No Quota Asked or Given

There’s been a lot of talk recently about the FA imposing a quota system wherby every Premier League team has to have a certain number of English players in their squad.
The idea is clearly because of the continued failure of the English national side to recapture the glory of ’66. But the thing is 1966 was a perfect storm that led to English triumph, those elements have to line up again- a determined squad who worked well together, a savvy manager, home advantage and a questionable linesman decision.
As you can probably already tell, I’m against the quota, for a very simple reason- its bloody stupid.
The modern game may be beset by problems but there is still one thing about football which is good and right. And the quota flies in the face of that.
Football is a meritocracy.
Ability and talent are what gets you to the top of the game (luck helps of course), not your background.
Forcing teams to take on homegrown players won’t strengthen the national side, it’ll just weaken the league. Which nobody benefits from.
Here’s the thing, harsh as it seems, if an English player isn’t good enough to be first choice he’s not good enough and can warm the bench. The cream will rise to the top. David Beckham, Wayne Rooney and others rose to the top of their sport, without having to have the deck stacked in their favour.
Fans lose out too, can you imagine the Premier League without the foreign players? A world where Manchester United could have had to bench Cantona because Dion Dublin would meet their quota? No offence to Dublin, but he was no Cantona.
If the FA wants to build the national side they need to start lower, develop how talent is nurtured. Build up their players so that they earn their starting places, rather than handing those places to those who aren’t good enough but happen to be local lads.
Surely having players who have worked and fought to raise their game and get to the top is more likely to bring England success than a bunch of alright players who know their passport is enough to get them games at the highest level. They won’t be awful players, they’ll be skilled but they won’t be world beaters, because they won’t have that edge that comes from fighting to succeed.
The FA need to take steps, but I can’t help feeling that the quota would be one in the wrong direction.
Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


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