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With Walcott Axed, Zero Arsenal Players in English Team

 With Walcott Axed, Zero Arsenal Players in English Team

Perhaps this is a frivolous post, but with Theo Walcott shockingly omitted from Fabio Capello’s World Cup squad, the England national team are left with ZERO players from Arsenal traveling to South Africa.

Sure, Arsenal FC will be well-represented in this year’s tournament: William Gallas (France), Robin van Persie (Holland), Niklas Bendtner (Denmark), Cesc Fabregas (Spain) to name a few. But I find it not only disheartening that none of the English squad are Gunners, but an indictment on Arsene Wenger’s questionable personnel decisions.

Let me point out that I am American, and perhaps it is not my place to speculate on the feelings of the average English football fan, but on those Champions League nights where the Gunners take to the pitch and there is zero English representation, it just doesn’t sit right with me. It is just as Internazionale’s European title with zero Italian representation seemed ridiculous (although Internazionale’s name and identity stem from seceding from AC Milan and being one of football’s first clubs to target international players, but I digress).

Admittedly, we live in a different football world than even just 15 years ago. It is a global transfer market, a business based not on national identity but on money and winning trophies. So I am under no delusion that Wenger’s seeming refusal to play English players is tantamount to blasphemy. The game, and Premier League in particular, is littered with international players playing on foreign clubs. Chelsea have just four English regulars, Man United four or five, and Liverpool just three.

But I believe in ‘home-grown’ quotas and domestic player requirements, because without imposing such rules, domestic leagues will lose any semblance of identity. It is borderline absurd that one could conceivably watch an Arsenal – Inter European Cup tie and see zero English players and zero Italian players. A club in a UEFA competition should be representing a certain country, not just the league in which that club plays. Call me old-fashioned or naive, or both, but I want to see English players playing for their English clubs on European nights.

 With Walcott Axed, Zero Arsenal Players in English Team

Certainly making the big leagues more cosmopolitan has incredible positives, like making the game and clubs more ‘accessible’ to different nationalities across the globe, helping Americans to Ghanaians identify with a team because one of their own plays for that club. This helps grow the game worldwide.

But limits have to be established. Domestic fans need players to identify with, and like it or not, an English fan will identify with a Frank Lampard or a Steven Gerrard more than an Emmanuel Adebayor or a Tomas Rosicky.

The reason I single out Arsenal is because I feel it is inexcusable for a club of Arsenal’s enormous stature to field no English players, and to send zero to the World Cup. It is disheartening and discouraging.

Arsenal are a proud club, a good club that handles their business in a good manner. But Wenger should be called out on his reluctance to field English players, because he manages in the English Premier League and should understand that English players must be involved in his vision for the club. When he came to North London, the likes of David Seaman, Tony Adams, Nigel Winterburn, Lee Dixon, David Platt, Ian Wright and Ray Parlour were in the side that won the Premier League in 1998.

That English spine has been steadily chipped away to near nonexistence. Besides, it is not as if Arsenal have been successful in recent years. Perhaps a rethink is due.

 With Walcott Axed, Zero Arsenal Players in English Team

Hopefully the likes of Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs and Theo Walcott can actually get a fair shake from their French manager in the near future, because an Arsenal team with no English representation and an England national team with no Arsenal representation is good for no one.

How do Arsenal fans feel about having no players in the England team? Is it a non-issue, or does it rub you the wrong way?

Leave your comments below.

This entry was posted in General, Leagues: EPL and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

62 Responses to With Walcott Axed, Zero Arsenal Players in English Team

  1. Bishopville Red says:

    There are English Arsenal players?

  2. Ha. Touche Bishopville. But yes, if you scroll far enough down the Arsenal squad list you can find one.

  3. Jordan Acker says:

    It is sad for this world cup yes, but over the next couple of years you will see the emergence of perhaps England’s best young talent, Jack Wilshere, at Arsenal (not to mention perhaps one of the greatest talent from Wales, Aaron Ramsey). In four years, I am sure you will see at least one, and possibly as many as 3 or 4, Arsenal players in the England WC Squad. I am not worried.

  4. Rhys says:

    I kind of agree with what your saying. I didn’t feel that Theo deserved a place in the world cup squad but i wanted him to have one to represent arsenal. If england win the world cup (LOL), it would be with a team full of chelsea, man u and tottenham players and that doesn’t sit well with me however I don’t believe this is down to arsenes fault. English players prices inflate to stupid amounts and I don’t blame him for not buying. Lescott, Milner, Bent all have stupid market prices just because there english. However I do believe we have at least 2 future england starters in wilshire and gibbs.
    P.S. Nice to see an american call it football for once.

  5. PTangYangKipperBang says:

    I am a lifetime Gooner and I live in England and I can tell you that I am embarrasse by this.

  6. Lamby says:

    It is not about nationality for Wenger, is is about price and value.

    English players are overpriced. He spent £7mil on Vermalan where ManU spent £14mil on the English centre back, Chris Smalling. Arguably half the price for twice the player!

    • Bishopville Red says:

      United paid £7M for Smalling.

    • rags says:

      we spent £7 mil on smalling , not £14 mil… but yeh vermaelen is class i must say and a better finisher than bendtner. However smalling is twenty and vermaelen is 25, so united have better value for money (Y).

  7. hetbook says:

    I like Arsenal, not England

  8. McBride says:

    “It is just as Internazionale’s European title with zero Italian representation seemed ridiculous”

    A lone tear just rolled down Materazzi’s cheek

  9. Materazzi didn’t start for Inter.

  10. brn442 says:

    “Shockingly” omitted. What has Walcott done the last 6 months for club or country to justify a place in S.A.?

    Maybe he can try out for the 2012 Olympic sprint team.

    • nick says:

      i am sure you forgot leadly king or the ridiculous thought of picking joe Cole or Owen Hargreaves ( thank god he didn;t make it ) but seriously .. capello said something about not picking injury players and low and behold ferdinand, king , barry and even cole ( i guess the more things change the more it stays the same)

  11. moe says:

    wat does it matter that there are no english players club football is not about how many players come from a certian country but how good the quality of play is. im sick of all of this english players playing for english clubs rubbish just enjoy the football for wat it does.

  12. Corey Bingham says:

    “It is just as Internazionale’s European title with zero Italian representation seemed ridiculous”

    Both Cambiasso & Chivu are Italian and started…also, Materazzi didn’t start but he was a substitute. And Balatelli was on the bench…there was Italians on Inter’s team so you might want to be more careful in the future (but your point was noted).

    • Chris Long says:

      Cambiasso is Argentinian and Chivu is Romanian.

      • Scott Alexander says:

        Actually Cambiasso is Italian and Argentine. He holds passports for both and part of his family comes from Genoa. He was born in Buenos Aires though. If he had wanted to, he could have been of the Oriundi tradition that helped Italy to their first couple World Cups. A good number of the players that play for the Argentine squad have citizenship in at least 2 countries. Similarly, a good number of the Inter players can also claim dual citizenship and likewise had to make a choice as to whom to play for.

  13. Corey Bingham says:

    Wow, I am an idiot…What I am I talking about? I meant Balatelli is only Italian…I need to be more careful. *down votes self for idiocy*

  14. Glad you caught that yourself Bingham! Zanetti and Cambiasso sound Italian, but they’re Argentinian.

  15. Quinn says:

    Chivu is Romanian, if I’m not mistaken.

  16. Leo says:

    Theo Walcott not making the World Cup squad is not an indictment of Arsene Wenger. Walcott was just not good enough — plain and simple. Walcott has been at Arsenal long enough to establish himself and he has yet to do it.

  17. Leo -

    The fact that Walcott, who isn’t a regular starter under Wenger, was Arsenal’s only hope to have an Englishman in the WC squad is an indictment on Wenger’s personnel decisions. He has NO english starters.

    • cheese says:

      How is it an indictment? Do you realize that thanks to Arsene Wenger, Arsenal’s youth squad is chock full of skilled, technical englishmen?!? Do you realize Arsenal has more quality Englishmen in the youth sides than Liverpool, Chelsea, or Manchester United?

      It’s not Arsene Wenger’s job to have English players in his side. It’s his job to try and win football games while balancing the budget and paying off a debt.

      As for your comments about hoping that Wilshere and Gibbs “get a fair shake,” you just sound ridiculous. Gibbs was second choice at LB this season and would’ve started in about 12 matches had he not been injured. Wilshere, meanwhile, is a bit too young and fragile to be burdened with the pressure of playing regularly at a top club like Arsenal. He will probably get his chance next season.

      To answer another commenter and Theo’s “perceived” lack of chances, give me a break. Theo was given all the chances in the world. He simply wasn’t able to stay healthy, play consistently, or take his chances enough to be depended upon.

      • Cheese -

        Kudos to Wenger for having many Englishmen in the youth system, I think it bodes fantastically for the club (assuming they see the light of the Premier League eventually before being sold) and for the England National Team.

        • JL says:

          Arsenal have had many ‘talented’ youngsters before and Arsene Whinger has sold them all e.g. Bentley, Upson, Cole. Arsenal supposedly have lots of money and therefore overpriced but talented English players should not be a problem. Tottenham have signed players like Dawson and Lennon on the cheap and are doing the game a service by giving talented youngsters from lower teams a chance at the top whereas Arsenal are making it seem acceptable to field a team with no English players and they have therefore in my opinion lost their English identity.

          • nathan says:

            Cole left because his ego grew and he wanted the money to match it while Bentley was never gunna make it at the top because he believed his own hype. Whereas Upson couldn’t get in the team over Adams, Keown and Campbell (all internationals) and therefore left to get playing time so the players you mentioned were really bad examples.

            The ones Wenger maybe should have given more of an opportunity to were say Sidwell over Flamini or Muamba over Diaby (but I will maintain the french players mentioned there are more talented and in Flaminis case had just as much spirit)

            Tottenham have a few more english players but other than King (whos class but injury ruined him) none of them are actually that good. Dawsons average, Lennons as inconsistent as Walcott, Huddlestone looks like Ainsley Harriot playing in a charity match and Jenas is a joke.

            I’m sure Wenger wishes he’d paid £18 million for Micheal Carrick instead of the £1 million paid for Alex Song

  18. Megunner says:

    Ashley cole and Matty upson. Made by Arsenal

  19. Jake Islas says:

    I agree it is somewhat embarrassing, but really Walcott was the only English option from Arsenal to even have a shot at being on Capello’s squad. I think more needs to be said about Wenger’s selection process this year. With Adebayor’s exit, I think we all expected a 4-3-3 with Arshavin, RVP, and Walcott from right to left. I think Arsenal fans expected this past year to be Walcott’s time to get regular starts for the side and get some experience in a year Arsenal didn’t have too many attacking options. I was shocked to see him omitted from so many line-ups, not used as a sub very often, and I was really shocked to not see him on the pitch more once RVP went out for the season. I felt that Eduardo was very poor all year, and that Nasri and Rosicky weren’t fit for attacking roles. I think Wenger made a mistake by not giving Walcott a go this year and it would have benefitted Arsenal greatly going into next season if Walcott had that experience under his belt. Now next year he’s pretty much starting from the same level.

  20. ash says:

    To tacitly suggest that Arsene is anti-English when it comes to who plays in his squad is naive, at best. The lack of English players in the squad, along with no Arsenal representation at the WC, as well as Arsenal not performing well in the last few years, are all an unfortunate turn of events for Arsenal’s glory, and perhaps a reflection of Arsene’s unwillingness to adapt; these do not, however, imply that the reason for such failure is a direct causal outcome from the lack of English presence.

    Years ago, Arsene’s philosophy of play brought yet another dimension to Premier League football. Understandably, most of the existing English crop when he came in weren’t suited to his style and philosophy. Some survived, but most players int he league were (naturally) too indoctrinated into the then prevalent styles of play. Gradually, the emergence of certain players such as Cole, Gibbs, Ramsey (he’s close enough), Wilshere, etc. have shown us that English talent can be molded into Arsene’s philosophy. They’re coming around and, like a few observers have noted, will eventually populate Arsenal’s first team (if they can hold onto them). I don’t necessarily agree with the transfer pricing of English players being the main factor for not bringing in local talent; while it is true that he employs a strict purchase policy, perhaps his stubborn nature and at-times misplaced confidence have prevented him from seeing the value of English league experience and bringing in players from the non-elite clubs who are fighters while he is in the process of growing new crop. I would love to see an English CB (Upson) sign for Arsenal next season, right next to Sol – who I wouldn’t blame for leaving to go to the Celtics for consistent first team action, by the way.

    In summary, it may not necessarily be Arsene’s foreign origin that has directly attributed to the fading of the “English spine” but more so the club’s maturing into a different philosophy and growing a new breed of players who are suited to such a style – a style that is borne of an abstract philosophy of beautiful football (debate for another day).

    Causal inferences are not always Truths.

    Quotas are a restriction on stifling competition and creativity. They are a misplaced faith in territory… a concept that we as a race are slowly maturing out of. You don’t see the full blooded Inter fans boycotting the finals because none of the starters are Italians.

    • JL says:

      The style of play is not new. The push-and-run style was first implemented by Arthur Rowe of Tottenham in the 1950s and then by the double-winning side of Bill Nicholson in the 1960s and if you watch clips from these times, you’ll see that Arsenal are not the first.

  21. Dave says:

    1966 World cup team had no Arsenal players nor did the 1990 campaign so I am hoping for success for England this time!!

    At the end of the day Fabio picked the team he thinks will win and not worried what team they play for.

  22. Goon says:

    didnt he went out injured?

  23. Sue says:

    Sorry but it doesnt bother me at all that Theo isnt going to South Africa. I wish the same would happen to the rest of our internationals….then perhaps we can start the new season injury free.

  24. Ortho Stice says:

    This mindset is blood relation to that which panders to ‘arry Redknapp and ignores his scorched earth policy simply because he’s English.

    Brits don’t make it into the Arsenal first team because, for the most part, they are technically awful and overpriced (as others have mentioned before). The lads coming out of Arsenal’s academy may prove to be a different breed of English footballer and eventually change the composition of the Arsenal squad and eventually the English side as well.

    To imply Wenger has an anti-UK bias simply because he doesn’t like Brits is laughable man HA HA! Though I suppose we could go back to the Gunner sides of the pre-Wenger era: a bunch of fat, slow, good ol’ English blokes kicking each other for ninety minutes.

    Also, for what Walcott may lack on the pitch, he also falls well short of the ‘achievements’ of England’s heroes Brave John Terry, Gerrard, Ferdinand, etc. You decide which shirt you want to wear …

    • JL says:

      English players are not all technically awful and overpriced as Spurs showed by signing players like Dawson, Lennon, Carrick, Huddlestone and Defoe for relatively small amounts of money. Whinger is clearly anti-UK because he does not bother to scout the lower leagues for decent players and just immediately looks abroad.

  25. Cord4Gooner says:

    I Feel bad for Theo obviously, but I don’t mind my Gooners having a healthy summer and getting some rest for the EPL season to come.

  26. me says:

    you an an idiot

  27. erik the viking says:

    I would have taken Theo.
    But as for the Arse, Wenger prefers little, young, foreign boys.

  28. jm says:

    I truly could not possibly care less. Under some circumstances, I can see how nationality can make it easier to identify with someone, since you are likely to have similar cultural experiences. That has nothing to do with relating to footballers though – because we do not relate to them on personal grounds at all. We relate to them as competitors. Country of origin is irrelevant to that. As an American, I’ll take baseball as an example. I can relate to the Dominican players on the Mets (my favored team) just as well as the American players.

    Further, there is a moral ought here. One of the great benefits of cosmopolitanism in sport is with children. I don’t want kinds growing up with archaic nationalistic ideas, such that they *need* people of the same nationality to relate to. If kids grow up idolizing an Ivorian, a Spaniard and a Belgian, so much the better for society.

    That is, I dispute both your normative and descriptive premise. I don’t think nationality is essential for identification, and even if it were, I think that it ought not to be. So no, it does not bother me in the slightest. I am considerably more bothered by the fact that it even rates as a concern to be honest.

  29. tonyspeed says:

    Because theo walcott’s father is jamaican, he should have played for jamaica. he could have helped lead jamaica to victory (who got eliminated off goal differential by honduras) instead of fighting for a spot which he may never get at this rate.

  30. Scott Alexander says:

    I’d say that if there is a problem, it isn’t that there are too many foreign born players in the English leagues, it is that there are too few English players in foreign leagues.

    • Rhys says:

      Exactly spot on, I have always said that. It is the fact that English players wont play in foreign leagues. If we plagued foreign leagues with English players the standard of the English players will increase dramatically. Our national team is set on about 6 club teams to make the players. Spain’s, Brazil’s infact pretty much every other team in the world has endless amount of homegrown talent playing for teams in leagues all over the world.

  31. Stephen Feehily says:

    It’s always a hot topic, Arsenal are destroying the English game, it’s one of the reasons England have so unsuccessful internationally. That’s typical of England fans looking for somewhere to point the blame.
    Arsenal have very few England players now, but not too long ago we basically had the entire back four. England didn’t do anything then either…

    Bottom line, English players aren’t that good and the ones that are cost far too much money for them to be worth buying. You shouldn’t force a team to pick English players, quite frankly that’s discrimination.

    We had England’s best left back, it’s not our fault he was a money grabbing little cun… boy!

    We have some of the best young English players coming through our youth system and not all of them will make into the big time and we have a talented albeit underachieving squad and you really have to exceptional to get in. Wilshire is impressive and for me should be in the team next season.

    England need to look at their own attitude when player for England and ask when they never play like they are proud to wear the Three Lions rather than feel like it’s a burden. That is why I believe that USA will beat them on June 12, 2010. 2 – 0!

  32. Hoodoo says:

    The 60 000 Arsenal fans that sell out the Emirates each week seem to have no problem identifying with their non English players.

    I don’t see Inter fans complaining either that Milito isn’t playing for Italy.

    • JL says:

      60,000 businessmen who couldn’t care less about the cheating team and that is why the Immigrants has the worst atmosphere in the league.

  33. dawit says:

    it is not a big deal to represent england in zi world cup arsenal is stil a big club!

  34. Eious says:

    This idea of needing home-grown players is arguably one of the most idiotic, hypocritical things ever stated by fans of teams

    Would Chelsea please dump DD because he isn’t from England?
    Would Arsenal dump Xavi last season or Cesc this?
    Would United dump Ronaldo because of his nationality last season?

    The answer is…no and nor should they

    It is about WINNING PERIOD. Not winning with the “right” players

    • Scott Alexander says:

      Well, I think clubs can have “right” players in terms of personalities and ideals et cetera but the notion of “right” players in terms of place of birth or passports that they hold seems arbitrarily discriminatory.

    • JL says:

      Chelsea and Man U have english first teamers as well as good foreigners you idiot unlike Arsenal who have a team full of cheating foreigners and no English players.

  35. shwan says:

    for those who says Arsenal don’t look to nationality, why he signed many french players ? why they must be a french of speak french in 80% of cases

    • Feehily says:

      Yeah cos Arsene Wenger only speaks French… Oh and English, German, Italian, Spanish and Japanese. We’ve had many French players, why? Because they were good not because they were French! Vieira, Petit, Pires and Henry were class and Clichy, Sagna, Gallas, Diaby and Nasri are doing well for us.
      We have Spanish, Ivorian, Dutch, Danish, Russian, Cameroon(ian?), Brazilian, English, Czech, Croatian and then some! But you’re right Arsenal have a French bias…

  36. ish says:

    look at the top teams, of the lot only manU have really spent money on english talent because for the price you an do better.

    chelsea’s spine of lampard, terry, a.cole and j.cole came for a total fee of 20 million or so and gallas. liverpool have only bought johnson and he isnt anything special. Simply put arsenal have failed to keep their one class english players in a.cole, its not arsenal’s job to get half decent english players solely because they english, they need to actually be good first.

  37. chris says:

    No Arsenal players in the English Squad……….. WOW…… So what?

    I’m proud to be an England Supporter, but I’m not proud of the players in our national team is made up of lame, overpaid, overweight, bung taking, drug dealing, cheating, back stabbing, granny nailing also rans. When our National Team is made up of men who act respectfully, responsibly and don’t see themselves as gods or above the law…… then maybe you blinkered fools can truely be proud of our National team.

  38. alex says:

    It does annoy me i think we should field atleast two english players a game, but we cant at the moment. Hopefully as you say Jack wilshire will soon come into the squad with Gibbs also and both will play more first team games and hopefully we will get an englsh GK either joe Hart or Rob Green. We could get Joe cole who wants to move. This season however hasnt been as bad as before as we had campbell who played a lot of games towards the end but looks to be on his way out now. But yes it does annoy me as arsenal used to be more english we had players such as Ashley Cole, David Seaman and even Ian wright who were key english members…But this just doesnt exist anymore and needs to be changed.

  39. Ray says:

    Arsenal produce a lot of English players, like Fabrice Muamba, Steve Sidwell, David Bentley, but because you need to be a bit special to secure a place in Arsenal’s first team, they often get moved on. I didn’t see spurs moan when they got Bentley, a good player, but someone who just wasn’t quite good enough for Arsenal. How many Arsenal youngsters are out on loan to other clubs? Answer: Lots!

  40. Felipe says:

    An English team with no English player or an Italian team with no Italian player isn’t football. It’s just business. It’s a shame and totally bizarre. Do you pay to watch what? A match between two multinational enterprises or two teams that represents you, your community, your country? Arsenal is too far away from what I think football is.

    Brazil hasn’t a strong economy like England and, because of that, we sell about 1,000 players every year to foreign clubs. In the other hand, we are the richest country in South America and could buy players from all over our continent, but we have limits on foreign players use here (3 of them playing is the maximum number allowed). More or less 95% of the players at our Premier League are Brazilian and, as the ones who visited Brazil could notice, we don’t disrespect other countries because of that. Because you have foreign players in your team you’ll be more respectful to the other coutries? No, it doesn’t work like this. It’s a silly argument.

    And do you think our clubs are weak? OK, they are much weaker from 15 or 20 years ago. But when a Brazilian club faced an English club last time – at the Fifa Club World Cup in 2005 -, São Paulo beat Liverpool 1-0. A squad with 10 non-top Brazilian players (none of them was regularly called up to the National Team, because our National Team, unfortunately, is almost all in Europe nowadays) and an Uruguayan (Diego Lugano, now at Fenerbahçe) beat a team which had players from National Teams all over the world (including England!). Maybe we’re not stronger than we were before, but we still have good teams. And they’re trully Brazilian teams.

    I’m from the most successful country in football and I’m proud Brazilian teams have Brazilian players. We produce good players every year because they can play in our top teams at the top South American tournaments. We have foreign players also, but their number doesn’t make difficult to a young Brazilian to reach success. Maybe that’s why we win titles regularly and England not. Do you know that trophy you won only one time, 44 years ago? We have won it five times.

    Football can be also business but it’s not only business. Hope to see English clubs with more English players in the future.

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