Allardyce calls for more focus on English talent

West Ham United boss Sam Allardyce wants to see a greater emphasis placed on developing young English talent to avoid falling behind the world’s top nations.

England are currently fourth in the FIFA world rankings, but have not enjoyed major tournament success since 1966.

The £320 million Elite Player Performance Plan, a mechanism to encourage youth development in England, was introduced at the start of the 2012/13 season.

'Big Sam' feels the amount of European academy exports should be decreased in order to nuture promising English youngsters.

“We have to think British more and be more selfish,” Allardyce told Yahoo! “For me, far too many are brought to Britain from abroad to take up academy places in this country, which doesn't happen in other European countries.

“We say that we have got to be fair to all, but if you go to Spain or Italy or Holland you don't see that fairness in those countries.

“Eventually the England side will be very poor because there are not enough players to choose from now, and in the near future, if we are not careful, there will be even less.”

The Hammers currently house 15 English players in their extended squad. They have won the FA Youth Cup three times and been runners-up on four occasions since its inception in 1953.

Former academy graduate Joe Cole recently rejoined his old club, which have produced a crop of British talent including Mark Noble, James Tomkins and Jack Collison.

“West Ham's history is one of the best,” Allardyce said. “The development of players at West Ham has been an outstanding bonus to the football club over many years.

“Tony Carr has done an absolutely terrific job but unfortunately it is getting more and more difficult due to the circumstances that we have to work under.

“There is more development money coming into the game but yet again it is still a question of time. There really isn't enough time.”

For more insight from Sam Allardyce and other leading managers, plus exclusive Premier League highlights, visit www.yahoo.co.uk/sport

By Tom Sharp


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