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Fanatico
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Discussion Starter #1
Today is the day our Under 21 national played its final group stage match, and lost for the third consecutive time. That's 3 games, 3 losses, against teams we should beat every single time (Italy [okay, they're decent], Norway, and Isreal). We weren't competitive in any of the games really and looked like we didn't want to be there. You could put it down to younger players being more assured with themselves now, aka cocky, and thought they were above the championships where their team-mates at their clubs were on holiday. Or you could put it down to yet another case of England under performing in important championships due to our ridiculous style of play. You're in for a long thread.

The style of football we play simply doesn't compete with anything any more. Football has evolved so much because the game just gets quicker and quicker with modern technology and sports science. Our long ball football died ages ago, and now it's a case of our players not being confident enough or talented enough to keep the ball and dictate play. Look at Spain. I know comparing England to the best team in the world (both senior and under 21) might be unfair, but their rise to dominance in football wasn't just a good generation of genetics. From the ages of like 6 years old, kids are taught that keeping the ball the longest means you're the winner, and the "win at all cost" approach of England football at grass-roots is non-existent there. They are taught how to keep the ball and play with confidence, and not encouraged to do whatever you can to get the result because the "result is what matters".

The reason why Spain are so dominant is their coaches at grass-roots. They have a nationwide program for coaches at that level that their federation has committed to, and in 2008 they had 15,000 Uefa A and Pro Licence coaches (couldn't find an updated report). That's more than double the number of any other European nation. And that is despite the 750 hours needed to get a pro licence in Spain. Guess how many coaches England had? 245. Every single one of those Spanish coaches teach the kids the exact same style of football. Before this regime, their best place finish was like 4th in 1950 or something (cba to Google that; that's based on memory). So I think we know one deadly secret to their success.

So investment in grass-root coaches is the fix? It helps a LOT, but there are more issues for England football. The Spanish league is dominated by Spanish players, funnily enough. The English Premier League - the best league in the world - is dominated by foreign players and foreign managers. While that may add to the excitement and revenue the league gets, it certainly damages English football exponentially. Not many English players are starting weekly at their top sides. Most of our national team now are substitutes in the big teams. How many young players for England play every single week? They're not good enough, and they don't play, it's a deadly cycle that results in our national team - once a force in international football - flopping at every turn. The annoying thing is we do have some talented young players like Jack Wilshere, but not enough.

Maybe I'm overreacting seeing as Germany went out the same tournament within their first two games as well, and got dominated by the Spanish in one game. The thing is though, Germany are revamping their football regime, and are improving. You can see that by their league teams thrifving in Europe and their national team winning against anyone and everyone (but maybe not Spain). I'm not trying to send out a message that English football sucks and Spanish football is amazing. This was bitter-sweet to write seeing as I was born in Spain and my family is predominantly Spanish but raised in England all my life. I guess that contributes towards my love of the game, I get to taste the success AND the distraught of the best sport in the world. What does England football do to catch up with the rest? Because although we're ranked at 5th or whatever it is, we are certainly not that high up in terms of worlds best teams imo.
 

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He wipes front to back
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One spoke to put in that wheel
France
Ruled the world for a six year spell then turned to shite.
League still has french players playing regularly in most sides and the coaching is similar to spanish model.
Too much emphasis is placed on these things and not enough on the simple fact that certain generations produce naturally better players.
Englands main problem is down to expectations weighing heavily.
If we could get a manager that could foster the sort of mentality that saf did at united things would be so much better.
Or australian sport as a whole....once dominant in olympics and many sports now ....pah
 

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Fanatico
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Discussion Starter #3
I don't think France have invested the same amount of money and time into their youth coaching as Spain, which was the main point of my thread lol.
 

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Solido I enjoyed that mate, some good points. I don't really agree with the whole 'foreigners are taking over our league', people act as if there are no foreign players in Spain and Germany when that's not the case. If they're good enough they will play it's that simple, some people such as Graham Taylor and Terry Butcher reckon making teams play a certain amount of English players is the answer. Will that address the problem? No, it's much deeper than that and until we start to nurture skill, technique, composure and better tactics England won't move forward. Remember Guardiola's thought's on Wilshere, it was something along the lines of 'yeah he's good but we've got loads of players in our academy who are just as good if not better'. That says it all really.
 

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Fanatico
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Discussion Starter #5
Solido I enjoyed that mate, some good points. I don't really agree with the whole 'foreigners are taking over our league', people act as if there are no foreign players in Spain and Germany when that's not the case. If they're good enough they will play it's that simple, some people such as Graham Taylor and Terry Butcher reckon making teams play a certain amount of English players is the answer. Will that address the problem? No, it's much deeper than that and until we start to nurture skill, technique, composure and better tactics England won't move forward. Remember Guardiola's thought's on Wilshere, it was something along the lines of 'yeah he's good but we've got loads of players in our academy who are just as good if not better'. That says it all really.
All leagues inevitably have foreign players, but if you look at the statistics of how many each league has, I'm pretty sure we're at the top by a large margin. The German and Spanish leagues have a lot of national players in pretty much every team, and that's something England can not boast about just yet. It's not the cause of our problems in my opinion - coaching at youth level is definitely that - but it's still an issue that most people can admit we have (coaches, players, etc.). Not sure how to fix it though because as you said, our star young English player is maybe on the same level as players in Spanish academies. We need to teach them how to play the game at a much younger age. 245 coaches compared to Spains 15,000 says it all imo.
 

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The notion that a good english player somehow has more worth than his foreign counterpart is reflected in much higher transfer fee but also
it is proven that most title winning outfits had a core of home grown lads.

Parental fear has more to do with this than anything else.
Go back fifty years and kids were chucked out after breakfast and not expected to return till teatime.
Money was tight so football flourished because of the jumpers for goalpost ethos.
Cars were scarcer and kids played in the street.

Nowadays kids play fifa on playstation and rickets is making a comeback
Modern kids are scared of rain and generally a fat bunch of wobble bottoms.

The ages of players in local leagues has risen considerably over last two decades as well because of this.
Get the pudgy little wimps off the gaming chair and round the park and if the local flasher waves his winkie at them it will give them a story for later life,ours was called dirty dick although I doubt his name was Richard.

Lastly the costs involved and redtape for those running youth clubs and the like scares people away from running clubs.
When you all have to be crb checked and insurance has to be taken out its no wonder our game suffers.
 

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Fanatico
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Discussion Starter #7
I always see people mention gaming and computing as the reason why football is seemingly deteriorating, but is it? Games exist in Germany, Spain, and other top international football-playing countries. It isn't just the UK where games are so important to the youth of today. Sure it probably has some impact, but I don't think it hinders football as much as people think. You're right that good teams rely on a good English core at big clubs (United and Chelsea are good examples), but league football is different to international football. Even then, how many absolute key world class players are English? You can say when Rooney is fit and motivated he comes under that bracket, but honestly, how many more is there?

Our golden age were seriously golden years ago, but football has evolved and has surpassed them now. Coaching at youth level needs to change exponentially. We shouldn't forget our morals though and must not forget some factors of our play - strong and hard working - but things need to change if we want to compete with the best. I saw someone from the FA claim today that England will win the world cup in the next ten years. Lol.
 
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