Ferdinand slams 'disgraceful' Newcastle for fielding too few Englishmen (From The Advertiser Series)
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Ferdinand slams 'disgraceful' Newcastle for fielding too few Englishmen
RIO FERDINAND has brandished Newcastle United a “disgrace” for having so few English players in their squad.
In their three Premier League matches this season, the Magpies have named just one English player – Steven Taylor – in their starting line-up. Indeed, with Taylor having been dismissed at Manchester City in the opening fixture, their last two Premier League sides have not contained a single Englishman.
Along with their North-East rivals, Sunderland, Newcastle were one of the clubs criticised by Football Association chairman Greg Dyke when he outlined the problems facing the England national team last week.
And former international Ferdinand has become the latest person to join the chorus of dissent, claiming clubs like Newcastle who pack their squads with overseas players are damaging the English game.
“Having so few English players in the Premier League diminishes the English team, of course it does,” said Ferdinand. “Look at the Manchester City game recently against Newcastle. There was barely an English player on the pitch – three out of 22 starters, that is a disgrace.
“If you look at it and ask whether there should be a stipulation that you have a minimum number of players who are English, even just in your squad, I think that should happen. If you look at a lot of teams, there are England players who aren't playing for their clubs – yet we're hoping to go to a World Cup and do well.”
Meanwhile, Shola Ameobi has spoken of his pride after helping Nigeria secure a place in Africa's World Cup qualifying play-offs on Saturday.
Ameobi finally made his competitive debut for Nigeria, the country of his birth, as he came off the bench for the final six minutes of a 2-0 win over Malawi.
The 31-year-old, who represented England at under-21 level, had previously appeared for Nigeria in a 2012 friendly against Venezuela, and Saturday's appearance commits him to the African country as well as bolstering his hopes of appearing in next summer's World Cup.
“It is a thing of joy and honour,” said Ameobi. “I want to thank the coach (Stephen Keshi) for giving me the opportunity of helping the Super Eagles. We have a good squad of players here, but we cannot start thinking too far ahead. We just have to wait and see who we will play (in the play-offs).”
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