This was the first time since 1972 that two English clubs clashed in the Europa League final, or as before the UEFA Cup. Back in 1972 it was a two legged tie between Wolves and Tottenham.
Back then in 1972 you had two English managers in Billy Nicholson and Bill McGarry and you had two teams packed with British players. The final in Baku tells a tragic story of two teams fielding teams only one British player in the line-up, and no British management at all.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles was the only English / British players in the starting line-up, and as we could see during the game, making fatal mistakes that in the end stopped any hope for Arsenal. A 21 year old, with little experience and few games in the first team, is getting hammered by Chelsea forwards such as Hazard, Giroud, Pedro and later Willian.
The talk of English football is bizarre since few or almost no players are British. This is a development that cannot continue for long and will see a full “crash landing” in the future. Both clubs, Arsenal and Chelsea, are no longer the top clubs and the reason is simple, they don’t really care about football as it should be ran and they neglect that factor that football is based on development of players, not long term just buying and selling.
The Chelsea team is based on players from abroad, with an aging Gary Cahill on the bench and Ross Barkley coming on in the 2nd half. A number of English youngsters are sitting on the bench, but few or none of these players will ever be given the chance to establish themselves and instead will foreign stars be signed to cover the gaps after those being sold.
Chelsea and Arsenal are English clubs, but they are just shirts put on foreign players who will leave and go back to their native countries. Owners are not British / English and this is one strange happening. Over the next fiver of six seasons we certainly hope that Chelsea and Arsenal will try to bring balance to their teams and again become good English clubs with mostly British / English players in their teams.
Eden Hazard and Maurizio Sarri might have been seen in their last event for Chelsea FC with both being linked away from the club. Hazard is close to a Real Madrid move and Sarri will be looking for a return to Italy and taking over Juventus.
No English manager has been in charge of Chelsea since Glenn Hoddle left for the England job back in 1996, 23 years ago. Arsenal boss Unai Emery is a wanted man, but the Spaniard looks to be staying on at The Emirates.
When you point the finger at these situations without English influence, those who believe they know it all, says it’s the modern game, it’s all an open market and you need to be positve for progress and changes, but for English football long term is it positive to see no English players and the management being foreign.