England starts their World Cup qualification campaign tonight against the minnows of Moldova.
The Three Lions always seem to cruise through their qualification of big tournaments, only to fail in the early knockout stages, usually on penalty kicks.
According to a well-known programme on British television Britain has got talent, according to me though the England football team are greatly lacking in it at the moment. At Euro 2012 England were once again handed a valiant penalty defeat.
Is this how far the game has fallen in this country that England supporters are now happy with a quarter-final defeat on penalties, just because we looked more solid? The quarter-finals of competitive tournaments have been our zenith in recent years and I don’t think it’s good enough.
Germany is the greatest example of how to put things right in a countries national game. The Germans realised that the game was in a real rut and decided to do something about it, instead of just sitting back in denial.
They basically ripped up the way they did things and started anew. That new way of doing things has led to the seemingly endless production line of young German players currently coming through the ranks.
These German players haven’t yet won a trophy, but they have far more potential than the drips of talent that England has produced in recent years. Where there has been a draught of talent in England, there has been flood in Germany and Spain.
For some reason England is just not producing technically gifted players anymore and its becoming a big problem for the manager. In England we probably produce two world class players a decade, if that and most of those can’t be compared to their European counterparts.
I mean Wayne Rooney is the latest so-called world-class player to come through into the England team and he really can’t be compared to Portuguese winker Cristiano Ronaldo, or even Spaniard Fernando Torres.
Torres may have had a poor time in the Blue of Chelsea up until this season, but he usually produces when it comes to major tournaments for his country. That’s England’s problem the players that we do have who are technically gifted don’t seem to produce on the international stage.
It’s sad to see our national game so far behind the Germans, Spanish and probably even Italians. These countries have been churning out world-class players in recent years and England just can’t compete.
I believe that England fans need to lower their expectations. Every tournament is the same. No doubt that the Three Lions will qualify for the World Cup, make it through the group stage then get knocked out in the quarter-finals.
It’s sad, but I know this story so well. I feel like England are the underdog in a movie, who fight like a lion but die in the end. I don’t want to be a fan of the underdog anymore. The England team used to be one of the biggest in the world.
Now we are resigned to being a second tier country and being thankful for making it to the quarter-finals of tournaments, through sheer hard work. Where is the technique expertise, the inspiration and the magic? The answer is the England team are very short on all three.
The Premier League has tried to reform the reserve league and have re-branded it the under-21 Premier League. I don’t think this will have a major difference on the production of English talent.
A lot of clubs academies are still full of young foreign players, who have been brought in to flout the Premier League’s rule on home-grown players. This won’t help the English youngsters coming through.
I must apologise for my rant, but at the moment I don’t feel too positive about the current England set-up at all. I feel that the England national team won’t achieve anything until there is major change in the game.
Until then I won’t be getting too excited if we qualify for the World Cup 2014 in Brazil. I don’t have to be a psychic to know how that run will end, just like every recent tournament in recent years with bitterness and disappointment.
Does England have enough quality on the big stage to compete?