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Kevin Keegan So Right About Young English Footballers

Greg Dyke is the new FA Chairman, and he has come out and criticized clubs like Newcastle United for not playing enough English players in their side, and last week Premier League clubs agreed to work with a commission set up by the Football Association, to improve the development of young English players.


Kevin Keegan in his second stint as Newcastle manager – in 2008

We agree there needs to be more English players playing in the Premier League, but this sounds to us like ans excuse as to why the England side have won nothing since 1966.

Until 1992 we didn’t even have the Premier league and we had lots of Englishmen playing at the top levels in England, but the National side still couldn’t win anything.

Like everything in life you either have success or the results, or you have the reasons why you  don’t have the results – it’s really that simple if sometimes rather inconvenient.

But we think Kevin Keegan has it right when he challenges young English players not to make  it an excuse that there are not many Englishmen playing in the Premier League these days:

“There’s a big wake up message for the young players in England.” “You have to say to them, ‘What are you going to do about it?” “Why are these guys coming in from overseas?”

“Over the last 60 deals in the last window, over 40 of them were from overseas.” “Of every three players who are coming in, only one of them is British.” “So it’s a challenge.”  “That’s what they’ve got to see it as.”

“You can’t say, ‘It’s not fair’.” “You have to say, ‘What are you going to do about it?” “That is the question they should be asking themselves. “Do you want to work a bit harder?”  “Do you want to train harder?” “Do you want to concentrate more?”

“The big problem now is that the Premier League is bigger than the FA.” “The FA used to be the ruler of the game, the king or the Pope if you like. “Now the Premier League, because of the finance, is much wealthier.”

“With that money and with the volume of people coming into their side of the game in terms of sponsorship, it gives them a lot of power.” “So the Premier League won’t be dictated to by the FA.”

Keegan is right about the Premier League now being bigger than the English FA,  and that has caused some problems, but the bottom line is that young England players have to become good enough to play in the Premier League, whatever else is going on with the  foreign players coming in.

That’s the challenge, and we think Kevin has hit the nail on the head, and another way to look at the situation is that young English players have to be even better these days to play in  the top English league.

That cannot be bad, and should help in getting an England side that can actually win something.

Wouldn’t that be something.

Comments welcome.

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18 comments so far

  • G

    Sep 19, 2013 at 9:48 AM

    Comment #1

    Whilst it would be nice to see more English talent, I can’t help but feel the truth is that clubs get held to ransom over price on English players. Look at Connor Whickam, everybody said we should sign him, eventually Sunderland did, and he turned out to be nothing but a prospect, of the same sort of ability that you could have picked up for less than a million in France or Holland. If English clubs get real over prices, then the situation with foreigners will fix itself. I have my doubts over Will Hughes from Derby, who looks good for Derby, but if people think he is worth over £10M then they are wrong. Very rarely do players come good for their fees for Englishmen, in fact the only 2 examples I can think of are Arsenals Chamberlain and Wallcott, both from Southampton academy. Perhaps we should send G Carr down for a look at their development squad.

  • one Tony Green

    Sep 19, 2013 at 9:53 AM

    Comment #2

    Think you will find that Richard Scudamore said this weeks ago which the top half of the article has been lifted from.

  • woolerbill

    Sep 19, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    Comment #3

    You took the words out of my mouth, you are 100% correct. Why pay £10 million for a young untested, when you can get an international for half that. Ashley is living proof of how clubs spend.

  • guymaxwell

    Sep 19, 2013 at 9:56 AM

    Comment #4

    The simple truth is that for the most part British players aren’t as good as their foreign counterparts, if they were they would play: Wilshire, Ramsey, Rooney etc all paly because they deserve to.

    The cries from the FA are fair, it’s their job to look after the national game, but the national game is not the lifeblood of the sport, that is club football and club football should win out. I’d rather see a successful Newcastle United than a successful England and make no apologies for that.

    So club owners looking for either the best talent or better value for money search overseas and we get the likes of Krul, Cabaye and Ben Arfa and I’d rather that than the likes of Alan Smith any day of the week!

    Of course, there is also a small legal matter to consider; we cannot restrict the presence of EU citizens within the game. End of, no moaning, no bickering, we can’t do it.

    Spend some money of nurturing and developing talented footballers; stop playing 11 a side so young, get rid of any coach associated with Charles Hughes and be patient. We can develop talent, but we can’t do it overnight.

  • G

    Sep 19, 2013 at 9:57 AM

    Comment #5

    I suppose that Gareth Bale bloke should have been mentioned in my earlier post, wasn’t he another Southampton academy product? We should employ a scout, purely to follow their scouts, or test whatever it is they put in the water down there.

  • croftus5678

    Sep 19, 2013 at 9:57 AM

    Comment #6

    on subject of end of year accounts it reads strange imo !
    i cant make out after all said and done what our bottom line profit was without ashley taking 11mil out ! (which would have been the money for transfers)

    and on another part it makes out like we have and will recieve more “broadcast revenue” which to me sounds like tv revenue and that ashley will be taking 18mil more of this at the end of the season to clear more of his debt !

    not jumping to conclusions but if this is the case he must be the only business man in history who can blame a business and not a person for borrowing money !

  • Transfer Sage

    Sep 19, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #8


    You can but limitations on players from within the EU.

    There was a lawyer on skysports last week saying certain industries can get special permission and rulings from the EU to limit the amount of employment/trade.

    But it would need to be heavily agreed on by the prem league, clubs, etc and they wouldn’t go for it.

  • croftus5678

    Sep 19, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #9

    no manager i doubt would pick a worse 11 than they believe is there strongest so it must just be that the english lads are not as good !

    i blame the coaching and development from a very young age tbh as we parents of our kids tend to be sensible about our kids futures when we have the choice of so much our kids can do (doctor/police/teacher ect ect) and poor countrys do not so everything can be thrown at a subject (brazil for example)

    i remember my school even saying to us in class about what we wanted to do when older “theres no point saying footballer as theres no chance youll become one”

    then theres the coaching side (germany ect) so strict and organised into basics and self development that they program them from a very early age into making football be serious more than fun.

  • Our Toon

    Sep 19, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    Comment #10


    Has anyone seen the accounts for the club last year: listed below:


    be interesting to get people’s feedback on it

  • G

    Sep 19, 2013 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #11

    Out toon, it’s Worky’s usual sh*t stiring interpretation of events. The figures quoted, are not only incorrect, but there is no evidence of MA taking a single penny out of the club on the accounts. There is talk on the accounts of servicing the debt, but there is nothing to suggest it went to MA. Quite a lot was paid to Barclays though to service our overdraft.

  • Byker Boy

    Sep 19, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #12

    Over the years I’ve seen some great players in the Toon shirt at St James, true greats like Len White, Peter Beardsley, Paul Gascoigne, Alan Shearer, David Ginola, but the greatest of them all was Kevin Keegan in his first year as a Black and Whiter, he was breath taking. Keegan had no great natural ability but he worked and worked at his game and he became European Footballer of the year twice. What he did was graft and no one worked harder to achieve his goal of being a great. So to my mind there is no one better to give that sound advice to up and coming young English talent graft hard and if your good enough you’ll make it. Simples!

  • south coast toon

    Sep 19, 2013 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #13

    well its easy to see most english players arent that good and cwant to much money the jumped up wan abees, the wages and fees is ridiculas ,god i cant stand to hear how much some of these kids get paid, they should want to play football at top level before they get big money £500 a week is still to much for kids
    as for ma taken money back that hes loaned the club surely thats whole thing about a loan it needs to be paid back, if you lend £20 to someone you want it back…… so maybe we should get off his back for taking his money back

  • workyticket

    Sep 19, 2013 at 2:32 PM

    Comment #14

    G // Sep 19, 2013 at 10:16 AM

    “Out toon, it’s Worky’s usual sh*t stiring interpretation of events. The figures quoted, are not only incorrect, but there is no evidence of MA taking a single penny out of the club on the accounts.”

    Perhaps you’d care to point out where the figures are incorrect, as they are taken directly from the club’s balance sheet?

    Also could you please point out where I say that Ashley is taking money out of the club apart from what is clearly mentioned in the accounts themselves?

    If the piece is really as slanted as you suggest, You have to lie to make your point. 🙂

  • G

    Sep 20, 2013 at 8:57 AM

    Comment #15

    @14, because firstly, the accounts have already been re-stated, and are available for a sum. Secondly, because you are looking at a balance sheet, not a set of accruals, which will show the actual figures, and not a rough breakdown, and lastly, read the first line in Note 22, which you have chosen to ignore. Related party disclosures are not discussed in accordance with FRS8. I would suggest you get an actual set of accounts to look at, and not an out of date snap-shot. I don’t want to get in an argument about this, but you simply do not have the facts.

  • G

    Sep 20, 2013 at 9:01 AM

    Comment #16

    Oh, and one last thing, I only put my response like that because I got a little bit p**sed off at the constant re-post of the thread, which is one of my pet hates.

  • workyticket

    Sep 20, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    Comment #17

    G // Sep 20, 2013 at 8:57 AM

    “@14, because firstly, the accounts have already been re-stated, and are available for a sum. ”

    Are you accusing Newcastle United of submitting inaccurate accounts to Companies House or are you just bulls**tting again? It’s ok, you don’t have to answer because I already know, they haven’t.

    You still haven’t answered my previous questions.

  • G

    Sep 20, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    Comment #18

    Fine, we can get into this:

    The last time Newcastle United submitted accounts as a company, either under MA, or the previous regime, where the accounts were not re-stated was in 2002. The accounts you have are taken from Rev 1 of the last set, they currently sit at Rev 3, which is a 200+ page document, or accrual, as it is known. The practice of having to re-state accounts is not uncommon amongst football clubs. This answers your first question.
    Your 2nd question, look at your own blog link above, read this line “as Ashley took back £11 million which was secured on future broadcasting revenue. ”

    Like I said, I don’t want to get into an argument about this, but clearly you want one anyway, no doubt you would like more hits on your blog, for the advertising revenues, and fair play to you there for that, but I personally find your blog a fairly unpleasant, and very biased place to be. I prefer the more neutral tones of Ed’s blog. I’m not saying your blog is better/worse or even competition, merely, not to my personal tastes. If you believe I am lying, then franky, that is your problem, not mine, so I won’t lose any sleep over it. I get called far worse than a liar most days.


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