A lot international teams are technically better than England have the ability to keep the ball for long periods and they are more comfortable on the ball than we are. England players are not comfortable on the ball in tight situations and find it hard to pass backwards or sideways, everything has to go forward if needs must we lump it towards a big striker (Heskey, Crouch and now Andy Carroll). In Euro 2012 we played with great spirit but in every game we were poor in possession and didn't get the upper hand in that department in any game we played. We should be battering teams like Sweden and Ukraine in possession if you look at the strenght of our team 'on paper' only two English players for me can keep the ball for long periods and that is Jack Wilshere and Paul Scholes. Yes I know Steven Gerrard is world class but he always goes forward fires a ball into feet rather relaxing and keeping it when we are under pressure, I know it's a great sight when he breaks forward and fires a 25 year rocket in top corner however when your team is under pressure and has seen 30% of the ball the last thing your team mates want is to lose from a hit and hope long ball, so why do we do it? surely are players are educated enough to know what mistakes we are making? we always play 4-4-2 and get out numbered in midield despite the worlds media, experts and former players pointing this out to every manager we have they still ignore this? 4231 or 433 must be played when competing with the worlds best nations. We must now try and keep the ball, be clever in possession, counter with pace when the opposition is not in balance and keep the ball moving with pace when the opposition is in balance, if we pass it slow teams will just sit of screen their defence with comfort.
In England we have the best football league in the world, it's pulsating, exciting, fast and has the best players in the world such as Aguero, Silva, Van Persie, Mata, Torres & Nasri to name a few however theirs not many great players in the league who are English, at the least technically gifted players anyway. Many people are quick to point out the fact that clubs like Chelsea & Manchester City would rather spend millions on foreign players, I disagree. It doesn't matter what nationality you are if you are good enough to play for Manchester City Roberto Mancini will try and sign you, the fact is not many English players are good enough to play for elite clubs week in and week out, I can count in one maybe two hands, Wayne Rooney, Joe Hart, John Terry, Steven Gerrard, Jack Wilshere, Frank Lampard, Paul Scholes & Rio Ferdinand possibly a few more looking at that they are all quality players but how many of them are young? Lampard, Gerrard, Ferdinand and Scholes are all 30+, We aren't producing players good enough to play for our elite clubs week in and week out and we don't produce players who you would describe as technically gifted, So it Roberto Mancini's fault that he would rather play Yaya Toure or as it was De Jong over James Milner? No because they are better players, manager have a job to do and that is to win games otherwise they will lose their jobs. A number of managers have said if their was players good enough from England then of course they would, Sir Alex for one did. So lets hope there is a few good players waiting in the wings to play for the likes of Arsenal, Man City or Chelsea.
Only 2,769 Hold at least a UEFA B license in England compare that to the other major nations.
Spain - 23, 995
Italy - 29,420
Germany - 34,790
I personally find those figures astonishing ! If our coaching standards aren't very good then how can our players be good? coaches are the one who have to teach the players how to play the game, how to understand the game and help these players improve but their isn't many top class coaches in this country so therefore our players will not improve. Germany and Spain have progressed the most in the world of football over the last 8-10 years because they looked at their coaching right from bottom at grass roots level where every footballer starts and upto academies etc and look at the rewards? We need to improve coaches in the game from grassroots level right upto your academies. The FA should help more with funding if coaches are struggling to afford the courses and be in more contact with the county FA's and the local football teams and come up with some sort of plan and structure on how they can get coaches in England to improve.
Youth football in Holland, Germany, Spain & other major footballing countries focus on player development and technique, they want to try and get every player from the center backs right through to their forwards to be all comfortable on the ball and they want players at a young age to have 'fun' and fall in love with the game. In England we focus from a young age on 'winning' at all costs, a lot of managers on a sunday morning and academies would rather pick the physically bigger players rather than a smaller but much better 'footballer' because at a young age they maybe more effective in a match by bullying the oppsition and lumping the ball in the air and winning every header, Even as they get older players are over 6ft in most teams you see in England how many players in the Spain team are over 6ft? is the best player in the world over 6ft? (he's 5'7). The other major I have mentioned when they are 30 years ahead of England technically & mentally, Even when England win any other teams I've mentioned we still don't look as good (the friendly vs Spain last year). I know a few players who have played for academies in the North-East and have been released for being 'too small' or being 'slow',it's a joke, is Xavi tall? or fast? is Iniesta tall? is he blessed with natural pace? is Andre Pirlo blessed with pace? you can be 2 steps ahead of a quicker player than you just by being a good reader of the game! How many times on a sunday do you see a young player in England getting shouted at for trying a fancy flick or a bit of skill and not quite pulling it off? I reckon about 99% of the time, I am a coach myself and yeah it can be frustrating at times but the players want to try what they see on tele, they want to impress and enjoy the game, not be put of for life for getting shouted at infront of his team mates, his parents and everyone else watching the game just for trying skill? in Spain they are encouraged to be inventive and play with flair. Who would you rather watch play Andres Iniesta or Gareth Barry?
How can we improve
1. The FA and every english club need to come up with a football philosophy for our national team and club teams to stick with for example Spain - Tiki Taka or when Jurgen Klinsman and the Germany FA changed their style of play from an efficient boring team to watch to the second best team in the world to watch they are all comfortable on the ball, they are quick, the passing is snappy, players like Ozil and Gotze have flair and they are hard to beat. We need something that will please our fans personally I'd go something similar to Germany's way of playing it suits us more and it will keep the fans excited.
2. Improve our coaching standards - if you want our kids to improve you need good teachers of the game.
3. Encourage technique, ball mastery, touch & flair rather than power, speed & physical presence
4. The FA must work closer to the grassroots game
5. Be even more rash on the rules of the Premier League at least 4-5 players from England must start?