The 'English' Premier League may be considered the greatest, most exciting league in the world, but after yet another season of what looks like a UN delegation of nationalities featuring in the top goalscorers list, the question needs to be asked, where are the English goalscorers?
Scrolling down the list of Top 25 premiership goalscorers this season, eventually we arrive at an Englishman in 7th, Frank Lampard, a 34 year old midfielder threatened all season of being forced out of Chelsea for being subject to requirements. This is closely followed by the one shining example of the classic English striker in Rickie Lambert, who managed to score 15 goals in what can only be described as a very basic Southampton side. There is however a very sad side to this statistic. Lambert is destined to suffer from what I like to refer to as Kevin Phillips syndrome. With 219 career goals and still counting, and clearly one of the best finishers with the St Georges Cross next to his name, I will be very impressed if this man is ever given a chance for England, and all because he doesn't play for one of the bigger clubs. A call-up policy unlikely to change in the near future.
Theo Walcott comes in at a very respectable 11th with 14 goals to his name. I admit to being one of the guilty many, who questioned Theo's ability, using usual worn out cliches regarding his football knowledge and best position. In his defence, and giving absolute credit to his own self-belief and perseverance, statistics are starting to prove the doubters wrong. Since the 2009/10 season, he's increased both his goal scoring and assist tally across all competitions. A dismal contribution of 4 goals & 2 assists 4 years ago has finally been transformed to a more essential contribution of 21 goals and 14 assists. He always said to play him where he feels he is more effective, humble pie Mr Wenger, just this once.
Only 3 more English players scrape in to this top 25 list, and each one keeping his teams bench warmer than the next. A staggering 15 less goals this year for Wayne Rooney coming in with only 12 to his name. Anyone else who remembers Euro 2004 must surely still be asking, where is the Rooney we were promised. A longer debate for another day! Defoe and Sturridge complete the trio of what used to be called the Number 12's, and to be honest, I can't see either making remarkable improvements on their game time next season.
Conclusion. Is it really any surprise that against the 3 decent opposition England faced over the course of the season, only 3 goals were scored, one of which being a Frank Lampard penalty. I don't confess to having substantial knowledge of every clubs youth development policy or emerging rising superstars, but I've got a less than optimistic feeling for the years to come if this list is anything to go by.