Belfast Telegraph

City line-up depressing - Dyke

The lack of English players in Manchester City's regular starting line-up is "pretty depressing" for the domestic game, according to Football Association chairman Greg Dyke.

The Blues went into Sunday's final day of the Barclays Premier League season knowing a draw at home to West Ham would almost certainly be enough to secure their second league title in three seasons.

But Dyke, who this week presented a series of proposals put forward by his FA Commission set up to improve the long-term fortunes of the national team, is disappointed that City's success this season has featured so few Englishmen, with only goalkeeper Joe Hart a genuine contender to start when Blues boss Manuel Pellegrini has all his first-choice players available.

"It's been a great league this year. But, if there is only one England player, maybe two (in City's team), that's pretty depressing," Dyke told several national newspapers.

"I think the figures that we produced showed the top four averaged 29 (English players between them) and this year it is down to 24 - we should be worried about that."

James Milner, who like Hart is expected to be in the England World Cup squad to be named by Roy Hodgson on Monday, has made 30 league appearances this term but 18 of them have been as a substitute.

Midfielder Gareth Barry has spent the season on loan at Everton from City, while Joleon Lescott and Jack Rodwell have barely had a look-in at all.

Dyke reserved special praise for City's title challengers Liverpool, for whom Steven Gerrard, Daniel Sturridge, Raheem Sterling and Jordan Henderson have all been key performers.

"Liverpool have been exciting this year with four or five English players. It's good news for Roy and it's good news for the campaign in Brazil," Dyke added.

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