Saturday, February 17, 2007

The Blame Game

Ah, there we go again. Last summer when England bowed out of the World Cup with a whimper, everyone starts pointing fingers in all direction except at themselves and how bad things has degraded to this point where everyone hits the panic button when England lost to Spain in a friendly. Yes, a friendly game.

I'm never a supporter of these sort of friendlies because they're just a waste of time and it's purely for the FA to make more bucks so that they can waste it on some inept manager they're going to appoint in the future. Even while I'm typing, it's infuriating to know that Mr. Eriksson is still earning more than most of us do in a year, or years by just sipping lemonade by the beach.

What good can friendlies do to a team that only meet up once a month and in England's case, it's like some social club monthly meeting where old friends get to meet up. Then go on to put up some really abject performance and gets slated by the press and people like us once a month. It's a joke.

So, Al-Tel, Terry Venables came out and blasted the 'major' clubs for ruining England's chances and harming the team. Does that sound like anything more than an excuse to you? Well look, logic prevails and if the English talents are not good enough, then surely they're going to be behind the pack!

He picked on Arsenal for their love of Africans and European players. Just not English. And does it really takes a rocket scientist to work out why? It's simple. Would you rather pay an odd 300k for a Spanish youngster like Cesc Fabregas (Spanish) or a mind boggling 18 million for Mr. Carrick (English) at United who looked half the player Cesc is, was and will be. See the difference? For English talents, you've to pay over the odds.

As a club, millions are at stake and the manager have to make sure the players are of the highest quality and are able to put up decent performance consistently. Youth players are especially important as they're the future of the club. They're groomed and nurtured into future superstars at young age. So is there really something going amiss within the youth academy in England?

You can be sure of it when you see the likes of Sir Alex coming out to defend Arsene Wenger. He mentioned Howard Wilkinson's 10 years plan which is to succeed and bring the World Cup back to England but sadly, it looked remotely possible with this bunch. It's into the 8th year by the way.

In football, nationality should not be a concern. Although it is important to keep the core of the team close to the homeland, the teams should not stop nurturing future talents because it is not of any advantage to the nation the club belongs. We all love to see the likes of Fabregas and Ronaldo coming through although they're just passer-bys from the other side of the world. Admit it, globalisation is under way and football is in transition as well. Know no boundaries.

Looking at the Arsenal team that played Bolton on Wednesday, you've got to applaud Wenger and his doctrine of bringing up young players and brooding them into future superstars. Seeing how these bunch get bullied off the park by Bolton earlier, you've got to feel that we've finally seen another generation of Arsenal. For neutrals, it's great of course.

We know Rafa's doing that as well. He reformed the scouting network and he's bringing in quality South Americans and Spanish into the fray so that we won't have to worry about the future of Liverpool 5 to 10 years down the road because we already have a group of ready made youngsters ready to step up.

Looking at Liverpool's U18 squad makes me proud as well. They're currently on the way of defending the FA Youth Cup and they looked like a proper good team. How many of them will actually make it and don the famous red jersey, we'll not know. But I'm sure Rafa will give them a chance in the future.

Youth development is an important aspect in football but by trying to force teams to place their emphasis on a certain nation's youth for 'balance' is going to set the development back for a few years. Fat Sam ironically came out to say the youths of today are 'fat and lazy'. Well, not without prove. Just look at the recent report on how England's youth are one of the worst among the rich nations.

Youth academy's motto should always be 'foreigners or not, as long as you're good enough, you'll be welcomed'.

1 comment:

psychohare said...

very true, true indeed, im glad McClaren got the balls to suggest having training sessions and cut back on 2 friendlies... seriously, he was playing a makeshift team, testing out those comeback England players...
one thing he has to decide though... drop Lampard... seriously, u gotta make sacrifices, u cant play all your star players, that's the truth... With Gerrard and Hargreaves in the center midfield, that's a very strong team.
England is a historically strong 4-4-2 pacey wing attacking team. they need the wingers. playing one striker wouldnt do, coz they just dun have that kind of striker.
He has to be ruthless man... i hope they can bring in Lippi... Lippi is fantastic.. i've known him since his Juve days, and my bro told me all the best things about him (how cool does a cigar smoking white-headed manager sound?)
McClaren is a manager with too small a reputation to drop his big named players... i hope he finds his balls soon... it's a proven fact over the years... Gerrard >>> Lampard.
There is one way to solve this though. Play Gerrard on right wing, the role that fits best for Liverpool.