Neville: Reliance on foreigners killing English football
Former England and Manchester United defender Gary Neville believes that clubs in England must stop relying on foreign talent to keep English football alive.
Neville witnessed England's demise at the World Cup first hand as Roy Hodgson's assistant in Brazil as the Three Lions crashed out of the group stages with just one point.
The 39-year-old believes that England's football standards will continue to decline if English clubs continue to hire foreign players and deny British talent a chance to make a name for themselves.
He said: "We are slowly killing ourselves. Twenty five years ago, Liverpool had Irish and Scottish players. United had Scottish players, Irish players, Welsh players.
"All the top four, five and six teams did – now there’s none in the top six. There are a few English players, but they’re dwindling fast. We all laugh at what is happening to Scotland and Ireland, but it’s happening to England too.
"That's not an excuse for our World Cup performance this summer as we should have done a lot better. But kids are getting blocked left, right and centre, and there’s no pathway through for them.
"You can say if you’re good enough you’ll get through, and that may still be the case. But there’s certainly less opportunity and it’s a big problem in English football."
The former right-back thinks that the Premier League must follow the example of leading football countries like recent World Cup winners Spain and Germany.
Neville said: "In Spain and Germany they're at 60 per cent with homegrown players in their teams, we’re at 35 per cent. The fact is there’s a balance and I think 50-50 is about right.
"But at this moment in time we're killing ourselves, there's no doubt about it."
Sources: Mirror Online, Mail Online