Originally Posted by Matt Boothman<br
England should not have to accept that they're only as good as Paraguay or USA. The amount of money put into the sport here and the amount of players and fans is massive compared to the USA and Paraguay.
Paraguay maybe. USA, certainly not. They've got a far better Premier League than the MLS, but as you point out, it's because of international players. USA does spend a lot of money in their soccer, though it doesn't show because they spend a lot more of it on those other sports.
Originally Posted by Matt Boothman
What good is that when your country's national team has been knocked out because they couldn't beat Algeria and USA (30th and 14th in the world)?
I agree with most of your other points, but that's one I disagree with. Ranking doesn't mean anything. Football is a lot of luck, which is why I hate it when a team loses against a weaker team and everyone instantly thinks they're bad. The English Premier League is full of that mentality.. people who judge based on one performance, without giving people time to work. If anything, I'd blame the English fans for being so impatient. USA has built its team slowly after time, with a "It's ok if you lose, we love you anyway" attitude. England gets yelled at for *tying* at a match with an equally strong team.
It's about winning consistently. A strong team doesn't have a 90% chance of winning, it's more like 70%, even against an obviously weaker team. Most of the teams in the Cup seem quite evenly matched anyway. Even with Germany's 4-0 win over Argentina, it's not that Argentina is a weak team. It was a 50-50 game, but Germany's aggression got them a huge margin.
Capello was IMO, a poor choice for manager though, as overrated as the English team himself, and his poor tactics and player chemistry showed during the Cup. I'd support a sacking this time. Only worse manager would've been France. Their world-class players ran around like schoolchildren and had the same professionalism too.
Best manager seems to be the German coach. They've had brilliant chemistry... most of their passes were just fine, and all of their goals were from good teamwork. Watch the goals... about 50% of them was a tactical one. Player could've dribbled around the keeper or placed a tough shot, but instead he passed to an open friend who finished it. Not only that, but he turned players who suck at their club into international superstars. Podolski has more goals for his country than he has for his club, and he's not even playing as a forward this year!
Anyway, I'm going with Netherlands for this match, just to annoy Hayo. And because Uruguay cheated tactically handballed to get this far. Uruguay might actually have the best chance among the top 4 at beating Germany because they play more defensively. We'll see.
Disclaimer: Any sarcasm in my posts will not be mentioned as that would ruin the purpose. It is assumed that the reader is intelligent enough to tell the difference between what is sarcasm and what is not.
matt: One thing is investing in youth teams, another is investing in an individual player. Youth teams cost money to be maintained, but they also generate revenue, usually more than enough to cover the costs. Each year they produce several players that end up being sold sooner or later. Promoting a young player from the youth/reserve teams to the senior squad costs nothing, buying a promising and/or established player usually cost several millions. Additionally, youth teams have a fixed budget each year that regardless of producing the next messi or not doesn't change.
I already pointed out what I think is the cause for England's bad international form. It's not necessarily that "young english players are inherently worse than spain, france and so on", it's simply that there hasn't been a good crop of highly promising talents in england in recent years. And by highly promising I mean players that could be world class players, or at least players good enough to play in the biggest teams in the premier league. If they existed, believe me, their respective teams wouldn't let them go that easily, either there is a foreign player taking their place in the squad or not.
Another thing, according to you, managers don't bet on national/young players because they lack patient/need immediate results. Judging by the link you provided, Italy, arguably the biggest graveyard for managers in the world, has 70% national players, the biggest rate among the leagues in the page.
Additionally, look at the squad they brought to the world cup. Not only they flopped miserably (not even going past the group stage) most of the squad is over 30 with very few promising talents coming in. The same problem england is facing right now.
On the other hand, Germany has the same exact percentages as England when it comes to national and foreign players, yet they seem to have produced quite a few young and promising players who are definitely among the best performers in this world cup. And ironically, you pointed out Germany as an example for England to follow.
"So Man Utd won the Champions League with a team full of foreign players? So what? What good is that when your country's national team has been knocked out because they couldn't beat Algeria and USA (30th and 14th in the world)?"
Just because england couldn't beat algeria or the US doesn't mean their team is better or even equal. An english team beating what is known as the world's biggest club competition is usually a good indicator of how competitive the english league is, and by extension english players, which is not that far from the same as the english national team winning the world cup.
@Muz; USA does not have the infrastructure and popularity of the game that England has. Absolutely nowhere near. The young kids in America aren't dreaming of becoming the next Landon Donovan, they're dreaming of being the next Brett Favre, Alex Rodriguez or Shaq. The sheer weight of the English footballing pyramid ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_football_league_system#The_system ) attests to this fact. I'd wager that the number of teams in this pyramid would reach at least 10,000. Compare this with the US's system ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_soccer_pyramid ) and you quickly see the difference in sheer volume of players, teams and fans. There may even be more recognised leagues in England than there are teams in the US. This for a nation roughly a quarter the size of the US.
So forgive me when I don't equate the US national team with that of England. They just aren't comparable. There may be eight or so nations with the sheer weight of players that England has (in fact, England has more professional clubs per capita than anywhere in the world). The fact that some people even see the US as equals to England (in football terms) tells its own story about our incompetence in running the game. I live here - I see the often shoddy training grounds, lack of equipment, lack of investment and the impatience of the professional clubs that de facto run the game. Sad but true.
@ Johnny: I'd like to see the evidence for youth teams generating revenue equal or more to the cost of their upkeep. I personally don't believe that, and in fact there's been recent examples of teams downgrading or even getting rid of their youth systems because they didn't make money. Millwall is the most obvious case. Fact is, Chelsea's academy loses an inordinate amount of money every year, as do the academies of most top tier English teams. And your opinion that youth development is down to luck is pure fallacy. Teach the players and they will learn; the quality of a player is directly associated with how good his teachers were. Unfortunately, in England they aren't very good.
The Italy thing is interesting. Their top league is relatively poor aside from the top three or four teams, yet their national team won the World Cup last time around. They have also reached major finals two or three times in the last decade. Whilst their current side might have done pretty poorly, they have a track record of reaching and winning World Cups and Euros. Ditto France. These are countries with less professional players and far less professional teams, but both have far greater qualified coaches than in England. Spain has even more qualified coaches than those two, but even less teams. I also remind you that Italy have produced some of the greatest managers of all time, Capello included. England, in the meanwhile, have to had to resort to hiring their coaches from abroad.
I didn't say that Germany were an example to follow in that respect; I just admired the way they have brought youth through in this World Cup. Oezil, Khedira, Mueller, Badstuber et al were all very inexperienced players at international level, but have proved to be very capable. This proves they are training their players correctly, even if some managers in the Bundesliga suffer from the same paranoia as managers in England. England's youngsters however tend to be overly fast, strong and not very skilful, as evidenced by the likes of Aaron Lennon and Shaun Wright-Phillips. Jack Wilshere seems the only credible playmaker in the current crop of English youth. It is no coincidence he has been raised by a Frenchmen, Arsene Wenger. Where are our Muellers? Nowhere, because we aren't making any. The quality of the training and the unwillingness of English managers to nuture skill above physical attributes is the reason.
It's not that simple, having good trainers can only be good but it's definitely not enough to raise the next big world star. It's mostly up to the player to be up to the task both physically and mentally, be willing to grow as a player and not lose himself along the way. Look at Messi or Ronaldo for example, they were raised for football at a very young age, both were already seen as very promising prospects at the age of 8 or even younger, but their willingness to learn and grow as players made them what they are today.
People are born with certain physical and mental characteristics, how they use it it's up to themselves, be it for football or not, either they develop them or not.
For the supporters it is mostly a matter of luck, that's no fallacy, that's the truth.
You can't ask english trainers to "make" the next mueller, one thing is developing their natural skills, another is create skills and characteristics out of nothing, which simply doesn't happen because it's a waste of time. German players are stronger by nature, perhaps because the alimentation is different or perhaps that's just a genealogical thing, I don't know.
I do think there are other factors that can influence the outcome of the youth teams like good prospecting staff, good training camps and so on, but I don't think that's a major problem in england, at least that's not an excuse for the recent woes of the english national team. In fact, some of the best football academies in the world are in England (arsenal, man utd, chelsea, west ham, aston villa leeds utd and so on).
The point I was trying to make about the youth teams was that if you look at each player that comes out of the academies/youth teams, they always end up being cheaper than buying players from other clubs, foreign or not. If they weren't, what would be the point of academies and youth teams if you could just snatch players others clubs developed through their youth teams for less money and hassle ?
btw when I talked about covering the costs I was talking about each player individually. Example: player X, playing in the chelsea reserves, after leaving the chelsea academy, is sold to leicester from the championship for 2£. There is no way developing that player cost 2 millions to chelsea to develop him individually, so they end up making profit with that particular player.
About Italy and having only 3 or 4 strong teams: the same thing happens in pretty much every other european league including the the spanish and english leagues.
But honestly I don't really understand what point you are trying to make.
Perhaps italian managers are better because they are used to heavy pressure, I don't know. Anyway the italian league has always been like that, and Italy have had good international sides from time to time, even if they never had a killer squad like Brazil seems to bring in every world cup.
I think their successes on the international stage are mostly due to their managers and their infamous tactics such as the "catenaccio", and not so much thanks to the overall quality of their players. IMO, Brazil and Argentina always had the opposite problem, fantastic players, mediocre managers. Even Scolari who won a World Cup with Brazil and lead Portugal to a euro final and world cup 4th place is often criticized of being a mediocre manager, and honestly I agree.
Except for one or another player, Inter didn't have a world class squad yet they won the champions league, beating teams such as Barcelona and Chelsea along the way. The difference lies in the coach, Mourinho, who is, imo, the best manager in the world right now.
About Germany, you praised their ability to raise good young talent and use them effectively in their national squad and said they are an example England should follow, but in the same post you complained about the invasion of foreign players in the english league and pointed that out as the main cause for england's national team recent failures. So, in a way, by posting a link with stats that show that both teams have the same percentages of national/foreign players in the respective leagues you are contradicting yourself. If england is struggling with good young players making it to the national squad while germany is triving in that aspect then I think that's at least a indicator that foreign players aren't the cause of the problem, at least not the biggest one. If anything you can blame Capello for not bringing in enough youngsters, but honestly I don't see that as a problem because, except perhaps for walcott, I don't see any young player good enough for the english squad.
Originally Posted by Johnny Look It's not that simple, having good trainers can only be good but it's definitely not enough to raise the next big world star. It's mostly up to the player to be up to the task both physically and mentally, be willing to grow as a player and not lose himself along the way. Look at Messi or Ronaldo for example, they were raised for football at a very young age, both were already seen as very promising prospects at the age of 8 or even younger, but their willingness to learn and grow as players made them what they are today.
Now that I don't agree at all with. I work with young would-be sportsmen, not particularly in a coaching capacity, but I have spoken to coaches and the like, and what they all agree on is that the amount of time and effort expended on a youth player increases the chance of that player 'making it' massively. Messi and Ronaldo would have been nothing without good coaching. It is NOT luck. If you teach a child to kick with both feet he will be able to kick with both feet his whole life. If you teach a child to control a ball using both sides of his feet, and be comfortable with it (by doing it for long periods of time, and in different situations), surprise surprise, he will become a competent footballer. There are various factors that cannot be 'coached'; height, natural strength, pace, natural co-ordination (a key factor), but the rest can all be learned. Fact is, we often don't train our kids to do these things early enough.
I find it ironic that you say about academies; "If they weren't [cheaper], what would be the point of academies and youth teams if you could just snatch players others clubs developed through their youth teams for less money and hassle?". This is exactly what happens. Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal et al all steal players that other clubs have developed from ages 8-14 and then 'stockpile' them in their own youth teams. Judging by numbers alone, those three youth teams are staggeringly unsuccessful. Arsenal's only prominent youth product has been Ashley Cole. Man Utd's youth used to be good, but numbers reaching Premier League level have dwindled. Chelsea have never had a good youth academy. There are odd nuggets of hope though, Leeds and West Ham indeed do have good youth setups, as well as Crewe Alexandra further down the leagues.
The point I'm trying to make Johnny, before you turned it into 'foreign players in the English league are the only reason why the national team is gash', is that our coaching isn't good enough, we don't give those few youth players that we do create enough of a chance in the first teams, and we focus on the wrong attributes when developing talent (mainly pace and strength above ball control and passing).
And let me clarify, I said about Germany "We should follow the lead of the Germans and start looking to the next age". This means right now, as in 'let's prepare for the next World Cup by utilising whatever talent we have coming through and dropping the older players'. In the same post I didn't complain about about "the invasion of foreign players in the english league and pointed that out as the main cause for england's national team recent failures" either. I've stated what the biggest problem is over and over again. I also said the amount of foreign players has a bad effect, which it does. If you can't understand my point it's because you won't listen.
PS - for every player Chelsea might make that they sell to Leicester for £2m, they will have recruited (the most expensive part), paid, trained, provided equipment, and treated injuries of maybe 50 other players that will never be sold. You would surprised what that cost would add up to. I read a piece once in When Saturday Comes about Chelsea's huge academy losses. Youth academies very very rarely make money. In fact, it's almost never.
I played football in the youth teams of three different clubs, one of them being Lausanne FC (which btw was playing in Swiss top tier back then and formed players such as Lorik Cana and NKufo who was in this very world cup), so I can say I worked with several youth coaches myself.
Coaches won't develop your personal attributes as in "You should learn how to pass better" or "you should learn how to tackle better". Being able to pass well, use both feet, dribble etc.. is something you start learning about when you start playing football, usually even before you enter in a team of any sort and it's something that usually adapts to your physical attributes and limitations. Naturally, you'll be better at one thing than another, you'll probably have things you have to improve, and that's what the coaches are for, to tell you what you are doing wrong and give you advice. Other than that, you're just a pawn in a chess board. You follow the same exact training methods as the rest of the team. The team is built around it's players, not the other way around. Nobody's ever going to tell you "you really should improve your shooting and start playing as a striker because the national team lacks strikers".
There IS luck involved when it comes the national team having good strikers or not for example. No coach will do miracles if nobody wants to play as a striker or if there isn't anybody good at it. There is no such thing as "developing the wrong talents"; like I said, talent can be developed, if the talent doesn't exist or there is a shortage of it, there is nothing the coach can do.
btw believe me, Ronaldo or Messi would still be great players if they didn't have great coaches. Both of them only went to a real youth team at the age of 13 (Ronaldo for example was already followed by teams like liverpool and arsenal when he was 16).
The coaches they had before were probably as good or worse than the ones I had, but still I never got to Man. Utd or Barcelona. Not even close, I gave up football altogether when I was 15.
On youth teams snatching 8-14 year olds from other teams: that's what every club in an important league does. I only reached Lausanne FC because apparently I caught the attention of one of their scouts while playing for my city's regional club (Ecublens) and managed to get a trial with them, I was 9 by then. I don't know of any club with a decent reputation working differently with their youth teams, that's how their recruiting works.
Anyway, that English league pyramid is fricking scary. And I thought that browser games had too many clubs. It's just insane having that many clubs. But the whole "quantity, not quality" comes into mind. I have no idea what they're doing wrong, but there's probably more clubs than there are people to watch them. Those resources might be better off pooled up somewhere. Brazil, Germany, and Italy, all consistent performers in every international game, but doesn't have that many, even with Brazil's higher population.
Disclaimer: Any sarcasm in my posts will not be mentioned as that would ruin the purpose. It is assumed that the reader is intelligent enough to tell the difference between what is sarcasm and what is not.
You and me Johnny are talking about entirely different types of coaching then. I'm talking about the very early ages of football coaching, where they actually DO teach you how to pass, dribble, shoot etc. 13 is too late.
Your belief that youth talent being down mainly to luck is completely redundant; if it were down to luck, why does Brazil have a disproportionate amount of talented dribblers? They aren't genetically 'made' to dribble; it's an acquired skill.
Germany are out and Spain go through to the final. Kudos to Paul the psychic octopus, who called it.
Spain had obviously learned from watching Germany play England and Argentina - they just didn't commit any players forward at all, so Germany couldn't hit them on the break.
It was a pretty bad game because of that, and Spain still don't look convincing at all.
Holland will beat them comfortably on Sunday.
matt: What do you mean exactly by very early ages ? I started at 8, and I don't remember being taught how to pass or shoot because they would assume I already knew how to do that, even if not proficiently. If I recall correctly by then the training was pretty basic for obvious reasons but I'm pretty sure they do this everywhere, no matter the coach. Also once again the training is the same for all the players, so I believe commitment at this age is what counts the most to avoid being left behind, and when you are 8 it's hard to take anything seriously. Once again coaches will tell you if you are doing something wrong but that's their job, if they can't even tell you kicking a ball with your arms in your pockets is wrong then they shouldn't be coaching in the first place.
btw the fact that brazil has so many good dribblers is due to their football culture which is based around the show off and attractive football. The legend even says in Brazil kids learn to dribble before they even learn how to walk, and the truth is not that far off. Kids dream to be just like their idols, so if they are good at dribbling that's what they'll want to be good at too. Most brazilians stars being great dribblers, you can almost say it's a genetics thing.
sketchy: mark my words Spain is going to win 1-0. And Paul is going to agree with me.