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No Englishmen in starting lineups of EPL game

  • Reuters, Thursday, December 31, 2009 1:01 PM
Arsenal's 4-1 win over Portsmouth on Wednesday was the first English Premier League game in history in which no Englishmen were in the starting lineups of either team. The game featured players from 15 countries among the 22 starters with seven French players on the field. There were two Algerians and one player each from Bosnia, Ireland, Israel, Iceland, South Africa, Scotland, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Wales, Cameroon, Croatia and Russia.

There were four English players among the 14 substitutes and two came on briefly: Arsenal youngster Craig Eastmond, who replaced French striker Sami Nasri five minutes from time, and Portsmouth's Michael Brown, who replaced Scot Richard Hughes after 90 minutes.

"We are not producing players like we used to, for whatever reason," said Sunderland coach Steve Bruce. "As managers if we can get better value for money in the big wide world then you have to go and try and find them. We would all love to have an English-based team -- every manager would like that if he possibly could, but unfortunately we have not got the quality to do it."

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