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State of England's International Football
by Colin
2007-03-30 09:40:12
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Having sat in front of the TV on Wednesday night expecting an uplifting performance, but what turned out to be an extremely lack lustre England International side, I honestly thought, why do I bother? Where is the passion we have witnessed from players of yesteryear? Are they overpaid and do they no longer possess the hunger to succeed at top level? Can the full blame, of a recent run of poor results, be laid at the feet of the England manager, Steve McClaren? Personally I think not.

I was embarrassed to see the, so-called, fans' reactions to the half-time result. What rights have they to hurl abuse and wave their fists at a manager who is trying his hardest to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear? He’s a manager not a magician. Maybe we should enlist the talents of David Blaine.

This quote appeared on the ‘Sportinglife’ website:

Neil Warnock has branded the England manager's position “the worst job in football”.

The Sheffield United boss said he was shocked to see the abuse meted out to Steve McClaren during England's 3-0 win over Andorra in Barcelona.

Warnock said: “It's a sad situation when you see the kind of criticism that Steve is getting at the moment.”

“I know that it is par for the course but it's one of the reasons I would never, ever recommend the England job to anyone.”

“Why anyone would ever dream of wanting it I don't know.”

“I think it's the worst job in football - unless you go in thinking 'to hell with it'.”

I think Neil summed it up perfectly. Am I one of the few fans who sympathises with Steve McClaren? Let’s face it; he has a limited pool of quality English players from which to choose. Gone are the days when our top sides were filled by ‘Home Grown’ players. We could probably chart the decline of England as a top international side against the steady influx of foreign players into the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United and most premiership football teams?

Would an overlapping graph prove how the state of our beloved sport is slowly going down the pan, because of too many foreign imports? How many promising young footballers fall by the wayside and disappear into the lower leagues, because they can’t get regular first team places? I’m not a Manchester United fan, but I can remember, not too many seasons back, when I admired the club's youth policy and wished my team had the likes of Beckham, Scholes and the Neville brothers coming up through its ranks.

Don’t get me wrong, I do like to watch the likes of Henry, Ronaldo and Drogba perform in the world’s top theatre. I’m sure our young footballers can learn plenty from playing along side these superstars, if only they are given a chance.

It’s time the FA sat up and took note. Unless there are strict limits of the numbers of foreign players placed upon our national club sides, we will probably slip further down the world rankings. What, if any, are the limits placed on the teams within the leagues of England’s European neighbours, when it comes to the numbers of foreign players that can be fielded at any one time? Maybe someone out there can enlighten me.

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Asa2007-03-30 12:59:08
Over 260 foreign players compete in the league, and 101 players from England's domestic leagues competed in the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea and Japan. At the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, the Premier League was the most represented league with more than eighty players in the competition, including 21 of the 23 players in England's squad.

Aside from the players, no English manager has ever won the Premier League.

I'm not sure what to make of all of those facts...

Bryan2007-03-30 18:39:37
The Premier league is famous fot its high tempo football, so why is it those same players are so pedestrian in their build up play. I haven't seen an England side play so many square balls since the days of Ray 'the Crab' Wilkins. I can't condone the boo-boys but then I didn't take two days off work, spend hard earned cash on travelling to Israel and Spain for what was an absolute embarassment. Wayne Rooney talk to Mr.Lineker never booked in an England shirt! All Europe now have him sussed.

Colin2007-03-30 21:17:08
Hard earned cash?? Are you sure on that one? I agree to some extent, but I still think McClaren will end up the scapegoat and it should be down to the players more. As for Rooney, he aint going to change and never will be cool headed like ol' wingnut.

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