England's Premier League Is Anything But

England's Premier League Is Anything But

We can argue until our faces are as red as a full-bodied Rioja but the exclusion from the 2012 World XI of a trace of the Premier League is still some way from the most damning indictment of the competition which still likes to call itself the best and most spectacular in the world.

It is bad enough that, with the disappearance of Manchester United's Nemanja Vidic and Wayne Rooney, the domination of La Liga, after supplying nine members of last year's selection, has become total.

But that it should happen at a time when it also boasts the two clear favourites to reclaim the Champions League title, the one-two-three in the voting for the Ballon D'Or and claim the near exclusive nurturing of Spain's three straight major international tournament victories, is surely one of the most dramatic achievements in the history of football.

Yet it is not just the scale of the Spanish triumph which is so breath-taking. It is the depth of its underpinning, the quality of its development of native talent.

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