Would A Team Made Up Of Just The English Players From The Five Champion’s League Clubs Still Be In The Competition?

Posted: December 8, 2017 in Arsenal, Chelsea, Football, International Football, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Tottenham Hotspur
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Now that we know that all five English teams have qualified for the knockout stage of the Champion’s League, it got us to thinking how much of an achievement this is.

It also got us to thinking if it would be possible, from all five teams, to come up with a team made up just of English players.

It was a struggle, which somewhat dilutes the achievement of qualification, especially when considering that roughly half of the players in these teams who successfully negotiated the group stage of what used to be called the “EUROPEAN” Cup aren’t even European, never mind English!

We went for a 4-4-2 line-up and came up with this lot.

The first position to fill is goalkeeper and there’s the first problem. Only Tottenham and Arsenal have English goalkeepers in their squads and they are not even second choice, so they wouldn’t get into a Champion’s League team.

There’s nothing else for it! We have to recall Manchester City’s Joe Hart from West Ham so he can play in this team. He may no longer be very good and is certainly going through his “Wayne Rooney” period, but he’s experienced and he’s English!

The two full/wing back positions are a little easier and we put Kyle Walker on the right and Danny Rose on the left. These two provide power and pace and, unlike a lot of present-day wing backs, they can actually defend as well!

Centre backs were also easy-ish as, selecting based on form alone, John Stones and Gary Cahill would probably get the nod. Phil Jones is also playing well and would be a consideration, but the City and Chelsea players would be first choice at the moment.

Midfield is interesting. Raheem Sterling would be an automatic choice on the right side and next to him would be Dele Alli. The left side would be made up of Jordan Henderson and Ashley Young, two players not particularly favoured by this publication but beggars can’t be choosers and they are both currently playing well.

Upfront was the easiest of the lot as Harry Kane just needed to be paired with somebody and we decided on Marcus Rashford who would complement him, score goals and create chances.

So here’s the team:-

6791Joe HartWest Ham (on loan from Manchester City)
6792Kyle WalkerManchester City
7283Danny RoseTottenham Hotspur
6794John StonesManchester City
6305Gary CahillChelsea
6766Jordan HendersonLiverpool
6797Raheem SterlingManchester City
7288Dele AlliTottenham Hotspur
7289Harry KaneTottenham Hotspur
68010Marcus RashfordManchester United
68011Ashley YoungManchester United

Substitutes would be Phil Jones, Adam Lallana, Harry Wicks, Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jesse Lingard, Kieran Trippier, (any available English goalkeeper) and any fringe players from the five clubs that we may have missed.

If this team bears a striking resemblance to another English team, (one which may be paying a short visit to Russia in 2018), that is because most, if not all, of these players will be in that team as well.

Now anybody deluded enough to think that this team would have any chance whatsoever of winning the Champion’s League is also probably sufficiently devoid of footballing know-how to think that they will have to extend their stay in Russia much beyond the group stages.

The first scenario, even if possible, would not produce a team capable of winning Europe’s biggest competition. The second scenario is not only possible but, at some stage, it is even probable and will also result in the failure of an English team to win anything.

We have to apologise for pouring realistic opinions over your evening cornflakes but, the fact of the matter is that, if English clubs had to rely on English, (or even British), players they would never qualify for the knockout stages of any competition, not just the Champion’s League.

How times have changed!

Tell us what you think. Would this team be successful in the Champion’s League? If not, why not?

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