The show is about viewers either emailing or ringing in about issues they have in relation to the current footballing news at the time or any issue about their club.
I rang in and was fortunate enough to be selected so I was live through to the studios.
The presenter was a gentleman from Liverpool who’s name I have forgotten but the footballer on the show that day to discuss points was Steve Claridge.
The point I made at the time was that England would fail at the latter stages of the competition because the players they had were simply not good enough to compete on a technical level.
Steve Claridge said I didn’t know what I was talking about as England had one of the best midfields in the world at the time and that it sounded like I was anti-England.
I explained that I supported an English club and that I was not anti-England at all, that I coached English youngsters and teams.
My opinion was based on what I saw from individual players in this country and from what I saw of foreign players based in this country and abroad. The simple fact was the foreign players were technically better, more subtle in their play, more creative and expressed themselves.
England went on to get knocked out by Brazil in the 2002 tournament in the Quarter-Finals by two goals to one.
People will say that Brazil’s second goal was a fluke by Ronaldinho as his free kick sailed over David Seaman’s head.
However England played 30 minutes of that game against a 10 man Brazil team who had Ronaldinho, arguably their most creative player sent off.
However nothing was learnt as four years later the English press and media went about stating that England no doubt had the best midfield in the World and yet again they failed, this time against Portugal.
Then eight years later, the same old rubbish is churned out about the best player in the world in his position, the best attacking player in this position, the best defender in the World here and it’s the same old story.
So what happens? It’s the manager’s fault, it’s the players fault, bad preparation, unlucky with injuries.
Well England must be the unluckiest football country in the World as this has been happening for 44 years!
Who is to blame then? The players? Is it Gerrard’s, Beckham's, Lampard’s, Rooney’s, Owen’s, Robson’s, Wilkins etc etc fault?
Can you really blame a mid twenties footballer for not winning you the World Cup or even the European Championship?
Can you really blame Manager’s who have been successful with club sides throughout Europe and fail with England?
The blame is easy to point to. The problem lies with the Football Association.
It is as simple as that.
They are the people who appoint staff to become coaches, to head coaching courses, to teach people how the game should be played.
If you gave me a 5 year old boy or girl with some potential and I coached them until they were 18 or 19 and I had this child for 4 or 5 days over that period, then I handed him or her to the England Manager, and that player could not compete with its foreign counterparts, then who is to blame?
Not the England Manager, not someone who may have coached him or her for a while at 16 or 17, but the blame lies with me, no one else.
This is what is happening all over the Country year in year out. For example Steven Gerard who by the way is a very good player, has been branded as the best midfield player in the World by the press and even Managers. The simple fact is, Steven Gerard is an excellent player but he is far from being the best in the World.
So could he have become a better player? Without a doubt. If Steven Gerard had been coached in Holland, Spain, France, Germany and Italy, I have no doubt he would have become a much better player. Why?
Because foreign coaches think technique, technique, technique. In England, its power, power, power.
When I talk about technique, I do not mean the ability to control a ball and pass over certain distances. I do not mean having the ability to strike a ball on goal.
I know Sunday League players who would fit into the category of being brilliant technical players if that was all it was about.
Technique to me is about being able to do all the above but under pressure. To be able to retain possession of a ball in tight areas without panicking. To be able to change your body position in a flash. To have the ability to make an opposing player look stupid if he dares to go too tight. To have an arrogance and cockiness about you on the football pitch which comes from having all of what I have written.
We in England do not have this, because we do not have the right coaches.
Here we teach look left, pass left, look right pass right.
We do not teach a child from an early age about having flexibility of the hip, of being able to change direction sharply because of that flexibility.
We do not teach them that using the toe poke can be just as important as other part of the foot.
Go to any game up and down the country involving children from 6 upwards and I would hazard a guess 99% of them have a goalkeeper who is told to kick the ball out rather than roll it.
Why? Fear is the reason. Fear of losing a meaningless match, fear from the coach or adult in charge, not the young player. That is why you have defenders in this country who can tackle, head, cover and kick as far as you want, but they cannot play football.
Not their fault as all they have been told from a young age is to defend so when the goalkeeper kicks a ball, they are ready to defend as the kick is merely a 50/50 chance of possession.
Give a child a ball in his own area, sure he may lose it many times and you may concede and finish bottom of your league, but he will learn to play and as he gets older and his understanding develops you will have a footballer who is comfortable on the ball. Do that all over the pitch and the team that finished bottom will succeed in future years, if not collectively, then individually.
On one course, the UEFA ‘B’ course, we were told to get the ball as quickly as possible into the opposing teams box.
At the same course I asked a tutor who was part of the England Under 19’s coaching staff, who had come in to lecture for that afternoon, why don’t we produce players of Ryan Gigg’s ability more often. His response astounded me. He said players like that can lose you games as well as winning them.
To his credit one of the coaches at the classroom session did say players of Gigg’s calibre were what we needed in our game.
One thing I want to make abundantly clear is that I do not take pride in England’s failure.
People say at the highest level it is not how you win but that you simply win.
Then tell me this - when Greece won the European Championships in 2004 did you enjoy their brand of football?
Have you enjoyed watching Spain play? Do you enjoy watching Barcelona play?
If you was coaching a child which examples would you give on how to play the game we love?
So how do we change the way football is played in this country?
Well first you change the mentality of coaches, of parents and of young players.
You tell them that it doesn’t matter if you win a game at Under 7, 8, 9, etc, just concentrate on your technique.
The pitches for small sided games should have zones marked across the back along the full length of the pitch where a goalkeeper has to roll the ball out to a defender. No attacker can go into that area until the defender either moves out with the ball or passes it out of the zone.
Once the ball moves out of the zone attackers are allowed into that area afterwards.
This will encourage young players to play from the back and become footballers.
The goalkeeper is allowed to kick it if but that should be restricted to a certain number of times in a match.
A simple thing like this will improve young players technique up and down the country by a great deal and it promotes every player on the pitch to play football.
After all that is what the nation wants isn’t it?
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