How come England are getting better at football all of a sudden

By Tony Attwood

In terms of reporting on football, by and large I doubt that anyone has much expectation that we will ever be better informed about what is actually going on than we are now.   Jounalists, bloggers and newspaper editors choose what is and what is not news, and report it in their own way, and as a result at the end of most articles we tend to know less than we did before anything was written.

The best way for Arsenal to win the Premier League is … well, there isn’t one other than having lots of money.   Arsene Wenger was a chump who won the Premier League without losing a game, something which no other team has ever done, and so it can’t be possible.  So we didn’t win the Premier League.   Liverpool! must have won it because they always win it, except that they have never won it.  And Man City because… well, they have the money.

As a result my little piece of research showing a link between the number of coaches with the top badges per 10,000 players in the country.   The simple result was that the percentage of coaches to players is not perfect but holds true in many cases – enough cases to show that this is a way for a country to move forward.  Increase the number of qualified coaches dramatically and international success is likely to follow.

Of course it is not a perfect link – it doesn’t always work (the Netherlands slip from grace showed that) and it is possible for countries with fewer coaches still to have some success, rising up the rankings etc.

Here are the current rankings…

What we can see is that population doesn’t have anything to do with success in international football, as if it did, Russian and Mexico, both of which are football mad countries with massive populations would be sitting in the top ten, at the expense of Croatia.

If you want to place a wager or two on any type of football you will need to find the best betting sites   And it is also handy to understand what is going on as countries and teams move up and down the lists.

And so let us consider this fact that England has risen up the rankings.  We may note it has not done it by increasing the number of coaches with the top qualification.   It is hard to get exact figures for the past 18 months but it looks to me as if numbers are actually going down.

And it is hard to see at first light how this improvement is being powered.   As the Guardian pointed out, “One of the headline statistics relating to Tuesday under-21 friendly at Bournemouth is that the 24 players named in the original Germany squad have started 668 Bundesliga games, which is more than twice as many as their 26 English counterparts have racked up in the Premier League.”

Of course one of the reasons for hope and excitement is the development of the England under 23 team.  If we take Reiss Nelson as an example he has developed particularly well by going to Germany to play – as have some other English players, because a loan player in Germany gets games while a loan player going into the lower divisions in England quite often will not get games.  Quite why that is, is hard to say. It is of course not an absolute rule, but it is a general point.

Yet most of the games played by England under 23 players is played in the Championship via loans.  In Germany loans are more rare and loans down a league particularly rare.

In other words German teams are based on players nurtured in the top division of Germany by their own clubs with the players getting games in the first team.  It does happen in England with the very best players, but not all.

So although some people are suggesting that England has found a way to get around the link between the number of coaches and the England position in the world rankings, and that Germany has slipped down because of this method, it may not be something that is bound to last.

I think the point here is that England are going through a rich vein with young talent, but it is possible to argue that this too is coming at a cost.   More and more players are being pulled into youth squads of professional teams, while many of those still playing for their school or local sports clubs are getting worse and worse conditions to play on, while being fed the constant line of winning at all costs.   That might be the attitude of professional players – but it does nothing for the youngster who is not going on to be a professional footballer, because it helps develop a lop-sided view of life.   Win at all costs might help one in a football team to win the match, but it is not the way to run a society – as I think some of us have discovered in the UK.

The development of the youth system by the clubs, who are effectively by passing the FA and who are developing the win at all costs mentality shows us that the FA, which is supposed to promote football for everyone, has lost all influence and control over the lower levels of football just as it has at the higher levels.

The FA is nothing if not thick-skinned, and is rejoicing in its current run of success with the England team, although as yet nothing has been won.  Their view is that they should be left to run things as they want them to be run – which means winning any trophies at any level that they can get, no matter what the cost to the overall development of the youngsters who are competing.

Yes England might go higher up the international rankings, powered by a raft of young talent, but as for the long term development of football in England, I fear we are simply seeing another nail in the coffin, as the FA and others will now believe you really can win in international football without bothering to train up lots of coaches.

18 Replies to “How come England are getting better at football all of a sudden”

  1. Yes we’re paying pretty well but I’m not at all convinced we’re anything like as good as some seem to think we are.

    As for the jubilation that followed our World Cup ‘triumph’, which I can only assume was because we actually avoided getting humiliated, well frankly it was embarrassing.

    In the World Cup we played 5 games against top 20 fifa ranked Countries and won just one.

    Yes we stuffed Panama but jeeez at fifa ranked 76 wtf

    We only beat 21st ranked Tunisia 2-1.

    Ok we’ve had a couple of decent results recently but they’re in friendlies and you only have to look at the likes of Germany over the years to know what you can read in to them.

    I think I’ll reserve judgement on this latest ‘golden generation’ until they actually win something thanks very much.


  2. @Nitram I am like you very sceptical about the “golden dawn”. I have seen England from 1970 onwards have a good run in qualifying and friendlies only to then fail at the top level.

    The world cup was not, as you point out, much to write home about. As soon as they met a good side they lost.

    I even dont rate the Nations league as I think a lot of teams have shown indifference to it at best.

    Watching the internationals this weekend has been painful – please tell me how does Andrew Dallas get to referee a game at this level. He is an atrocious official but of course Daddy is on the UEFA refs executive committee!

    And oh yet another tournament without VAR – although UEFA seem as incompetent as PIGMOB with VAR so far.

  3. @Gord I find that article laughable in the extreme. VAR will be manipulated by PIGMOB for certain clubs – of that I am sure

  4. Les Williams

    “VAR will be manipulated by PIGMOB for certain clubs – of that I am sure”

    Without doubt.

    Regarding us, I’ve said it many times, VAR is just going to make things worse.

    If the ref misses a chance to give a penalty against us, no worries VAR will pick it up.

    If he misses a stonewaller we should of had it will be ‘nothing to see here’.

  5. I sure that England’s resurgence has quite a bit to do with the devious and sly tricks, and testing the boundaries of fair and foul play by those players from Spurs and Man City .

    Many of them have I personally given a perfect ’10’ for outstanding diving in the EPL. Sans the water , the swimming pools; as well as the floormat, vault, rings, pommel, parallel bars and horizontal bars.

    But then again , I confess that I am quoting from mine eyes only , as I have no coaching badges in those respective sports !

  6. Interesting according to Wiki Harry Kane has 20 goals for England 6 penalties.
    Getting like Shearer

  7. Although Kane was top scorer at the World Cup, how many were penalties, in respect of which he is very good.

    Did England also beat Belgium, who were said to be one of the favourites?

    I agree that England was lauded too much for their World Cup display if one looks at the teams they played.

    The only difference as against previous tournaments is that previously we struggled to beat the poorer teams. At least we seem to have got that right now.

  8. With respect to VAR, I thought it was unusual to see someone saying that teams could manipulate it. I thought it far more likely that the PGMO would manipulate it. I would think that any manipulation by teams, is most likely affected by having them influence the PGMO to have them do the actual manipulation.

    OT: Corruption

    It seems that the people in the USA prosecuting FIFA (and other) football people, feel they have enough evidence to continue to do this for another 10 years.

  9. I don’t think England are the only ones that have suddenly from no where started to look getting better at their football. But Arsenal too after a missed plunge in the dive into the pool that almost saw them got drowned but they came out from the pool not getting drowned after all as they struggled by holding their breaths that out last the ordeal to drown. But they are looking to be surviving as they suddenly put their apt together getting better in swimming at their football. Their recent victories over Man Utd and Rennais at the Ems in the PL and ELC before the international beak is a testament to Arsenal sudden awakening to start getting better at their football. And I think and also believe they will get better better and better at their football to the extend of to not only get one of the top four places finish in the table, but also win the Europa League Cup as well to have a good finish to the season.

  10. Stretching the truth.

    Some folks were compiling their family history but were confounded about how to describe their great uncle (who had died in the electric chair in prison) in a positive light.
    After some discussion, this was their final description of their illustrious relative:-

    “Uncle Jerome occupied the chair of applied electronics at one of our leading government institutions. He was attached to his position by the strongest of ties. His death came as a shock.”

  11. OT: Humour

    Apparently The (sweet) FA are looking to rebrand. I think the proposal to rename themselves The English FA is all just a smoke screen. I think in the interests of truth in advertising, they should rename themselves to The Sweet FA.

    Headlines: Arsenal set to sign every player in the World!

    Actually, it will just seem like that. But the medja people vow to generate at least 400 rumours out of thin air. Foot.Lon hopes to generate half of that.

  12. This was forwarded to me by WhatsApp , and I found it funny and nostalgic at the same time. Thanks to the author of this for the laugh.

    Football Rules of our Malaysian childhood.

    1-The fat one is always the keeper.

    2-The game ends only if all the players are tired (EXCEPT RULE 6).

    3-No matter the score, the team that scores the last goal wins the game.

    4-There are no referees.

    5-Only if there is a serious injury will the game be stopped.

    6-If the owner of the ball gets angry the game is over.

    7-The 2 best players can’t play on the same team, and they get choose their own players in turn.

    8-If you are chosen last, that is a humiliation.

    9-If there is penalty the keeper is replaced by the best player of his team and says “not for good” to mean that after the penalty, the keeper returns to his post.

    10-When the ball goes out of the playground to a remote destination, it’s the player who kicked it out that is going to get the ball.

    11-The best player on the ground is always on the same team as the owner of the ball.

    12-To start a game we just shout , “PREE” and the game begins.

    13-To distinguish between both the team players, one of the teams should play shirtless. The team that concedes the first goal is team that goes shirtless.

    14- You kick the ball in the air to start a match.

    15- Its all massive attack, massive defence.

    16- Remember the owner of the ball is FIFA!

    17- No offsides .

    18-If your Mom calls you , someone stand in for you, and when you return you can continue.

    19- The game comes to an end if we hear the Azan( call for prayer.) or mom comes chasing you with a clothes hanger or a rubber hose.

    If you’ve been through this like us , you can also add yours.

    Was it the same in your country?

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