Italy, Norway, Israel, Egypt, Chile and Iraq are the nations which have humiliated the next in line to wear the England shirt.
Only Italy it could be argued has a stronger senior national team than England compared to the other countries. The question though is for how long?
If you watched the Confederations Cup recently in Brazil, you could only say with any confidence that England would beat Tahiti if they met.
Even the ‘so called’ lesser teams like Nigeria, Egypt and Japan played some great attacking football which was full of individual skill and expression.
A lot of people will argue that they are defensively deficient but that can be easily rectified because you are talking about coaching players what to do when they don’t have the ball.
The total opposite of England, where you have to coach them first how to control a ball in a tight area, then have the ability to manoeuvre it out of there.
How long can you keep on going on about facilities and now that St George’s Park is in place, will things change for England?
Is there an equivalent of St George’s Park in Chile, Egypt or Iraq. In fact is there something in Brazil or Argentina or any of the other South American countries of similar standard?
St. Georges’s Park is undoubtedly a great place but if the powers that be had thought about things properly, they would have had incorporated pitches there which were just dry mud and uneven, sand pitches and other similar ones where ball control and movement would be difficult.
Even if you watch the women’s football, which was on recently, it is clear to see that there is a lack of technique, ideas and players who can turn a game on its head by themselves.
So where does the problem lie?
Too many foreigners in the English game?
Too many foreign coaches?
Not enough top class facilities?
In my opinion it lies with the coaches at Grass Roots level. Anyone can set out drills, there are thousands of them, and you can get them of the internet easily. You can purchase books about the ‘Ajax’ system or the ‘Brazilian’ system or the ‘Barca’ way. Soon no doubt we will start following the ‘Bayern Munich’ system!
But it’s not about drills; it’s about what you say to children when you speak to them.
It is when you tell your goalkeeper to roll the ball out no matter what, rather than kick it.
It is telling the players who at the time are playing in a defensive area not to worry about losing it, because eventually they will learn about manoeuvring it from there.
It is about encouraging the players who beat 2 or 3 players but lose the ball.
Not to say to them don’t do it but explain what they could have done not to lose it.
It’s about telling players to pass to a player who is tightly marked even if it’s near your own goal.
It’s about telling a player a toe poke can be just as effective as the instep in certain areas.
It’s about telling players to play with a smile and without FEAR.
The players who play with their friends in the park and then get taken into a professional academy, are they the same player?
Yes, the academy will make you fitter, more disciplined but it is more likely it will also take away your soul.
Until England allow players to play with their soul, they will continue to go backwards.