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Premiership strength is England's weakness - Sven


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Rubbish, rubbish and rubbish. Italian world cup winning team does not contain any foreign league players. Brazil have a mas exodusof massively talented players yet they did poorly in the world cup. Of course, it is very good if the English players could play abroad. I am always puzzled why there are hardly English players playing abroad, when those who have had generally done well. However, it does not mean that English players not playing abroad is the key reason to England's poor performance in the world cup. The manager's incompetency, or the manager's failure, is mainly to blame.


Premiership strength is England's weakness - Sven


Sven-Goran Eriksson claims the economic strength of the Premiership could be undermining England's chances of success in international football.


The former England manager claims it would benefit the national team if more senior internationals played in Spain's Primera Liga or Italy's Serie A.


However each player called up for last month's friendly against Holland was England-based, and only David Beckham and Owen Hargreaves of Eriksson's World Cup squad play their club football abroad.


Beckham was prised away from Manchester United by Real Madrid in 2003 for £24million, while Canada-born Hargreaves has spent his entire career with Bayern.


Eriksson believes there is little prospect of any England footballer leaving the Premiership, because of the high fees paid and demanded domestically, which contrast with more modest transfers in mainland Europe.


'There are only two English players playing outside England which means that the Premiership is economically very strong,' Eriksson told TakeSport, free with the Evening Standard in London every Friday afternoon.


'It is hard for a club to buy a player from the Premiership because it costs too much.'


England have not reached a World Cup final since 1966.


At the 1990 World Cup they reached the semi-finals, and matched that at the 1996 European Championship, however since then no manager has been able to lead the team beyond the last eight of either tournament.


Eriksson's sides fell at the quarter-final stage at two World Cups and also at Euro 2004.


Despite the experience of England's players in the Champions League and UEFA Cup, Eriksson believes his squad would have been better prepared if several senior men had played club football abroad.


'The lack of exposure of home-grown English players is one of the contributing factors,' said 58-year-old Eriksson.


'Yes it would be better for England if more English players were in Italy or Spain because I think you become a better footballer if you experience different playing styles.'


On the other hand, out of topic, it is a stupid and naive idea to think that a quota for home grown players would help a country's football success. There are always winners and losers. If all UEFA countries have the quota, does that mean all UEFA countries will have higher chance of winng European Championship or World Cup? Football is a global sport, football is the biggest global common interest that transcend politics, race, religions, you name it. The limelight is on European teams undoubtedly, but football has helped and contributed to a lot of third world countries. I pay my money to be entertained by good football, and the rivalry and sentiments that come with it. I do not pay money to football to promote nationalisms. Fact is, Premiership has never been a better shape before. All English clubs top their Champions League or UEFA Cup group stage. Without the likes of Lampard, Terry, Scholes, Neville, Gerrard, Carragher, Parker, Butt, Bentley, King, Dawson etc this feat would never be achieved. But without the likes of Makelele, Cavalho, Alonso, Reina, Vidic, Saha etc the feat couldn't be achieved either. Fact is, the best players are neede, whether they are English or not.


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