clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Ashley Cole Feels English Nationals Are too Scared to Play Abroad

New, 3 comments

After Chelsea did not extend his contract, Ashley Cole joined Roma in Italy, making him one of the few active players capped by England to play abroad.

It is only now that Chelsea don't want him that Cole has left England
It is only now that Chelsea don't want him that Cole has left England
Paolo Bruno

It appears that, when presented to the media after his move to Roma in Italy's Serie A, former Chelsea and Arsenal fullback, Ashley Cole, had quite a lot to say. Specifically on England.

"English players are probably afraid to come abroad, they're in a comfort zone in England,"

It is quite true that there are scant few English nationals playing football in the top flights around the European Continent. The only league outside Britain that I can think of that employs a number of English players is MLS in the US and Canada. The only member of the English national team who plays outside of the English FA league pyramid is Celtic's Fraser Forester. The keeper, of course, did not play a single minute in this year's World Cup in Brazil.

Now, are English players afraid to go abroad? I think that might be a hard question to answer. Notably, the aforementioned MLS, the league with the most expat Englishmen, is based in an English speaking environment. Perhaps the  language and cultural barriers are keeping English lads from playing abroad. But of course, does this even really matter? So what, English players prefer to stay at home. Is that a big deal? Well, I suspect it is. If you look at some of the top team's academies, they are flush with players who are not English. Tim Krul, the Dutch keeper, came up and continues to play with Newcastle. Cesc Fabregas, while developed in Spain, was molded into the player he is in North London. If English academies and teams are grooming foreign talent, perhaps English talent should go elsewhere to play and find minutes.