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[Blog] England: The Endless Loop
Written by Mossy on Wednesday, 30th Jun 2010 12:57

Too much expectation, dawning realisation, bitter recrimination, inquest, sack the manager, forget, repeat again in two years time.

This is the endless loop England have been going through. A loop we need to brake. This time our complete abject failure in the World Cup must mean a radical re-think to our game and the blueprint for our future England team.

Germany have a decade head start over us. Rewind to 1998. German football was in a mess. With a far more older squad than we had players such as Lothar Matthaus 37, Jurgen Klinsman 33 and Thomas Hassler 33. And no talent coming through the ranks. They were embarrassed 3-0 to Croatia in the quarter-finals. Having not been very impressive getting there.

They then subsequently limped out in the group stages of Euro 2000. Many observers and Germans alike regarded this squad the worse they have ever had.

This is where our two countries differ, through strong leadership with the German FA and the Bundersliga they set up a blueprint to give their country a future on the international arena.

The FA told the top two divisions if they didn't have an academy to get one or, if they did to bulk it up. If they did they would have their licenses revoked. Hundreds of millions of Euros were invested far more money filters into the academies than in England.

This worked, they have seen youngsters under the age of 23 playing regularly in the Bundersliga rise sharply from 6% a decade ago to 15% now. Look at their coaches that teach these kids. Coaches with UEFA B, A and Pro-badges in Germany 34,790, Spain 23,995..us...wait for it...2,769. To me that says it all.

Watching their team in the World Cup has also made me envious; their style and passing the team work they display and, the hope they have for the future with these young excellent promising players. What they have done is exactly the way I believe our country should be heading. Rather than picking players and finding a system to work, we should be picking players for a system.

Accept our limitations, we will never have the flair of a Brazil for example, but, we have our own strengths that many countries would struggle to cope with. Our pace of the game, pressurising, playing a high line and quick direct slick football. Long-term planning and goals, strong leadership from the top is what needs to happen in England for us to improve.

Although I don't think we are in a big a mess as many would have us believe, there is still a lot wrong with football in our country. Our national training centre in Burton has been in limbo for eight years. With the rising expense of Wembley they decided to put it on hold. And so it has stayed. Awaiting £80 million to complete the site.

We can afford to lavish £6 million a year on Capello but investing in our future seems to be well down our list of priorities. Arsene Wenger in 2007 commented that "You cannot imagine the size of England... [that it] has no grounds to develop their whole football education"

Then you look at our FA... in a complete mess. In quick succession we have lost our commercial director, chief Executive and the independent chairman.

Recently in response to criticism to our FA they produced a 52-page document and a new vision: a world class organisation with a winning mentality. The document is apparently full of pictures of Capello, the newly appointed England manager. If ever a document highlighted the apparent flaws in the FA's thinking this was it.

No mention of a blueprint of the future just a world class manager. Who has a reputation for short-term improvements. With little thought for long term plans.

I still feel that despite all this we have some very talented players coming through the ranks: Adam Johnson, Jack Rodwell, Kieran Gibbs, Connor Wickham, Josh Eachram and Nathaniel Chalobah are examples.

Trevor Brooking's hard work has brought its rewards, our Under-17's have won a championship against a talented Spanish team. With his philosophy of retaining possession and flair this does show promise but, they won't see these fruits for another four years at least.

So our future isn't as bad as some may believe. But, we now need to learn from the mistakes of the past and build something through this disaster.

We have improved in our technical ability and we still produce world class players. In order for us to truly compete and win World Cups we need to have world class facilities. And an FA to be proud of.

We have a talented, ageing team. Our abject failure in the World Cup was not down to the manager but to the players that have been given far to many chances to prove their quality.

I don't think we could have ever won it but a second round exit in that manner was a very tough pill to take.

Sadly I feel this loop will never be broken holding Capello a world class manager for two weeks before they decide is crass. Sacking him is a stupid idea. If he can't get our players going, what hope have we got?

More recriminations and over the top headlines sack the manager, bring Beckham in was one of the most imaginative I have read. As our endless loop starts again.

We either learn from this and head in the direction Germany have gone or, we are doomed to repeat this cycle again in 2012.

Which way will we go?




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Marshalls_Mullet added 09:43 - Jul 1
Needs some editing.
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Pique added 13:05 - Jul 2
Excellent blog, Mossy. You've picked up on many of the key strategic issues that have left us floundering for so many years - in particular, the manifold failures of an FA that seems to believe its only real role is to select a half decent manager every few years and chuck a load of cash at him.

It isn't. The role of the FA should be exactly as you have stated: to develop a long-term plan for youth development and success, something that they have failed to deliver on a breathtaking scale. Burton, as you point out, has been a total fiasco.

But you do also rightly point out that it's not all doom and gloom, and that there is hope for the future (unlike certain TWTD posters, who seem to believe that criticism and optimism are mutually exclusive!), mainly in the shape of Sir Trevor Brooking's influence.

Well done - great stuff!
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Back_The_Boss added 17:05 - Aug 16
Good blog, Capello has to go after a shamolic display in SA.
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