2 Jan 2010

Rovers manager fears bleak future for England

10:19 am on 2 January 2010

England's national football team faces a bleak future, Blackburn Rovers manager Sam Allardyce is warning, after the midweek game between Portsmouth and Arsenal became the first in the top flight not to feature an English player in the starting line-up.

Ahead of his team's third-round FA Cup tie against Aston Villa Allardyce says the Premier League and the FA really need to get together and start immediately on how they are going to address this situation.

The mid week match, which Arsenal won 4-1, featured players from 15 countries among the 22 starters with seven French players on the field.

There were four English players among the 14 substitutes and two came on briefly.

The landmark match came almost exactly 10 years after Chelsea became the first English team to field an entirely foreign starting line-up against Southampton on December 26 1999.