Last night England failed once again to perform in a major tournament. And the English as a nation once again ask Why?
The logical answer is that it is not just one thing – its lots of things – whether it be the fitness or performance levels of individuals, the restrictive style of management from Capello, the squad chosen, the lack of team unity or the droning out of any kind of atmosphere in every game.
However I have a theory I would like to share. I believe this is probably the true source of why we are under prepared and playing with sparadic consistency. It all revolves around money. Below are a few points to consider.
+ The Ball. What on earth has this to do with money I hear you say? The players are obviously having issues with this ball and yet other nations seem fine with it. But when you dig deeper other nations have been using this ball within their respective leagues. Therefore they are adapted and understand its flight. Our Premier League did not do this because Nike offered more money. So Premier League is a winner – national team is under prepared!
+ Wages. When you earn the amount that these players earn – you do not have a normal life. You have people to do your shopping, people to look after your kids, people to mow your lawns, people to wash your cars, tidy your house, guard your safety. Good young footballers in fact do not understand what real life is – a privelege of their talents or a removal to the trials and tribulations that life can bring? Heart on sleeve to a footballer today is not the same as we know it – fight rapidly therefore turns to flight.
+ Fitness. Too many games, too much pressure to play. Football TV rights demand this – we only have to see the shadow of Wayne Rooney to understand this. Manchester United should and do have first right on Rooney as their player. I am suggesting Manchester United need less games, better quality and mid season breaks to give the national team more time.
+ Sponsorships – how much pressure is on England to play Rooney? He is on loop on our TV screens being knighted no less! But he is out of touch and unfit.
+ Ticket Prices. By the age of 7 I had seen all home games for Spurs for 2 seasons in a row. My Dad was a factory worker but could afford to do this. I am fortunate enough to have a higher disposable income but I cannot get tickets for my kids to see. Season Tickets waiting lists are 3 years long and open tickets rarely exist. Football is pushing away alot of people – and my point is – this is being done to pay over inflated wages ….
My points above you may or may not agree with – however as one of the seven deadly sins it has credentials to be a route to our failure.
England need to go into the Slovenia game with a different team, a different formation, a different attitude and stop being so predictable.
English football longer term needs to look in the mirror and have a reality check. English players playing regular football at the highest level has to be a priority along with a wage cap, a foreign player cap and a fragmented governance between the Premier League and F.A that shows no unity. If the governing bodies cannot work as a team – what chance does the team have?