Other Than The Clubs Is Anything Else “Local” About The Local Derbies This Weekend?

Posted: December 10, 2017 in Arsenal, Chelsea, European Football, Football, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Pep Guardiola, Tottenham Hotspur
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The first derby of the weekend was at The London Stadium and featured West Ham United against Chelsea.

The West Ham team, with Joe Hart dropped to the bench, featured Michail Antonio, Aaron Cresswell and Mark Noble. These were the lone English players in the team unless their loser of a manager was to spring a surprise and include a youth player or two, which he didn’t.

(He didn’t even include Javier Hernandez, who has scored more goals against Chelsea than he has against any other club)!


So representing Alf Garnett’s favourite team in a “local” derby was a Scouser and TWO Cockneys! Yes folks, Michail Antonio and Mark Noble are from Wandsworth and Canning Town respectively!

On the other side, Chelsea fielded a team which included their only Englishman Gary Cahill who is from Dronfield, (Derbyshire for those of you not in the know), so nothing local about the Chelsea team.

Anyway, regardless of the city of origin of the players, Chelsea contrived to lose this game, a result which, if Manchester City win tomorrow, effectively ends their title hopes as the gap between them will be 14 points and no team has ever chased down that big a difference.


On Sunday, Liverpool face Everton at Anfield and the red side of Merseyside could field a few English players, but they probably won’t.

Joe Gomez, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Adam Lallana, Jordan Henderson, Jon Flanagan, Trent Alexaner-Arnold, Nathaniel Clyne, James Milner and Daniel Sturridge are all recognised names throughout the Premier League but the likelihood is that only Henderson from Sunderland, Oxlade-Chamberlain from Portsmouth and Joe Gomez from Catford will start the game.

At some stage of play James Milner and Daniel Sturridge may come on and they are from Leeds and Birmingham respectively.


Everton, as well as having the most available English players of all the derby contenders this weekend, actually have a few Scousers who could play but, again, they will probably field just three of them and the starting eleven is likely to include Jordan Pickford from Washington, Mason Holgate from Doncaster, Michael Keane from Stockport, Phil Jagielka from Manchester, Aaron Lennon from Leeds, Dominic Calvert-Lewin from Sheffield and, possibly, the three Scousers in Tom Davies, Leighton Baines and Wayne Rooney.

And so to Manchester United against Manchester City at Old Trafford where English players will be hard to spot. They will be there, we assure you, but finding them may be difficult.

Starting with the away team and City are likely to include Kyle Walker, Fabian Delph and Raheem Sterling. Not much of a Mancunian connection there but at least two of them are northerners with Walker hailing from Sheffield and Delph from Bradford. Sterling was  actually born in Kingston, Jamaica but has taken English nationality.


United will have a Mancunian in their matchday squad and José Mourinho will probably include him the team.

Marcus Rashford is from Wythenshawe in Manchester and will be the only one on the field to have any genuine emotion about the game.

United’s other English players are likely to be Donkey Smalling from Greenwich, Ashley Young from Stevenage and Jesse Lingard from Warrington which, despite denials from certain sources, makes him closer to being a Scouser than a Manc.

So if our team selections are anywhere near correct the three big derby games this weekend will include, between them, about 25 English players out of the 66 who will start the games, with around six of them being from the city they are representing. So much for “local” derbies!

The managers fare no better with the six teams being managed by a Scot, a German, a Spaniard, a Portuguese, an Italian and an ENGLISHMAN! Yes, there is an Englishman in there but not very local. Sam Allardyce is from Dudley, near Wolverhampton.

So what is actually local about these games? Well, they are played in the city of origin of the teams in question and that’s about it.

When the Manchester derby will have only ONE Mancunian on the pitch and only another ONE, Brian Kidd, in either of the dugouts then it is probably time to find another name to describe these games.

Yes, for the fans it is a game between THEIR teams but for the players nowadays, it is nothing more than a very well paid job and the teams are merely their employers, not much emotion in that.

  1. J Nunn says:

    Errrr OK mate. The definition of a derby is a game between two CLUBS who are local rivals who gives a damn where their players are from? If the premier league only had English players it would be f***ing boring and we would lose every European match, or have you never watched our national side?

    This just sounds like another rant by some xenophobic old git who wants things to go back to the good old days when he could still get hard without pills and everyone in England was white.

    If you don’t like the way football is going then don’t watch it princess!


    • Editor says:

      Thanks for the comment. I must admit I think you are over-analysing and being hyper-critical of an article which is basically just saying that times have changed and pointing out how.
      Also, the article doesn’t dispute the meaning of the word derby, it just questions how “local” it is nowadays, other than the proximity of the teams because, apart from that there is nothing local about them.


    • Bernard Kroczek says:

      I found the article somewhat witty and entertaining, if not tongue in cheek.


      • Editor says:

        Thanks Bernard. It’s nice to see that someone is taking the article in the manner it was intended rather than trying to find some deep-rooted, non-existent, anti-everything plot!


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