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September 05, 2013


John Traynor

Enlgish players would be in Premier league teams, or Spanish/French/Italian/German league teams, if they were good enough. Jack Wilshere is a good player but there are a hundred Wilsheres in Spain.

Dyke is independently appointed and, thus, he is both unelected to his position and unsalaried. It follows that he is wholly unaccountable. Therefore, he can say anything without any responsibility.
His speech was created primarily for the baying mob of football "journalists".
Dyke has nothing to offer English football.


I'm a bit dubious about the weather theory, unless Holland is a Mediterranean outlier; and it's worth remembering that tippy-tappy, aka "combination football", originated in Scotland, despite the dreich.

A simple failure of management , starting with the complacency that the FA has never lost, seems a better explanation. While there is time for other quality young players to come through and augment the likes of The Ox, there seems little prospect of English coaches developing to the required level.


Never trust a manager who uses the term "going forward". Especially one who uses it four times in a short speech.


A to E, I think the theory is that the wind is the culprit rather than the dreich (which I understand to be cold, dark wet and generally miserable, but not necessarily windy). The chill factor encourages rushing around, both in games and training. Turin is not balmy in winter.

Maybe seriously windy places like Scotland and Holland mean you can only do short passes - long ball is simply not possible. Whereas wherever Allardyce manages is cold and windy enough to encourage rushing around, but not so windy you can't hoof it.


Setting a target always sub optimises a system. What makes anyone think that a target would be useful in this circumstance?

Chris Purnell

Does anyone seriously expect Dyke to be there in 2022? Another aspect of management is to be bold and not be there when failure happens. 'Get out while the going is good' is also the mantra of the bonus driven spivs who wrecked the economy. Dyke has 'no skin in the game'and a history of bold 'intiatives' none of which were his fault when they collapsed.


Great article!

We shouldn't be too surprised by the lack of English players in the premier league, seen as clubs have the whole world to choose players from!

"Indeed, I suspect that winning the World Cup is the wrong sort of target for the FA. It should be focussing on improving the grassroots of the game"

Absolutely with bells on!

"think of Sam Allardyce teams"

A truly depressing experience. It is a version of total football, except every situation is a set piece, when they are not busy time wasting!


I agree. The target of winning the 2022 World Cup is laughable, not least as it will be in Qatar.

What is more worrying is that Dyke's commission is years too late. It was quite evident at the 2006 World Cup that the players were lacking basic skills, and certainly not good enough to compete with the top European or South American teams. There may be nothing that the FA can do with the Premiership but they should be able to identify the problem of coaching and skill development at the youth and schools level.


I've been watching NFL football.

Neil Harding

A bigger problem is the dearth of English players in La Liga, Bundesliga and Serie A. Has anyone crunched the stats on German, Dutch, Italian and French players in top leagues abroad? Lack of language skills prob doesn't help our players as well, along with the universality of the English language. At the end if the day, Denmark and Greece have won more than us and I doubt that had anything to do with the amount of top players. All you need is 20 decent players, a manager with a good strategy and a lot of luck. Also helps if Fifa wants you to do well. We've had neither since 1966.


What about taking Wales over? Best, Rush and Giggs would have helped England grab a few more titles, just as Bale could.

gastro george

Discussions of this sort should never leave out the name Charles Hughes.

Igor Belanov

Less coaching might be an idea. People are living in a dreamworld if they think that under 11s teams can or should play like Spain. For one thing, the kids would be so bored they'd probably give up. Make youth football easy to participate in, fun and competitive and you'll end up with plenty of useful footballers, many of which are using their natural abilities without too much hindrance. The time to worry about tactics is when they're adults and, even then, Charles Hughes' style can be just as valid for a certain group of players than any attempt to play like Spain.

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