Arsenal News

Live Arsenal News

Arsenal latest news

Arsenal News & Transfers
As featured on NewsNow: Arsenal newsArsenal News 24/7

Arsenal News, Only Arsenal, Blogs, Transfer News


August 2021

Dear Mr Dyke. Throw out the commission and start again

What’s wrong with football in England?

I guess it is the notion that is at the heart of Greg Dyke’s great idea of a commission that symbolises all that is wrong.

It is a commission made up of certain people who have led English football into its current mess.  The men (and at the moment at least it is all men) who have failed English football are looking into English football to ensure that we jolly well win the world cup when its played in the boiling heat.

Worse, some people are actually taking this nonsense seriously.

But I guess at one level it is quite a clever notion, because it detracts from the fact that the world cup before the Hot One will be played in Russia, a country that has seemingly not got its football related racism under control.   That’s a problem we haven’t even started to think about, because first, we’ve got the commission.  And the commission will show us How To Solve All Our Problems.

The real truth is we all know what’s wrong with the FA.  Indeed when my article from 9 June 2010   starts turning up in a re-written form in national newspapers in 2013 you know that the message is getting through.  We don’t have enough qualified coaches.

That little article compared the number of coaches with the number of players, clubs and other related factors and found that success was related to the percentage of qualified coaches.   England is way out of line with the successful nations.

Since I wrote that piece matters have got worse, since we now have John Beck as the FA’s tactical saviour.  The man whose main contribution to coaching is to ensure that the grass is left long at the pitch edges to slow the ball down when it is hoofed upfield.  (The Tale of John Beck is here).

I could go on listing Untold articles about what’s wrong with the FA, with the commission it is trying to appoint but can’t quite, and all that.  There’s a tiny selection at the end if you want to dig deeper.

But let’s try something else.   How about 10 things the FA should do.

Watch Arsenal Live Streams With

I tried to write that article, but gave up.  Because it is simpler than that.  There are only five things they need to do.

1.  Obviously the starting point is to increase the number of fully qualified coaches.  Not a bit but massively.    I’ve done that topic to death, but it still need to be number one.

2.  Pump money into grass roots football.   All over the country there are small clubs that struggle along in crummy grounds playing on rotten pitches in front of 200 people.  Sometimes 20 people.  Without these clubs football well and truly dies – but week by week the clubs do collapse.

They die because insane owners come along and promise that this small town club can rise up the leagues when in fact it doesn’t have the support level.   But, the town still deserves its club, and so it deserves far more money from the FA.

Yes the FA do give money to grass roots, but they need far more.  The answer is for the FA to stop wasting money on lunatic projects like Wembley and instead it should put ever more into small clubs to encourage them to bring in the coaches that we need (as per part one).

3.  Demand the total and absolute reform of Fifa, and when that demand fails, pull out and offer to any other country with a moral stance, the chance to share in a new footballing organisation that is not corrupt, not racist, not homophobic, and not quite as silly as Fifa.  Hopefully one that goes back to the old days of playing just four international matches a year.

4.  Sell Wembley and pay off the huge debt.

5.  Stop talking about the alarming decline in the number of English players in the Premier League.   The solution is in the FA’s hands – fix the coaching problem, and sack Beck.

That’s it.  Simple isn’t it?

What’s it like being coached in England

Why bother with internationals now countries can own club?

Why the FA should remove itself from Fifa

Does the F in Fifa stand for Fascist

Tale of John Beck



17 comments to Dear Mr Dyke. Throw out the commission and start again

  • Couldn’t agree more. I’ve banged on for years about coaching, it’s not rocket science. You don’t need a commisiion to tell you that and the truth is they even managed to screw up the hole commission process. Forget Howard Wilkinson and Danny Mills they shold be asking the likes of Wenger, Cruyff and Beckenbauar to sit on it but instead we get the same old people who are responsible for the mess in the first place, clueless.

  • Rupert Cook

    A piece I wholeheartedly agree with. The hilarious out of the blue statement that England will be likely to win the world cup in 2022 has no basis in fact, just a desperate sop to the England faithful when the nation yet again watches its “heroes” labour to a tired win over some nondescript African team in Brazil and then be outplayed by someone like Switzerland or ruthlessly despatched by Germany or Spain.

    Also this fatigued belief throughout much of the media that the reason England is so hopeless in tournaments is down to the amount of foreigners plying their trade in our leagues is a spurious excuse for dismal England performances. I agree that the more relevant reason is the lack of proper coaching. A friend told me that he tried to improve passing skills and technique etc. into some teenagers but all the parents wanted, and to some extent the kids too, was to stage competitive football matches and bypass the more finer points of being able to control the ball and use it intelligently and so on.

  • jambug

    My brother was in the process of getting his ‘Badges’ but got utterly disillusioned by the whole process, not least it’s application of ‘Positive discrimination’.

    His words to me. “It’s a complete joke”

  • colario

    They could follow the example set by Arsene when he came here 17 years ago.
    Teach skillful one touch football. Teach running with the ball. Teach running and passing the ball short and long distance. In other words teach ball control, in place of what we get match after match.

    Hump the ball any where and thump the player anywhere.

  • jambug

    @ ande

    Wont read that, and havn’t read a paper, watched SKY or listened to radio.

    I know the crap they’ll be saying.

    Spurs stuffed by West Ham is just a ‘blip’

    Man city embarrssed by Bayern is just a ‘blip’

    United Lost 3 drawn 3 in league is just a ‘blip’ ‘blip’ ‘blip’

    We lose a close match with Dortmund that we could just as easily have one and I bet my bottom dollar that the media have cited as proof that we’re crap, or words to that effect.

    Somebody tell me I’m wrong !!!!!

  • Mick

    I just read it and you are more or less correct. Hayward says we are still lacking against the best teams, usual old bollocks. He doesn’t mention that their victory was courtesy of the thickness of the crossbar though, that is the fine line between being considered a genuine contender again and ‘failing’ as soon as we come up against a top class team.

  • Matt Clarke

    I also agree with all of your points.

    I especially like the ‘sell Wembley and pay off the debts’ one: we have enough world class club grounds on which to play internationals and cup finals.

    I also still like the idea of reform FIFA (immediately) or leave (and would prefer the leave option). It would be interesting to see who else would leave.

    A no-lose option (to my mind), as it would, hopefully, be only those nations seeking a fairer arrangement who would leave; and of no-one else were to then there would be no England internationals, which would make me smile if no-one else.

  • ande

    @Jambug, Although there are some elemetns of truth in your ststaement I think the media have a point. To an extent, the team may have got too carried away by their good run of form, and gone for the kill against a side they could not afford to take risks against. We have ambitions to catch up with Bayern Munich. First, we must become good enough to match Borussia Dortmund, a team far more like the finished article than our line-up. This team is a work in progress, perhaps over-reliant on certain individuals in a way that maybe Dortmund or Bayern are not. Hopefully the lessons of the Dortmund game will be taken on board and we will witness the consequences between now and the end of the group stage.

  • jambug


    The only point I’m really making is that when others lose, eg City, Spurs, Utd it’s mearly a ‘blip’.

    When we lose, ie Villa and now Dortmund it’s proof positive we are crap and will win nothing.

    Compare that to how no matter what Spurs do they are a better squad about to rule the World.

    I’m just trying to emphasise that no matter how well we are doing the media just cant wait to trash us.

    The fact we are a work in progres and havn’t reached the levels of Munich or Real or Barca or a few others for that matter, doesn’t make us as crap as the media always portray us on the back of a single defeat.

  • Gunz

    Don’t waste your time! Ande is a cut’n’paster.

    Taken from onlinegooner
    ” To an extent, the team may have got too carried away last night by their good run of form, and gone for the kill against a side they could not afford to take risks against. Arsenal have ambitions to catch up with Bayern Munich. First, they must become good enough to match Borussia Dortmund, a team far more like the finished article than the current Gunners line-up. This Arsenal is a work in progress, perhaps over-reliant on certain individuals in a way that maybe Dortmund or Bayern are not. Hopefully the lessons of last night will be taken on board and we will witness the consequences between now and the end of the group stage.”

  • jambug


    Thanks for that.

  • para

    It just makes one wonder when the so called “experts” are coming up with completely useless solutions to the plight of UK international football, and not seeing the common sense reason, if they are just too stupid or they have another unseen agenda. I tip for the unseen agenda, to keep UK football in the past, the past where the only success was had, instead of moving with the times and adapting to the ever changing football played today. This would also account for the hatred and negativity against Arsenal and soon against the few clubs that are starting to adapt. These clubs will soon be the producers of new English talent that can compete internationally, that is, only if the so called experts are blocked from their agenda.

  • Mark

    Good advise. But another factor is the population of England. It is too small. Countries with bigger populations have some advantages. If the UK could present a combined team the population disadvantage would be less.

    But just having a bigger population to draw from is not the whole answer – there has to be a change in mentality away from the “thump and bump” style to the European style of “pass and move.” All the successful nations use this style now even Brazil!

    I think spending more money at the grass roots level is a good idea too!

  • WalterBroeckx

    I hope you are joking with the population remark? As far as I could check Spain (48M) has slightly less people than Engeland (51M) itself.

    And Holland with their small population (17M) is doing far better than England over the last 40 years.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Para, what negativity and hatred towards Arsenal? I’m fascinated by this as it seems to be a recurring theme on here. I’ve heard very little hatred or negativity against us this season but I grant you I don’t read every paper or listen to every radio station.

    I have to admit that we seem to be ignored at times. I was listening to the Monday night club on FiveLive and about twenty minutes was spent picking over the entrails of Manu’s dead dreams. It was as if no other club mattered.

    @Walter, yes that population remark was a bit silly. The population of Italy is about the same as England’s and they appear to have done quite well in World Cups.

    Also that Telegraph review of the Dortmund game seems balanced and fair, can’t see why anyone would get riled about that.

    Certainly for me it’s all about how we play against other contenders for trophies. In recent years we’ve looked woeful and fearful against Manu too often. This year we’re in the ascendancy and we need to impose ourselves on them for a change. We’ve beaten Spurs, so that’s one title contender vanquished, albeit it was at home and against a team where many were strangers to each other. Let’s see how we do against City, Chelsea and Pool.

  • gouresh

    i don’t know if i said this in the past. i used to practice for my local club since moving to London. at the time of practice, we used to play the 3 touch football, on a tar 5-a-side pitch, which apart from getting your knees ruined was ok. in the games we play the 442 formation, which again was fine, none of the midfields would hold the ball and the same for the defence. every 2nd pass was lobbed in the air for the forward to chase, it was crazy.
    there is no point in having a million coaches, if their philosophy itself is wrong.

    i remember in my playing days, if the ball rose above the ankles, we were told off.

    i am now the coach of my sons football team who are under 7ys. the biggest job is to teach them how to use both feet, when the ball touches a certain part of your feet, where the ball would go, how to pass the ball, make spaces etc.

    we forget, football is a very simple game, this was told to me by my senior who played for India many many many yrs ago. all i will add is that coaches, managers complicate it.
    this statement come to be like a jolt, when i saw jack’s goal againt Norwich.