Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini has defended his decision to have no English or UK players in his starting line-up for the Community Shield defeat by Arsenal.
Four English players made the City bench at Wembley on Sunday but an all-foreign starting XI reflected Pellegrini’s recent transfer deals.
The only British signing that Pellegrini made this summer was Frank Lampard but the Man City boss seemed to indicate that he doesn’t see nationality saying:
“We’ve had a lot of problems with Financial Fair Play, but we bought some very important players.
“I don’t know what the difference is between Hart and Caballero and Bacary Sagna and Pablo Zabaleta, Vincent Kompany and Martin Demichelis, or Gael Clichy and Aleksandar Kolarov.
“I always pick the best team for every game. We have a strong squad with two good players in each position.”
The Man City boss then took a shot at Arsene Wenger and Arsenal, who until recently went through a long period with a mainly continental squad adding:
“Why do you always talk about Manchester City? Arsenal won the FA Cup with one England player,” Pellegrini said.
Technically true, Kieran Gibbs was the only English starter in the line-up against Hull in the FA Cup Final. But so was Aaron Ramsey, who counts as a homegrown player due to being born in Wales.
Pellegrini also omits that while his British players were on the bench against Arsenal at Wembley, Arsenal started four home grown players (Calum Chambers, Gibbs, Ramsey and Jack Wilshere) and they are played a role in the Gunners 3-0 win.