Roy Hodgson commonly receives criticism for selecting Manchester United players in his England squads, but recent squad selections and statistics confirm the club is almost certainly the most valuable for the National Team.
I have been confused in the past by the comments regarding a bias towards United players when the England squads are announced, as these players tend to be playing for a side at the top of the Premier League – therefore performing better than the rest.
But with United struggling this season I had a little delve into some statistics after I saw a tweet from former United captain and now England coach, Gary Neville. His tweet stated that 12 of the 18 players picked in United’s match day squad against West Ham United were either English or from the club’s Youth Academy. Not only does that show the value United has for homegrown players and the development they are giving them, but it is important for England.
In a League overflowing with foreign imports, we hear frequent moaning and criticism regarding a lack of British players and homegrown talents. But United continues to provide this category of players with game time at the top level as they have done for many years. Seven English players were in United’s match day squad on Saturday against West Ham.
Many other clubs provide a decent amount of English players on their squads. Liverpool, for example, had five, but few other top sides have as many with such importance for England. Manchester City have named a lineup this season that doesn’t include one British player.
Out of the seven United players who have played under Hodgson’s England leadership they have produced 20 goals. That is more than double the next best total from a Premier League club. Frank Lampard scored six for England, which was the next best total goals from Chelsea players.
Liverpool has had more England call ups under Hodgson than any other club with nine players. So a comment must be given to their importance to the England set up too, but perhaps the conclusion from this is that fickle comments that suggest there is a bias towards United players playing for England are in fact utter nonsense.