I have just watched England’s women play Spain’s women in the Euro Championship. If anybody doubts the mis-direction of coaching that has taken place in our country over the past decades they should watch our ladies. Where they could have followed a different path in the learning and playing of the game they have gone down the same route as our men’s game and all the same mistakes in both individual and team play are clear to see. In comparison, the Spanish ladies, who were supposed to be less experienced and accomplished, showed the individual skills and team-work that have been part and parcel of the successful Spanish men’s game over the past few years.
Anybody interested in development must see the how coaching methods here that have derailed the playing quality of our men’s game has produced a similar effect on our ladies game —- notably, the same lack of individual creativity and a tactical system ‘set in concrete’.
I wrote a ‘blog’ some time ago that criticised our ladies for using the same ‘copy-cat’ methods as the men’s game and that they would experience the same problems as the men. The coaching format through which our ladies develop has produced the same disturbing inability to create skilful players for their game as is so obvious with our men. This lack of skill reduces confidence when under pressure; limits running with the ball and passing options; and reduces the use of more free-flowing tactical movements — just like our men!
I have been a member of a very, very small ‘club’ of coaches who have tried to signal to those in charge of our game that their coaching methods are steering our game in the wrong direction. The use of those same coaching methods by our women have produced the same failings in their game and are conclusive proof that our coaching methods do not, will not produce the standards required for the production of high quality players to play the game at the highest level…….. so when are we going to do something RADICAL (not just tweak) to the disastrous coaching and development methods we have ‘burdened’ ourselves with? Never I expect!