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Hodgson 'disadvantaged' by Premier League

ESPN staff
April 17, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Roy Hodgson believes his England options are limited by the Premier League's cosmopolitan squads © PA Photos
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England head coach Roy Hodgson has voiced his concerns that the Premier League has reduced the number of home-grown players available for England selection.

The former Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion manager said that while players from overseas have improved the standard of football in England, it has come at the cost of starting roles for English players in the top flight and beyond.

"A lot of games that I go to don't have any English players," Hodgson told Sky Sports News. "We'll have to be really careful these days when talking about the Barclays Premier League - talking about the 'Englishness' of it - because more than two-thirds of the players playing in it aren't English.

"We have one of the lowest numbers of home-grown players to choose from from all the leagues which, if you're a national team manager, is not a great advantage to be frank."

England currently trail Montenegro in their World Cup qualifying group, and cannot afford many slip-ups in a tough run-in if they are to qualify automatically for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

But while Hodgson is concerned by the shortage of Premier League players available for England, he stressed that the foreign imports had enriched the experience for those English players playing and training alongside some of the world's greatest players.

"We've got a top, top-class league, but it's really European in nature because we're importing players from other countries - not only from Europe but also South America," he noted.

"We're getting the benefits of their culture, of their way of playing, and I always feel that must be very educative for young players growing up in those environments, playing in those clubs.

"They have not only the benefits of their own culture and the country but also what they're learning from the players around them who will have a lot of things to bring to the team."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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