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The FA - The real problem in the English game


JohnCresswell
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Trent Villa writes...

With England crashing out of Euro 2008 its time to look at what is really wrong with the English game.

TrentVilla writes....

I'm so sick and tired of hearing the "their are too many foreign players" nonesense it just doesn't wash with me. The simple truth is that since the mass influx of foreign players with the start of the Premier league in the early 90's there has been a direct impact on the quality of English players coming through the ranks at our top clubs.

Yes there has also clearly been a direct impact on the quantity as well but what would people rather have 5 Carlton Palmers or 1 Joe Cole? The truth is that when our domestic league was full of homegrown players the standard simply wasn't good enough for our domestic teams to compete in Europe or for our national team to compete on the international stage. Just think back to Euro 92 and the woefull performance in trying to qualify for USA 94.

At the time Taylor took a huge amount of abuse and to be fair he did make some big mistakes but the pool of talent he had to choose from couldn't have been much more shallow.

Now we have failed to qualify for another major finals and the knifes are out again for the manager and rightly so. It has little to do with the number of Spanish, Dutch or French players in the league and absolutely everything to do an incompetant manager and FA.

No matter how many foreign players there are in our league nobody can tell me that England doesn't posses the players to have been able to sucessfully have navigated that qualifying group. We didn't fail last night we failed away in Moscow, in Croatia and against Macidonia and we failed the moment the FA made their spineless and ill judged appointment of a man totally out of his depth.

McClaren should never have been appointed as England manager that much is clear and was clear to the nation at the time. Which for me illustrates the real issue that is at fault for this shambolic and humiliating 2 years that culminated with last nights defeat.

The cancer of English football isn't foreign players its the FA. It was the FA's decision to standby Erikson for 12 months too long and their decision to appoint a man who had done nothing in his short managerial career to warrent even getting an interview for the top job let alone a contract.

The FA have failed to act in the best interests of the game in this country for as long as I can remember and I for one actually would like to know what qualifies the likes of Brian Barwick to be able to select an England manager?

Would it not make more sense for the England manager to be selected by a committee of their piers? Well respected managers who actually know what it takes to do the job and who could make an informed decision. Surely the likes of Sir Bobby Robson or even ex England captains like Shearer or Robson should have some input. Because one thing is for certain the current system isn't working.

The FA failed to recruit the right man for the job, they have failed to provide England players with the mid-season break just about everyone know we need in order to compete, they have failed to reduce fixture conjestion or stop the endless money spinning England friendlies which do nothing but generate income for their coffers.

An income I may add that is desperately needed to pay the huge cost of the overspend on the illconsieved redevelopment of Wembley. The same need for cash that resulted in a Grid Iron game being allowed on the Wembley turf just weeks before the most important game in years for England.

Well I hope that the income from the game was worth it because last nights defeat cost the FA at least £10m and the UK economy millions and helped make us the laughing stock of Europe.

So when the inevitable happens and McClaren falls or is pushed onto his sword I hope its not the end of the blood letting as other heads need to follow. Yes McClaren is to blame but so are the FA and the sooner everyone wakes up to this fact and stop counting Swedes and Danes the sooner we can start to put things right.

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Can't say that i disagree with many of your posts Trent but i will disagree on parts of this.

In the context of last nights defeat, and indeed the whole qualifying campaign, the responsibility does lie with the the FA for appointing a coach driver, and the coach driver for believing he was a competent manager, despite being an incompetent assistant manager to the predecessor. England currently have a pool of players that should be qualifying top of that group with comfort.

However, long term the amount of foreign players in the Premiership will have an increasing effect on the players coming through, it is inevtable. Not talking about the top players of course who will improve standards, but that 2nd and 3rd tier of players who are brought over not because they are necessarily better than English talent, but because they are available much cheaper. And as they fill up squad places, there will be less game-time available to younger English players. More later developers will fail to break through, more will fail to get the games they need to fully exploit their natural talents without dropping a level or several.

Eventually we'll end up with a smaller talent pool, i cant see any other way it will pan out. We'll still develop some very good players as long as clubs like Villa continue to extist and invest in youth. But who knows whether we'll be able to blood them in quite the same way when we're really competing for all competitions.

In short, some foreigners = good....too many = bad. Imo of course ;)

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Actually i'll ask a question here to prove my point so we can see how bad this effect has already become.

Who of the top 4 clubs in England (Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal, Man U) have produced an English player of International quality in the last 5 years?

I suspect this will not be a long list.

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Actually i'll ask a question here to prove my point so we can see how bad this effect has already become.

Who of the top 4 clubs in England (Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal, Man U) have produced an English player of International quality in the last 5 years?

I suspect this will not be a long list.

And like I answered in the other thread I believe you are looking in the wrong place. Look through the last 30 years and except for a couple of players, Arse, ManU and Redscouse have always bought players, at Chelsea things have changed.

Money changed the English game and whilst the domestic league is undoubtedly better entertainment all that happened is that mediocre players who used t o get by in the English First Division were replaced by better talents.

There is a reason why very very few English(can expand that to British) players even get signed by foreign sides, they have not been and still are not good enough.

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Actually i'll ask a question here to prove my point so we can see how bad this effect has already become.

Who of the top 4 clubs in England (Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal, Man U) have produced an English player of International quality in the last 5 years?

I suspect this will not be a long list.

And like I answered in the other thread I believe you are looking in the wrong place. Look through the last 30 years and except for a couple of players, Arse, ManU and Redscouse have always bought players, at Chelsea things have changed.

Money changed the English game and whilst the domestic league is undoubtedly better entertainment all that happened is that mediocre players who used t o get by in the English First Division were replaced by better talents.

There is a reason why very very few English(can expand that to British) players even get signed by foreign sides, they have not been and still are not good enough.

Well so far in the other forum we've come up with 1 player Al, David Bentley who had to move to develop fully. That's it.

Are you really saying there is no difference from that to the preceeding 5 years? And the 5 before that?

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Actually i'll ask a question here to prove my point so we can see how bad this effect has already become.

Who of the top 4 clubs in England (Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal, Man U) have produced an English player of International quality in the last 5 years?

I suspect this will not be a long list.

And like I answered in the other thread I believe you are looking in the wrong place. Look through the last 30 years and except for a couple of players, Arse, ManU and Redscouse have always bought players, at Chelsea things have changed.

Money changed the English game and whilst the domestic league is undoubtedly better entertainment all that happened is that mediocre players who used t o get by in the English First Division were replaced by better talents.

There is a reason why very very few English(can expand that to British) players even get signed by foreign sides, they have not been and still are not good enough.

Well so far in the other forum we've come up with 1 player Al, David Bentley who had to move to develop fully. That's it.

Are you really saying there is no difference from that to the preceeding 5 years? And the 5 before that?

No I'm saying that the problem is not that the top four clubs aren't signing English, it's not the rest of the Premiership fro signing non English players. There is no simple answer to it that proper coaching from an early age would not have seen IF this was in place many many years ago.

Clubs sign the players that win them, the clubs, trophies the simple fact is that for too long these players have not been English. I can think of only one club in the last 20 years who has brought through a good number of English players and that was United and the 'you'll win nothing with kids' and even then they were propped up by players who would not / could not cut it at international level.

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Just to counter a couple of points...........

There is a reason why very very few English(can expand that to British) players even get signed by foreign sides, they have not been and still are not good enough.

I think the real reason has more to with the hugely inflated transfer fees involved with signing talented, established English players rather than their quality as players.

Recently Beckham was very successful in Spain as was Owen both of whom moved without Real risking any money on a transfer fee........... (the media product "Beckham" paid for itself).

Yes there has also clearly been a direct impact on the quantity as well but what would people rather have 5 Carlton Palmers or 1 Joe Cole? The truth is that when our domestic league was full of homegrown players the standard simply wasn't good enough for our domestic teams to compete in Europe or for our national team to compete on the international stage. Just think back to Euro 92 and the woefull performance in trying to qualify for USA 94.

During the late 70's and 80's British sides owned Europe, won everything going - every year.......... You could count the foreign players in the league on one hand.

Yes the FA is to blame I agree, they have no relevant experience to select a coach for the National job. But the issue is several fold for me.........

There needs to be a culture of nurture and support around the England team and good dose of humility which doesn't exist. The hacks at Fleet Street seem to call the tune which the football supporting country follows. The attitude exists where England is expected to beat everyone and lift up trophies and if this doesn't happen heads should roll............. This is clearly a pile of arse biscuits.

Why is there this insistence that every player selected has to be "world class". Why has the concept and ethic of "the team" vanished from the British tabloid impression makers....... This is the biggest issue for me.

If everybody involved would stop having such high opinions of themselves and "Team England" then we might be able to start thinking about developing a competitive England Team right from the FA bigwigs to the ballboys at Wembly...

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Just to counter a couple of points...........

There is a reason why very very few English(can expand that to British) players even get signed by foreign sides, they have not been and still are not good enough.

I think the real reason has more to with the hugely inflated transfer fees involved with signing talented, established English players rather than their quality as players.

Recently Beckham was very successful in Spain as was Owen both of whom moved without Real risking any money on a transfer fee........... (the media product "Beckham" paid for itself).

Yes there has also clearly been a direct impact on the quantity as well but what would people rather have 5 Carlton Palmers or 1 Joe Cole? The truth is that when our domestic league was full of homegrown players the standard simply wasn't good enough for our domestic teams to compete in Europe or for our national team to compete on the international stage. Just think back to Euro 92 and the woefull performance in trying to qualify for USA 94.

During the late 70's and 80's British sides owned Europe, won everything going - every year.......... You could count the foreign players in the league on one hand.

Yes the FA is to blame I agree, they have no relevant experience to select a coach for the National job. But the issue is several fold for me.........

There needs to be a culture of nurture and support around the England team and good dose of humility which doesn't exist. The hacks at Fleet Street seem to call the tune which the football supporting country follows. The attitude exists where England is expected to beat everyone and lift up trophies and if this doesn't happen heads should roll............. This is clearly a pile of arse biscuits.

Why is there this insistence that every player selected has to be "world class". Why has the concept and ethic of "the team" vanished from the British tabloid impression makers....... This is the biggest issue for me.

If everybody involved would stop having such high opinions of themselves and "Team England" then we might be able to start thinking about developing a competitive England Team right from the FA bigwigs to the ballboys at Wembly...

JG a good post and I agree about the hole in my argument, yet like I said there are very few, Owen and Beckham being obvious examples of success albeit not that much considering who they went to. As with Lineker and Hughes from an earlier generation.

You refer to the 70's and 80's yet this was a desolate time for the English national side, at the time it was said to be because of the number of ..... ooh foreigners only at the time it was the Scottish, Welsh and Irish that were to blame.

As for 'world class' I totally agree there is a misconception that if you are good in the Premier League you are world class, this is simply not the case.

We both fondly remember a squad with no stars, and certainly no world class players, gaining domestic and European glory but like you say there is no I in team, so the present crop of players would not understand.

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