Entertainment News

Premier League, most-watched, but also the bane for England football

London, July 12 (IANS) England may be host to Premier League football, the world’s most followed sports league and one that attracts some of the best soccer talent from around the world, but it is yet to produce a national team that can win a major international trophy.

It has been 55 years, but no big international trophy has come home.

The Premier League generates over USD 2 billion a year in domestic and international television rights, beams into 643 million homes but still cannot give an XI to England that can win a major trophy.

England’s fellow European nations like Spain and Italy as well France and Germany, who have much smaller leagues, have managed to produce champion national sides.

Ahead of the Euro 2020 final, Italy’s manager Roberto Mancini had expressed confidence that his team will come out trumps against England due to their superior technical game.

“England are physically stronger than us all over the park, not just in midfield, but football is played with the ball to feet, so we hope technique can win out,” Manicini had said.

The Premier League is brilliant to watch, fast-paced with plenty of action which is why it is believed that it beats other leagues in fan-following.

But that has also turned out to be its bane. There is less respect for technique needed against top sides.

English players, most of them groomed in Premier League, have played exciting football throughout Euro 2020.

Just three in their squad of 26 play club football outside England — Kieran Tripper for Atletico Madrid in Spain, Jude Bellingham and Jadon Sancho for Borussia Dortmund in Germany. The rest are in the English Premier League.

However, as it was clear from their run in Euro 2020, they prevailed over the relatively weaker teams with their physicality and aggression but came unstuck against a team that seemed technically superior to them.

England’s run to the final included wins over Ukraine (quarterfinals) and Denmark (semifinals). Though they prevailed over Croatia, Czech Republic and Germany, they also drew with Scotland.

Critics have blamed Premier League as the reason behind England football’s failure.

Premiership has also failed to provide a platform to the young and emerging English talent.

Unlike the most watched domestic T20 cricket league in the world, the Indian Premier League (IPL) which restricts a franchise from fielding more than four foreign players and ensures opportunities to local Indian players, the Premier League in England has no such restrictions.

So there are plenty of foreign players in top-flight even as quite a few of the young English talent is playing in the lower divisions, losing opportunity to learn with the best in Premier League.

A Premier League club needs to have eight home-grown players out of its squad of 25 — i.e. those eight need to have been groomed at the club’s academy. However, the rule doesn’t specify the nationality of the home-grown players. They could be foreigners, not necessarily English, who have trained at the academy.

Experts feel that unless this rules changes, English football will continue to struggle.

–IANS

kh/akm

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