Do Arsenal need English players?

Ashley ColeAshley Cole, England international, and betrayer of Arsenal. Do we really need English players?

‘The English Debate’ By Kolo(c)

The English Debate, a belief that Arsenal, as a Football Team, need to sign more English players, has become an almost everlasting argument. Commentators, opposing players, other managers, and the media in general have been on Arsenal’s case for what seems like eternity, claiming that Arsenal do not have enough English players… but why? Do Arsenal really need more English players? Can we really be successful without any ‘home-grown’ players in our starting line-up? Would English players really add more ‘steel’, to what seems like a weakening Arsenal side?

In terms of previous successes, it is factually proven, that in the last 2 seasons teams with an English spine have been crowned Premiership Champions. Manchester United boast an array of many fantastic foreigners, many believed to be amongst the best players in the world. Their spine, however, consists of Rio Ferdinand, Paul Scholes and Wayne Rooney, all of which are English, and almost act as representatives of what appears to be the reasons why the ‘Cockney Reds’ are doing so well.
In the season 07/08, it is a well known fact that Manchester United conceded fewer goals than any other Premiership Club. Is this linked to the fact that Rio Ferdinand is in the heart of the defence? Can this also be linked to the fact that Wayne Rooney tirelessly tracks defenders, forcing them to uncomfortably release the ball, thus decreasing the chances of putting together successful moves?

In addition, the team to previously win the Premiership, before reigning champions Manchester United, Chelsea, also boast an impressive amount of English players, all of which represent their country at an international stage. Players such as John Terry and Frank Lampard have not only been a great success to Chelsea due to their footballing abilities, but also appear to have the media and referees on their sides. John Terry can be traced back to many challenges that, had it been Phillipe Senderos or Kolo Toure, would most certainly have resulted in red cards. Frank Lampard can also be accused of many things, and, in what appeared to be a media scam, had a red card rescinded after appealing to the FA. Would this similar treatment have occurred had it been Cesc Fabregas being sent to the changing rooms for an early shower?

Liverpool, a team who seem to lack quality in the Premiership are renowned for their ability to win the Champions League. Can this be traced back to the fact that their captain is English? Does Steven Gerrard at the heart of the midfield give Liverpool that ‘extra edge’? Perhaps it is the ‘never say die’ attitude of Jamie Carragher that sees that Liverpool are able to do what us Arsenal fans can only dream of. Is it down to the English players, that Liverpool are able to pull off what seems to be an impossible task?

On the other hand, however, many people believe that it is perfectly fine not to have English players in Arsenal’s first team. It is often argued that due to the fact Arsenal Football Club are a football club, who must look after their best interests, it is not their duty to ensure that the nationality of the team is predominately English. Furthermore, English players in the transfer market are well known for costing a lot more than foreign players. Should Arsene really take the risk with paying more money for English players? Is it really worth troubling the clubs financial status to bolster the ego of the FA?

When reviewing Arsene Wenger’s English signings, a common pattern occurs:
– They did not do very well
– They cost Arsenal a lot of money

Francis Jeffers is often looked upon by Arsenal fans as a player who has so much promise of being a successful striker, to somebody who is often looked upon as one of the biggest flops to have ever signed for our club. In addition, Francis Jeffers also cost Arsenal £10,000,000. That’s the same as Thierry Henry, over double Patrick Vieira, and around 90x Kolo Toure. Is it really worth the risk?

Richard Wright, another English player who joined Arsenal as an English player with lots of promise. He cost Arsenal Football Club a reported £6,000,000. Unfortunately, he only made 12 appearances, and is once again considered another flop amongst Arsenal fans. Once again, putting things into perspective, this is almost 4x Jens Lehmann, rekindling the question. Are English players really worth the risk?

Meanwhile, despite Arsenal’s first team appearing to lack immediate English players, they do host a large amount of English talent, coming through the youth system. Justin Hoyte, for example, is a player who has come through the Arsenal rankings as a schoolboy, and currently lurks on the brink of a consistent Arsenal squad player. Theo Walcott is another prime example that Wenger is willing to pay money for young, English talent. The young winger/striker cost Arsenal more money than Kolo Toure, Cesc Fabregas and Tomas Rosicky combined, proving that Wenger has faith in English talent.

In addition, Arsenal also have many English players currently coming through the ranks. Jack Wilshere and Henri Lansbury have both been described as players whom Wenger hopes to blood into the first team in the season of 08/09. In fact, Mark Randall fact gained his first appearance for the Arsenal first team in the last game of the season, away at Sunderland.

Does Wenger really need to learn off the previous successes of Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea teams, or does our youth system prove that he has it under control? Can Arsenal really win trophies with an ‘all-foreign team’, or do we need British grit running through the system? Are English players worth the money that the transfer market value them at, or is it a better option for Wenger to do his Summer signing ‘away from home’?

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17 Responses to Do Arsenal need English players?

  1. Harry says:


    That’s why England won the World Cup, because of their English spine, organs and skin.

    If only Italy had had that mythical steel.

  2. racist bullsh1t stfu already. There aren’t enough good english players to go around. There arent even 11 decent ones. Might as well get some more Croatians right? They seemed to out hustle England.

  3. Jay says:

    All the good English players worth signing are already at Chelsea, ManU, and Liverpool.

    We have our own world class potential English player coming through the academy in Wilshere, Lansbury, Thomas, Cruise, and plenty more.

  4. James says:

    I think Arsenal FC’s youth system will eventually churn out big names.

    As Wenger said earlier this off season – Big Players are better than Big Names.

    If we buy English players for the sake of buying English players, then that will prove fruitless (as it has done before)

    If Wenger can develop the talent himself, I think they have a better chance of not being a flop.

  5. KLVon says:

    Crazy to buy English players just because they are English. At Arsenal we play the best team, and if there is no English player in the team, then so be it.

    Then again, your assertion that English referees tend to favour English players like JT or Lamps or Rooney does make sense. We can all witness it every weekend. That’s why England did not qualify for Euro 2008, and may never qualify for WC2010. That’s England’s problem, not Arsenal’s.

    We have technically gifted players who can walk into England’s team anytime, but we need grit in defence, and you can get that from non-English players. We need a Vieira, or a Roy Keane. They are not English. So, in conclusion, we do not need English players, we need experienced and gritty players. If they happen to be English, then fine with me.

  6. duck says:

    If english players are good enough, they’ll be playing in Euro 08. Don’t blame the manager, he is not the one playing in the field.

  7. chris says:

    It would definately keep the referees off our backs.Maybe less biased against us!!!!!!!!!

  8. EugeneX says:

    I do think that English players are important for an English club. There haven’t to be many, but as already said in the article, a core of 2 or 3 are enough.

    There aren’t at the moment a lot of English players available. But there is for instance Richards at City, who is an Arsenal fan. I think a player like that would be worth breaking the bank. He’s young, he’s proven and, as an Arsenal fan, he would give everything for the team.

    With Richards and Walcott in the team and Randall, Wilshere and Lansbury coming through, Arsenal would have a great core of English players, which would be very important for the identity of the team. And this is by no means racist, as I am not English myself.

  9. El Niso says:

    You need english players to win the english league do you get that

  10. Dom says:

    We do need English players to get the media, the MOTD pundits, SkySports commentators, referees, UEFA bigwigs & some fans off the club’s back. As much as there had been some terrible things happening in this season’s run for the League everyone in the media has turned doomsayers for Arsenal. I think the only exception would be Gary Lineker.
    But does it matter what they say as they are not the ones we are playing against in the field? I think it does as it is part of the psychological battle of the whole competition. About building belief in the team that they can win it. Even after a string late wins against good teams the media were still downplaying Arsenal’s legitimate fight for the Championship.
    There is always the slur in the ITV’s coverage of Arsenal games that the team is all too foreign to be branded an English club. A fact which even non-English fans are taking notice. But I hope that the excellent line of local talents will prove Arsenal’s approach to the modern game correct. Buy foreign on the cheap & nurture English talents who will hopefully get better & better playing alongside their overseas teammates.

  11. Goofle says:

    I’m sure that English lad Chris Ronald was the main reason for Manchester United’s success. All of those foreigners at Arsenal are the reason that they were only five points clear in the title race and screwed it up with a mixture of flimsy foreign bones (Eduardo) and horrible foreign luck…

  12. robson says:

    Yes we do. Micah Richards would be an immense signing for us. Better than Gallas already, quicker and stronger, beast in the air! As someone said above he’s an Arsenal fan, we need someone like that definatly.

  13. John says:

    That doesn’t mean we need English players, does it? Take your head out of The Sun’s ass and smell the coffee.

  14. V_F says:

    How many Englishment did we have in the invincibles team?

    Sol Campbell? Ashley Cole? Maybe one or 2 key players is the magic number…and we’re halfway there with Theo…

  15. Jack Halford says:

    In reference to the original article. The editor of this said that ‘Rooney, Ferdinand and Scholes are the backbone of Man. United which is pretty well correct. He then went on to say that the ‘Cockney Reds’ in relation to Man.United !!
    Cockney is a person who was born within the sound of bow bells in Londons east End !!

  16. Nirgoon says:

    Not at all!!! England didn’t even qualify for Euro 2008 this year so how do you expect us to buy them!!!
    So think about it!!!

  17. clau says:

    ashley cole te amo sos un pedasito de chocolate como me lo comeria te re pero re amo yo claudia

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