All the questions you mustn’t ask about England and the world cup

By Tony Attwood

As you can imagine the English media is packed with enquiries as to what went wrong for England at the world cup.

But what is interesting is that there is a near total consensus on the interesting questions that really mustn’t be asked.  Questions that are considered to be quite inappropriate to be asked on TV, or on radio, or in the press, because they are deemed to be unacceptable questions to raise, because they are inappropriate, because….

Here are just a few.

1:  How much did it cost in total for the FA to enter the world cup, and how much did they get back from TV sales and entry fees for their home games in qualification?

I’ve been trying to find this out for a week.  If there is a web site that tells me, it is hiding.  Which raises the question, why is it so hard to find out how much England paid to enter the world cup, and come to that how much it has cost to fly to and stay in Brazil, and then come home again.

2:  How is it that England have such bad luck all the time, almost scoring goals, only just letting goals in, but every other country only has good luck, getting lucky goals etc?

OK I am being sarcastic, but on UK radio this morning that is what I have heard a dozen times.  We aren’t bad, we were just unlucky.

3: Why is my opinion to do something about the FA a knee jerk reaction while the other guys view is a considered opinion.

It is becoming the standard answer to every comment that is not liked.  “We shouldn’t have knee jerk reactions.”   So how do you know what a knee jerk reaction is, and what is a considered opinion.

4: Where was England’s psychologist?

One of the reasons England (the country not the FA) has a mental health epidemic is that a lot of people in the UK tend to sneer at the world of psychologists.  Did the FA take a psychologist with them to the world cup?  I can’t find out, but if they did what was the point of letting S Gerrard play at being an amateur psychologist and so putting the wind up all the less experienced players with one of the most appalling speeches of all time about the pain you will feel all summer if you don’t win this game.

Psychology helps sports people deliver of their best at the right moment.  It is a vital tool in all sports.  Did England have one?  Was he any good?

5: How many qualified football coaches are there in England per head of population compared with other countries?

I won’t bore you with this one again – but it still isn’t even being asked, let alone answered.

6.  How long since England won the world cup?

Everyone in England knows the date, but isn’t it interesting – the media went on day after day about how long since Arsenal had won a trophy, but never how long it has been since England won.  And yet we, the taxpayers, pay for the FAs cock ups.   The answer is 48 years.

7: How long since England won the world cup without playing every game at Wembley?


8: Why does England, with such a poor national team, need the most expensive stadium in the world?

Wembley cost £1.25bn to build – and not even one of the new stadia in Brazil cost that much.  It costs the FA about £30m a year in interest on that debt, but again it is hard to find the real facts about the FA’s finances.  But just think how many community pitches could be built with £30m a year.

9: Why did the FA spend £25m on bidding to host the world cup?

As we know they only got two votes so that is £12.5m a vote.  On that basis it would cost around £100,000,000 to buy the world cup for England.

10: Do Arsenal really need a new striker when two world cup final centre forwards who play for Arsenal have already scored after just two rounds of games?

Arsenal have not just those two scorers, but also in Theo and Aaron two of the very best midfielders in terms of goals per games.  Indeed for both of them the goals per game ratio is better than many centre forwards in the Premier League.

11:  Why can’t Wayne Rooney score in the World Cup finals?

Actually he can.  After three World Cups, and 10 matches, he has a goal.  So we could ask, why did it take him so long?

12: Was it really a clever idea to turn the England team into North West England?

Simple answer: no.  But please don’t ask the question.

13: Why not sack the manager?

I can answer that one.  Because we wouldn’t have a clue who else to put in.  We’ve tried foreigners, we’ve tried Englishmen, and we’ve tried an Englishman who has managed foreigners.   The only one we haven’t tried is an Englishman with, err, different qualities… Harry Redknapp.   But no, best not to mention Harry Redknapp.

So who else.  How about Big fat Sam Allardyce?

14: What is Greg Dyke doing?

He took Untold’s idea of playing Premier League youngsters in lower league teams, screwed it up by adding in the concept of another league (League 3), annoyed everyone, failed to acknowledge the idea was Untold’s and then went silent.  Where are you Greg?

15: Why do we need more Englishmen in the Premier League?

Why, when in the Dutch League, all their players are not there, but are instead playing in other countries?   Might it not be better to have fewer English players in the Premier League and let our “stars” of the future go and get experience elsewhere? (Except Theo, Jack and the Ox of course.  They should stay).

16: Are the refs bent?

Just watch the foul on Joel Campbell in their second group match.

There are more, but it just gives a flavour.  Questions that really could be asked, even if not answered, but so rarely are.

The latest stories are listed on the right of this page
For today’s Arsenal anniversaries just click here
The books


67 Replies to “All the questions you mustn’t ask about England and the world cup”

  1. A simple question, was a drugs test done on suarez.. for a guy in a wheel chair a few weeks ago he looked pretty fit and nimble to me.

  2. I don’t understand your issue with how much did it cost. It obviously cost a small fortune, but so what, other nations also had to pay for their participation, and I assume that the FA are responsible to declare the costs at some point, but it’s their money to spend how they please.

  3. The comment re the Dutch league applies even more to the Uruguayans. Tiny country, far fewer players and any really good ones playing outside the country. Better than us? You bet.

  4. I hope you will do a post in which you ask people what they think the matter is with English football. In my opinion, I think one of your questions should be how come very few, yea, close to nil, English players ply their trade in other leagues.

  5. A few more.

    why do the media/fans love the English spirit (3 lions and do on), running around like a headless chicken?

    Why is Gerrard exempt from any negativity, no one has played more poorly?

    Why are technically gifted (smaller players) overlooked and even discouraged from a young age, bigger/faster/aggression is the preference?

  6. Tony,

    Your point number 10 is not going to go down well with the “Spend-Spend-Spend” brigade. Are you suggesting that we shouldn’t “make a statement” by “splashing” a big chunk of that “£100 million” on a “world class” striker?

    Yeah, Giroud scored a great header and produced a fine assist just like Campbell before him but those guys already belong to Arsenal, so they can’t be what we need.

    Your fixation with hailing our ‘mediocre’ striking talents is unbecoming. How about an article on us going for £50+ million Cavani? We need to spend that £100 million fast and praising Giroud and Campbell isn’t going to help.

  7. Question 9 is a bit sad really. You’re suggesting that England bought their two votes and should have been more corrupt and might even have won the bidding. Is there anything you’re actually positive about vis-á-vis England the FA and life in general?

  8. Two questions are bugging me. Why is it our players are unable to get a shot on target and if they do it is normally weak, scuffed or straight at the keeper, and why is it they so often cannot pass the ball accurately over a distance of a few yards and on the few occasions they do find a team mate why is it the recipient is unable to control the bloody thing?

  9. Old Groover – the article was really meant as part of the little series I’ve been doing on how the media as a unity choose what they think are interesting topics, and deny the existence of other issues.

    Yes it is the FA’s money, but no, I don’t think they should do anything they like with it. I know I have bored everyone stupid with my endless suggestion that the £25m should not have been spent on a bid at all, but on grassroots football, but it does seem very important to me, and no one else is making the point. It’s just another way of making the same point.

    I do think that there is little in the FA to praise, indeed as you suggest, I struggle to find very much. When I look at the way the Netherlands with their tiny resources produce such wonderful players and totally new approaches to playing football, while the FA spend such wealth on a crazy bid we were never going to win, and a stadium that cost far too much, while ignoring what seem to me to be the key issues, then I am sad, and don’t have anything positive to say about the FA.

    Nor Fifa come to that.

  10. On a different point from my reply to Old Groover I’m not sure why this piece should have generated such vitriol, but I have felt obliged to cut a number of comments this morning.

    Not, as the writers suggest, because they disagree with my view but because they come from non-existent email addresses, are highly abusive, and in one case seemingly suggesting I am anti-Semitic, which I did personally find unwarranted.

    Sorry it upset so many people. It was just a personal reflection on how the media unites to see the world in a specific way.

    If anyone wants to write a non-abusive counter argument, preferably with a few checkable facts in, of course I’ll publish it. Send to as a word document letting me know your real name, and the name you want to publish under.

  11. 3 points stand out for me.

    Point 4 – I think England players play with fear, not of losing, but of damaging their personal brands. English players, maybe more than any other country, seem to have embraced this rather disgusting approach to the game where it has become all about money and earning potential. It started to go badly wrong with the birth of the Premier League and has got progressively worse. I am not sure a psychologist would actually help. These guys are too greedy, too wrapped up in themselves to ever listen. I do agree though that psychology in general is not received well culturally in England. English people tend to want to bottle everything up. Stiff upper lip and all that…

    Point 5 – This is the most pertinent question. Until our kids get high quality coaching nothing will change. There are still too many appalling coaches at schoolboy level who can’t tell the difference between football and rugby. The other major issue os one of cliques within teams. It starts very early in England and goes right on through to the national team. Team work is not something that is cultural in our football make up. The PL is currently making nearly £2 BILLION a year from TV rights, yet how much of this is going into the game at grass roots level? Little to nothing. Why not open up 100 (yes 100) football centres around the country and employ a coaching staff at each, attach to schools and universities and run structured training programs. Set up leagues and manage them properly. Let the centres compete against each other at all age levels. Coach football (not rugby ball). Proper coaches, trained, and connected to communities. Yes, shock horror, the PL might have to fund £500m a year of TV money to run them… poor them… the player in the PL might even have to downgrade to 10 bed mansions instead of 11.

    Point 12 – The media continues to pick the England team. No one is brave enough to go against them as they could get a backlash and their earning potential may fall. Again, its all about self preservation and maximising money. Hodgeson picked the team the media wanted so that they would be nice to him. He gets more money that way as he keeps his job longer. The last manager to go against the media was Glenn Hoddle and the media spent millions on a sting operation to get him sacked. Only one solution here. Ban the media from all contact with the England set up for life. Simple. Give the ZERO information. Make it part of the rules for representing England that no contact, ever, in any form can be had with any media outlet.

  12. @jayramfootball
    Point 5 is an interesting one because for every occasion we hear the lack of coaches argument as being a factor we just as often hear the theory that suggests natural talent and ability is being ‘coached out’ of some of the best young talent by over coaching, Joe Cole being a good example.
    Are we expected to believe there are more coaches and facilities for youngsters to learn the game in countries such as Brazil, Costa Rica and Uruguay to name but three? Most of the Brazilian kids probably never see a coach I would guess. Correct me if I am wrong.

  13. Mick

    There’s more (good) coaching going on than you’re being led to believe. My friend runs a football & cricket coaching scheme in North Somerset/Bristol area with mini leagues for children right through to adults which has been so successful that it will soon be going nationwide.
    It’s surprising how people find the money to pay for the coaching, but it’s a become a priority for them to get their children onto his courses.
    His only problem though is one that’s been mentioned here today and that is the shortage of good venues/pitches.

  14. The downward slope of England football IMO began way back when the Hungarians thrashed billy wrights England 6-3 at wembley the upraw it caused was only to be compared to some national disaster.We were bombarded in the press with articals that coaching had to change to match the modern methods which continental Europe was adopting.Since those long off days we have won the World Cup on home soil ,not qualifying through seventies and indifference performances in all wc and euro compations since then.The technical ability of the majority English players(except arsenal) is poor as every person watching the World Cup can verify, nothing will change until the power of pl is curbed.TV do not have the basic interest for the development or progression of the game ,entertainment and controversy is their fair, advertising revenue is the ultimate aim so I cannot see a bright future on the horizon.

  15. Depends what their background is Mick. Leonardo had coaching from a young age, because his parents could afford it..can’t really compare with Brazil, but should be comparing with neighbouring regions which have a similar climate, similar economies and lifestyles (video games, couch potatoe zombies…) etc.
    Holland, Germany, Spain and now Belgium who have all adopted the low landers coaching methods, by investing money in the recent past into the infrastructure and the coaches, in the kids themselves. Every good football coach I’ve spoken to in the UK understands this, and accepts that the Neo-Feudalists at the FA have been spending relatively large amounts of Wonga *coughs* elsewhere.

  16. @finsbury
    I understand your points, so when we hear the ‘over coaching’ argument is it more a case of the wrong sort of coaching being given, eg Sam Allardyce style rather than the right eg Arsene Wenger?

  17. Tony

    1) All 32 country’s that qualified for the finals were allocated in advance of the completion $1.5 in respect of the cost of flights/ hotels. Each of the 16 teams that go out in the group stage are paid $ 8 million in prize money.
    The FAs deal with ITV which includes all England Qualifiers and friendlies together with first pick FA cup matches is worth £45 million a year .
    The Fees paid to the clubs A Cup element is worth about £10 million although an element is recovered from the BBC in respect of televised highlights. Meaning the FA get about about £35 million a year for televised England games with additional fees paid in respect of radio commentary and other media access fees

    England’s 5 home world averaged just over 77,000 it is estimated net gate receipts were about £2.5 million a game. Profits from hospitality , programme, catering etc would bring that up to about £3 million a game . Costs would be no more than £1 million so qualifiers would bring in about £10 million net

  18. Without that investment in the infrastructure (that includes coaches) in a modern post-industrial set like here you will have less and less kids playing football every year.

    The irony is the German FA looked at English football on the pitch as a model at the end of the nineties. There are regions where you have good coaching and scouts and areas where there are none, so one problem is that players are simply missed. Thomas Muller comes from a small village and he’d probably not have been picked up without an expanded network/infrastructure. He’s a good player!

    Conversely I know someone whose son was playing alongside Raheem Sterling in their youth team in West London. Only a few years ago. There were not enough coaches to give the players at the club the attention they deserved. To clarify they had to work as volunteers in their own time after hours to give the player the required level of coaching, often to the detriment of their other charges. Not healthy.
    English football is huge because of the love of the game, the number of volunteers involved in the game, but with the advancements elsewhere that can only take you so far. Which is why this year we have seen the numbers of people involved start to decline. It is what it is.

  19. Mick, it’s true that there are coaches who try to over coach, who talk rubbish to thirteen year olds that they will hopefully ignore.

    But the evidence for the success of the coaching networks modelled upon the Dutch school in football is overwhelming. In Holland many coaches work in the inner city and are more then just football coaches. I left out France above, there are an awful lot of players playing in this WC who learnt to play in France, are French etc. even if they are not playing for the French team. The only football agent I could ever be bothered to talk to was a Londoner who works in France: more players at the top level means more clients for him!

    Martin Keowns work on coaching at the grassroots level at the beginning of the season was very good, should still be available after a quick web search. He didn’t coach at the Arsenal but ended up upon an altruistic path. A different story to Bould but but no less important, we do like Keown. He’s made the effort to produce the research, flying the flag etc. and after his efforts there was no need for Greg Dyke to ask any questions, because he already had the answers.

  20. Tony

    A bit more info.

    Countries do not pay to enter the WC

    The home association in WC qualifiers pays FIFA 2% of the gross gate receipts as a levy

  21. I read today that Tony Adams’ father took all the relevant badges so that he could coach his son, before he handed him over to Pat Rice!

    Chamberlain’s father was not a bad player, I think we can see evidence that he was a good coach too, and he advised his so to come and play for the Arsenal. Where he was then coached in D-Fence for those first few months (whilst the Groaning AAA were groaning, first at his signing, then his absence and consistently about the lack of defensive coaching – you couldn’t make it up, except they do!), so much so that Roy Hodgson had no concerns playing him in that left hand side role, or in CM, unlike with other players.

  22. My favourite points are 6,11 and 12. Let’s repeat point 6 over and over to the same length they did Arsenal’s trophy drought. As for point 11, yes it’ll count as a goal, but it was a tap in from less than two yards out. Even my grandma could’ve scored that.

  23. While you could say England and Rooney in particular were unlucky not to had scored more goals against Uruguay ( missing left upper ninety from the free kick and hitting the right upper ninety with the header) , there was nothing unlucky abaout conceding the four goals against Italy and Uruguay.

    On Marchisio’s goal there were four England players with a chance at blocking his shot from outside the area. The first player jumped and turned his back at the shot, the second barely stuck his leg out and the other two let the ball go right through them, leaving Joe Hart unsighted.
    Not a single player was willing to sacrifice his body and threw himself at the ball.

    On Italy’s second goal Baines failed to get close and went for a little shimmy allowing Candreva to pick out Ballotelli , who wasn’t closely marked either , for a game winning header.

    Same story against Uruguay where both goals conceded were a result of timid defending and lack of marking. There were five England players behind the ball against Cavani and Suarez and no England defender had the courage to attack the ball , leaving Cavani all the time to pick Suarez for a free header.

    In short, I don’t think England lack quality or picked wrong players to represent the country but rather see it as a problem with commitment and playing with fear of loosing.
    Four goals conceded and not one was defended properly.
    Attention to detail and execution of tactical plan is the diference between winning and losing at this level.
    If you look at this Uruguay team , there are only two players that can hurt you consistently from open play – Cavani and Suarez. Not to pay close attention to both of them for ninety minutes is naive to say the least.

  24. Old groover wrote:
    There’s more (good) coaching going on than you’re being led to believe

    This is an entirely disingenuous and misleading comment. Everyone in the game understands that relative to neighbouring countries that this is far from the truth. If anyone is in any doubt, take the trouble to read some research from those who know what they are talking about:

    Martin Keown’s report:

    “…there aren’t enough coaches, just 158 for 20,000 schools. We are far too reliant on the 25,000 volunteers who are coaching around the country. They need more support. The school coaching is primarily funded by Tesco’s and the contract is worryingly up at the end of the season…
    …Where kids play football is an issue too. After the 2006 World Cup, the Bundesliga built 1,000 mini pitches across the country and opened 400 centres to promote talent. In England, where are kids supposed to play? Teams are scrapping for space.
    ‘Without grassroots, you don’t have any football,’ Kenny Saunders, leader of the Save Grassroots campaign, told me. ‘Three years ago, the Government, FA and Premier League were each contributing £20m each per year to the Football Foundation.
    ‘Then they reduced it to £12m each, so £72m has been taken out of grassroots football without anybody knowing. The facilities are an absolute disgrace. Teams are lucky if they play for an hour a week. Other countries are getting three or four hours per week.’–Martin-Keown.html#ixzz35HDCsdtP

  25. @finsbury
    From what you say the importance of proper coaching and having sufficient quality pitches/facilities is beyond doubt given the experience of other countries of similar size and wealth of Uk. The million dollar question therefore is, why is nothing still being done about it.

  26. Given that Arsenal, led by Arsene Wenger, appear to be one of the few clubs at least attempting to promote youth development and play the game in the correct way, it defies belief that they are scoffed at and ridiculed in the way they are.

  27. Yup.
    You have to ask the entirely reasonable question: What is so objectionable to these people about a football club that is run as as a football club and is not in debt peonage?

  28. Mick/Finsbury

    Don’t you feel the undercurrent of sheer joy throughout the media at the demise of spain and there ‘tiki taki’ football !

    Whatever they say you can tell the smug little gits love it.

    It’s like the begrudging compliments they give us. For every compliment there’s a disparaging ‘there trying to walk it in the net’ comment just around the corner.

    I had to laugh at the commentator putting his foot well and truly in his mouth when Ramsey I think it was, was at the end of a wonderful team goal we scored.

    A typically dismissive commentator was in mid tirade:

    “They’re trying to walk it in the net (final pass = goal), they can do that you know”

    Yes we can, but as much as they admire it, they hate it as well.

    This Country is still more interested in defending the rights of the Shawcrosses of this World to ply there trade of anti football than they are in backing the artistry that the rest of the World so openly admires.

    Until that mentality changes we are doomed I say, doooooooomed !!!

  29. Tom
    I think to a certain extent I agree with most of your post apart from two things ;you mention being a little unlucky and and that you don’t think the wrong team was picked. You mention rooney’s unlucky shots, but Italy also hit a post and Balotelli chipped Hart only for Jagielka to clear off the line. Cavani also missed a sitter when one on one with the keeper, so those incidents would cancel out rooney’s ‘unlucky’ misses, and leave us where we are; two poor losses as you rightly point out, but being lucky or unlucky played a little part. And I don’t think there should have been places for Henderson and Gerrard in that team.

  30. jambug
    June 21, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    I like your comment and I agree with you.

    ”This Country is still more interested in defending the rights of the Shawcrosses of this World to ply there trade of anti football than they are in backing the artistry that the rest of the World so openly admires.

    Until that mentality changes we are doomed I say, doooooooomed !!!”

    The phrase from ‘Dad’s Army’ is well chosen. Funny and predictable in the show. In English football evident and very sad for any English kid who wants to be a skilled footballer.

    It seems to me the FA will do anything rather then admit that ‘skilled football’ (which is played by Arsenal and all great teams) and not thug football is the way the game is meant to be played.

  31. Jambug

    It definitely did not help the younger players that the FA appointed ‘Psycho’ and ‘Bruiser’ to manage their youth teams for far far too long. Awful. Pearce did ok in one tournament, got to a final, and then dropped performing midfielders for Mancienne in midfield, in the final against Spain. Not like the Bieslatronic* Chile then, who play with plenty of “pashun”, skill, flair, strength, discipline, technique, and midfielders who can play football.

    * All great football teams, clubs, schools or styles come from great managers. The Groaners may not like it but it’s the way it is, the way it has been. Funnily enough over the many years I never once heard the AAA mention the name of Biesla as one of their candidates who had “not lost it.” Moyes? Oh yes, how will we be able to ever forget? Coyle,he was one of their candidates. But Biesla? Not a whisper! And that, sums it all up 🙂

  32. Reports that Chuks Aneke has joined Belgian side Zulte Waregem. Interesting if true. Following in the footsteps of Yaya Toure, heh!

  33. Finsbury

    We are truly blessed to have Wenger as our leader and visionary.

    How he has stood by us, against the disgraceful media bias that has paved the way for the PGMOL to allow us to be battered, bruised, and often as not, cheated out of so much, is truly unbelievable.

    A fantastically run club with vision and artistry at is core.

    A sure fire recipe for derision in a Country so backward in thought and myopic in vision.

  34. Funny Graphs of our Everyday Problems.

    Everything is simpler in a graph, even the most complicated facts of life. But what do you get if you make graphs of the silliest and most obvious things in the world? Well you’ll come to realize some simple truths you never thought about before, and you’ll get a good laugh in the process!

  35. Chamberlain probably will start, Hodgson has always rated the player, how could he not!

    Chamberlain, who wasn’t called up by Pearce to the U21s till after his multi million pound move to the Arsenal.

    Chamberlain whose signing was a statement of intent that the Experts chose to ignore: the two previous hearts of the team were gone and a new team was being built with Per and Mikel leading the youthful core.

  36. FRIENDSHIP – Henri Nouman

    “When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.”

  37. Henri Nouwen.
    Leaving, love , pain.
    “Every time we make the decision to love someone, we open ourselves to great suffering, because those we most love cause us not only great joy but also great pain. The greatest pain comes from leaving. When the child leaves home, when the husband or wife leaves for a long period of time or for good, when the beloved friend departs to another country or dies … the pain of the leaving can tear us apart.

    Still, if we want to avoid the suffering of leaving, we will never experience the joy of loving. And love is stronger than fear, life stronger than death, hope stronger than despair. We have to trust that the risk of loving is always worth taking.”

  38. Why should ANY country have to spend money in order to hold a World Cup competition defeats me.
    Applications should be considered merely on a global rotation PLUS a financial check that the applicant country can afford to stage
    the event.

  39. Al

    Perhaps I didn’t make myself clear enough but I didn’t think England were unlucky to lose both games . I only said they were unlucky not to score more goals. Christian Rodriguez could’ve also scored for Uruguay with his left footed thunder bolt that just went over the cross bar which had Hart well beaten . My point was rather England’s lack of tactical awareness , timid and naive defending that will always get punished at this level.

    I don’t get much exposure to English punditry but I’d imagine if it were Arsenal conceding those type of goals , there would be some ex England players like Hanson or whoever else has it out for our club , opining that Arsenal lacked spine and conviction.

    As for England picking the “wrong” squad , I am totally indifferent to England’s troubles in big tournaments and for selfish reasons I am rather pleased Arsenal players didn’t get much exposure , which I hope will continue. With France and Germany looking strong candidates for going deep into the tournament , Arsenal might have a big headache at the beginning of the season. Giroud, Koscielny, Ozil, Podolski, Mertersacker might find it difficult to recover in time for the season’s opener and with Walcott not being ready either, there could be trouble on the horizon.

    Also , basing a national team’s spine on one club( Liverpool) is very typical in international football in countries with strong domestic leagues.
    Italy , Germany and Spain have been doing it for a long time with as many as six or more players from cubs like Barca , Real , Juve, Milan or Bayern .
    Like it or not but Liverpool were the best PL club last season and should’ve won the league had it not been for Rodgers’ bone headed tactics against Chelsea.

    In some way England’s predicament isn’t dissimilar to that of Arsenal’s from last season. Not winning a major trophy for a long time begins to weigh heavily on players’ minds and makes it more difficult to perform at their best. The difference being that England get encouragement and support to do well most of the time ,where as Arsenal didn’t.

  40. Joel Campbell’s father has been thinking the same things as Chamberlain Snr:

    “I always had it in mind that Arsene knows what is best for young ones. He always makes good players.”

  41. My question is: Why did Roy Hodgson field an unchanged side against Uruguay. Weren’t England markedly better when Wilshere entered the match? Why wasn’t he included the starting line-up? Why wasn’t he brought on as a sub?

    Since this heavily Liverpudlian (Liverpool & Everton) side tried, failed, and got eliminated in 2 matches, the whole of them should sit out the next match and let an entirely different 11 start the match against Costa Rica.

  42. Thanks for the information on the payment system in the world cup. Appreciate that.

    Thanks for the conversation too, everyone. Really interesting points.

    The original article on coaching in England, which explores the whole issue of “more coaches than you might think” by focussing on coaches with the top badges, was in an Untold article at

    It has since been republished by the Telegraph, and quoted by the BBC.


  43. I got by FA training batch (the 1st level) because i wanted to train my son. I train under 8s and my son also is in the same team. The club is called Venceremos and we play in a suburb in London called rayners lane. The ground belongs to Harrow cricket club and there is constant pressure because they wont allow to us to play on certain times because their 22 yrds is very precious. In fact its in their constitution that only cricket can be played. Mind you cricket is played only for 2 months in the summer that also if its not raining. We had the same issue in India. We then have to take the boys to the local park where other teams are playing, the grass is uncut, the pitch is not level its crazy for kids to play in conditions like this. In fact i was seriously thinking to taking the back garden lawn off and putting a fake grass so the my some can play on a decent pitch. I am involved because i played for 20 yrs plus and want to give back some of the things i have learnt. I am also thinking of getting the remaining batches, time permitting. its a constant struggle. No wonder we face a situation like we are now.

  44. @Gouresh,
    You have my sympathy.It is quite scandalous that with the amount of money about to pay players obscene wages, there is not the will to provide decent sporting conditions for the young and very young.

  45. Tom
    Arsene usually (and I emphasise usually) gives players returning from tournaments extra time off before they rejoin the squad, which means they’re not often available for most of pre season training. He makes sure they get a proper holiday before work starts again. So if Germany & France go all the way we’ll be short of those payers for appx 3 weeks.

  46. Tony,
    Internationally, we are in such a mess, so what about a “nothing to lose” move by our FA to recruit one or two other “losers” (Spain?) with
    a view to seceding from FIFA? Carpe Diem!

  47. The 14 English players who played against Uruguay and the cities where their clubs ply their trade:

    Hart (Manchester)
    Rooney (Manchester)
    Welbeck (Manchester)
    Cahill (London)
    Johnson (Liverpool)
    Baines (Liverpool)
    Henderson (Liverpool)
    Jagielka (Liverpool)
    Sterling (Liverpool)
    Gerrard (Liverpool)
    Sturridge (Liverpool)

    Barkley (sub) (Liverpool)
    Lambert (sub) (Liverpool)
    Lallana (sub) (Southampton/Liverpool have bid for him)

    That means 9 of the 14 are Liverpool based (Liverpool or Everton), 10 of 14 if you include Lallana.

  48. I have to agree with Tony there have been some really interesting comments on this thread
    When Tony posed the question about the cost of England entering the World Cup I found most of the financial information on either FIFAs own site.
    FIFAs income comes in the main (87%) comes from the World Cup and then the next biggest income stream come from things like using the recognised facilities and match ball etc.
    FIFA is a vast money machine and.
    Did you know for instance that each player who plays in the WC cup generates a payment of about $200k for their parent club? Chelsea had around 16 players.

    Hindsight is a wonderful thing and yes the bid for the 2018 WC was a travesty but I think that’s more about corruption than anything else.

    Wembley cost a mint and I don’t think Wembley is where a national stadium should be The cost to the FA is about 75% of the overall costs about £750 million and a % o that sum has been recovered from the Australian company that built the stadium.

    Everything I read suggests that the real financial burden of Wembley eases after 2014 it will be not only self financing but the expectation is it will be profitable from this season on

    You could argue the methodology is no different to that of Arsenal.

  49. Liverpool…..Hodgson just went with the media pressure…..forgetting seemingly the guy who really made Liverpool last season played for the opposition.
    But I do wonder if Roy really is that easily influences, proving a point or just making a fresh start? Is Roy really a 4 2 4 manager ? I don’t think so, very strange.
    Footballisfixed has some interesting views on what went on submitted to his blog spot

  50. Germanys second goal owes itself to bad defense from a corner. ALWAYS have a man on each post!!!

  51. And just now, Nigeria is leading with a goal from a foul, after Bosnia were robbed of a perfectly valid goal which the ref ruled out for an imaginary offside. Point 16 in action.

  52. Iran denied a cast iron pen against Arg…..seems a lot of key decisions going the way of the South Americans this WC. Have to say, I am so surprised at that

  53. Florian,

    At 16min20sec into the first half, the referee also failed to award a penalty when Ahmed Musa (Nigeria’s no. 7)’s short was pulled causing him to fall in the Bosnian 18 yard box. That incident will not get any mention since the pundits did not refer to it but live replays show that the guy’s shorts were pulled.

    BTW, Emenike did not foul Spahic on the way to creating the goal. Phil Neville was just talking out of his ass.

  54. Mandy:
    Yes, Iran should have been given a clear penalty. Our boys played their hearts out…
    There is no surprise that the local teams are getting a little help from the refs. It’s always been that way.

  55. 14 Festivals to Add to Your Bucket List

    Festivals are celebrations put on by all of the world’s communities to celebrate special aspects of their culture and heritage. Yet out of all the international festivals, these 14 definitely top the list!

    Here’s a jaw-dropping look at how the rest of the world celebrates !

    1. Snow & Ice Festival in Harbin, China
    2. The Hindu Holi Festival
    3. Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain
    4. Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
    5. Songkran Water Festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
    6. The Mexican Day of the Dead.
    7. Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Louisiana.
    8. La Tomatina in Bunol, Spain.
    9. The Carnival of Venice in Venice, Italy.
    10. Cascamorras in Baza and Guadix, Spain.
    11. Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany
    13. Up Helly Aa in Shetland, Scotland.
    14. Lantern Festival in Pingxi, Taiwan.

    Number 3 – there are rumours afoot that due to the objections of animal rights organisations like PETA , no bulls will be used this year.
    Instead , enraged and disgruntled football fans will chase the Spanish WC players , management staff ,FA & FIFA officials and the blinkered media down the streets!
    OLE ! Sic them torros !

    If this takes off , perennial failures, England, will consider doing something similar to their hapless players, management ,FA/UEFA/FIFA reps, their delusional media and their numerous but stupid and cretinous pundits .The burning of effigies , Uruguayan vampires and the red tops are also an added attraction .
    For some odd reason this idea does not seem to be quite popular in the NW county of Lancashire !

    Number 11 – Oktoberfest may come early this year ! You’ve been warned ! Book your flights early .

    Number 15 – Mardi Gras in Brazil may be cancelled forever as the funds may be needed to pay back the losses to their economy after a ‘successful’ hosting of the 2014 WC .

  56. Apparently Costa Rica has a male population aged between 16-30 of 600 000.
    England has 6 000 000.What does the FA do with this potential?’Sweet FA’ rather than ‘Football Association’?

  57. Sammy, that was an incredible performance by Iran, all things considered, one of the best in this WC. They could easily have won it, Arg needed a great messi strike, and like Brazil , a ref

  58. I’ve heard of England playing games against, Scotland, Wales, Ireland. Do they play Northern Ireland? Do they play any of these teams?

    Antigua and Barbuda
    Fiji (suspended)
    New Zealand
    Papua New Guinea
    Saint Kitts and Nevis
    Saint Lucia
    Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
    Sierra Leone
    Solomon Islands
    South Africa
    Sri Lanka
    Trinidad and Tobago

    There might be a couple of countries in that list where a sure win isn’t guaranteed. I think that if they played the Canadian Men’s team a sure win is guaranteed, but possibly not if they played the Canadian Women’s team.

    Football in Canada seems to be at least as screwed up as it is in England. The whole damned country has to revolve around the center of the universe (Toronto), but I think more football is played on the coast (possibly more the west coast). Quite a while ago, the CSA decided to buy a house in Ottawa for a million, instead of staying in common facilities like most sports in Canada.

    I know FIFA has rules about playing lower ranked teams. But the Commonwealth has reasons for being too. And if some of the lower ranked teams (like Canada) can get more games against England/Scotland/Wales/Ireland/Northern Ireland (giving them likely wins) in exchange for keeping the Commonwealth functional, I think that would be a good thing.

  59. @ Gord – Here’s country that almost anyone and everyone should be able to trash , unless of course if they give citizenship to some mercenary footballers . And there is bound to be quite a few who would be considered persona non grata in their countries after their dismal performances in the WC !

  60. I’m not English but i predicted before that suarez will bury England, if you look in the Archives.
    England is ever time after time given chicken teams to qualify,Feleo island,Montenegro etc. For Christ shake what do you expect ??? Expect nothing because you where not challenged so when you come to the real challengers you can not do anything. Lastly England needs Mike Shit Riley to be given a big post in the FIFA referees panel then only then could they get something.
    Hodgson who !!! At Least the other coaches could get out of the group stages but because they love their ladies the whorelists decided otherwise.
    Who is better????

  61. My home town is a ex-British colony so the team of England is very popular.

    I never rated the national team. Even with the golden boys ten years ago, they couldn’t really play top level football.

    The team clearly has not plan going into this world cup. There’s no game plan. Their tactic is old (if there is any)

    While some individual players are good, the team as whole are worse than a second rate team from Africa and a third rate from South America.

    A revolution is needed to bring the level up. No one seem to realise it.

    Why are they hiring someone like Hodgson? He did quite well managing teams in the 90s but he hasn’t been able to do the job with big clubs or major footballing national team in the past 10 years. He can do a solid job for a midd level club or national team. Putting him as head as team of England means FA really don’t know who to find.

    If they talk about Arsene Wenger “losing it”, Hodgson was lost over 10 years already.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *