New Low For English Football Calls For Drastic Change Across The System
- 28 Jun 2016
When Germany finished bottom of their qualifcation group at Euro 2000 a shockwave reverberated around their football federation (DFB), with drastic measures taken to fix what was a national low, but a mere 16 years later they are world champions preparing for a quarter final clash with Italy at Euro 2016, and it's now time English football followed that process in the wake of their embarrassing 2-1 defeat to Iceland, which saw one of the worst performances in the history of the national team.
Grassroots Progression Is The Key To Success
We can dismantle England's lacklustre, inept, clueless performance last night with worrying ease, but it's not the display of Roy Hodgson's lamentable lads that should be discussed now, it's what is going to be done to rectify what is a position that sees the footballing world grinning from ear-to-ear as the Three Lions yet again return home a laughing stock, as the Euro 2016 debacle tops off a reign of Hodgson & co that has seen them exit a World Cup in five days in 2014, with the French farce just adding more woe for the passionate fans that watched the Nice debacle.
There we go, we got a few sentences in to discussing English football and the word passion is uttered, but the "P" word should be firmly erased from the English footballing vocabulary and perhaps the words grassroots, coaching and leadership may become a triumvirate of prominent words looking forward to what now has to be a change of mentality from all aspects of the English game, with the first tremor to hit the Football Association.
The German footballing revolution saw the DFB travel the world in search of best practice, which has now seen a raft of young talents progress through the system, and the emergence of tens of thousands of coaches has help improve local German football, with the contagious improvement working its way up the ladder, and only a few years ago there were over 28,000 German coaches with UEFA 'B' Licence, as opposed to a meagre 1,759 coaches in England with the same qualifcation.
This will not be a quick-fix, as Germany showed having taken 14 years to go from European despair to World Cup winners, but let's look at the long game. Yes, we may continue on the under-achieving road for the next two decades, but it's the class of 2036 that could send this footballing rollercoaster on an upward spiral, and the preparation starts now.
Time For Change In Mentality
Hodgson's £3.5m contract may have already visited the shredder this morning, but it's now the FA's opportunity to look at the wider picture, and perhaps not focus on paying extortionate wages to the next manager, who has been touted as Gareth Southgate and the next "yes man" to come off the FA production line, but to focus on pumping money into local football, giving youngsters the most amount of opportunities to get involved with playing the beautiul game.
Affordable coaching courses in the community would encourage youngsters to learn the game, which would wipe out this blinkered view that only professional players have the potential to coach at the highest level. One brief look on the application form for the UEFA A Licence shows the underlying problem with English football pyramid, as a non-member of the FA Licensed Coaches' Club will have to pay over £6k to get on the course, and even then you are not guaranteed a place, which is sure to be dominated by "old pro's".
Adding that to the cost of the plethora of badges needed before reaching the final stage just shows that it's tough to reach the top as a coach, unless aided with funding, so June 27th, 2016, and a defeat to Iceland, is a time to rip up the rule book, turn the page on a harrowing chapter full of disappointment and disgruntlement and open a new era that can see English football finally work its way out the mire and start on the long road to greatness again.
Who Next For England?
As mentioned before, Gareth Southgate is the 7/4 favourite with Paddy Power to be given the England manager role, while Glenn Hoddle, a man who has been out the managerial scene for years, etched in as 8/1 second favourite with Sky Bet, but it's time to look to the future and try and select a head coach who is an emerging talent who can think outside of the box, and try and bring a new lease of life to the national side.
Eddie Howe has caught the eye over the last few years, and many have thrown their support the Bournemouth manager's way, and he is 12/1, but having not worked at the highest level he is sure to be bypassed in favour of an experienced manager. Who that may be we shall wait and see, but while Southgate has improved the under-21 side and is in the FA system, he could be another destined for failure under the current regime, and it won't be until there's a universal change from top to bottom before there's any light of what is a dark, dark tunner.