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August 2021

England’s problem is not coaching it is boredom

By Tony Attwood

We’ve published a lot of articles on Untold over the years but a few stand out – not least one a couple of years back on the question of why England was so poor as an international football team.

I like that one because I didn’t know the answer when I started writing it, but the research gave me an answer.  We had far fewer coaches per player than any other major country.

At least I thought that was the answer until now.  For in today’s press it seems that there is a different answer.  For our lads can’t cope with hotels – or rather with being stuck in hotels between matches.

It seems they get bored in a way that those cheating continentals don’t.  While your average Frenchman, German, Dutchman or whoever will settle down with a newspaper, a book, and a laptop, the Englishman can’t hack it.

For this information we are indebted to Roy Keane, who is reported as saying,

“I think Wayne will have a big problem with the boredom, mentally trying to build up for a game,” said Keane. “English and Irish players are the same, I don’t think we are good at hanging around hotels and training camps in the middle of nowhere. As you get older you might be married and have kids, you might appreciate the peace and quiet, but Wayne is still young, he’s pretty active, mentally.

“It doesn’t suit England being stuck in hotels. That was a problem at the last World Cup. I think they need breathing space. There is a lot of media intrusion with England, but you have to give players a little bit of freedom. Of course you have to careful, you can’t be giving the lads licence to do what they want, then you are back to Gazza and the dentist chair [pre-Euro 1996, in Hong Kong].

“The last World Cup they were holed up somewhere [the Austrian Alps] for two or three weeks beforehand and the players were pissed off with that. That’s where Roy Hodgson has come in and said: ‘What do we need to make us a better team, and what can we knock on the head?’ Cancelling the trip to Spain [originally planned for this week] was good management. Players don’t need training camps at this time of year.”

Of course Mr Rooney is suspended for the openers, but that should be all to the good under this theory since he can zoom off to Las Vagas for a while, visit some of the talent around and about, and be back in time for the end of the group stages.

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The ex-hardman, ex-manager, admirer of Mr Wenger’s coaching skills also said,

“Every tournament there seems to be something going on with England. In 2006 it was the Wags, they were staying next door and they were getting photographed. At the last World Cup you had David Beckham on the bench. I thought that was ridiculous. Gary [Neville] is actually part of the staff, Becks was still a player.”

So, we can forget coaching, and instead worry about entertainment, and managing the media.

Personally I just want our lads to come back without any broken bones.


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19 comments to England’s problem is not coaching it is boredom

  • Tom W

    There are two reasons for England coming up short in major international tournaments and boredom isn’t one of them. Firstly, English style of play has pretty much been unchanged since Bobby Charlton lifted the warld cup trophy in 66. Industry , hustle and and physicality are no longer enough to compete with the likes of Spain , Germany or Brasil. There isn’t enough emphasis put on technical development of young English players and too much on size and industry. Secondly, There has been so much pressure put on the players to win the illusive trophy , some of the players haven’t been able to cope and perform up to their potential .

  • WalterBroeckx

    Just give them the internet and a link to Untold 🙂

  • WalterBroeckx

    Our ref articles could cheer them up while waiting for the next game. Dogface working his ass off to produce the most astonishing graphics

  • Domhuaille MacMathghamhna

    England don’t have the technical skills, the pace or the teamwork and cohesion that the Germans,Spanish and Dutch have.Watching them play Germany was embarrassing….they were outhussled, outplayed and outmatched all game,regardless of their missed goal. The Spanish can dissect any team like surgeons and England are an aging guinea pig if I ever saw one. The younger English players have great ball skills, speed and desire but they have to play with the likes of Terry,Lampard,Gerrard, Lescott and Defoe who seem lost on the international stage.

  • Indeed I am – we are going to blow your tiny minds!!!

    Oh… can we get shot of (or at least shrink a bit) that advert on the top right corner – it’s too wide and is fucking up the blog format.

    There will be no tiny mind blowing until we have enough width to write articles!

  • We’re expermimenting Mr Dog, and we are doing it now, knowing that you would not be producing any wonderful graphs at the moment.

    I did think about it.

    A bit.

  • Ahhh… well – as long as it’s all sorted before the most amazing series of referee analysis articles EVER are published on this site; then that’s all ok!


    Prepare your tiny minds dear readers – over the summer we at Untold will offer up the ‘red pill’.

  • Neutral

    No one really cares about England now. Not even the FA. But i believe that the real problem lies within the team. The players are simply not interested. They don’t care about giving their best for country. Also issues such as Wags, vacations, pressure from the media(IT’S SIMPLY CRAZY), not much money(well you don’t get astronomical salaries if you play for your country and we all know, English players only care about money. If you are not paying them well then get ready for the horror show) have resulted in the degradation and lack of interest from the players. England have some fine players. Both Old and Young. They even had fine managers in the past. RH is also a fine manager. But because it’s the England Football Team…Nothing good is possible. Playing for your country is something to be proud of. Some of the players play their role with pride. Some of them just waits for the whole thing to get over as quickly as possible. It’s the age of club football. No one gives a damn about International football. Not even the fans. But the players should think differently. When the fans will see their club players playing well and giving everything for their country maybe it will change their minds as well. That;s why Teams such as Netherlands, Germany, All south american countries etc have such amazing fans. Because their national players are proud to represent their country. Sad times for England.

  • nicky

    This may have nothing to do with the recent performances of our national team, but I notice an increasing disinterest for its fixtures and results.
    Wembley will always have its attendances but the fervour displayed country-wide for teams in the EPL appears to have overtaken the support for England FC.
    It would be interesting to see some TV viewing figures over recent years to confirm whether this suspected lack of support is true or not.

  • Jacobite Gunner

    Could we all pool money together and afford rooney a rand new train set?

    But to be honest tho, for me, the thought of england winning euro 2012 would be hard to take. England as a footballing nation have a hyped-up beleif in themselves and play with an average technical ability. Also, it’s bad enough having to listen to bbc’/itv’s non partisan commentator’s in every game making the most remote (banal) reference to a player’s link to to england. However, if, and only if england play good football with humility would I not begrudge thier triumph, also, i’ve warmed to roy hodgson as a manager as he seems to aquit himself quite well.

    Could we have a worst commentator award for euro 2012? I’m allready going for the unspectacular mark lawrenson whom, is only a shade less annoying than that torrid ESPN Irishman Tommy Smyth (if you’ve never heard of this guy, consider yourself very lucky!)

  • Arun

    It’s just that the English players don’t seem to have the technical qualities that Spain, Germany or Dutch players possess. Another point is that they just don’t have any cohesion in their play. It, for me, arises from the EPL itself in which the emphasis is put on physicality which is useless yet branded as a great thing to have. Another reason may be the protection that English players seem to get in the EPL. A lot of their fouls are not given (eg Rooney didn’t receive a single yellow card all season). Then they repeat the same fouls in international and gets punished, so becomes frustrated.
    This article by Roy Keane is a joke. If he gets bored during the first two games, he doesn’t have any right to join the team in the final group game. It just seems to be a cheap publicity stunt from Keane.
    @Jacobite Gunner, if there was an award for the worst commentator Tommy Smyth will win it by far. He recently said that Chelsea is the best team in the Europe and Man C and Dortmund are better than Barcelona.

  • Jacobite Gunner


    I was on holiday in florida during Euro 2008 and after early morning starts @the theme parks we would get back to our apartment at 3pm every day for the Euro 2008 games would start. Cuz we were in america we had commentator’s we were not used to and this was when I first came across the insane drivel that came out of Tommy Smyth.

    Not only do most of his views defy logic but his accent is horrendous and ridiculously annoying, in fact, it almost took away the happiness of watching possibly the most exciting euro’s I have ever seen.

  • Jacobite Gunner

    Oh, they had john hartson as well, he’s pretty useless as well.

    Mike, if your still reading you may assume I’m a gigantic racist as I’ve made disparaging comments about an englishman, an irish/american and now a welshman but hey ho.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I think you are Jacobite Gunner 😉 LOL

  • Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha hmm ha ah ha ha@Jacobite Gunner you really made me cry, i thought i was the only one who thought that Smyth was a statue he annoys and i wonder how ESPN can hire such a twat.
    About the England Team i think they need a new genaration,build up with the wallcots,Ox,Micah Richards by the way was he called in the national team? The Cahill’s,Gibbs and then an adviser like Monsieur Wenger.Secondly there are Managers who rot English players by the time the Euro’s or World cups come most seniors players are rotten after using a lot of pain killers.
    I think most of you know the usual suspect.But i think Roy might be the man who can change that’hopeully’.

  • Arun

    @Jacobite gunner, I have to disagree with you on Tommy Smyth’s accent. It is the funniest thing about him, even funnier than his nonsense top 25 thing. He is the biggest joker on TV at the moment. He makes those idiots at sky look very intelligent. His top 25 is the worst part of any sports series. Just nonsense.

  • Jacobite Gunner

    @Arun, luckily I don’t need to listen to him anymore but after only listening to him for a few hours 4 years ago, you can tell i’ve been left a little shaken.

  • Jacobite Gunner

    …there are no words that can describe the prattling nonsense of Smyth, it’s as if he has a can of coke before his work/game and experiences a sugar high throughout his punditry resulting in complete jibberish

  • Jacobite Gunner

    @walt, ok, u’ve found me out, so maybe a little 🙂