Jun 23, 2013, 10:32 AM EDT
Okay, here’s something I’ve been pondering for a little while.
Earlier this week much debate was caused within soccer circles in the US, as journalists began to compare the different states in the USA and speculate which had the upper hand in producing current soccer talent.
California and Texas seem to have come out on top, and this whole debate has been thrown up after the Canadian province of Quebec is competing in soccer as a non-FIFA nation.
So, that got me thinking. What if we looked at the birthplaces of current Englishman playing in the top divisions across the globe and see which cities came out on top?
Intrigued? Well, check this out.
Below is a list of four of the top soccer player-producing cities in England, with the North East the exception as the major conurbations in that part of England (including Newcastle, Sunderland and Middlesbrough) have been grouped together.
London has produced more professionals than any other city, most people would have guessed that. But would a team from London beat a side full of homegrown players from Liverpool or Birmingham?
I’ll leave that to you. So anyway, below is a starting lineup for each city and then a list of any substitutes or reserves who could fill in. And remember this list only includes players currently playing soccer in the top divisions, not those who have retired or moved to the lower-leagues.
London (4-3-3): Robert Green; Glen Johnson, John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Ashley Cole; Jack Wilshere, Frank Lampard, Scott Parker; Joe Cole, Jermain Defoe, Ashley Young
Subs: Luke Shaw, Mark Noble, Steve Sidwell, Kieran Richardson, Steven Caulker, Jonjo Shelvey
Birmingham (4-3-3): Ben Foster; Joleon Lescott, Ben Turner, Ashley Williams, Craig Gardner; Peter Whittingham, Luke Moore, Gabriel Agbonlahor; Emile Heskey, Daniel Sturridge, James Vaughan
Subs: Nathan Delfouneso, Matt Watson
Liverpool (4-4-2): Tony Warner; Ryan Taylor, Andre Wisdom, Martin Kelly, Leighton Baines; Callum McManaman, Joey Barton, Steven Gerrard, Leon Osman; Wayne Rooney, Rickie Lambert
Subs: Kevin Nolan, Jon Flanagan, Ross Barkley, Jack Rodwell,
North East (4-4-2): Fraser Forster; Steven Taylor, Michael Carrick, Andrew Taylor, Jack Colback; Adam Johnson, Jordan Henderson, Lee Cattermole, Stewart Downing; Danny Graham, Andy Carroll
Subs: Shola Ameobi, Steve Harper, James Morrison, Sammy Ameobi
It is also worth noting that the cities of Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield have all produced a high number of players that have graced the EPL and top leagues across the world, but not quite enough to each make a full team.
So which city do you think produces the best soccer talent in England? Personally, London still wins hands down. Chelsea’s trio of John Terry, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole highlight the capital’s dominance.
I could have included a second and third team of players who hail from LDN. However the quality of the players from the North East and Liverpool is extremely high. Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard are the stars from Liverpool, while Andy Carroll, Adam Johnson and Jordan Henderson all hail from the North East.
Maybe one day games between the top soccer player-producing cities in England can be arranged? That would be something I’d pay money to go and see. Local pride on the line as battles between North vs. South, affluent vs. poor and long ball vs. possession soccer play out.
When can we arrange this?
Sep 2, 2015, 9:57 PM EDT
The NBC Deadline Day show is here in podcast form.
Sep 2, 2015, 9:32 PM EDT
A fraction of the transfer fee has made its way to the lower division team in France that helped mold Anthony Martial into the $55 million player he is today.
Sep 2, 2015, 8:18 PM EDT
Rog and Davo break down Chelsea’s loss to Crystal Palace and Swansea’s stylish win over Manchester United. Plus, a recap of transfer deadline day.
Sep 2, 2015, 6:56 PM EDT
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Sep 2, 2015, 5:42 PM EDT
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Sep 2, 2015, 4:29 PM EDT
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Sep 2, 2015, 3:40 PM EDT
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Sep 2, 2015, 2:46 PM EDT
Villa had a very quiet Deadline Day, but they tried to make a splash.
Sep 2, 2015, 2:07 PM EDT
After the match, Noble said it was a tackle that happens “10 times a game” and that he felt it didn’t even deserve a yellow card.
Sep 2, 2015, 1:15 PM EDT
After finishing second in its group thanks to a 3-1 win over the Netherlands, Herzog’s Yanks toppled England’s U-20 team this summer. Now: the U-21s.
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Sep 2, 2015, 12:31 PM EDT
“He needs to be professional and move on from this episode,” Del Bosque said of the Manchester United keeper.
Sep 2, 2015, 11:29 AM EDT
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Sep 2, 2015, 11:12 AM EDT
“The Financial Fair Play today is too complicated to be efficient,” said the Premier League’s longest-tenured manager. “There’s a need to simplify the process.”
Sep 2, 2015, 9:24 AM EDT
Bournemouth took a big hit on transfer deadine day, but it had nothing to do with sales or purchases.
Sep 2, 2015, 8:47 AM EDT
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Sep 2, 2015, 8:16 AM EDT
We’re just a few weeks away from further information on the strength of the cases against Sepp Blatter’s FIFA.
Sep 1, 2015, 10:08 PM EDT
If both sides really wanted to make this transfer happen, they could have. Is it possible neither team wanted the deal to get done?
Sep 1, 2015, 9:37 PM EDT
Based on the Citizens’ form to start the season, it looks like money well spent.
Sep 1, 2015, 9:08 PM EDT
After spending just $20 million this summer on a goalkeeper and a teenager, Arsenal fans want to know what’s going on in the boardroom.
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