Premier League: No more “E” in the EPL

The Barclays Premier League badge (Photo by AMA/Corbis via Getty Images)
The Barclays Premier League badge (Photo by AMA/Corbis via Getty Images) /

As the transfer season staggers along a reoccurring fixture remains the growing diversity within the EPL, with special consideration given to the top six earning English clubs—Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham.

With statistical backing and club make up, the composition of the EPL should be considered a contributing factor to the lack of success of the English national team. Further investigation into line ups and performance should be considered in the foresight of league play and holistic view of national prowess.

Unlike league leaders of the other European power leagues, including: German Budesliga, Italian Serie A, Spanish La Liga, French Ligue 1, the top clubs of annual relevance in the EPL are comprised primarily of international pieces.

With clubs like Barcelona and Bayern Munich comprising themselves of primarily national players, these clubs serve as farm units for national play enhancing chemistry and ensuring high level experience. This lack of cohesive play due to a more disenfranchised domestic league has spelled recent trouble for the former national powerhouse that is England. League evolution has shown itself to move away from native talent and into international excellence, coinciding with recent budget expansions and Champions League performance issues.

(Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images) /

With the exception of the tremendous rise of Harry Kane in recent years in cultivating a more quality Tottenham side, the EPL spotlight has shown brighter and wider on international footballers in recent years.

One might argue that the play of Leicester City and English national Jamie Vardy should be a strong candidate to sway this pattern, however statistical and run of play analysis would offer that Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez was more vital to the league champions.

With stunning runs and the ability to beat defenders one on one, Mahrez tallied nearly double as many assists as Vardy (11) while collecting a more than fair 17 goals. Furthermore, the work of Mahrez is most epitomized by his resounding 83 fouls suffered compared to just 29 for Vardy, allowing the Foxes to have crucial free kick opportunities and slow play.

In consideration of the aforementioned top six (revenue) clubs, non-English players embodied their teams level of talent and transfer prospects. Top ten league stat sheets support the idea of a growing international focus.

The likes of Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil, Vincent Kompany, Sergio Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne, Willian and so on have demonstrated a suitable standard for EPL league leaders that Englishmen have come to lack on a substantial scale.

The development of young talents have of late shown less promise than previously given due, including Jack Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and the likes. With an aging field of talent that consist of Jermaine Defoe, Wayne Rooney, and John Terry, the English national team suffers from a lack of youthful talent in their top domestic clubs.

With the movement of old stalwarts Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard into what has become the retirement league (MLS), the EPL has grown into a more diverse league that seeks to further develop this culture with interleague transfers (i.e. Ibrahimovic).

The English division 1 league has quickly grown into the most diverse major league consisting of 60-plus nationalities. Although domestic footballers remain the top participant, the fact that their participation only amount to just over 36 percent (2015/2016) of total league involvement is even further diminished by the fact that bottom table delegation potential teams like Burnley consist of nearly full English lineups.

Although the FA has commented on this trend saying that the waning domestic percentiles are “not bad”, the fact remains that the current national squad is primarily composed of second tier EPL talent from teams that has of recent failed to perform at a meaningful level (Man United, Liverpool, Everton).

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Furthermore, only a single player from each of the top two teams, Leicester City and Arsenal, are selections for the national squad. The lack of domestic talent in England’s Premier League should not only be a growing concern for national team play, but also for a fan base that desires local heroes.