World Cup: Ex-Owls star slams English culture

Owls legend Chris Waddle
Owls legend Chris Waddle
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Former Sheffield Wednesday and England winger Chris Waddle turned on the culture of the Premier League after watching the Three Lions fall to the brink of World Cup exit.

Thursday’s 2-1 loss to Uruguay means the odds are stacked against Roy Hodgson’s men and an early trip home now seems inevitable. It could be confirmed later today.

Only extreme favours from elsewhere can save them now and Waddle was in no mood to make excuses.

Focussing on the impact he feels the Premier League - and its foreign players - has on the side he won 62 caps for, he said: “I’m not angry, I’m just fed up of talking about the same old problems.

“I’ll tell you what the biggest problem is when you think about it all - the Premier League. They have a product which they sell around the world. It’s entertaining but it’s doing our players no good whatsoever.

“This (England) is a Premier League side playing tonight which is meant to be the best league in the world. You’re not telling me all those Uruguayan players would get in many teams around the world, apart from (Luis) Suarez who was only 75 per cent fit. (Edinson) Cavani, possibly. Apart from that, who else is there?”

Waddle went on to add that he feels it is players like two-goal Suarez who makes the Premier League what it is.

“We go on banging the drum that we’ve got this and that.. Do you know what makes the Premier League exciting? Players like Luis Suarez - the foreign players,” he said.

“We hype our players up massively like we always do, say we’ve got this and that.

“Look at their (Uruguay’s) back four tonight. The kid at centre-half (Jose Maria Giminez) he’s played two games for Atletico Madrid, he’s not had a cap, but they know how to win games.

“The difference between Premier League football and international football is how to win a football match. It’s not about picking your star players, he plays for Liverpool, he plays for Man U, it’s about getting a balance in the side to get a result and we never, ever do.”

Wayne Rooney silenced his critics with England’s goal back in his favoured central role, but Waddle believes the media influence England selection too much.

“The media is to blame as much as anyone else as when we drop someone or play someone out of position, we’re on the case asking ‘why, why, why?’.

“Other countries say ‘I’ve got good players but unfortunately so and so is going to sit on the bench’.

“Until we get into that way of thinking... How do you win matches? You start from the back, get organised. Then, if you have two or three creative players, build a side around certain players. Then you get balance. It’s not about wanting the best 11 players of the best 11 flair players, but we never, ever, ever learn.”