'Look at the Manchester City game recently against Newcastle. There was barely an English player on the pitch', Ferdinand told The Mail on Sunday, 'That is a disgrace. ....If you look at a lot of teams, there are England players who aren't playing for their clubs - yet we're hoping to go to a World Cup and do well'.
Ferdinand was, of course, in the Manchester United team that lost 1-0 to Liverpool last weekend. Of the 14 Manchester United players that made it on to the pitch, 9 were foreigners. In fact of Manchester United's current 25-man Premier League squad, 18 aren't English.
And Manchester United's lone signing during the transfer window was, of course, Marouane Fellaini - from Belgium.
A few months back, of course, Ferdinand was so concerned about the England team that he famously refused the opportunity to come back into the fold for a World Cup qualifier against San Marino, instead making a 15-hour round trip to Doha to commentate on the game for Al Jazeera!
OK, but let's put Ferdinand's musings to one side. Does it really matter how many foreign players Manchester City (or Manchester United for that matter) have ?. Would you rather watch the Manchester derby, with all the passion and top class foreign talent available on the field, or witness another pathetic England performance against another second class footballing nation ?
And as for the Premier League being responsible for all of England's footballing ills, well I don't think that adds up, does it ? England won the World Cup in 1966, and between then and 1992 (when the Premier League was formed) - the first 26 year period in our 47 year delusion that we'll ever be a major national footballing force again - we won absolutely nothing as well!
So, let's celebrate the foreign players that make our Premier League the best in the world, and stop dreaming about competing with the likes of Argentina, Brazil, Spain, France, Germany, Holland, Portugal, and all the rest, on the international stage.
Personally, I'd rather watch a load of foreigners playing entertaining football throughout the season, than pointless England qualifiers and disappointing tournaments every two years.
image: © hitcdc