Friday, March 10, 2006


Pardew Slams Arsenal

Alan Pardew has criticised Arsenal on their lack of homegrown players. The last British player to appear for the Gunners was Sol Campbell, who went home in disgrace at halftime againt the Irons.

"I saw a headline saying Arsenal are flying the flag for Britain in the Champions League," said the West Ham boss. "But I had to wonder where that British involvement was when I saw the team. Every English club should carry at least three British players in the first team. The foreign players have added massively to our game, but the soul of the club is the homegrown players and they should be integrated into that team. It is important we don't lose sight that this is the English Premier League and English players should be involved. I know it is difficult to buy British players because the market is expensive. Chelsea are in a position where they can pay over the odds to bring in those players whereas we have had to search through the lower divisions to do that and Dean Ashton was the only player we had to pay top money for."

West Ham currently have 25 British players on the books (20 English, 3 Welsh, one Scottish, and one Northern Irish), 9 of whom are usually named in the starting eleven (barring injuries). Only eight West Ham players are foreign - and that includes an Irishman and an Australian. Oh, and of course the manager is English!

In contrast Arsenal have 11 British (all English) players and one Irish in their squad of 39. Of these, only two (Sol Campbell and Ashley Cole) play regularly for their side when in form and uninjured. The remainder have only a handful of appearances between them.

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