Best of British.
Tottenham have in recent times been one of the very few Premiership clubs that could genuinely boast a team that was all English or at least British, but is that about to change and also do we really care?
With the exception of a keeper, as I exclude any players that have yet to actually play for the senior side, We could comfortably pick an outfield of Walker, Dawson, Caulker, Naughton, Huddlestone, Parker, Lennon, Bale Carroll, Defoe and though it might not challenge for the top four, you feel it would comfortably hold its own in the Prem and is on paper, better than many sides currently sitting comfortably in the mid table positions. That is a pretty decent XI and also excludes the likes of Jake Livermore and the potentially returning Townsend and Rose, to name just three, but we also know that several of this group of players will be moved on or pushed down the pecking order this summer, and I don't see too many home born players being touted to take there place.
It is not inconceivable that as many as half of that thirteen players mentioned, will be out of the club this summer, as we get linked with a host of Brazilians and other foreign players, that appear to excite us as fans and potentially look to take us from contenders to winners, or at least top four regulars, as well as challenging for silverware. Of course we can look at that list and argue that they are not quite good enough to take us forward and anyone who studies the international scene and watched the U-21 championships, will sadly concede that as a nation we are not producing the quality or quantity of player to win at home, let alone abroad, but as a fan, does it really matter to you, where your heroes are from or is it all about success?
Aside of Carroll, Townsend and Rose, you don't honestly see anyone else that is definitely ready to step into the current Spurs squad next season, and none would probably get into our first team, if we were picking our strongest XI. Others such as Alex Pritchard, may well become great Spurs players, but the truth is that they are probably at least another season away from making a breakthrough, if of course they maintain their current rate of development. There has been very little talk of our even looking at British players, with perhaps only Tom Ince, Callum MacManaman and James McCarthy (I know he is from the ROI) being even remotely considered and what are the odds that they will go to a mid table Prem side, as none of the current big boys will take the gamble and instead prefer proven and perhaps even cheaper foreign options?
Of course we are now very much a global arena, and winning or at least achieving a top four place is now the only thing that matters, but is this not only taking away some of the closeness that fans have traditionally felt towards players, who had a logistical link with the club and came through the ranks the hard way, whilst what the hell happens to the international game, should the current 30(ish) per cent of English players becomes twenty-five, twenty or even less? Do we care and for that matter should we care? We have all mocked Arsenal for their regularly playing an all foreign XI, but is there a danger that before long, they have more English players in their active squad than we do?
We know we can love foreign players and it is something that we as fans have done for several decades, from the arrival of Ossie and Ricky, we could class ourselves as innovators of bringing in a sparkling of talent from abroad, but can we imagine that in the not too distant future, we, like Arsenal and others, could regularly field an all foreign line-up and how will that make you feel?...