By John Cartwright
I’m sick and tired of MONEY being used as the easy reason for our football failure(s). even when MONEY was less available to players in the past we still failed to reach top status except for the ‘last of the street players of 1966’.
I will not accept that high earners consider their wealth during games at domestic or international levels. Our problem – their problem, with results and poor standards in our game stems well before MONEY becomes an issue; THE PROBLEM, IS OUR PLAYERS ARE NOT DEVELOPED PROPERLY!
A poor upbringing in any sphere of education will create learning difficulties that lower understanding and interest in subjects. However, if a subject is taught with enthusiasm and direction, students are more likely to respond positively. Football education is a sport to be taught and learned and should be introduced and developed forward in carefully arranged stages from junior into senior levels. This development model must inspire players and provide a realistic pathway towards high standards in individual skills and game understanding -excellence must be the vision to achieve.
This development model is far beyond the haphazard approach we have ‘tinkered’ with over the past 60 years. Fitness levels and athleticism have improved but individual skills and game understanding have not. By the time a player reaches senior levels he has acquired an insufficient football education and this has required foreign ‘imports’ to provide the necessary game qualities we fail to provide. When our players are selected for international duty the choice is becoming more slender with each season. Team selection is about using English ‘workhorses’ for the squads; the skilful talent plays for our foreign opponents!
Coaching direction from the mid 1950’s has tended to lack practical experience and false ‘pathways’ have generally been the consequence leading to frustration and failure. Our players enter an arena with a ‘wooden stick’ and not a metal spear’ to win the battle. Individualism and tactical foresight is virtually invisible whilst effort and negativity abound. Yes, we give 100% effort, of that I have no doubt, but the content of that effort lacks the positive issues of the game of football. There is a famous saying; ‘give me the child and I will give you back the man’. Unfortunately, our ‘football children’ are returned as ‘youths’ without the essential qualities to succeed in the big and demanding world of football.