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The hierarchy of International Football


Voinjama
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I know you all hate Talksport, but they have just had a very long and interesting debate about the hierachey of international football and where England now lie.

England invented the game, and the English game is watched globally. But is now the time to admit that England are no longer a top footballng nation. The achievements at international level show that England are not, 1 world cup and 3 other semi finals in nearly 100 years is poor. For what its worth I would put Brazil , Argentina, Germany, Holland, Spain, France, Portugal and Uruguay ahead of England. England are on a par with the likes of Sweden, Denmark, Greece and Russia.

It is the admitance that might finally set England free and cause a big overhaul of the game and lead to future success. Stan Collymore thinks part of the reason behind Englands failure is this mentality that England are up there with the Germanys and Italys when they are clearly not. This mentality is holding the national team back. What do you think?

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I think Talksport spark debates like this to get people to phone in their premium rate numbers.

It doesnt matter where we are now. This isnt like Villa admitting they will never be able to catch Manchester United because of the financial advantage they have over us. We [England] have the infrastructure, resources and level of interest to be up there with anybody within ten years if we have the right people making the right decisions at the top of the game. As control over who those people are is largely out of the hands of Joe Public, then it really doesnt matter what we think despite what the tabloid media would have you believe.

/thread.

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i think the problem is that in just about every aspect other than what happens on the pitch we are comfortably in the top 5 of nations

like the rev says infrastructure, resources, level of interest (not just from our fans but foreign fans too), the number of fans we take abroad, wembley, our footballing history etc etc

id guess that moldova, poland, ukraine, san marino and montenegro are absolutely delighted to have drawn us in qualifying, certainly in europe id say we are as big a draw as germany and italy and bigger than spain, portugal and france, i wouldnt disagree that on the pitch we are up their with sweden and russia but off it with what we bring to the table we are miles ahead

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The whole thing is summed up by something that Xavi said when interviewed by Sid Lowe last year

"Some youth academies worry about winning, we worry about education. You see a kid who lifts his head up, who plays the pass first time, pum, and you think, 'Yep, he'll do.' Bring him in, coach him. Our model was imposed by [Johan] Cruyff; it's an Ajax model."

English youth teams are taught to win. Other countries are taught to play the game.

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liverpool syndrome, cant accept that we are shit on the pitch because off it we are massive

But we clearly can. Everything post 2010 has shown that there has been an attitude change from The FA. It takes years to start producing players though, and if the FA are serious about getting kids learning to play like they do in Spain and Germany then we have to start with the kids who are still at school. Investing in the schools and people to coach school kids would be a massive step forwards.

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100 years is going a bit far, we were essentially the best team in the world along with Scotland until 1950, so for a start lets say 60 years for starters. Ive been following England since 1990, and we are the most unlucky nation in world football, thats not an opinion, its a fact. Out of the 12 tournaments there has been since ive been watching, we've failed to qualify twice. Failed in the tournaments 3 times in 92, 2000 and 2010, all the rest have been to an acceptable level and i truly think with a even amount of luck we would have 2 tournament victories in my time, and im not just talking about 90 and 96, but 2004 and 2006 were all winnable tournaments.

This country likes nothing but to overreact to everything. Personally im pretty happy being essentially the 5th best team in the euros being what happened in the run up to the tournament. We might have been technically poorer than the Italians, but if you look at clean cut chances in 90 mins there wasn't a lot of difference.

Maybe like Italy, we just finally need to win one penalty shootout and then we will see.

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100 years is going a bit far, we were essentially the best team in the world along with Scotland until 1950, so for a start lets say 60 years for starters. Ive been following England since 1990, and we are the most unlucky nation in world football, thats not an opinion, its a fact. Out of the 12 tournaments there has been since ive been watching, we've failed to qualify twice. Failed in the tournaments 3 times in 92, 2000 and 2010, all the rest have been to an acceptable level and i truly think with a even amount of luck we would have 2 tournament victories in my time, and im not just talking about 90 and 96, but 2004 and 2006 were all winnable tournaments.

This country likes nothing but to overreact to everything. Personally im pretty happy being essentially the 5th best team in the euros being what happened in the run up to the tournament. We might have been technically poorer than the Italians, but if you look at clean cut chances in 90 mins there wasn't a lot of difference.

Maybe like Italy, we just finally need to win one penalty shootout and then we will see.

The best teams in the world around 1930 to 1950 were Brazil, Uruguay and Italy. I do agree England have been unlucky but only in 2004 and 2006, all the other tournament defeats were deserved. But I still believe Englands tournament record is still poor. But I have a sneaky feeling that with the young players England have we may see England in the semis or a final of a tournament for the first time since 1996.

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The best teams in the world around 1930 to 1950 were Brazil, Uruguay and Italy...

You can't really judge the 40s but Englands first EVER defeat in international football from a team not from the UK was 1939 and that was Spain.

The FA didn't recognise FIFA, until after the war so we didn't enter the world cup until 1950, when we were arrogant enough to send a very weakened squad.

From the start of football to 1940, England and Scotland were on another level from everyone else, that's a fact.

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We need to be humiliated by technically superior teams at the next World Cup and go out in the group stages. Maybe then the FA will get the message.

Haven't they just announced new plans to overhaul the junior coaching system? Results won't be instant but in 10-20 years maybe we'll see some English players with the ability to keep the ball.

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I dont accept that the best teams in the world between 1930 and 1950 were the teams who won the World Cup. They might have been, but given what the World Cup was back then (basically a regional tournament with relatively little kudos) then declaring yourself world champions after winning it isnt much beyond America being baseball World Champions every year.

England have been unlucky to an extent, losing on penalties in 1990, 1996, 1998, 2004, 2006 & 2012 is a horrible record to have and if two or three of those shootouts had gone the other way then perhaps we wouldnt be having this conversation right now because England would be considered (semi) regular semi finalists and lets face it, who knows what might have happened in those extra games we didnt get to play in.

Lets not allow that to paper over the cracks though, England are very good in the group phases either. We fail to win our group with alarming regularity. We didnt win our group in 98 (Romania won it) 2000 (eliminated in the group phase) 2002 (Sweden won it) 2004 (France won it, though you could argue we were unlucky) or 2010 (USA won it) so we get drawn against tougher opposition early in the knockout phases.

At the risk of repeating myself I do think things are starting to change. I have been watching England since Mexico '86 and how things have been since the absolute disaster in South Africa two years ago is really noticeable. I have never known England fans to be so pissed off with a squad as they were in 2010 and I have never known England fans to have such low expectations going into Euro 2012. I think most people have realised that it's not about just appointing the right manger or hoping that a certain star player wins it for us on his own. It's bigger than that and its about **** time the FA did something about it. I really hope they have started an St George's Park is more than an expensive facility for the dozen or so very good players we produce every couple of years. We need to have hundreds of players coming through and again, this all comes back to how the game is taught to kids.

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The best teams in the world around 1930 to 1950 were Brazil, Uruguay and Italy...

You can't really judge the 40s but Englands first EVER defeat in international football from a team not from the UK was 1939 and that was Spain.

The FA didn't recognise FIFA, until after the war so we didn't enter the world cup until 1950, when we were arrogant enough to send a very weakened squad.

From the start of football to 1940, England and Scotland were on another level from everyone else, that's a fact.

Fair enough, but the last 60 years have been poor. Let me put it like this, England have been to semis or further 4 times in the Euros and World Cup. Germany 15 times, Italy 11 times, France 7 times, Spain 6 times, Holland 8 times, Portugal 6 times and even Sweden 4 times.

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I dont accept that the best teams in the world between 1930 and 1950 were the teams who won the World Cup. They might have been, but given what the World Cup was back then (basically a regional tournament with relatively little kudos) then declaring yourself world champions after winning it isnt much beyond America being baseball World Champions every year.

England have been unlucky to an extent, losing on penalties in 1990, 1996, 1998, 2004, 2006 & 2012 is a horrible record to have and if two or three of those shootouts had gone the other way then perhaps we wouldnt be having this conversation right now because England would be considered (semi) regular semi finalists and lets face it, who knows what might have happened in those extra games we didnt get to play in.

Lets not allow that to paper over the cracks though, England are very good in the group phases either. We fail to win our group with alarming regularity. We didnt win our group in 98 (Romania won it) 2000 (eliminated in the group phase) 2002 (Sweden won it) 2004 (France won it, though you could argue we were unlucky) or 2010 (USA won it) so we get drawn against tougher opposition early in the knockout phases.

At the risk of repeating myself I do think things are starting to change. I have been watching England since Mexico '86 and how things have been since the absolute disaster in South Africa two years ago is really noticeable. I have never known England fans to be so pissed off with a squad as they were in 2010 and I have never known England fans to have such low expectations going into Euro 2012. I think most people have realised that it's not about just appointing the right manger or hoping that a certain star player wins it for us on his own. It's bigger than that and its about **** time the FA did something about it. I really hope they have started an St George's Park is more than an expensive facility for the dozen or so very good players we produce every couple of years. We need to have hundreds of players coming through and again, this all comes back to how the game is taught to kids.

If England had won 2 or 3 of them, but they didnt. I also agree things are starting to change though.

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An interesting question would be, if Ze Germans had lost the penalty shootouts in 90 and 96, would we be saying 32 years without a tournament win good enough?

I look at tournaments subjectively. I remember an interview with i think Dietmar Hamann after 2002, on how much better Germany were in tournament football, because they reached the final when England only reached the quarters even though he thought England had better players, i just looked at it and thought, well we got beat by Brazil, who won by beating Germany in the final. We lost against the same team, the best team in the tournament. In fact their win over Germany was a lot easier than it was over England.

There are many things you need to win a tournament, and luck is a major part. I can only really remember being lucky against Spain in Euro 96, they had a good goal disaloud and lost a penalty shootout. Both Semis against Germany we were the better team, as we were in 2004/2006 against Portugal, a whole different feeling to Italy in 2012, they battered us at times.

Should England be doing better, well yes. Ive been saying for years our type of football is not suitable for tournament football, where you play 6 or 7 games over a few weeks in hot temperatures. The only thing that makes me nervous about Hodgeson is he loves 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1, these dont work anymore either, we were swamped in the middle on Sunday.

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I really do wonder how far ahead of the rest of the World England and Scotland were before the 1st World War.

I read about Plymouth in the mid-20s being a 3rd division side going over to play Uruguay and beating them 4-0, before beating Argentina 1-0. If a 3rd division side can make a mess of the soon to be World Champions like that, surely England/Scotland would've walked the first few World Cups with embarassing results?

I suppose it'd be a bit like if there was an American Football World Cup, the US probably wouldn't even bother entering. If they did and took it serious, would probably win every game by 50+ points.

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