Monday, 11 January 2016

All hail the concrete Catalonia! South London’s golden square of talent | Barney Ronay | Football | The Guardian

All hail the concrete Catalonia! South London’s golden square of talent | Barney Ronay | Football | The Guardian

... If the success of Southampton’s academy has been well rehearsed the emergence of south London as the breadbasket of the Premier League is less celebrated. This is hardly one of the traditional football heartlands. In the past century south of the Thames has burped up the odd England player of note, from Vivian Woodward of Kennington to Rio Ferdinand of Peckham. But the industrial north, Merseyside, Essex and the East End have been the real production powerhouses. Until now. Currently 14% of English footballers in the Premier League are from that 10 mile golden square of south London. The borough of Croydon alone – home to 0.6% of the population – has produced 5% of all active English Premier League players, among them Wilfried Zaha, Victor Moses and Lewis Grabban from Palace and more disparately Jamal Blackman of Chelsea and Jason Puncheon and Kieran Gibbs via the original Wimbledon. ...

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