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  • geoj geoj Jan 19, 2007 05:39 Flag

    The English Footballer

    Apologies to those who might have read this one earlier, but I was so disappointed by the lack of response (and after so much effort!), I've decided to start a new thread.......

    It's about the lovely A.Cole, and suggestions that he might be a footballer of some standing.

    Okay, here goes (again) - To the suggestion that Ashley Cole - sometime footballer and big-time charley playing football with some classless moneyed outfit that's bankrolled by dodgy Russian billions, is one of the greats of the contemporary game..... here's my tuppenceworth :

    Ashley Cole is merely a victim of that uniquely English disease which has the vast majority of commentators, and more than a few fans believing that :
    1. It's the best league in the world
    2. Produces some of the best players in the world
    3. Is always in the front rank of nations vying for the World Cup/European Cup.
    4. England regularly produces great sporting competitors on the world stage.

    To address these issues in order.

    1. The Premiership is currently one of the best leagues in the world. However, this is so not because of the huge production line coming out of places such as Lilleshall, but rather because of the wonderful cross-fertilisation which has occurred in the game because of the arrival of truly fantastic players from Europe, Africa and South America, and the introduction of visionary coaches with an enormous understanding of the game - Mourinho, Wenger, Benitez, et al.

    2. Wenger gets slagged off every week for not playing 'English' players - the answer - English players are frequently useless, headless, witless, and lacking in the discipline to make it as top athletes - just look at the behaviour of Beckham (on and off the field), of A.Cole, of Rio Ferdinand... and compare them to some truly great players gracing the sporting fields of England such as Thierry Henry, Didier Drogba or Xabi Alonso (not too much off field bling and attention seeking there).

    3. One major title more than 40 years ago - less than Poland, Denmark, Sweden, Yugoslavia, Portugal and France, not to mention the serious soccer nations - Italy, Germany and Brazil.

    4. The rower guy who won lots of medals was pretty good, as was Kelly Holmes. Other than that the record has been poor - and on the football field I would seriously question what English players would make it into a top flight Italian or Spanish team - Scholes, Rooney, and Terry aside.......
    and please, please don't start saying that Stevie Gerrard is a great player, or that Fat Frank Lampard would make it into the first XVI at Barca......

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    • Some good points (although obvious), and some not so good ones.

      But Stevie is not a good player? He's a great one and would walk into your side and everyone else's. Coming from a United fan. Why else do you think Liverpool are always in the top four with so many crap and average players? I don't hear too much about him and bling etc. Heard Ljungberg was on some magazine in his pants again though...

    • some of your points are true but others are cliched garbage.the assumption that all foreign players are sublime for instance.not every frenchman is an henry,the fact is internally every major footballing nation has the same debate as us about their lack of top class players.for all they won a mediocre world cup how many really world class italian players can you name?french and german players for that matter.just look at the 2 "world class"argentinians at west ham,who can't cut it.we overrate our top players but we also overrate the top foreign players.

    • Well you do have fair points but I just have to say that Barca was after "Fat Frank" for 2 seasons now.

    • I generally agree with this post, but I think that Stevie Gerrard is a top player and he could shine in any international team (if played correctly), providing Super Frank 'fat' Lampard doesn't spoil it for him.
      I'm getting a bit bored about Ashley Cole, we all know he is an avaricious little shit, but he's also a great player that has proved himself on the world stage, let's move on from him now!
      A great deal of blame must fall onto our media, they consistently over-hype our sports stars and therefore build expectation to ridiculous levels.

    • you stole the idea to my thread. in my acole one a guy said he's one of the best in the prem. therefore that automatically means he's one of the best out there.

      i too have a problem with this thinking. i'm english by blood but i don't subscribe to this overrating of english players. as was said, the prem is quality because of the foreign players, not the majority (note i said majority) of english players.

      just look around at the current transfer window gossip. 10 mill for watford's ashley young? 10 mill for teenage gareth bale who hasn't played in the prem? 12mill when arsenal wanted curtis davies from west brom? the list goes on and on.

      if you're english and you can stand on 2 feet, run a bit and do something once in awhile you're suddenly a superstar in the making.

      does it ever occur to anyone that perhaps england don't win anything in the big cups (euro/world) again and again and again simply because they just aren't that good? blame is always placed somewhere, but perhaps the english should accept that they just don't cut it with other countries' players?

    • 1: Can't argue with that, but the foreign players only came because the league was a decent standard. United's mid 90s home grown players and Arsenal's legendary back four, as well as players like Shearer & Sutton would have tempted the "good" foreign players to come over at the heights of their careers.

      2: I think English players can be good, but they don't play the Arsenal way. Rooney, quality, but could he play in either RVP or Henry's position? Nope, in the same way neither of them could shrug of two 16 stone defenders using upper body strength. Did England have the best XI at the World Cup? Absolutely not, far from it. Again, media hype kids the fans and seemingly the players into thinking they are better than they are. Have to disagree with you about Gerrard. He's one of the few English players who are brilliant and could make an impact on a continental team.

      3: It's always the same, 1/4 finals, or perhaps even semis, but fizzle out quickly.

      4: England frequently have high performing athletes, except it's often in minority sports. Like Squash (the world champion for the last 5 years has been British apparently?), Rowing, random events in the Olympics, etc. We won the World Cup (a one off as we came nowhere near the next time around), we won The Ashes (a one off, we got whipped this year), won the Rugby World Cup (need I elaborate?). I think had we won the Football World Cup or the Euros, it would be no less a one off than Greece winning it 3 years ago.