“I remember when England won back to back World Cups when we had all those English players in the top division” – Said nobody ever.
I sat in amusement as Greg Dyke laid out his ‘vision’ for England, and the future. I believe he can’t of watched England before if he believes we will get to the Semi-Finals of the 2020 European Championships yet alone win the World Cup in 2022, which by the way is set to be in the blistering heat of Qatar unless it’s been changed.
It all started going wrong for England when the FA took the incredible decision to shut down the Lilleshall school of excellence. This was our version of Frances Clairfontaine academy and what is now the basis of Spain World Cup production line at the Spanish academies. (Please excuse the spelling if not quite right)
The whole reason that England are struggling is not because of the influx of foreign players, it is because the production line we are developing doesn’t produce the level of competitive player that we need in the Academy scheme we currently have. Players like Danny Welbeck, Tom Ince, Henri Lansbury and others may all have been good enough at U-21 level but just wouldn’t cut the mustard at the top level. I even remember when commentators were waxing lyrical about how amazing Mark Noble was in an U21 shirt, and how many Senior appearances as he had?
From U-15 all the way up to International level, there is a different formation and a different approach to tactics in each year. This is not good for continuity and lets forget the club vs country argument that currently goes on with releasing players or not for internationals based on having a small hair out of place.
There is a better way and very simple way to fix it.
From under 10 level kids should be taken to St Georges Park and given a School education there, whilst spending time learning football and the way it is meant to be played. All the way up through the year group clubs are not allowed to sign these players untill they reach 15. Then the youngsters would have time away from the glitz and glamour of a big club or all the distractions that young players suffer from nowadays. If you look at Spain and Germany, you rarely see their players getting into fights in nightclubs do you?
When the youngsters reach 15 let them sign up to a club but remain at St Georges park till they finish their GCSE’s, after which they join a club. For those unlucky enough to not be offered a position within a club, they should remain under the guidance of the FA untill the end of their 18th birthday, coincidentally the same age as compulsory education now in the UK. If they cannot succeed at securing a contract with any club they should be guided through their UEFA pro-license by the FA with the view to becoming a football coach. This in turn will allow the cream of the crop that coach to get through and maybe find our next world cup winning manager.
It’s only a thought but seems more logical than setting short term targets such as winning the World Cup in 2022. If we don’t develop the right players by then will the target be re-adjusted?
Other suggestions are open on the comments section so feel free to add your thoughts on what England really needs to do to get to the next level.