Manchester United and Arsenal expert says England need less foreigners to win World Cups
CAN England “REALLY win the World Cup in 2022?”
The Daily Mail asks the question that demands the only sensible answer: yes. They can. But they are outsiders.
So why is the Mail asking this question today?
FA chairman Greg Dyke claims he can save English football from oblivion after setting the national team an incredible target to rule the world in 2022. It’s a bold call, especially with England struggling to qualify for the World Cup in Brazil next summer. But there are some people who share Dyke’s optimism, and they happen to be the ones who know best…
After years of mediocrity, England fans will be delighted that the Three Lions are now faced with either oblivion or the incredible. At least it will be exciting as England aim for Dyke’s stella target of reaching the semi-finals at Euro 2020 and winning the World Cup in 2022.
The BBC then heard him add:
He warned the England set-up had been weakened rather than strengthened after 20 years of the Premier League but said his speech was “not designed to start a blame game”. During the summer transfer window, there were 137 Premier League signings but only 25 (or 18.2%) of those were English.
Indeed. You do only need XI men to make a team. And if the Premier League is an international meritocracy, the national side might well improve as a result of top-level contest. But this is all about going back to the glory days of the pre-Premier League, when England were…every bit as average as they are now.
The Beeb outlines another of Dyke’s targets:
Aims to set up an FA Commission asking why so few players registered for England play in the Premier League with help from Premier League, Football League, the LMA and PFA
Racism? Could be. Or maybe it’s because the better players play in the Premier League. It;s more competitive. And competition is good. As Dyke says:
“No doubt some will say these targets will burden the players with more pressure. I don’t see it in that way. Top players must be able to handle pressure if they want to be winners. We want to be winners.”
Thus the pressure of being good enough to play in the Premier League, or any other leading league.
Anyhow, to answer the Mail’s question, the paper asks a lot of people who know what they think. The pick if former Manchester United, Arsenal and Notts Forest player Viv Anderson:
We need to cut down on foreign input. It’s good to see the Premier League broadcast to 200 countries, but if we want to do well in a World Cup or European Championship we need to give our own players exposure. I was in the Forest first team when I was only 17.
I was played until I needed a rest. That doesn’t happen now. Players have to be given the opportunity to play in the first team.
Viv played for England 30 times between 1978 and 1988. Those were the glory years when England did not qualify for the World Cup (1978), and when they did finished 6th (1982) and 8th (1986); and left the European Championships in 5th (1980), did not qualify (1984) and 7th (1988). Oddly, between 1978 and 1982, English teams were the European Cup champions; winning once more in 1983 before being banned. It could be argued that competing against the best made the English players better.
And as for playing the footballer until he needs a rest, isn’t that what manager’s do now, manage the man to get the best from him?
Danny Mills, “former England defender”, then chips in:
The English game from junior level right through to the senior team is broken. Look at the transfer window. How many top English players were sold or wanted by other clubs? Virtually none. Our senior team is simply not good enough to be wanted.
Eh? Because top English players were not traded, that’s a sign of failure? Top players being happy at their top clubs on their great contracts is a sign of decay? And only losers would want Rooney, Walcott, Ferdinand, Gerrard, Wilshere, Hart, Jones and Zaha?
And after that much twaddle, the Mail hears from Chris Waddle:
Roy Hodgson should be spoilt for choice like Spain, Italy and Germany.
Odd. Because a few paragraphs above Waddle, former Italy great Franco Baresi tells Mail readers:
In Italy we have the same problem. It is difficult for young players, whether Italian or English, to grow up and get chances…
Such are the facts form the experts…
Photo: Nottingham Forest celebrate with the European Cup :(back row, l-r) Martin O’Neill, Ian Bowyer, Viv Anderson, John Robertson, Gary Mills, Kenny Burns (front row, l-r) Frank Gray, Peter Shilton, John McGovern, Garry Birtles, Larry Lloyd, Bryn Gunn…