The QPR centre-back laid into the rigidity of English football coaching and the lack of grass-roots investment.
QPR centre-back and member of Greg Dyke’s FA Commission Rio Ferdinand has criticised English coaching methods, asserting that they are too rigid and heavily structured to allow England to develop attacking players like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
In an extract from his autobiography “#2sides” posted on his Facebook page, Rio explains his disappointment at England’s World Cup performance and outlines some of his theories about the reasons behind the lack of top English talent.
The former Manchester United man noted the lack of investment in the game in England, claiming that “we haven’t got enough facilities and good coaches at all levels”. He then slated the coaching that the coaches do provide, claiming that “we’ve got far too many coaches who tell talented young players how to play rather than letting them develop naturally”.
Ferdinand cited former team-mate Wayne Rooney as a player who benefited from more relaxed coaching earlier in his career, pointing to this as the key factor in his development as an exceptional player. Most of all, Rio calls for a unified approach to football across the country, and the creation of a national “philosophy”. “The Premier League is completely detached from the ideas and the vision of the FA and vice versa. The barrier has to be broken down. The big clubs have very little interest in the national team. All they care about is what benefits them, and they think mainly in terms of money”, said the former England centre-half, whose ‘5’ hats are available to buy now.