Supplying The Three Lions: Have Spurs Been More Important Than Manchester United?

Getting excited about England is difficult. There’s the never-ending cycle; the cloud of inevitability: gain a 90+% record in qualifying – not in Steve McClaren’s case – get excited about the major tournament, get embarrassed; repeat.

It’s tiresome, it’s draining, it’s depressing, and the majority of English fans have given up on the national side – given up to the extent where attendance to Wembley is woeful, and fans have found out the full-time result of a European/World Cup qualifier before knowing the game was even on in the first place.

However, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter because as long as England reach the ‘major’ tournaments, the country will still tune in and back the national side. During England’s ‘biggest’ 2014 World Cup game against Uruguay, 13.9million people tuned in on ITV to watch the game. Fast forward two years to the unmentionable Euro game against Iceland, and the game peaked at 16.9million viewers, having 62% of the television show; there’s hope, English fans won’t give up on the side at major tournaments.

For that reason, it’s worth getting excited about what’s going on at Tottenham. There’s a brilliant manager driving a project which is led by English players at the core, and English fans should be encouraged by Mauricio Pochettino’s development of young English talent.

Baring Harry Kane, there should be plenty of this English talent on show at Old Trafford when Spurs visit Manchester United. The general consensus since the Premier League started is that United has been the main contributor towards the national side, providing the likes of: David Beckham, Rio Ferdinand, and Wayne Rooney suggest the Red Devils brought the A-listers.

Sir Alex had a major role in this, as success for United meant players were more likely to be involved for the national side, and since the Scotsman’s retirement in 2013, Manchester United’s call-ups for the Three Lions have declined.

But, how does it compare to Tottenham since the Premier League began? Spurs appear to have taken over the United baton of providing players for England, and since Pochettino took charge, the supply from north London has majorly improved.



Where there is an upward trend in England caps for Spurs, there is a direct correlation with an improved position in the league; Spurs jumped from 8th to 4th from the ’09 to ’10 season, as well as continuing to improve in the league with the uptake of English players in the most recent years.

Despite United’s dominance over Spurs in providing players for England since the Premier League began, the breakdown of Spurs’ contribution compared to the Red Devils is far more efficient. For all of Ferguson’s brilliance in masterminding success, it is the players at White Hart Lane who have a better impact when on the pitch.

Buckle up for who takes top spot with their best goals to game ratio…


Who’d have thought Steven Caulker has been Tottenham’s most efficient performer for England?! And better than any Manchester United player?!

Of course, playing time and opposition will have to be taken into consideration. But the bottom line is Tottenham players have done more for the national side with their time given in a Three Lions shirt compared to United.

If Gareth Southgate continues to utilise Spurs’ players in a more effective manner than his predecessors, it could set a more successful trend for England heading to the major international tournaments.

Where Pochettino will continue to build a cohesive unit in north London will only benefit the national side as the intricacies at club level and international level should lead to improved performances on the pitch.

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