Introducing the future of English Football – The Championship – Pt. 3

By Emily Clark. If you are wondering where the local young talent has gone from your favourite Premier League side’s academy system, which is pumped with the best coaches in the business and millions of pounds, you can probably look to the Championship. 41 Premier League players are on loan at Championship clubs this season, including Chelsea’s Nathanial Chalobah at Nottingham Forest, Todd Kane at Blackburn Rovers and Josh McEachran at Watford (now Wigan); Manchester United sent Jesse Lingard to Birmingham City, and Nick Powell to Wigan Athletic, while Spurs' Tom Carroll is reunited with Harry Redknapp at QPR and the list goes on.

The Championship clubs do not just rely on the English top flight for their native talent, either. Top-of-the-league Burnley have sixteen British players in their first team squad, with a further 21 in their various development squads. But, with the view that the International team has to comprise players participating week-in, week-out in the Premier League what good is this great local talent?

How long will it be before an England manager has no choice but to turn to the Championship for the majority of his starting line-up, as other home nations bosses have been forced to do for some time? Sooner than you might have expected, I suspect. But, this is not necessarily a negative thing.

I am not suggesting that national managers pick their teams entirely from the Championship, or that they will find their best squad possible from the second-tier of English football. That is ridiculous. However, the modern reality of life at the top in England suggests that Hodgson and co. should get used to the idea.

Former England manager Glenn Hoddle said earlier this year the Championship is key to the national team’s future, and I do not disagree. Whether you consider the Championship as a last-chance saloon or a finishing school, the Championship is truly part of the solution in any discussion about British football’s tribulations.

CONCLUSION

If you begin to pay more attention to the Championship, even if it means staying up that extra bit longer for the Football League show after Match of the Day is over, I can promise that you’ll learn to love a league built on hard work, genuine love of the game and volatility.

The Premiership may have given up on it, but I think that the Championship is fundamental to the future of English football.

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