The Limeys are delusional

England's latest collapse in the World Cup wasn't a shock to anyone who pays attention to football (that's soccer to Yanks and 'Nucks).  That the English believe they should rule the world in a game they invented can't be surprising, just imagine how Americans might feel if the latest US Olympic basketball dream team didn't qualify for the tournement?  But the Brits perception of what is wrong is, well, what is wrong.  They want to blame the players, they want to blame the coach, they want to blame those who hired the coach, they want to blame the WAG's.  Unfortunately for them the problem lays at home, on their doorsteps, in their gardens, and in their pitches.

The English Premier League is one of the finest in the world, starring many players featuring on a wide variety of World Cup teams, from Argentinians to South Koreans, from Americans to Ghanans, from Australians to Frenchmen (or is that just French caue using men in association with the French is just wrong?  I digress) from here and there, the EPL features some of the best players in the world so that their club teams can challenge with the best in other leagues and emerge victorious, which they do rather regularly recently.  Bravo.  The problem though is that their homegrown talent languishes in lower leagues, not getting a chance to play and prove itself against the best.  Arsenal, a top London team, famously had no English starters on a roster that set records for going undefeated.  A casual glance at the rosters of many of England's top clubs reveal few English players, and the ones they have tend not to be stars.  The clubs that do play primarily English players for some reason tend to be those near the bottom half of the table, or fighting to avoid relegation. (the practice of dropping the weakest teams of the league down to the next lower level and bringing up a similar number of teams from the 2nd tier to try and compete)

Football (yeah that's soccer again guys) is a massive global business engine, generating millions, with some clubs worth billions.  As Donald Trump knows, it takes money to make money, and the teams at the top tend to remain there year after year, and the desire to break into the various cash cow tournements is immense.  As long as England insists on remaining at the top level of club football by importing players on such a scale, they won't deliver on a national level since their players don't get exposure and seem not to go overseas themselves often to compete as the prevailing sentiment is that going overseas is a step down and a step away from the national team.  Does Brazil have club team leagues?  Sure, and a pretty good one, but no not one of the best.  Same with Argentina.  Holland and Germany are thought to have pretty good but not great teams in their leagues.  Italy, though bombing this year, manage to produce both good national and strong club teams that compete for club trophies, and Spain always seems to have a strong national side (that under preforms before 2008) to go with a league on par with the English.  The difference is that these countries are able to let their players go overseas to the big money leagues, play against the best talent available, come back and gel as a national squad.  England has zero, zip, nada players from any other league except their own, and though they do have some top level talent, it doesn't work well together.  They may play against some of the best individuals and shine, but collectively they manage to become less than the sum of their parts.

Money talks, and as long as the English are willing to spend their money on massive foreign player contracts and not internally developing their own players and bringing them up within a system, they can expect to be looking up at the United States in group tables again.  And again.  And again. 


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