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monty1080

What Would You Do ..

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I think there are similarities between now and the financial collapse in 2007. A bunch of overpaid, emotionally retarded, ignorant prima-donnas, have screwed up royally on the world stage. We now have an opportunity to try and put things right. Will we now (as in 2007) fail to grasp that opportunity because of VIs wanting to sustain the Status Quo ? Or can we grasp the nettle, deconstruct the system and start again with something that doesn't reward failure, develops rather than squanders talent. Lets face it, the system in this country is broken, averagely talented players (Milner, Upson, Terry??) getting paid 5 or 6 figures PER WEEK.... for what ? Only to fail to deliver when it is their Country's pride at stake, I know they are paid by their club and not the Country but that makes it doubly frustrating. Our thrashing by Germany at the weekend was our worse defeat EVER in the world cup. My first step would be to introduce a wage cap in the Premiership, I reckon £1m per year. If our players then wanted to go abroad ? Great ! But on their showing in the WC I doubt that many managers of foreign clubs will be clamouring for any of them. Next a cap on the number of foreign players in any one team. We have never been so successful in Europe as when there was a 3 foreign player per team limit. Anyone else got any ideas ?

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I think there are similarities between now and the financial collapse in 2007. A bunch of overpaid, emotionally retarded, ignorant prima-donnas, have screwed up royally on the world stage. We now have an opportunity to try and put things right. Will we now (as in 2007) fail to grasp that opportunity because of VIs wanting to sustain the Status Quo ? Or can we grasp the nettle, deconstruct the system and start again with something that doesn't reward failure, develops rather than squanders talent. Lets face it, the system in this country is broken, averagely talented players (Milner, Upson, Terry??) getting paid 5 or 6 figures PER WEEK.... for what ? Only to fail to deliver when it is their Country's pride at stake, I know they are paid by their club and not the Country but that makes it doubly frustrating. Our thrashing by Germany at the weekend was our worse defeat EVER in the world cup. My first step would be to introduce a wage cap in the Premiership, I reckon £1m per year. If our players then wanted to go abroad ? Great ! But on their showing in the WC I doubt that many managers of foreign clubs will be clamouring for any of them. Next a cap on the number of foreign players in any one team. We have never been so successful in Europe as when there was a 3 foreign player per team limit. Anyone else got any ideas ?

Foreign players make our game 20 times better...probably find it would be illegal as well (well for EU nationals)..coaching is the main area of fault..Forget about Brazil 2014..Perhaps at 2018, we may have a chance..the England u17s are showing real promise at the mo..

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My advice is that if you want to have any chance of winning the World Cup then you should move to somewhere like Brazil.

Or Germany.

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  1. Change the attitudes of 30 million people concerning consuming vast amounts of alcohol on a regular basis.
  2. Drum into the afore mentioned people that artistry, dedication, belief are not "for queers and steers".
  3. Tell the same people that if they moan about the state of English football and continue to pay the Murdoch tax that they are morons.
  4. Cap Premier League wages.
  5. Tell 10 year olds its NOT okay to towel the more skillful player because he's better than you.
  6. Abolish the celeb culture.

That'll do for a start.

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The FT had a good analysis today of how Germany had systematically improved their skill base since hitting rock bottom a few years ago.

FT - Simon Kuper

Basically the Germans are young, light and fast. They had weaknesses in defence, but more than made up for this with their passing skill, team work and lightening speed. One of their wingers was clocked at 31kph (and others at 25kph), whereas our heavy defenders struggled to reach 21 kph. The game has evolved and England has failed to adapt.

Did anyone else despair at the lack of running "off the ball" by England?

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here's the article:

It emerged at half-time that Lukas Podolski, Germany's outside-left, had hit a top speed of 31.5km an hour. His teammates Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mesut Özil and Thomas Müller all exceeded 25kph (15.5mph). They flitted past Englishmen such as Gareth Barry, John Terry and Matthew Upson who were stuck at 21km.

Fast Germans beat big Englishmen yesterday. England may make the ritual human sacrifice of their manager, Fabio Capello, and hire their fourth man in four years. Instead they should root out bad habits in children's football, as Germany have done.

Germany's best players in Bloemfontein were Özil, 21, and Müller, 20, who just over a year ago was playing regional football for Bayern Munich's reserves. The German team's average age was 25, four years younger than their English opponents. Müller had nothing like the reputation of several English players. He was just better equipped for modern, mobile football.

England fielded a central defence of Upson and Terry: two big, brave, typically English guardsmen, ready to fight the big static centre-forward who is almost extinct. Modern forwards, such as Germany's Miroslav Klose, move into the front line rather than occupy it constantly. Klose did just that for Germany's first goal, which, disgracefully for an international match, came from a goal kick. The lofted ball from Manuel Neuer, the keeper, caught Terry out of position, whereupon Klose outpaced Upson and scored.

Then a German attack again left almost every English defender out of position. Right-back Glen Johnson was sucked into the centre to cover, leaving Podolski free to score. England's goalkeeping problem is not the half of it.

They also have a central defensive problem, and the problem of not having a defensive midfielder. Barry, who occupied the position, barely tackles.

His colleagues Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard rarely do either; Germany could cross England's midfield almost at will. For once the British media could not identify a foreign scapegoat, not even the Uruguayan linesman who failed to see Lampard's lob bouncing well inside Neuer's goal. Nor could anyone blame lack of spirit. England simply were not very good.

When German football hit bottom a decade ago, it identified its problems as a lack of skill and passing ability. It set out to produce players like Özil and Müller. England now must stop producing huge, immobile keepers and center backs. Football has changed but English defences have not. If England seek another proven top-class coach to replace Capello, there being no Englishman in that category, they might try Louis van Gaal, Bayern's Dutch coach. He might take the job. Yet blaming Capello is too shallow.

Today England's so-called "golden generation" will disband for ever at an English airport. It never passed the quarter-final of a major tournament and was in fact the Pyrrhic generation. It consisted of an outdated centre-back in Terry, and a gifted libero in Rio Ferdinand who was badly missed because of injury. Ashley Cole at full-back is hardly an English equivalent of Brazil's Maicon. There were two almost identical attacking midfielders in Gerrard and Lampard, who have spent years getting in each other's way. And there is a wonderful forward in Wayne Rooney, whose heavy torso probably precludes him from handling 60 matches a year. He has looked exhausted.

England lost to a flawed team. Almost every time the English pressed, the German defence revealed weaknesses. No matter: the Germans have gone further than England at every World Cup since 1966.

Speaking of '66, Lampard's disallowed goal reminded every viewer of Geoff Hurst's shot at Wem bley, which bounced off the German bar and was, dubiously, given as a goal. Müller admitted afterwards that the German players had heard at half-time that Lampard's lob should have counted. But, Müller smiled: "It's the equalising justice of Wembley." Every England-Germany match recalls past EnglandGermany matches - always with the same outcome when it really matters.

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I think there are similarities between now and the financial collapse in 2007. A bunch of overpaid, emotionally retarded, ignorant prima-donnas, have screwed up royally on the world stage. We now have an opportunity to try and put things right. Will we now (as in 2007) fail to grasp that opportunity because of VIs wanting to sustain the Status Quo ? Or can we grasp the nettle, deconstruct the system and start again with something that doesn't reward failure, develops rather than squanders talent. Lets face it, the system in this country is broken, averagely talented players (Milner, Upson, Terry??) getting paid 5 or 6 figures PER WEEK.... for what ? Only to fail to deliver when it is their Country's pride at stake, I know they are paid by their club and not the Country but that makes it doubly frustrating. Our thrashing by Germany at the weekend was our worse defeat EVER in the world cup. My first step would be to introduce a wage cap in the Premiership, I reckon £1m per year. If our players then wanted to go abroad ? Great ! But on their showing in the WC I doubt that many managers of foreign clubs will be clamouring for any of them. Next a cap on the number of foreign players in any one team. We have never been so successful in Europe as when there was a 3 foreign player per team limit. Anyone else got any ideas ?

All of those appalling performances and you use Milner as an example? Maybe you are thinking of the wrong player - he was the ONE that was crossing the ball in to the box.

Anyway - to address your question:

I think much of the issues can be tackled without changing anything as fundamental as salary caps or foreign player quotas. I think selection is a huge issue. Capello came in telling everyone that he would not just repeat the same tired policies of the last few managers, who often picked players based upon reputation, had a small pool of players they would consider and almost never did anything risky or even new tactically. However, that is EXACTLY what he has done!

I am a Villa fan (hence my over the top defence of Milner). Just to take Villa, they currently have a few decent English, young players. In particular Young and Agbonlahor. Both have played a couple of games for England, did okay, and haven't had a look in since. Whilst neither had brilliant seasons last year, partly due to injury, they have both been absolutely fantastic for 2/3 years. However, Capello decides to take players who have PROVEN they do not have what it takes (Lennon, SWP, J Cole, Heskey, Crouch) to the WC. When the next WC takes place Agbonlahor and Young will be 27 and 28 respectively - for the type of players they are, they may well be 'past it' (think Owen). In fact I personally believe that players generally peak at about 24, many much younger, and spend much of the rest of their career living of reputation and the the odd brilliant performance.

Now even if you think these two players are shit (they aren't Agbonlahor can take on players - seriously think if you can remember a single instance of the England forwards beating defenders at pace - and Young can do all Lennon and SWP can do but also CROSS THE BLOODY BALL), even if you think they shouldn't be in the England team there are dozens of other examples (A Johnson etc.)

At the very least we should be giving these youngsters extended runs in friendlies and so on.

Above and beyond this I do think the following should be looked at:

- Number of foreign players in the league. I think Germany have a cap??

- Nurturing talent (rather than buying it in). What are our kids learning - skills?

- Too many games without a break

- The huge 'club before country' culture we have in England

- Players egos and attitudes - that doesn't mean pay them less, but maybe clubs should be teaching humility

I may edit to add more after I've eaten this sarnie!

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All of those appalling performances and you use Milner as an example? Maybe you are thinking of the wrong player - he was the ONE that was crossing the ball in to the box.

Agreed, I just used Milner as an example because everyone was saying how great he was.... all he was doing was HIS JOB. He was OK, nothing more than that, he just shone a bit brighter in the Slovenia game as he was up against a very poor left back. He was significantly quieter against Germany because Boateng was able to deal with him easily.

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I think there are similarities between now and the financial collapse in 2007. A bunch of overpaid, emotionally retarded, ignorant prima-donnas, have screwed up royally on the world stage.

But there is a huge difference. The financiers were not attempting to entertain.

We now have an opportunity to try and put things right.

You assume there is something wrong. That is only true in so far as the team is no longer part of this peice of entertainment. However, whilst they were still in it, they were performing better than any other team. The proof is in the newspaper column inches. As some actor or another said: press is better weighed than read.

...deconstruct the system and start again with something that doesn't reward failure, develops rather than squanders talent.

Either you are not a football suppoerter or you have not spent long enough in introspection. Failure is as important, if not more so in football. Watching an england team that actually wins would be like watching East Enders episodes in which only happy things happen. English footie supporters love underdogs. Why spoil their fun?

Our thrashing by Germany at the weekend was our worse defeat EVER in the world cup.     

Great isn't it! At least that's the subconscious footie fan thought. Think how much sweeter that illusive victory will be now!

... a cap on the number of foreign players in any one team. We have never been so successful in Europe as when there was a 3 foreign player per team limit.  

We did better back in the 3 player cap days because a whole bunch of practically third world nations hadn't got up to speed. Besides, we have enough resources here to get english players up to scratch. If they can't compete for the premiership places, why should they be able to compete in a World Cup? It ain't training they need if you want them to win, it's an interest in winning rather than in drama.

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I agree with IWantitNow's points. This country - not just its football players - needs to toughen up and knuckle down. I would say that the media has also played a major part in our slow decline into self-indulgence, narcissism and a get-rich-quick sense of entitlement. Enough!

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I think there are similarities between now and the financial collapse in 2007.

So why didn't we win the cup in 1970, 1974, 1982, 1986 etc.?

We didn't even qualify in 1978.

England (footballers) haven't won anything worthwhile since 1966. You can't just blame the current lot for failures that occurred before they were even born.

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The FT had a good analysis today of how Germany had systematically improved their skill base since hitting rock bottom a few years ago.

FT - Simon Kuper

Basically the Germans are young, light and fast. They had weaknesses in defence, but more than made up for this with their passing skill, team work and lightening speed. One of their wingers was clocked at 31kph (and others at 25kph), whereas our heavy defenders struggled to reach 21 kph. The game has evolved and England has failed to adapt.

Did anyone else despair at the lack of running "off the ball" by England?

Yes, I'd call for standardised tests of :

Speed

Athleticism

Agility

Skills

Stamina.

A minimum figure to be set for all these attributes, no-one ever to be picked who did not meet the criteria at least once. The tests to be regularly performed, especially by players returning from injury. The manager to have the scope to pick a maximum of 3 players in special circumstances who do not currently meet all the criteria

This would have eliminated many of the England squad, and would at least ensure we didn't look like slow donkeys against Derby horses.

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But there is a huge difference. The financiers were not attempting to entertain.

You assume there is something wrong. That is only true in so far as the team is no longer part of this peice of entertainment. However, whilst they were still in it, they were performing better than any other team. The proof is in the newspaper column inches. As some actor or another said: press is better weighed than read.

Either you are not a football suppoerter or you have not spent long enough in introspection. Failure is as important, if not more so in football. Watching an england team that actually wins would be like watching East Enders episodes in which only happy things happen. English footie supporters love underdogs. Why spoil their fun?

Great isn't it! At least that's the subconscious footie fan thought. Think how much sweeter that illusive victory will be now!

We did better back in the 3 player cap days because a whole bunch of practically third world nations hadn't got up to speed. Besides, we have enough resources here to get english players up to scratch. If they can't compete for the premiership places, why should they be able to compete in a World Cup? It ain't training they need if you want them to win, it's an interest in winning rather than in drama.

You should do GCSE Philosophy. It requires talking an absolute load of shit about things one clearly has very little understanding of, whilst hiding behind a faux intellectual 'analysis'. You would do quite well.

Tip for you: If anyone criticises you, you can run to wikipedia and post links to ad-hominem or 'logical fallacy' or some such other little gem to disguise the fact they are right and divert attention.

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What would I do?

I would start recruiting players from the Championship.

No, really.

Take some of the younger players who are hungry to make their name, give them a footballing 'interview' - playing with the rest of the team in a friendly - then commit to them for at least 12 months and pay their team to allow them some time-off for England duty. Hire the best sports nutritionists, physios and coaches from around the world, but insist on an English manager.

Oh yes, and cap the England manager's wage.

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So why didn't we win the cup in 1970, 1974, 1982, 1986 etc.?

We didn't even qualify in 1978.

England (footballers) haven't won anything worthwhile since 1966. You can't just blame the current lot for failures that occurred before they were even born.

Not sufficiently skillful?

Players of sports should play the game because it is a game, its fun, and they take pride and enjoyment in being better, fitter, faster than the opponents. (But equally respect the opponents when they turn out to be better, fitter etc.) It all falls apart if they're mainly in it for the money.

I have much sympathy for today's players, in that the media and fans place stupid expectations (and so pressure) on them, but I'd rather see the selection of less renowned players who were clearly enjoying themselves.

IMO its important to be relaxed about sport. As a Scot I am

i) passionate about my national sides - while comfortable in knowing they are unlikely to win big tournaments

ii) disappointed that England did not do better - because they had potential to do better (which I would have liked to see.)

If fans accept that their team is rarely likely to win so much more pleasure can be gained from the good performances.

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Not sufficiently skillful?

Players of sports should play the game because it is a game, its fun, and they take pride and enjoyment in being better, fitter, faster than the opponents. (But equally respect the opponents when they turn out to be better, fitter etc.) It all falls apart if they're mainly in it for the money.

I have much sympathy for today's players, in that the media and fans place stupid expectations (and so pressure) on them, but I'd rather see the selection of less renowned players who were clearly enjoying themselves.

IMO its important to be relaxed about sport. As a Scot I am

i) passionate about my national sides - while comfortable in knowing they are unlikely to win big tournaments

ii) disappointed that England did not do better - because they had potential to do better (which I would have liked to see.)

If fans accept that their team is rarely likely to win so much more pleasure can be gained from the good performances.

Nicely put and grounded in reality.

I think the WC performances have been disgraceful. However, I think they under performed (rather than were just incapable) and England is still ranked in the top 10 (8th I believe prior to this tournament) whilst you may argue with the ranking process, I think being 8th at a sport that is easily one of the most popular and wide spread is not actually that bad.

Doesn't mean we don't have 'issues' but a lot of the problem is expectations.

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But there is a huge difference. The financiers were not attempting to entertain.

You assume there is something wrong. That is only true in so far as the team is no longer part of this peice of entertainment. However, whilst they were still in it, they were performing better than any other team. The proof is in the newspaper column inches. As some actor or another said: press is better weighed than read.

Either you are not a football suppoerter or you have not spent long enough in introspection. Failure is as important, if not more so in football. Watching an england team that actually wins would be like watching East Enders episodes in which only happy things happen. English footie supporters love underdogs. Why spoil their fun?

Great isn't it! At least that's the subconscious footie fan thought. Think how much sweeter that illusive victory will be now!

We did better back in the 3 player cap days because a whole bunch of practically third world nations hadn't got up to speed. Besides, we have enough resources here to get english players up to scratch. If they can't compete for the premiership places, why should they be able to compete in a World Cup? It ain't training they need if you want them to win, it's an interest in winning rather than in drama.

The word is elusive BTW, I'm not expecting us to win, just put in a better showing than we did. I am just trying to get a debate going about how we might learn and move forward, which is where the 2007 parallel comes in. It's much easier to change things when public opinion is with you, now would seem to be the ideal time to make some positive changes in order to create a better team for the future. Anyway, you're Welsh, what do you care ? Also which 3rd world countries are you talking about ? Brazil perhaps ??

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You should do GCSE Philosophy. It requires talking an absolute load of shit about things one clearly has very little understanding of, whilst hiding behind a faux intellectual 'analysis'. You would do quite well.

Tip for you: If anyone criticises you, you can run to wikipedia and post links to ad-hominem or 'logical fallacy' or some such other little gem to disguise the fact they are right and divert attention.

Tell me what I said that was wrong, rather than criticise me, that's all I ask. Not too much is it? ;)

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Not sufficiently skillful?

Players of sports should play the game because it is a game, its fun, and they take pride and enjoyment in being better, fitter, faster than the opponents. (But equally respect the opponents when they turn out to be better, fitter etc.) It all falls apart if they're mainly in it for the money.

I have much sympathy for today's players, in that the media and fans place stupid expectations (and so pressure) on them, but I'd rather see the selection of less renowned players who were clearly enjoying themselves.

IMO its important to be relaxed about sport.  As a Scot I am

i)  passionate about my national sides - while comfortable in knowing they are unlikely to win big tournaments

ii) disappointed that England did not do better - because they had potential to do better (which I would have liked to see.)

If fans accept that their team is rarely likely to win so much more pleasure can be gained from the good performances.

Great post, and one with which I largely agree. I wish England had done better, I also wish I didn't have to feel embarrassed about how badly and with such little passion they played during the whole tournament. Whenever I watch Scotland or Wales or Northern Ireland, they may not have great skill but they always play with passion and a will to win, that was entirely lacking from England in this World Cup.

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Tell me what I said that was wrong, rather than criticise me, that's all I ask. Not too much is it? ;)

No, that is a fair request.

To be entirely honest with you though, I have tried to do that before and you repeatedly told me 'go fvck yourself' so I'm not always sure you are going to be reasonable. However, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.

Where I think you are wrong is your association of cause and effect.

Your theory that it is purely about entertainment and that entertainment is the goal itself may be true at some level (although I'm not sure where and have never seen evidence, but perhaps 'the hidden ones' use it just to divert our attention), but not at the level of those who directly impact the game. That is just nonsense.

I have been on a professional contract and I know many current and ex-professional players, managers, directors, coaches, owners and so on. All of those people strive for one thing and that is to win (granted the odd player may be more interested in their own performance than the team, I'm sure there are instances of betting syndicates 'getting' to players and so on, but that is rare and not really anything to do with entertainment).

So I think you are approaching this under a significant misapprehension, which renders your theory utterly flawed. That is those who directly impact the game and the outcome, by picking the players and playing the game have no comprehension of what you suggest. Thus why I likened it to GCSE Philosophy which I'm sure you'd agree (if you have been exposed to it) can be passed by just making up theories which are logical but flawed because they are based upon fantasy, false assumptions and irrelevance.

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What would I do?

I would start recruiting players from the Championship.

No, really.

So you think from grass roots to championship football is honky dory?

Take some of the younger players who are hungry to make their name, give them a footballing 'interview' - playing with the rest of the team in a friendly - then commit to them for at least 12 months and pay their team to allow them some time-off for England duty. Hire the best sports nutritionists, physios and coaches from around the world, but insist on an English manager.

Great, but you can't polish a turd, they play in the championship because they're not good enough for the Premier League. Recruiting sub standard players and throwing money at them isn't the solution.

Oh yes, and cap the England manager's wage.

While I agree the managers wages are a joke, surely the players wages are a bigger problem. The reason they pay Fabio 6 mil a year is that if they didn't, he wouldn't touch the job with a barge pole. (I'm not saying this isn't the worst scenario for both parties). Not recruiting Harry Redknapp who would have surely taken a quarter of the salary for a shot at managing England just sums the F.A. IMO.

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What would I do?

I would start recruiting players from the Championship.

No, really.

Take some of the younger players who are hungry to make their name, give them a footballing 'interview' - playing with the rest of the team in a friendly - then commit to them for at least 12 months and pay their team to allow them some time-off for England duty. Hire the best sports nutritionists, physios and coaches from around the world, but insist on an English manager.

Oh yes, and cap the England manager's wage.

Great idea. The Australians (in Rugby Union) have what they call an emerging XV, I think something similar would be great for England. A bridge between u-21s and full international. I also like the idea of having them together full time, also it might put some pride and passion into them before their heads are turned by Bentleys and Nuts centrefolds.

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So you think from grass roots to championship football is honky dory?

Great, but you can't polish a turd, they play in the championship because they're not good enough for the Premier League. Recruiting sub standard players and throwing money at them isn't the solution.

While I agree the managers wages are a joke, surely the players wages are a bigger problem. The reason they pay Fabio 6 mil a year is that if they didn't, he wouldn't touch the job with a barge pole. (I'm not saying this isn't the worst scenario for both parties). Not recruiting Harry Redknapp who would have surely taken a quarter of the salary for a shot at managing England just sums the F.A. IMO.

The England setup also already caters for this to some degree with the 'B' team. However, there are not enough matches, partly because of lack of quality opposition willing to play. However, I think it is something they could look at. I agree with you - I wouldn't be keen on drafting players in to the senior team until they have shown some ability at a decent standard or are obviously brilliant.

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So you think from grass roots to championship football is honky dory?

No, but I think the problems with England are largely entrenched in the players and the system in the premiership. Since Sky, etc. aren't likely to agree to a cap on foreign players, or any changes to the playing shcedule, they need to cast their net wider than the current crop of premiership players. Not just the Championship, but up and coming players, who are not 'household names'.

The big names had their chance and failed. Look at John Terry in yesterday's match - shocking - better defenders could be recruited from most if not all of the English leagues. The strategy of letting players 'prove' themselves in the premiership then recruiting them to the England team seems not to be working. Repeating the same mistakes over and over is an option I suppose.

Great, but you can't polish a turd, they play in the championship because they're not good enough for the Premier League. Recruiting sub standard players and throwing money at them isn't the solution.

As the last 10 years have proved, occasionally throwing together exhausted premier league players who are all multi-millionaires and spend their days surrounded by talented foreigners won't lead to great success. How motivated would you be if the price of failure was having to spend a few more moments sitting in your Bentley outside the mini mansion, contemplating what kind of tiles the new swimming pool will have? It's just a blip for the England squad, their summer holiday in SA has ended a bit early.

While I agree the managers wages are a joke, surely the players wages are a bigger problem. The reason they pay Fabio 6 mil a year is that if they didn't, he wouldn't touch the job with a barge pole. (I'm not saying this isn't the worst scenario for both parties). Not recruiting Harry Redknapp who would have surely taken a quarter of the salary for a shot at managing England just sums the F.A. IMO.

What can the FA realistically do about the players wages though? They have complete control of the England manager's job and pay. By offering silly money (and a silly contract) to Ericsson they set a bad example and a bit like Newcastle used to be a soft touch where lazy players can go to earn a mint without having to tax themselves, England must surely have that reputation at the international level. Ideally the England manager's pay would be linked to competition performance, so that less than 50% is 'salary'.

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The England setup also already caters for this to some degree with the 'B' team. However, there are not enough matches, partly because of lack of quality opposition willing to play. However, I think it is something they could look at. I agree with you - I wouldn't be keen on drafting players in to the senior team until they have shown some ability at a decent standard or are obviously brilliant.

But then they'd be in the PL and in the England A team, so it's a bit of chicken and egg. For me, it starts at grass roots, i.e. when the kids first start playing the game, a new mentality must be instilled. Not one based on the ability to run round like a headless chicken for the duration of the match, or one that says you must do 50 circuits of the pitch before you kick a ball in training.

The attitudes from 11+ just get worse, skillful dedicated players get kicked off the park by meat heads with parents with the little Englander mentality.

Unfortunately this and the next generation are gone IMO. The media must do its part in managing expectations over the next decade. If the right practices are put in place now, maybe in 10-15 years time we'll have kids coming through who can sting more than 5 passes together. Maybe.

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  • 141 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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