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Time for change

Time for change

Skysports.com's Chris Harvey puts forward his five-point plan for transforming England's international fortunes.

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Comments (116)

Andrew Sadler (Leeds United fan) says...

I think its is time we allow the development of skillfull players at youth level. Clubs and scouts tend to ignore petite skillful players in favour of big powerful boys and that has been to the detriment of our national team. I follow Junior football and I have been amazed with technical skills and creativity of Asian players who play at this level. We have a hidden untapped talent pool which no one has yet discovered. I still don't know why they haven't broken through into professional football. I feel its the criteria in the selection process that prevents scouts and clubs taking a chance. We need to change the philosophy of football and if it means developing players who don't have the physical height or strenght to begin with but possess the technical skill. Surely the conditioning can be worked on and they will eventually catch-up on height. This should be uniform across the board for all players regardless of background. The alternative is what we have just witnessed- players who can't keep the ball and kick and rush football. I have come across other supporters from other clubs who also share my view so I can't be the only one.

Posted 23:31 29th June 2010

David Jones (Liverpool fan) says...

Told you before and now again. This media is our enemy. The 1st question they asked Capello:'when are you leaving?' instead of why the team did not perform?. Today one newspaper said Rooney and Gerrard lied, they said they will do well but didn't. For god sake any player , anywhere will say the same thing , they wont say that we are rubbish , we are not going to do well....Please stop putting pressure on those sportsman in any sports....They are human. I know these british media dont want a foreigner to win us the world cup. To have a good team and a passing team, you must have a good playmaker and that we dont have. We have Lampard but he is not mobile enough. He is a good player, no doubt about that, but he plays almost every game for Chelsea, so he is a tired player. At Chelsea, he has world class player both side to cover him, in england team, he has Lennon, Milner, SWP so no good. In future Barry should be the playmaker (not holding midfield) and give Lampard a rest on the bench...I feel sorry for Capello, he has taken some players like Heskey, Upson, SWP, etc.. on sympathy, because they played during qualifications and which was a big mistake. He has the whole PL teams to choose from, so he had to select the players who were in form. actually playing for their teams when the world cup was close....Too late.... The FA should learn a lesson from now on, they have to bring the restriction on foreign players in a team, only 5 , and the rest british players in one game, if not, future of our national team will be worst....

Posted 23:20 29th June 2010

Graeme Thorndale (Crystal Palace fan) says...

i agree with this article. i am also in favour of harry redknapp for manager always have been and always will be. we need to clear the whole team out and start from scratch. the manager needs to be looking for true hearted english players who have real drive and passion to repesent there country in a major tournment. looking at this world cup not a singlr player looked proud to be there wearing the 3 lions of england. the fa need to let the manager do his job and not tell him who to pick and who to play. players need to be played in there best position to get the best from them not rocket science. gerrad left side when he will tell you himself he better in the middle. if you want someone on the left put a left sided player joe cole prime example. managers need to learn that a player say i prefer this position means i prefer this position not play me anywhere but here. dont make no sense to me. the sooner we start training the kids in this contry the better. left them do tricks let them run with the ball encourage pass and move and a bit of trickery it makes the game more fun for them and encourage respect respect respect. respect gets u a long way in life as it will do in football. so come on england lets get a grip and plan for the future. pride passion and respect.

Posted 23:11 29th June 2010

Andy H says...

To be fair, this is a very good article, and is spot on so well done Chris Harvey. Especially the last one about Euro '12, its exactly what ive bin thinkn, england is like the galacticos era at real, full of big names and big brands, but cant play as a TEAM and therfore underacheive. U luk at brazil, they have players spread out all over the world, but when they join up there's such an understanding between each player, they play with humility and loyalty, england luk at each other like ther strangers, and they all play in the same league!! I feel we need to gather a new young hungry crop of players and take em to the euro's to teach them. People may think the players need to b in the top4, but these internationals r as big as Champs Lge, let the top4 players fight for money and fame, and let the young and underrated players outside the top4 fight for ENGLAND.

Posted 22:59 29th June 2010

Richard Clegg (Manchester United fan) says...

I think it has been proven now that you guys England, are just ok at playing football, not great like the Brazilians South Americans etc.

Posted 22:33 29th June 2010

Stephen Skinner (Manchester United fan) says...

Totally agree with everything said in this article but cant see any of it happening. The schemes suggested would probably take 15-20 years before the England first team were regular contenders for the world cup, how many managers would the quick-fix FA have to go through. Also as a coach of under 10s, I have had parents come to me and tell me "my lads a centre forward, if he doesnt play there I'll take him somewhere else". And the number of times I have heard parents from my team telling the defenders to "get rid of it" drives me mad. Other regular comments include "cut out the fancy stuff", "come on lads goal difference might be important" and "get stuck into them". I'm fairly certain youth football in the countries still in the world cup is not ruined by this mentality.

Posted 22:29 29th June 2010

Antony Sadler (Nottingham Forest fan) says...

We need to look to the future, explain our actions to the country, build on youth, thats the way forward. We would have to take the pain of losing and learning, through competitions. Sacking Capello will cost the FA loads, that money would go far in the devlopment in youth. We require incentives for clubs to develope youth of english players making in the top leagues, here and abroad. Capello tried to make the best of what he had, yes I do agree he could have changed things within the game. Most people knew our defence needed protection, a sweeper, five man midfield, not just 442 out of date tactics. The trouble is we do not have the squad strength and depth of the top countries. Rooney on top of a long season carrying the burden of utd, found himself the hope of the nation. This was to much for him to take, before he came england was boring, no idea, the no fear youthfull rooney, as like owen 1998, gave us spirit hope. To achive world cup glory, we need this in all players, in all positions, picked for effort, at club level. Capello needs realistic objectives, bring in the youth, get rid of lampard, terry all the pre madonna status players.

Posted 22:23 29th June 2010

Paul Atterbury (Leeds United fan) says...

I agree with everyone who says the format of youth football needs to be changed. I was a tricky right winger in my younger days who loved going to the local leisure centre and learning new skills each week. I joined a team and the coach said I had the potential to go far, but he was going to take his time so I could learn to do the basics well. It was never about winning with him, and we usually got more of a ticking off after a win than a defeat. But it all went wrong when he didn't play one of the lads, and his dad joined up with other dads to get rid of the coach. They got their wish, and took over the running of the team. But all that happened was the dads played their own sons week in week out. I got feed up and moved to rugby instead where everyone got a game regardless of ability. So something needs to be done to ensure the junior teams aren't run for individuals and their mates, but for the greater good. There needs to be some sort of body ensuring standards are met. In terms of the England team right now, I agree with Andy Gray comments. To me, a national coach is about motivating the players and ensuring their confidence is high. Maradonna has no coaching badges, but his players look up to him and no doubt would run through walls for him. We need someone similar, someone like a Shearer, or a Beckham in a few years. But with them you need someone to look at the tactical side. There's no doubting we have talented players. But they looked disinterested and unhappy at the WC. Get a former star in and make sure they have a good coaching team behind them. This would work well under the Director of Football. Just a thought

Posted 22:22 29th June 2010

Euan Anckorn (Newcastle United fan) says...

I wish people would stop blaming the Premier League and foreigners. Its no excuse - there are just as many in La liga. One problem is that for years now England managers just pick the best players rather than building a team that works. The England team severely lacked balance - Capello really should have chosen between Gerrard and Lampard. Another problem is that, in my opinion, in training at all levels there is too much of an emphasis on fitness and athletic ability over skill and technical ability, like in English cricket at the moment. This results in atheletes rather than footballers being produced.

Posted 22:06 29th June 2010

Darren Wright says...

I have seen and read many comments over the last couple of days and seen the english press . Sacking Capello ( Yes ,he made some mistakes) is not the answer to the problem and the players weren't good enough, injured and tired ! The root of the problem is with the FA and the Premiership ! We have killed the chances of the the national team over the last 10 yearsor so with the crippling domestic season that needs to be SHORTENED by at least 4 games and a 3/4 winter break in January is a MUST in line with the rest of Europe ! We need more emphasis on youth coaching - skills such as passing and keeping the ball amongst others and not just long balls and speed and winning at all cost . They need to reduce the number of foreign players and increase the number of players who can play for England and get the required coaching that is required from age 5- 21 yrs old. Also We don't need the Community Shield and Carling cup in my opinion ( unnecessary games) . This will take several years to bear fruit but until the FA/PL act we will be saying the same things in 2012 /2014 when we will be worse as there a fewer players , albeit skilled ones and uninjured to choose from . However whether this will be implemented by th indecisive FA and agreed by the Premiership is another matter - that wont be easy and difficult !!

Posted 21:34 29th June 2010

D W (Arsenal fan) says...

No one will listen to me cause I'm not english, but I honestly believe that your team and star players are completely over-hyped and unrealistically expected to win world cups when they did not even qualify for the previous major tournament. With the exception of Rooney, none of your players would be stars in other countries and possibly not even play for star teams. How many english players play in la Liga or Seria A? How many italians(I know) and Spaniards play in the premier league? Plenty who don't even get on their national team.Brazil, Portugal, Germany. These countries just produce better players, and the good players england have can't play well because they know they won't win and they'll be lambasted by the media. the premier league is the best in the world but only since it's been 70% foreigners. Stop hating on your players and expecting them to beat better teams and maybe they will make you proud.

Posted 21:02 29th June 2010

Nicky Colback says...

The coaching part is definitely true. I left school about 4 years ago and there was far too much emphasis put on pace and physical strength, the more technically gifted kids were seen as worse players than the quick, strong kids who could barely control a ball.

Posted 20:34 29th June 2010

Andrew Whiting (Manchester United fan) says...

England should have a Winter Break and reduce the Premiership to 18 teams. The younger U21 players should be used and use the Euro 2012 tournament to bleed them in so we are ready for the World Cup in 2014. There needs to be a new system where the Premiership managers help out with the training and coaching so experience can be given to the younger players like the Under 21 England team to help cope with tournament football. The younger one would be more eager and passionate to wear a England shirt and actually play for there country and not totally disrespect playing for England like Terry, Lampard, Ashley Cole and Rooney who did not shine at all. Urgent action be taken now so we dont continue to drift away from teams like Germany, Spain and Brazil.

Posted 20:17 29th June 2010

Mike Brewster (Arsenal fan) says...

We need to control the Mum's & Dads who rule junior football often building teams around their own son to make him look good in competitive matches. The FA should sponsor the amatuer clubs to send coaches for training so we get at the children young enough to make a difference.

Posted 20:15 29th June 2010

Alan Denham (Manchester United fan) says...

I can't believe people are talking about going back to how we coach kids at school in order for us have a chance of winning the World Cup. The problem as far as I am concerned is that hardly any of the team selected were playing well when the season finished or they were unfit. You ask Liverpool fans how Gerrard, Carragher or Johnson were playing. You ask United fans how Rooney or Carrick were playing. Ask City fans how SWP was playing ask Chelsea fans how Terry was playing. Ferdinand hasn't been fit all season, Gareth Barry wasn't fit and Heskey hardly ever plays for Villa. If we are truly serious about winning the next World Cup then the season must finish at the end of April in order to get the squad fully fit and playing well together. Unfortunately the people who run the Premier League won't allow this to happen.

Posted 19:24 29th June 2010

Peter Bradbury (Doncaster Rovers fan) says...

I agree with much of what has been said, and would like to suggest a cost effective solution. It is interesting that very many of the South American and more skillful European countries put a huge emphasis on teaching kids Futsal at an early age instead of 11aside or mini-soccer. Brazilians for example will not play 11aside on a full sized pitch until they are 14/15. You only have to look at the teams left in the competition and think how brilliant they are technically and how entertaining this is to watch, to see the benefits. Futsal encourages players to be comfortable on the ball and to be able to play all positions. It is played at a very high tempo, something lacking in English football at times. Children will get much more exposure and time on the ball, and will learn to play skillfully and with tricks. The non-contact side of the game will also encourage smaller, less physically strong players to flourish and would hopefully take us away from 'kick and rush' long ball tactics. Perhaps the best thing from the pov of schools, is you only need a small playground to play this on, as many schools struggle with field availability. The only real costs are for the futsal balls themselves. Hopefully having been brought up on the small sided futsal game to be talented, skillful players, children will be able to take these skills into 11 aside when they start playing at an older age. Futsal is very much on the rise in the UK at the moment, but still needs more encouragement from the FA. If you are lucky enough to be in the Bristol area, check out Futsal Fever!

Posted 18:53 29th June 2010

Zep Camilleri says...

Everywhere around the world they let young kids love the ball first before teaching them to love and play organized games. This is to say that kids are given a ball and are encouraged to fantasize with it pretending to be this player or that player. A lot of freedom comes into this. Kids learn to harness a ball, juggle with it, let it go around there body in controlled fashion and they learn to master the ball. They learn to love the ball and make it their own. Technique is learned this way and tricks are acquired until they fill up a baggage to the brim. It's only then that they are taught to mix with others in controlled organized games. But they would be prepared to tackle any situation. And all this is done before they are 10 years of age. How much of this is done in England?

Posted 18:50 29th June 2010

Omar Islam (Portsmouth fan) says...

I disagree with 8 english players minimum. Instead it should be 6 because then the major clubs of england still be good. Just imagine Chelsea gettin relegated :@. And also please reduce subscription costs of skysports by a pound.

Posted 18:23 29th June 2010

Steve Lee (Manchester United fan) says...

As a coach in the US they have made great strides in youth development by continuing to play small sided games (7v7 8v8) past 10 years old to 13 years old... We need changes at the grass roots level but not the major overhaul the media are blowing up... we need to replace the top level staff at the FA with someone with a proven youth development track record (get wenger and ferguson, both have proven they can develop players, to assist in setting up the framework of the countries development.). Finally we need to realise that the Premier League may be the best in the World but it does not help us on a National Level... we are used to high paced fast tempo games (all of the england sqaud play in the PL) Barca, Madrid, Milan etc are used to tight defensive games opponents sitting in to defend and they work week in and out to break teams down with movement and flair not power and pace... has anybody noticed that it is the best of the PL players that have struggled - one with injuries prior, two with fatigue and under performing, and three with not being used to the slightly slower tempo the tactical defensive displays that we just don't see in the PL.... it is not a lack of homegrown players that we have it is a lack of tactical awareness in any other league in the world than the PL... the current group of players should have been good enough.. they are individually some world class players in the England Squad, there are also some who are not, but the combination of Capello sticking with 4-4-2 when it clearly wasn't working the demands of the PL and the total lack of any english players used to anything but the PL' s style of play all come together to give us what was a poor world cup performance...

Posted 18:21 29th June 2010

Paul Johnson (Manchester United fan) says...

Teach youngsters properly - I agree with the principal of the dutch method - BUT the fact is that this country breeds a lazy culture. In Argentina they are on the street kicking a ball 24/7, the hunger is there. Football figurehead - this may be a good idea, in the short term England need a manager that will motivate, command respect and have had the same experiences as international players - ala Maradona with Argentina. Football centres - more pumping money into the problem. As I said early - the lazy culture of this country is a large part of the problem. Too many foreigners - please the old excuse - this happens in all the top leagues in European. If the English players are good enough they will play.

Posted 17:51 29th June 2010

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