Arsenal's Munich humiliation represents a bigger issue for English football

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Arsenal's thrashing at the hands of Bayern Munich was humiliating, not just for the north London team, but also for English football.

Both teams are challenging for their respective domestic titles, but the gulf in class could not be bigger.

The fact Arsenal did not start with a single English player whilst Bayern had four German World Cup winners playing just emphasises the point further.


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This should be a worrying reminder for the FA - and English football in general - of an issue that has been staring the nation in the face for a long time; England is falling dramatically behind in its development as a footballing nation.

The lack of English talent at the highest level is an issue that has been discussed prominently in recent weeks after it was revealed that England had fewer representatives playing in the Champions League this season than both Israel and Belarus.

There can be a number of reasons for a lack of English talent developing, but the most damning must be the link between the number of English managers to the number of homegrown players in the country's top league.

Since Tim Sherwood's sacking, there are just six English managers left in the Premier League, only 30% of the 20 competing clubs.

In comparison, Germany's Bundesliga has 50% of it's teams managed by Germans. These numbers are dwarfed, however, by Spain and Italy whose domestic leagues are represented by 80% and 90% respectively.

These numbers correlate with the number of homegrown players in each league. Last season, Spain produced the most homegrown players in their top league and to no surprise, England were once again behind Germany and Italy.

If England finishing bottom of their World Cup group in 2014 wasn't embarrassing enough, they were left truly red-faced after the U21 National side also finished bottom of their European Championship group this summer. There is a very clear issue here and not enough is being done to combat it.

With more foreign managers taking charge of England's top teams, it is becoming increasingly difficult for young players to break through and develop at the highest level.

Paul Scholes has spoken out recently about the top youth sides being "riddled with foreign youngsters" and said it gives English youth "virtually no chance" to break through. He is right.

With England struggling at the top tournaments and the domestic sides struggling in Europe in recent years, it's clear that English Football is in a crisis and lagging well behind the other European nations in developing the future generation of players.

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