Slow Gooner news day, huh? I woke up this Sunday morn and did my usual flick through some of the news to see if anything was happening in the Arsenal world. There isn’t. It’s quiet. Too quiet.
Too quiet because whilst I said yesterday that I was looking forward to a football-free weekend, it turns out that I do like a bit of football being thrown in there, even if I have to wait until a Monday night. But right now we’ve got an abyss that isn’t exactly the greatest of fun is it?
So I started googling around and found a player profile on Marcus McGuane, who joined Barcelona from us in January, because he was another one who just had a year to run on his contract. It got me to thinking: why don’t more young players move abroad from the UK? Why is it they tend to drop down a League or two rather than try something overseas?
If you think about it logically there are more countries and there should be more opportunities for players to play at a higher divisional level, yet we see very few taking the plunge. Is it a cultural thing? Perhaps it’s because we all live on a small island and as a result we are naturally more insular as a culture. We’ve seen that with the Brexit vote. But perhaps it’s also ingrained in the National psyche? British footballers just don’t seem to travel that much.
Come that to every other country and I’m sure the numbers of exports of footballers is astronomically high. Despite being as well known as the Premier League in terms of the history, etc, Italians, Germans and Spanish all get about a bit more than we do.
I’m not even talking about ‘for the benefit of the National team’ type stuff because frankly I don’t really care. I’m just talking about individuals becoming more culturally experienced by trying different things.
Perhaps it’s the money. You can drop down a League or two in England and still probably earn more than if you’re off to the Swiss League for a ‘life experience’. I don’t really know and I’m not really one for ‘research’, more just ‘opinions’. But the more I think about it the more I wonder if that’s the real reason. And hey, if I’m in that position do I think about earning as much as I can in a short career, or experiencing a new way of life? Probably the former rather than the latter.
It happens for more experienced players and we’ve seen Jack rumoured with Juventus this week. I’d be surprised though because he had the option to go abroad on loan last season and passed up on Italy for Bournemouth. I suspect that was more to do with keeping in Gareth Southgate’s plans and perhaps that has a bearing as much as money does when you’re one of the better pros in the league, but again I just find it interesting how there seems to be a collective reticence to make a move abroad at all levels.
How can we change a mindset that seems to be so widespread? I’m not sure that we can if I’m honest. As long as the English game is awash with cash, as long as we hear things about players being reluctant to move for fear of falling out of the international picture, I think we’re going to continue to see fewer and fewer Marcus McGuane’s.
Just some Sunday thoughts for you to ponder on.
Have a good weekend folks.