By John Cartwright
HEADLINE: ENGLAND’S NEW ELITE.
SUB-TITLES: The ‘Future Game’ document has paved the way.
Our U/17’s are a match for the Spanish.
Brooking insists the latest ‘master- plan’ to emerge from the FA coaching Dept. will have far-reaching effects on the game here with children as young as 5 playing in a style more in keeping with the Spanish, Dutch and German’s. He goes on to say, that “ everything is in place for us to build for the future with the introduction of the ‘Elite Performance Plan’ and that it will revolutionize the game as we know it in this country.”
Brooking’s, confidence seems to be built around the success of the U17’s in the Euro Championship in 2010 where we beat Spain in the final. I was not at this Tournament, but I was briefed by an experienced person who ‘scouts’ for a Premier League club who saw all of the games England played, including the final, and his verdict was, as usual, “we were physically too strong for the opposition.”
The physical qualities for the game have always been a plus for us at junior levels in international tournaments, although for many years even this area of the game has not delivered success. The 2010 squad included some very early developed young players who were playing and able to withstand the physical demands of senior league football. We have always made the mistake of focusing on junior results gained from an over-dependence with physical and not skilful aspects of the game. As players develop beyond junior football it has always been those countries that have persevered with skill development with their players and waited for the physical to occur that have produced better individual players and teams than us.
To remould the playing methodology will require a change in national characteristics and culture both inside and outside of the game at the same time. I wrote an article for this ‘blog’ some months ago with the headline, ‘ Can we change our game’? I believe it is a necessity that we make big changes in the way we teach, play and watch the game. Brooking’s, belief that all will be well and that there will be an ‘explosion’ of talent for the international teams’ within five years, seems to me to be based more on ‘hype’ than actuality. Anyway, why should we simply become ‘imitation foreigners’? We have qualities in our game that are envied by countries abroad, what we should be reviewing is the defects in our game, determine what the game will progress to over the next 20 years and then, with this in mind, ‘poach’ better playing skills and tactics from those in world football able to provide the master-class.
We, on this island, are subjected to weather variations; in one day we can experience all types associated in a year. We have become pessimistic about good weather forecasts and take an umbrella – just in case it rains. We must remember that, ‘one sunny day does not a summer make’ when we talk about football success. Brooking, should be careful and have an umbrella, for ‘one victory does not a vision make!