Let’s give Roy a selection headache: Fabrice Muamba’s call to arms for English football after World Cup flop

Former Bolton Wanderers and England player Fabrice Muamba says the only way England can challenge for future World Cups is if the national manager has a greater ‘selection headache’.

Roy Hodgson’s side crashed out of the current tournament in the group stage, after losing 2-1 to both Italy and Uruguay and drawing 0-0 with Costa Rica.

That was despite Hodgson selecting a number of promising talents like Ross Barkley, Raheem Sterling and new Manchester United recruit Luke Shaw in his squad.

Muamba told MM: “Roy Hodgson gave some young players a chance at this World Cup, but we need to give him more of a selection headache for the national team.”

Muamba, who represented England from under-16 level through to the under-21s, said that there had needed to be a greater quantity of Englishmen playing in the top competitions.

“We have to give England a chance by having more home-grown players playing in the Premier League than at the moment,” he said.

At the last count only 32% of minutes played in the Premier League came from English players.

That figure put England well below the other European football powers, including World Cup trailblazers France, Germany and the Netherlands.

The Football Association announced plans to tackle the homegrown player issue in May, which included the introduction of B teams and a review of the work permit system.

However, as Muamba identifies, the problem can only be solved if the FA and Premier League work together to increase the homegrown players figure – much easier said than done.

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