What is it with the England team time after time? The road leading to tournaments has always been littered with anticipation and belief; we play well, we are in control, and we look confident. But as soon as the big tournament arrives, we bottle it.
Below are a few ideas into how we can improve our grassroots in English football and a select few are taken from inspirational national sides such as Germany, Brazil and Italy.
(Take note Greg Dyke, The FA and Roy Hodgson.)
1. Decrease the amount of foreign players in the Premier League – the amount of better foreign players in the prem is easily driven by money. The good thing about football lifting off in America is that these players could be lured there with the increased investment. This would allow for a greater chance for English players to break through to the world stage, by being in the starting lineup every week. I know there is a minimum of how many home grown players should be in each English side, but more must be done to combat our problem of lack of world class players.
2. Our whole England squad plays in England – Our biggest problem is having our whole England squad play in the premier league. This shows that we are unable to adopt different style of play. This is mainly down to our lack of world class players; in my opinion, only Rooney is good enough to play in a top team overseas, following suit from the likes of Beckham, Hargreaves and Lineker who have all played abroad.
3. Not enough love for Futsal – We are not great lovers of Futsal. The closest we get to Futsal is indoor football but it just isn’t the same. Futsal is highly regarded as a sort of skills game and passing game, having first emerged from Brazil. Players such as Ronaldinho, Neymar and many others have made there way up to be the best from playing this simple Futsal game in their youth. The ability to pass the ball very quickly can improve your confidence on the ball and increase your passing accuracy. Not only that, with the limited space, it allows you to develop your skills too. If we adopted this game to the early youth players, I’m sure something magical can happen with our England team in the next 10-15 years. (Crazy I know)
4. Lack of blending with the team – the Italian national team meets up to train once every month, why don’t we follow suit? The great idea with this is preparation, and an opportunity to blend the players more.
5. A ‘B’ team style format – The Spanish and Germans have done this, so why can’t we follow suit too? This would allow our big clubs in the Premier league such Arsenal, Man U, Man City, Chelsea and Liverpool break through more English talent; giving them more first team football and a chance to develop themselves.
I may not be a great expert in the game, but these ideas I have shared could give England a glimpse of hope in the future.
I hope that changes are made to put us back at the top with the select few nations that dominate the international stage.