Crazy Sepp Blatter wants a quota on foreign players in European teams; each club would only be allowed to have five foreign players in its starting XI. Blatter sees this as the solution to encouraging home-grown talent, but, honestly, we’re too far down the line to go back to such a quota system, and anyway there’s no way the collective lawyers for all of Europe’s big clubs will let this happen.
But in the interest of pub debate, we asked each of our Pies club websites to come up with the best starting XI that could be picked under such rules. They came up with the following (English players in italics):
Man Utd Ben Foster, Gary Neville, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra, Cristiano Ronaldo, Owen Hargreaves, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Carlos Tevez, Wayne Rooney
Chelsea Petr Cech, Ashley Cole, John Terry, Ricardo Carvalho, Paolo Ferreira, Joe Cole, Sean Wright-Phillips, Steve Sidwell, Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba, Andriy Shevchenko
Arsenal Jens Lehmann, Justin Hoyte, Paul Rodgers, Matthew Connolly, William Gallas, Kieran Gibbs, Cesc Fabregas, Mark Randall, Theo Walcott, Robin van Persie, Emmanuel Adebayor
Liverpool Scott Carson, Steve Finnan, Jack Hobbs, Jamie Carragher, Dan Agger, Fabio Aurelio, Jermain Pennant, Steven Gerrard, Xabi Alonso, Peter Crouch, Fernando Torres
Spurs Paul Robinson, Gareth Bale, Ledley King, Michael Dawson, Pascal Chimbonda, Steed Malbranque, Jermaine Jenas, Tom Huddlestone, Aaron Lennon, Dimitar Berbatov, Robbie Keane
I think it’s fair to say that of the big five, Arsenal would suffer the most, by some distance – the English players they would bring in would mostly be young, unproven players, whereas the other four teams listed at least have more choice.
Of the five starting XIs listed, which one do you think would fare the best in the Prem?