The premier league is littered with players from Europe, South America and beyond. It is an attractive prospect for foreign players; with high earnings and the chance to show your talent to a vast audience. Headlines consistently stream through about the next wonder kid that is being monitored by English clubs yet you rarely if ever read about an English hopeful being monitored by a Spanish or Italian club. There was little doubt that Rooney or Walcott were going to stay in England.
Some players have gone abroad to either find a club willing to develop and nurture their talents or in some cases to conquer a different league. Matt Derbyshire found some success at Olympiacos. His aim of finding some form abroad and hence gaining recognition at home was achieved but on his return to England he has found little form at both Birmingham and now Nottingham forest.
David Beckham is an example of someone who had great success at Real Madrid where he won la Liga in the 2006/2007 season and won the Supercopa de Espana in 2003. He has also gone onto win the MLS Western Conference at Los Angeles Galaxy for the last three years. However it is rare that a player finds success or even tries to abroad. Michael Owen lasted one year at Madrid. He scored 13 league goals in his first season but with the arrivals of Robinho and Bapitista he moved back to England with Newcastle.
So why do so few players go abroad and why do these foreign clubs not want them? Are they too frightened of the cultural differences? Might these players find it hard to adapt to a new city, a new way of life. There are many reasons for the lack of players abroad. For a start, there is the cost of English players. Andy Carrol for £35 million or David Villa for £34.2?
There is also a slight snobbery on the part of clubs in La liga and Seria A. No-one can forget the comments that Pepe Guardiola said about Jack Wilshere, who he claimed was just like many of the players that Barcelona have in their reserves team. The Kevin Davies’ of the premier league are not sought after in La Liga and Seria A but they could have an important impact. A player like Heskey would trouble a Spanish defence with his gritty on and off the ball play.
The Premier League has many teams that play to win by any means possible. The old Bolton and the new stoke are winning machines (not in recent weeks but in general) who have a set plan for scrapping a 1 or 2-0 win. This technique is not found in La Liga with teams playing with more flair and trickery. Watching Hesky attempt a Zidane step-over would be entertaining but more for comical reasons.
Jose Mourinho made Chelsea into a winning machine with little flair. However at Real Madrid he has made a team that play with more skill and fluidity.The clubs over seas are not happy with just success, they want done in style. I don’t think that England nurtures the kind of talent that Spain or Italy wants. They don’t want driving midfielders like Gerrad it seems but maybe they will want the next generation of English midfielders like Josh Mceachran who looks set to become a player shaped in the Xavi role. Maybe then they will look to our little island for talent.
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