He’s at it again…

7 05 2008

So my least favourite footballing bureaucrat is at it again. Today the muppet that is Sepp Blatter has come out with this nonsense. As I’m aware of the situation, there has to be a set number of English born players in any given Champions League squad already. Blatter has identified a ‘problem’ that there has been too many English teams in recent Champions League semi-finals and finals.

For the past three years there has been an English finalist. This year there is two. For Blatter, that is too many. It apparently does not show the strength of the English game in comparison to other leagues, but shows that English teams are too dominant because they are reliant on foreign imports. Blatter seems to ignore the period in the late 90’s/ early 2000’s when Real Madrid pretty much bossed the competition because they had bought the best players in the world for outrageous fees. That isn’t his concern. His concern is sticking his nose into English football to limit it’s potential on a European stage. This really annoys me.

I think the concern should be not with limiting the impact of English clubs, but instead with improving the quality of the game in other countries. Blatter, in his limited wisdom, thinks otherwise. People across the world rate the Premier League as the best in the world (even allowing for a club like Derby), the nature of the league, with its fast pace and competitive spirit I believe is second to none. Looking at the top leagues in other European Countries and I’m not so sure the same can be said. Italian football, now back on our tv’s after a long absence, is watchable, but lacks the blood-and-guts passion of the English game. Spanish football likewise seems a tad, well, pedestrian. The less said about the generally poor state of German football the better. Greece (the reigning European Cup holders) have a league, which, if we are generous, is on a par with our Championship.

To me it seems everywhere else has got the problems, but not in England. Our football is so strong that there was three Championship sides in the FA Cup semi-finals. Now how much our strength is down to foreign imports is a matter of much concern, and I think this is the issue Blatter was trying to combat. I disagree from a club perspective. Foreign imports are a necessary part of our game, if only to encourage development of better English players. Theo Walcott, a rising star of Arsenal’s team, was taught by the best player in the world at the time, Thierry Henry. Foreign players serve to strengthen the leagues, and limiting their numbers would only detract from the game at a time when more and more money is being pumped into it by fans. They want to see good football, and paying the prices that they do, care little of the nationality of the players.

For me, Blatter has got it wrong. His concern should not be with limiting English clubs potential, but instead with improving foreign clubs potential.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: