Aston Villa's all-English Premier League team still the last 25 years on

Aston Villa's all-English Premier League team still the last 25 years on
Gareth Southgate was one of Aston Villa's Englishmen
Gareth Southgate was one of Aston Villa's Englishmen
The FA
At a time when globalisation is a fully-rooted phenomenon, this Tuesday marks a quarter of a century since the last time a Premier League team fielded a 100% English line-up.

February 27th, 1999. Coventry travelled to Birmingham to beat Aston Villa 4-1 on matchday 27 of the Premier League. Three points that were certainly precious for the away side, who secured their place in the Premier League, and which were sorely missed by the Villans, who missed out on a European place by two points.

However, this was a game that went down in Premier League history. It was the last time a team in England's top flight fielded a 100% English line-up, with the added bonus that the three substitutes brought on by John Gregory were also English (Draper, Gareth Barry and Stan Collymore).

The Villans had 25 Englishmen (including Gareth Southgate, the current England coach) in a squad that also included three Welshmen (David Hughes, Mark Delaney and Graham Evans), an Italian (Fabio Ferraresi), a Tobagonian (Dwight Yorke), an Irishman (Alan Lee), a Scot (Colin Calderwood), an Australian (Mark Bosnich) and a Finn (Peter Enckelman). Of the foreigners, only Bosnich was on the substitutes' bench.

Mark Bosnich was the only foreigner on the bench at Aston Villa
Aston Villa

Middlesbrough and Burnley

On the final day of the 2005/06 Premier League season, Middlesbrough came close to achieving this feat when Steve McClaren fielded 11 Englishmen in the defeat against Fulham. However, James Morrison ended up choosing to represent Scotland at international level and cancelled out the statistic.

Later, in 2021, Sean Dyche came close to achieving this feat. Against Tottenham, Burnley fielded 10 Englishmen in the eleven, the only foreigner being Czech Matej Vydra, who was up front. On the bench were Anthony Glennon, Dale Stephens, Josh Benson and Lewis Richardson, all Englishmen.

Matěj Vydra was the only foreigner in Burnley's eleven

Chelsea pioneers

Today, the Premier League is one of the most global leagues in the world. The influx of money leads clubs to invest in talent, much of it from abroad, and no one would think it strange to see a team made up of players born outside England playing in the top flight.

However, this reality dates back to the last century. In 1999 (curiously the same season that Aston Villa set the record straight), Chelsea became the first club to field an eleven without English players in the Premier League.

At the time, Gianluca Vialli beat Southampton with a team made up of Ed De Goey (Netherlands), Albert Ferrer (Spain), Frank Leboeuf (France), Emerson (Brazil), Celestine Babayaro (Nigeria), Dan Petrescu (Romania), Ambrosetti (Italy), Roberto Di Matteo (Italy), Gus Poyet (Uruguay), Didier Deschamps (France) and Tore Andre Flo (Norway).

Didier Deschamps at Chelsea
Premier League


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