Arsenal’s Policy Means England Will Win The 2018 World Cup, Just Like Liverpool Did In 1978
ARSENAL Balls: Are English players more loyal to their English clubs than foreigners?
Arsène Wenger answers:
“When you buy a player from Barcelona at some stage he might want to go back because Barcelona is a big club as well.”
Take that, Cesc Fàbregas, you footballing mercenary.
But Wenger adds:
“I am very proud when I see five England players wearing the Arsenal shirt and that we have Theo Walcott, who is not there [because of injury], because for long years I have been accused of not developing English players.”
Of those five loyal Englishmen, three came from Southampton – Calum Chambers, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott; Danny Welbeck was recruited from Manchester United; Kieran Gibbs signed from Wimbledon; and Jack Wilshere joined, albeit at a very young age, from Luton Town.
Wenger is too wily to fall into a trap, though:
“I cannot say Welbeck was planned for five years, it was a coincidence. I try to buy the best English players, Walcott and Chambers are a consequence of that. Why do they come here? They know if they are good they get a chance. If they can do well at Arsenal and play for England, England will be strong because they will play against anybody in the world and have five or six players in the team [that] they know how to play [with]. The confidence grows.”
It worked for Barcelona and Spain. It worked less well for others.
In 2010, World Cup- winners Spain featured seven Barcelona players on the field against Paraguay. West Germany featured six Bayern Munich players in the 1974 World Cup final. Italy also featured six players from one club, in this case Juventus, when they played against West Germany in the 1982 World Cup final.
Barcelona, like Bayern and Juventus, were the dominant force in their respective national leagues, winning their national league titles in World Cup winning years. Will Arsenal dominate the Premier League before the World Cup in 2018?
In 1977, six of the Liverpool team that had dominated Enlgish football started England’s 0-0 draw with the mighty Switzerland. It might have been seven, but Kevin Keegan had moved from Liverpool to Hamburg.
How good were England with so many Liverpool winners to pick from?
Well, England failed to qualify for the 1978 World Cup Finals.
So. Will Arsenal dominate the Premier League and trigger English football’s second greatest moment?
In a word… No.