Where Now For England? It Doesn’t Matter What Your Philosophy Is. Just Have One!
Root and Branch? Greg Dykes Commission? St George’s Park? Anything or anybody else you can think of to help the national team?
I feel like I fell asleep 30 years ago and have just woken up.
Inquests, rage, disappointment and resignation. England have under performed again and the nation is having its say.
“Too many foreign players blocking pathways” – Valid point but we didn’t even qualify in 1974, 1978 or 1994 when the league had nearly exclusively British players (mainly English).
“The players are pampered and spoiled” – Valid point but do you honestly think they don’t care about playing for England?
They care alright. These players care.
Society has changed and football with it so I can accept that playing for England doesn’t hold the same magic it used to when a player had to play consistently well at the top level for at least five years to get into a squad. Now, with reduced numbers, a player can have literally five good games and be called up.
“They earn too much money!’”- Valid point although if all this cash comes in to the game then it’s logical that it will go to the people who play the game. Without them, there is nothing.
But yes, they are probably paid too much but is that their fault?
“We don’t have a particular playing style that the players understand and can implement – there are no definite principles they can ‘buy into’ and cling to” – Mmmmm, interesting.
If I asked you ‘How do England play?,” I think you might struggle to really define it.
I’ve often thought that the lack of a definite playing style is the biggest thing holding us back. We do have good players (although our lack of defenders, especially centrally who can begin attacks and keep possession is a problem, a deeper issue which requires another article).
Speaking to a friend of mine about football and philosophies etc, I said to him that it doesn’t matter what your philosophy is. You just need to have one!
Don’t be like a plastic bag blown about, at the mercy of every gust of wind.
In England we talk about this country, that country, what they do, how they do it, lets copy them (see Germany, France, Spain, Holland, Belgium) instead of saying “this is what we want, this is why and this is how we are going to do it.”
It might take time and not work straight away but if it doesn’t work initially we are going to stick with it, work at it and refine it, not cast it off as soon as it doesn’t work because this is what we believe in.
But it’s difficult to do that to do when you don’t actually know what it is you want.
Editor’s note: Mark Burke is an English former footballer who played as a midfielder. A player skilled at retaining the ball, he enjoyed a 15 year professional career in England, the Netherlands, Japan, Romania, and Sweden. He played for clubs including Aston Villa, Rapid Bucharest, Middlesbrough, and Wolves.