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high press episode 23 – weekly football prediction

High Press Episode 23:

British players moving abroad is the focus of Episode 23 of High Press.
Host Alison Bender is joined by Gerry Cox and Carrie Brown to look at the challenges facing British players when they move abroad, and ultimately debate which player has had the most success overseas.

History lesson

Starting off with a look at the history of British players moving abroad, Bender mentions Denis Law and Jimmy Greaves. Money was the primary motivating factor at that point, with footballers in England receiving the minimum wage of just £12 per week.
Speaking about Greaves, Cox says, “There wasn’t any money in the game [in England]. In Italy, they were offering him a lot more money, so there was this exodus of players who went over.”

Cox continues, explaining how the wage structure was abolished in English football while Greaves was in Italy. He scored goals for Milan, but ultimately didn’t enjoy his time there.
“If you look at some of the greats, they have gone abroad and it hasn’t really worked out for them: Gary Lineker, Gazza, Glenn Hoddle, Michael Owen,” adds Cox.

Embracing the culture is seen as key by Bender and Cox, with the example of Gary Lineker in Barcelona being compared to Ian Rush’s time in Turin with Juventus.
Bender, who worked at Real Madrid TV during the Galactico era, praises David Beckham’s work ethic. With Bender comparing Jude Bellingham’s impact at Real Madrid to Beckham’s, Cox boldly claims he the former Dortmund midfielder could be the ‘most successful Englishman abroad’.

Gareth Bale’s Trophy Cabinet

Brown recounts how wrong Fabio Capello was about Beckham before Bender named Jonathan Woodgate the ‘worst Englishman abroad’ due to his torrid stint in the Spanish capital.
After mentioning how players influence one another in their decisions, Brown says, “When he [Bellingham] picks up that Ballon d’Or later this year potentially, we’ll have Jadon Sancho to thank for that as well.”
Following an anecdote about Steve McManaman from Cox, Brown talks up Gareth Bale’s time at Real Madrid.

She says, “To compete under pressure is one thing. To compete against the hostility of your own fans!”

Brown remembers the iconic Bale goal against Barcelona where he went off the pitch to scorch past Marc Bartra before a smart finish. The Welshman’s success for Los Blancos is impossible to argue with, even if he was unpopular with the fans.
Turning to current stars across Europe, Cox cites how Kane playing in Germany could be of benefit for the Euros this summer. The panel all praise how Kane has seamlessly adapted to life with Bayern Munich.

Most successful Brit abroad?

Wrapping up the episode, the trio discuss the most successful Brit abroad, with Bender outlining a few potential criteria, including silverware and global appeal.

Cox mentions Kevin Keegan as his pick, backing up his selection with team and individual success, while Bender and Brown speak glowingly about Beckham’s time in Madrid, Los Angeles, Paris and Milan. Brown ultimately settles on Bale, though, and Cox decides to go with John Charles.

Who would be your pick?

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