are wondering where they have all gone. read my post 1 place above yours. All the team you quoted are more or less my generation.

Edited by Fife Rover
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The first team that I really saw play regularly the ,team of the early sixties had-

Fred Else ,born in Wigan.

John Bray, - Great Harwood.

Keith Newton - Manchester.

Ronnie Clayton - Preston.

Matt Woods - Liverpool.

Mike England - Wales

Mike Ferguson - Burnley.

Andy Mc Evoy - Eire

Fred Pickering - Blackburn.

Bryan Douglas - Blackburn.

Mike Harrison - Ilford.

That was it , 8 Lancastrians, a Welshman and a lad from Eire plus 1 Southern Softie. We could have easily fielded Byrom and Ratcliffe for Mc EVoy and Harrison and had an all Lancashire forward line , with 4 of them from Blackburn itself. Where have all our local talented players gone ?

Yesterdays squad vs Newcastle:

Brad Friedel - Lakewood, Ohio, USA

Lucas Neill - Sydney, Australia

Andre Ooijer - Holland

Stephane Henchoz - Billens, Switzerland

Michael Gray - Sunderland, England

David Bentley - Peterborough, England

Robbie Savage - Wrexham, Wales

Kerimoglu Tugay - Istanbul, Turkey

Morten Gamst Pedersen - Norway

Shabani Nonda - Democratic Republic of Congo

Benni McCarthy - Capetown, South Africa

Subs:

Jason Brown - Southwark, Wales

Andy Todd - Derby, England

Aaron Mokoena - Johannesburg, South Africa

Sergio Peter - Germany

Matt Derbyshire - Blackburn, England

I do think our main problem is we havent got a right mix of, youth in our squad. We dont really have much pace. Our 2 central midfielders although are good going forward are more naturally defensive minded.

Our 2 players upfront ie. Nonda and Benni both play exactly the same style of football which isnt good.

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The ability to dribble with ball at pace is another skill you rarely see today, no wonder Ronaldo and Giggs cause havoc for the red rats, fullbacks today rarely get to play against players like these and don't know how to cope when they do. I'm of the generation who played football from morning to night as a youth ( wallie in winter time under the street lights against a gable end, you soon get to be two footed playing that game ).

No coaching until I was 16, you just watched your favourite players and tried to play like them. I learnt more about playing full back from watching Keith Newton close up than from any book or coach.

I don't know what they teach at the accademy but its not how to beat people with the ball at your feet.

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I think it is because they are not good enough. The premiership is big dollars these days and hence to keep the cash rolling in needs the best talent around to watch.

I understand that mediocre foreigners are probably not the answer but for every Mokoena there is a Tugay.

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Of the '95 title side's regular players, only Henning Berg was non-British.

:brfc:B)

???

Jeff Kenna perhaps.

Signed in March '95 by Kenny Dalglish for £1.5 million and played the rest of the games before lifting the title in 1995. The former Republic of Ireland Now playing for Kidderminster.

Not forgetting Robbie Slater.

He was signed for £300,000 in August before the 1994/95 campaign got kick-started. The Australian International played an important role in midfield for the championship winning season before joining West Ham.

Other non-British players who were part of the 1995 title side were Australian goalkeeper Frank Talia and former Dutch International Richard Witschge who was signed on-loan. As far as I'm aware non of them made any appearances.

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Nostalgia is all well and good, but it's incomparable to today's football.

Yes you are right Herbergheehh. Today's football IS incomparable.That's probably why us oldies are hardly interested in today's apology for football; all passing and getting rid of the ball like it's carrying the plague. To say nothing of the cheating and diving. Add the high prices and over paid players and you get boredom and disinterest. The net result gives a feeling of "I am being taken for a right mug here" and eventually you think back to when to football was truly exiciting and entertaining and the players played very good skilfull football and you were absolutely guaranteed to go home with plenty to keep you talking about the match with your mates for the whole week until the next match. Does this happen now? Certainly not for me! Edited by Fife Rover
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Nostalgia is all well and good, but it's incomparable to today's football.

It's not just wallowing in pointless nostalgia.

This is linked to the Academy topic. We are not producing decent-home grown players in sufficient quantities any more.

I remember when Ipswich were thought of as being exotic because they had Arnold Muhren.

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Well I wouldn't say it is too bad. In England at the moment I would say domestic players are becoming better because of the competition from foreign players. I cannot see how the quality of English players suffers from it- if you're good enough you play. Les get the chance to play top league football but that is an incentive to work harder in training.

While we had an exceptionally good team in the sixties today we pretty much rely on foreign players to get a high standard of football. If foreign player restrictions were brought in we would be in serious trouble as the few high standard english players would be nicked by the big four plus Spurs and Newcastle.

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Other non-British players who were part of the 1995 title side were Australian goalkeeper Frank Talia and former Dutch International Richard Witschge who was signed on-loan. As far as I'm aware non of them made any appearances.

Witschge came on as a sub for about 18 minutes away at West Ham.

I remember it vividly - he was pants.

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Yes you are right Herbergheehh. Today's football IS incomparable.That's probably why us oldies are hardly interested in today's apology for football; all passing and getting rid of the ball like it's carrying the plague. To say nothing of the cheating and diving. Add the high prices and over paid players and you get boredom and disinterest. The net result gives a feeling of "I am being taken for a right mug here" and eventually you think back to when to football was truly exiciting and entertaining and the players played very good skilfull football and you were absolutely guaranteed to go home with plenty to keep you talking about the match with your mates for the whole week until the next match. Does this happen now? Certainly not for me!

Incomparable, yeh in terms of entertainment you're dead right, cut me in half and i'll be Blue and White but hand on heart watching our present team is about as entertaining as going to the dentist and just as expensive. I don't expect us to win every game or even most games but I'd like to see us play with a bit of style and a bit of class. Being brutally honest it was more exciting watching that 1960's team shooting in before the game than it is watching our present team actually play.

Fife and myself saw that team and from time to time we see our team of today so we are allowed our opinions, believe me there is no comparison from the entertainment angle, even in the 3rd Div we had forwards who could take people on and skin them and centre halves who put the fear of God into the opposition.

I go to games to see people do what I couldn't do as a player, I could run around a lot , put a foot in, pass it square or back 10 to 15 yds, head a bit, these guys are the top of the tree and most of them can't do anymore than that.

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Some more romanticising of the past.

Great stuff.

In 40years time I am 100% confident that I will look back to now and say "it was better back then". Guaranteed.

I can assure you Bucky (hand on heart) that there is absolutely no romanticising involved. It is the plain unvarnished truth that footballers today have not got the basic skills that were once classed as essential for any body to have even a hope of getting a trial to become a professional player. As Tyrone says above people like him and myself were once hopefuls only to be rejected. In my case it was none other than Dally Duncan (later to become Rovers manager) that gave me the bad news after a weeks trial at Luton Town in 1958. I was at the time an amateur right winger playing for Letchworth Town in the Isthmian League, and was recommended to Luton by Taff Beynan. Duncan told me that as I was 22 at the time it was unlikely that I would develop much more and would be struggling to displace his No.7 Billy Bingham the N. I. international, but to keep on playing as I had a lot of ability. Less than one year after that my footballing days were finished for ever by a recurring muscle injury in my left calf that would not respond to treatment.

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When you are due to play another team and you're trying to figure out who is likely to win a good way is to see how many of each team would make up a combined team, well here goes. I've played to a fair standard and watched more games than I care to think about over the years and I try really hard to be objective but I 've got say if you had a combined team from the early sixties and now only Brad Friedel and maybe Lucas Neill would get in it , If Ryan Nelsen was fit and on his previous form he would get in and Tugay would be good enough apart from the fact that you would have to leave out either Bryan Douglas or Ronnie Clayton to fit him in. The rest of the present team would be no where. Would any other romanticists who have actually seen both teams like a go?

Just a point- In 1963-64 First Division season Andy Mc Evoy scored 4 goals in one game twice as well as 3 hat tricks, Fred Pickering just made do with 3 hat tricks before he left for Everton ( got a hat trick on his debut for them though ), but then again you can't really compare can you ?????????????? We don't have that many SHOTS in about 5 games never mind goals !

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