Wednesday, November 21, 2007

England's football team - 40 years of failure

London, UK

In 1968, Yugoslavia beat England 1-0 in the semi-final of the then European Nations Cup. The goal was scored by the world's best ever left-winger Dragan Dzajic. A couple of years later, England bowed out to West Germany in the heat of Guadalajara in the quarter-final of the World Cup. For me, those two results started the sticky slope that the English football team has been on ever since.

Earlier this evening, the team that represented Croatia (a former part of Yugoslavia) out-played, out-thought and out-witted a below-par English team. It'll probably mean the end for manager, Steve McClaren but when will we all realise it's not down to him or even the hapless goalkeeper Scott Carson?

In my view, these are the fundamental issues that need to be addressed:

1. Sport in my opinion, is not taken seriously in England.

2. There is no national centre for football excellence.

3. In recent years, 34000 playing fields have disappeared in England under both Labour and Conservative administrations.

4. Footballers in this country are still drawn from what was working class backgrounds. In France, Spain and Italy, in particular, footballers come from all levels of society.

5. The Premiership and Championship appear to be more important to players, supporters and officials than the success of the national team.

6. Continental players have better ball skills than English players.

7. All too often, players and managers and coaches are one-dimensional in their approach. (Just look at the first 45 minutes this evening)

8. A "quick-fix", short-term solution is the answer to everything. (i.e. the appointment of McClaren?)

9. A lack of leadership and vision from the footballing authorities, politicians and educationalists.

What's your view?

I think I'll tag

Iain Dale City Unslicker Crushed Beamans World Ellee Seymour Croydonian The Last Ditch Dr Simon Moores


Magdalena said...

So, Jeremy, that's it. We win, you lose. I'm not such a football fun, but I love to watch when Croatian team play, and when play good. This was good. They have nothing to lose, so they play with no burden.
I'm glad that Croatia have new fresh team, after France we thought that we never ever have a good team. I don't know how good they are, but I know that they are all young generation of players, and that is good for our football.
In our country, we like to watch sport only when we have a good team, when we bad, nobody even watch them..
Few days ago, you asked me who is going to be whose friend after this game, are we still a friends?? ;)

Jeremy Jacobs said...

of course

Anonymous said...

Here are my thoughts:

Relating to your last two points.

Jeremy Jacobs said...


You wrote:

"The problem lies with the organisation behind the team - the Football Association and its outdated,plodding and risk-averse management".

Risk-averse - like so many of our businesses and institutions in the UK Steve.

Beaman said...

I've written a post in response to your tag. Very disappointing night indeed.

Anonymous said...

Very disappointing is putting it mildly. I think Beckham should have been played from the start and the substitute goalie was clearly not a good choice at that crucial time.
I think my lads could do a better job between them.

Jeremy Jacobs said...

Yup agreed Ellee.

McClarens body language and facial expressions before the kick-off in an interview with the BBC said everything.

Beaman said...

It was raining but nevertheless I didn't like his hiding under the umbrella. I knew he was sheltering from the fans.

A Shearer/Klinsmann rumour is abound. That could be promising.

Anonymous said...

A lot of soccer fans feel it is criminal that England did not qualify.

I have written a post on this topic.

Jeremy Jacobs said...

Well they didn't and that's that I'm afraid.