Tag Archives: Chelsea

The International Makeup of the Premier and Non League

The Premier League has been famed for the international stars it attracts as a league for a long time. Since the dawn of the Premier League era, players have flocked from all over the world to come in play what the English media certainly believe to be ‘the best league in the world.’

The introduction of so many foreign players into the domestic English game (223 with an average of 11 per club) has often been blamed for poor performances by the Three Lions at major tournaments.

But where do these so called international stars come from? And how come other countries are able to flourish with almost as many foreign players in their leagues and with many of their players playing overseas anyway, frequently, in the Premier League?

We took a look at the makeup of the Premier League’s different nationalities by seeing which countries are most frequently attracted to often a much colder and wetter climate in the search of football stardom.

Most Common Nationalities in EPL
Most of the chart above probably wouldn’t surprise most readers. The combined effect of both Arsene Wenger and Alan Pardew’s (at Newcastle) liking for French and francophone players has significantly boosted the contingent of players from across the channel playing in the EPL; the same can be said for the reasonably high number of Ivorian and Senegalese players. But the number of Dutch, Spanish and Argentine players may come as surprise, especially when everyone is always saying how many Belgians there seem to be in England’s top tier. The breakdown of foreign player by club makes more interesting reading:
Foreign Players by Club

  It would seem that Chelsea’s success in winning the league at a canter this year has come at the expense of blooding young English talent, or English players of any age for that matter with Gary Cahill and John Terry the only regulars and senior domestic names of note in the whole squad. The same approach hasn’t worked quite the same wonders for John Carver’s Newcastle who are flirting dangerously with relegation. Likewise already relegated Burnley look to have paid for backing homegrown players. West Ham and Spurs also are no longer the bastions of young Englishmen that they have been in years gone by with Sam Allardyce and Mauricio Pochettino seemingly favouring the foreign approach to the game. Perhaps the best way to paint the picture of an arguable surplus of foreign players in the top flight, is to look at the situation at the other end of the scale, in the Conference Premier.

Conference Nationalities

Again France leads the way, with Australia in a close second – but even from the evidence of internationals simply playing in the basement before the promised land of League 2 and the Football League, shows that there are significantly less foreign players plying their trade at the lower level.

Conference Foreign Players
Again, by casting one’s eye over the breakdown of foreign players by club, it is again clear that local and domestic players are the favoured choice of lower league managers. Even if Lincoln look like the Chelsea of the Conference way out in front on the chart, they still only have four players from outside of the UK.

 

Compared to other domestic leagues in Europe, the level of domestic players playing in the Premier League and even in the Championship is much lower, and the results of the national teams at the Euros and World Cups really bears out the point that while plucking talent from across the globe ensures an exciting and vibrant league each season, it can only damage the growth of homegrown talent.

Chelsea Boss Pays Tribute To Departing Star

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has paid tribute to departing shot stopper Mark Schwarzer, who has left the Stamford Bridge to join Premier League side Leicester City.

Schwarzer has found opportunities limited at the Blues since joining them from Fulham as second choice goalkeeper in the summer of 2013.

He spent five years at Fulham prior to moving to Chelsea, but left before last season kicked off, a year in which the London side were relegated to the Championship.

The Australian goalkeeper has spent the majority of his careeer in English football, having previously played for both Bradford City and Middlesbrough in the English top flight.

His move to Leicester comes after the long term injury suffered by Kasper Schmeichel.

Schwarzer made only four appearances for Chelsea while at Stamford Bridge, and saw his place as second choice goalkeeper taken over by Petr Cech this season after the return of Thibaut Courtois from his loan spell.

Mourinho was full of praise for the 42 year old Schwarzer, telling the press after Chelsea’s FA Cup win on Sunday: “He was a fantastic guy for us.

“As a goalkeeper when we needed him he was there for us. On behalf of myself and the group we wish him all the best.”

Mourinho: Courtois will return to Chelsea next season

Thibaut Courtois

Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Thibaut Courtois, considered to be one of the best goalkeepers in the world, will return to parent club Chelsea next season, according to BBC Sport.

Courtois has impressed over the last few seasons whilst playing for Atletico Madrid. Atletico reached the Champions League final and won La Liga last season with Courtois in net, and many have called for his inclusion at Chelsea next season, in spite of the generally good form of current first choice Petr Cech.

Mourinho has finally confirmed that Courtois will return, something that should be seen as a positive by most Chelsea fans. There is little that he still has to work on, a commanding figure both between the sticks and in the penalty area, possibly in a manner that Cech has not been since his infamous cranial injury.

Chelsea will be looking to improve on their performance last year, which saw them finish the season trophy-less and in third place.