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Wholesale Changes Needed as England Fail Yet Again on Big Stage

England manager Fabio Capello looks dejected during the Round of 16 match at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein, South Africa on June 27, 2010. UPI/Chris Brunskill Photo via Newscom

By Rob Hart.

After England’s very poor show in the World Cup, Fabio Capello has two weeks to convince the FA that he is still the man to take England forward. Capello’s England side were humiliated 4-1 on Sunday by Germany in the last 16 of the tournament, out thought and out classed by the arch enemy to condemn England to their biggest defeat in the World Cup since 1954.

It is obvious to me and many supporters up and down the country that Capello made drastic errors before and during the tournament, from his own autocratic management style to his dated tactics. But Capello and his 4-4-2 cannot be blamed entirely as England are simply not producing the young players and this has to be down to the structure of the English game.

Premier League managers in 2010 consistently scout the foreign markets in a bid to bolster squads instead of giving their youth and reserve players the chance to play regularly and gain valuable experience.  If Premier League teams continue to go down this route then we all might be waiting another 44 years before we win a major tournament. It does not matter if the manager is English or not or how good he is and whether he has won titles all over Europe, if he has not got a pool of talented players to choose from then he can’t be to blame if England continue to fail on the world stage. Capello had only 44 per cent of the players to choose from in the Premier League.

On the other hand, Germany have been developing their young talents such as Mesut Ozil and Thomas Muller and this was clear to see on Sunday. It said something when Capello tried to persuade the likes of Paul Scholes and Jamie Carragher out of international retirement before the tournament, there is no doubt that they are both very good players, but it re-iterates once more that young English talent is not being developed to the levels that it should be.

England have just been crowned under 17 champions of Europe, but how many of these youngsters will emerge to be regulars in the Premier League whilst teams will opt to buy foreign players instead of giving English youth a chance.

As horrible as it sounds, English football may have to adopt a similar policy to the likes of Germany before we become a force to be reckoned with on the world stage.



  1. adrian

    June 30, 2010 at 9:14 am

    The pendulum has swung too far in favour of the big premiershiip clubs. The FA is not strong enough to influence the future. What is needed is a much stronger law forcing top clubs to have more homegrown not in house produced foreign players in their first team squads. The other measure that would help is much stricter criteria for work permits, which would stop sub-standard players from abroad coming into our game.

  2. George

    June 30, 2010 at 9:45 am

    The coaching system, at most profesional clubs, for youngsters in this country turns out the same sort of players, like a sausage factory.
    There is no emphasise on technique and skill. Because you can negate that by kicking skillful players up in the air every time they get the ball.
    The FA, TV experts, newspapers etc don’t help. Sacking Capello is only papering over the cracks.
    Let’s face it, The Premiership and International footabll are poles apart. This World Cup shows that because you are good at one, doesn’t mean you will automatically be good a the other.

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  4. Dominic

    June 30, 2010 at 9:58 am

    Just 2 points to make about the thought that it is the amount of foreign players in the English game that is causing the problem.
    How many foreigners were playing in England in 1974, 1978 and 1994 when england failed to qualify for the finals?
    Listen to talented players like Hoddle and Brooking. They constantly lament the coaching given to youngsters, with its emphasis on strenghth and stamina at the expense of skill and intelligence.

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