The premier league is adored and followed all around the world but as we have seen in the champions league there was only one English club in the semi-final and they were humiliated in the final by their Spanish counterparts. The English national teams flatters to deceive each time they appear in a major tournament and are many times booed off the pitch by their own fans. It can be down to the difference in the footballing culture between the two nations, lack of luck or one can even go to an extent that the Spanish national team is utilizing its golden generation, its purple patch to the fullest extent. Different people support different theories and I shall put forward my theory here.


English clubs can only recruit kids who live within a 30min radius from the academy. Clubs in England are allowed to spend only a fixed amount of time with their youth team players on a daily basis – A fact highlighted by Sir Alex after the champions league final. But the most important fact might be what the look for in a certain individual – pace, power, stamina, and size are given preference over skill, ball control, passing ability, vision etc. These players are made to play on a full size pitch way before they are ready and hence the one’s with the better athleticism stand out. The kids are introduced to formations and winning is given more importance than development even at that age. This hampers the national team as they tend to play long ball or shoot at sight during matches. Lack of technique can be highlighted even in the future crop as we have seen in the past 2 matches in the Euro2011 U21’s against Spain and Ukraine.


If you take a look at the Barcelona team you can say that they are a team of footballers(players with great technique where a change in position/formation won’t affect the team), where as other teams will comprise of forwards, midfielders and defenders(players with a fixed position). Mascherano the Argentinean captain who was one of the best ball winners during his time at Liverpool hardly gets a look in. the Spanish players are taught not to give the ball away and apply pressure higher up the field on the opposition players least comfortable on the ball (ie their defenders) so that it is easy to win the ball back. We laud our very own John Terry and say that he will get into the Barcelona team as he is better than any of their defenders, well their defenders know to keep the ball well not panic and hoof the ball into row-z every time they are under pressure. A point to be noted over here – a team only needs a ball winner, tacklers if they keep giving the ball away, a thing which in Spanish football is meant to be a crime. Therefore Barca doesn’t need a Terry kind of player. As Pique pointed out in an interview English player love to party, go to discos and stay up. This is something that can’t be changed as it has become a part of the English culture.


I don’t get the myth of can Messi perform on a cold windy night at Stoke, can he perform as he does if he is exposed to the rigors of the premier league week in week out. Well Silva seems to have made the transition from Spain to England without any fuss so Messi shouldn’t have any problem with it. Well he may not score 50-55 goals as he might get injured by the physical players in the premier league, and the cold windy night might affect him more than the opposition but he wouldn’t have a problem scoring 30-40 goals like Ronaldo did during his time over here.


People want English players to play tiki-taka passing football but the truth is they don’t appreciate such kind of football. We tend to cheer our Tevezs for their work rate yet criticize the Berbatovs as they don’t track back and try and win the ball back. People love the Parks because they hustle the opponents to win back the ball which they gave away in the first place due to their lack of technical ability. We love the lung bustling runs of a Lampard and shift the diminutive Scholes out on the left. So the fans fail in their part to cheer the more technical players.


We often tell that Arsenal are the closest to the way Barcelona play and yet try to find faults with them. While playing against them we try to stop them playing and revert to anti-football. Teams who succeed in doing that remain happy as they have won and earned themselves the 3 points but never try to play like that themselves……… and the reason for all of this is the Sky money. Lower teams don’t try to play football(well Backpool did and got relegated), they want to stay in the league for the 40m jackpot. As debt increases this sky money and the champions league money is everything to the clubs. In case the 6+5 rule comes through all it will manage to do is to further inflate the already inflated British transfer market where Andy caroll goes for the same value as David Villa(even the U21’s cost 15m+). Instead(of the 6+5) we could use the Carling cup to play only the U21’s or the Fa cup to play only the English players. This will ensure that the Youngsters get a chance as Big clubs are too scared to try out youngsters as results have become more significant. The Premier league also doesn’t help as it fines the clubs that try to play the youngsters in meaningless matches(Wolves, Blackpool, Man Utd were also threatened by the league on the last day of the season). Sir Alex brought though his fledglings on their 92 youth cup win but I doubt he too can risk promoting his current crop of Youth cup winners, instead he may splash out 30m+ on a Sneijder or a Modric.


Probable solutions:

1: Change in Academy policies.

2: Salary cap.

3: Use carling cup/ Fa cup for only English players or u21’s(to promote youth) as this is where they will get time to play and perform in real competitive matches.

4: Scrap the reserve league and allow teams to form their B teams.(if point 3 fails)

5: Not to divide the Sky money evenly as it ensures that the league becomes a results based business rather than a performance based one, like in Spain, Italy etc (highly unlikely to happen)



follow me on twitter @Alex_IS_God

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Comment by Alex_IS_God on June 19, 2011 at 14:47
looks like changes to the academy system are on the way
Comment by Alex_IS_God on June 19, 2011 at 14:46
Comment by redmisty on June 18, 2011 at 2:34
For the last 25 years it's been obvious that British players need to improve technique/touch, passing and movement. It was as obvious then as it is now. If this was addressed back then we'd have better players today.
Comment by WorldClass on June 17, 2011 at 11:06

Stretty and the season before, and the season before that, and the seasno before that?


Thats one season and suddenly its all because of the amount of games and Barca get half hour more... I wasn't making the point the his facts where wrong more the knee jerk to the fact only one team made it this year....



Comment by Elliot Lloyd Jones on June 17, 2011 at 0:21

Number one is a yes.How are you home grown if you play for Arsenal but were born and lived in another country? Home grown means within the city or area they live in not the country.


Also all the teams within the football club have to all play the same style.  Barcelona do this hense why all there kids are fantastic.Also set up things like watford have where they have a school within the academys so kids can get grades as well as play football.


2 About time! Premier league-No player can earn more than 30,000 pounds a week.For the championship its half that and the same goes for league one and so on.Debt would shrink massively


 Also 30 man squads and half have to be home grown I.E Local County/City


3 Yes and get rid of premier league rules saying that all clubs have to play strongest 11s for every game with is ludicrous.


4 Scrap it and replace with b team premier league for youth and Seniors to mix gaining experince for youth.


5.Make the league bigger expanding it to 24 teams like the football league.More games and would make sense as more revune would come in.Left over revenue from football clubs to go back to the comunity as well


More sensibile payments on money front so that every one gets a share of the spoils rarther than top gets 15 milion for just winning the league and bottem gets 3/4s of a million witch makes no finacial sense at all.


Good points mate had to think hard to get mine across!.One more thing.Technoligy..Just say yes!


Comment by TheStrettyEnd - He tracks back on June 16, 2011 at 22:56

Only one team English team in the Semi-Finals.... Erm.... WRONG...


Utd, Schalke, barca, madrid. 


How manys that? 


Btw OP your solutions are garbage. 

Comment by TheStrettyEnd - He tracks back on June 16, 2011 at 22:54

spend only a fixed amount of time with their youth team players on a daily bas





English clubs get an hour and a half. Barca train there kids for 2 hours. You telling me that extra half hours make that much difference? 

Comment by Team of Skinheads on June 16, 2011 at 16:02

Most of the top Spanish teams play weakend teams in the earlier rounds of the Copa Del Rey just like English teams do in the League and FA Cups. Once it gets to the later rounds all tournaments are treated seriously.


Fact is that there are 3 domestic competitions in England and 2 in every other major footballing country. It's not an excuse it's just one of the many reasons for England's failings.


Speaking of absolute nonsense - that Rooney comment of yours was a bit out of the blue. I don't agree with him being the best at giving the ball away in England, surely he wouldn't be a Premiership footballer if that was true.

Comment by raul martins on June 16, 2011 at 15:51

absolute nonsence to say they play more matches in england,its the same amount of games in both leagues.

the reserves play in the carling cup and in spain here's no carling cup,yet another feeble excuse for me.

Comment by raul martins on June 16, 2011 at 15:48
rooney is the best english player at giving away the ball,then he becomes a hero for trying to get it back and everyone forgets that he lost it in the first place.


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