It’s no secret that English football peaked in 1966 when Sir Alf Ramsey led his England side to the World Cup. Everything since that has been a disappointment to the England faithful. There’s a reason foreign teams are dominating in Europe and English teams aren’t. There’s a reason why the best players in the Premier League are foreign. But what exactly is going wrong with English football?
I believe the biggest problem lies at the very bottom of the pyramid, grassroots football. When you think of the English style of play, what do you think of? 22 strong, tall players, two footing each other in an attempt to win the ball back. Now compare that to Germany with their efficient passing style, or to Brazil with their dazzling skills and tricks. The English game, in a nutshell, is a frenzied rush to get the ball back. This is why a player like Carrick never became as good as he could be because the English game doesn’t allow him to have enough time of the ball. The problem is we aren’t developing enough technically gifted players. The whole countries system needs an entire overhaul.
Not only is there a shortage of good young English players but there is also a shortage of good English managers. Take the appointment of Gareth Southgate for example. After Allardyce was sacked nobody on the shortlist was a world class manager. Then when you think of good English managers only one springs to mind, Eddie Howe. This highlights another weakness in the English game, not enough good quality managers are being produced. One way to fix this is to make coaching badges cheaper and more accessible to potential managers, and who knows maybe one will revolutionise the game.
How to fix this?
I had an idea on how to improve grassroots football. Whenever a team gets fined by the FA, the money should go directly into the grassroots game. Another way is to stop being so stubborn. Borrow some ideas from other countries, it’s not going to be the end of the world. The journey to changing English football is going to be long and difficult but it will be all worth it to see another England team lift the World Cup in my lifetime.
Featured image credit: Flippo