Saturday, June 23, 2018

English players should be given opportunities at top EPL clubs

Everton midfielder Ross Barkley is one of the brightest young English midfielders in the Premier League

Everton midfielder Ross Barkley is one of the brightest young English players in the Premier League

The England national team has long disappointed in tournament football.

However, the claim that England does produce great players is rubbish. In the next seven days England face crucial World Cup qualifiers against Poland and Montenegro.

There is a concern that Roy Hodgson side may not even qualify for next year’s tournament in Brazil.

How has English football got into such a state that even qualifying for a World Cup has been made to look so hard?


Very few English players get their chance in top Premier League teams. However, players are being produced, but they are not used or coached in the correct manner, so a lot end up on the football scrapheap.

The likes of talented youngsters Ross Barkley and Andros Townsend are in the current England squad. Both have been given their chance in the first team of teams that finished in the top six of the Premier League last season.

The pair have impressed for Everton and Tottenham respectively this season, after being given the chance. Barkley is rated as one of the most promising young midfielders in Europe and is starting to live-up to the hype that has surrounded him since his mid-teens.

Townsend has established himself in midfield for Tottenham this season, despite the fact that Spurs spend around hundred million on players this summer. It’s a testament to the youngster’s determination that he has stayed in the Spurs team.


Both Townsend and Barkley have gained playing experience by spending time on loan at smaller clubs. Townsend’s latest loan spell came at Spurs London rivals QPR last season. Meanwhile Barkley had loan spells at Championship sides Leeds and Sheffield Wednesday last season.

Those temporarily moves have no doubt helped the players develop into better players. If they had stayed at their parent clubs they were unlikely to get much game time. Then-Everton boss David Moyes seemed unsure about whether Barkley was ready for the first team, despite giving the youngster his debut.

Townsend stood little chance of getting in the Tottenham team last season, as Gareth Bale was his direct competition for a place on the left-wing. While the likes of Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Jan Vertonghen were competing for the left-back spot.

Townsend impressed while on-loan at Rangers, but Barkley received mixed reviews from his time in the second tier. However, both are currently holding down a regular first team place at their respectively clubs.


These two are examples to young English players everywhere and of what can be achieved with talent and determination. In the future no doubt both these players will have international careers, but neither is likely to start the upcoming friendlies, despite being in the squad.

England boss Roy Hodgson will probably play it safe in the next two games, to ensure that the Three Lions make the World Cup in Brazil next year.  I am sure both players will be given a chance to impress in friendlies, if England qualify that is.


A lot of the current England squad are getting on in years. The likes of Ashley Cole, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard are in their thirties. Replacements are needed for these sorts of players and if young English players are not getting their chance in the Premier League then where will they come from?

The majority of English clubs would rather bring in a cheap foreign player than spend big money on overpriced English talent. However, players that come through big clubs academy are often lost to lower league football because they get demoralised by the fact that they are not getting the chance at top-flight clubs.


English football must change and quick or the standard of the national team will decrease even more so than in recent years. The FA are trying to make changes to the English game by creating the facilities at St Georges Park.

The facility is a year old today and was implemented to try and improve the quality of coaching amongst coaches at both club and international level. No doubt there has been a dearth of quality English coaches in the past and I must admit that the FA seem to now have a better understanding of where things have gone wrong in the last few decades.

An improvement in coaching standards from grass roots level will help English football move forward. Then more talented young British players may have the attitude and determination to break through into Premier League teams.


Ross Barkley and Andros Townsend, plus the likes of Jack Wilshere, Wilfried Zaha and Raheem Sterling are the future of the English team. These sorts of players need to start playing for their club sides. Otherwise their undoubted talent could go to waste.

The England national team has suffered from the lack of youngsters given their chance at big clubs and poor coaching in recent years. Hopefully both of these factors will change in the near future and fans of the Three Lions will no longer have to put up with such disappointing displays from their national team.

Are English youngsters good enough to play for top Premier League clubs?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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