By John Cartwright – November 2010
Time after time, English teams at all levels have taken the field in international competitions with high expectation and low expertise. Hype not honesty has preceded teams onto the field but, once put to the test in open competition, our true lack of quality is plain for all to see. The latest and most ‘hyped’ group of so-called superstars — ‘the Golden Generation’ have been nothing more than a — ‘yellow disappointment’! Hype has elevated mediocrity to the level assigned to greatness. The true ‘legends’ of the game should be outraged at players of such limited and inferior quality being given the same status as themselves.
I have been a lone voice in criticising the obvious lowering of standards in all areas of the game over many years. Despite being referred to as a ‘Rebel’, I have persisted with my honest belief that, – we are not good enough! Recent articles and a TV documentary by Gary Lineker has revisited arguments concerning poor playing quality that some of us have been saying for years – (decades). Lineker, is now saying, “we don’t have a chance of winning the World Cup until 2018”. I personally think we’ll be lucky to even qualify for the finals of that competition! He obviously does not have any understanding of the poor coaching standards at all levels throughout this country. Good players are the product of good teaching, – poor players are the product of poor teaching. He is saying we don’t have enough good young players coming through the system. Does he not realize the reason for this lack of playing talent, – it’s because we don’t have enough good coaches to teach them coming through the system either –BECAUSE THE COACHING AND DEVELPOMENT SYSTEM DOESN’T WORK — IT NEVER HAS!
The production of our coaching methodology belongs to those from the teaching professions. Many have reigned at our national football association for too many years. In fact, junior levels of the game in this country are dictated by schoolteachers and parents, whilst senior levels are dominated by various areas of the media. With standards set by well-intentioned amateurs and the power of press and TV, it should be no surprise that we are a football nation lacking positive direction.
But it’s not just coaching and playing that should bear the brunt for our football malaise, what about the administrative control over our game? The word ‘mess’, just about sums up the complicated rivalry amongst various administrative sections within the game who have surrendered it to financial ‘wolves’. Fuelled by hype and greed and driven by incompetence, the game is verging on being completely out of control. Whilst mediocre players receive huge salaries, many clubs are unable to find the funds to continue trading; television pundits prevaricate for fear of offending advertisers or program directors; the media meddle and inspire intrigue not news; and there are those who are only able to ‘sit comfortably on the fence’ or are adept at dispensing ‘bulls droppings’ to baffle any so-called brains around. The game meanwhile, goes on slowly sinking. But, ‘we’ve got the best league in the world’ so we’re told …. continuously. – No it isn’t the best; and yes it’s full of foreigners!!
Where’s the person who can grab hold of this disaster and pull it back from the brink? Someone who will stand up and fight against the present power blocks in the game here; someone who is not afraid of journalistic and TV sniping; someone who has a clear vision and is bold enough to see it through; someone who will ‘lift the carpet’ and sweep away the rubbish under it; someone who can inspire others to a cause that would create a new type of playing style in this the birthplace of the game.
Perhaps we might once again get at least one nomination for an award from FIFA; we had none for the 2010 season. Says it all about our game and the so-called ‘greatest league in the world’ doesn’t it!!