Shake-up has to go down to grass roots

RADICAL changes need to be made to English football if the international game is to compete against the increasing strength and resources of club football.

By Elvin King

RADICAL changes need to be made to English football if the international game is to compete against the increasing strength and resources of club football.

The question must be asked - has international football got a future?

The likes of Steve Gerrard and Frank Lampard are the key to England's success, but their main objective has to be bringing prosperity to Chelsea and Liverpool respectively.


You may also want to watch:


It is their clubs who pay them exorbitant wages and has them keyed in to play a certain way for over 40 weeks of the year.

Finishing in the top four of the Premier League is the very least of expectations, and an average of two club games a week takes a toll. With the best will in the world there is only so much they can give.

Most Read

It can be argued that the summer is for rest and recuperation these days, and not for spending a month kicking a ball about for England.

Club football will always hold sway with supporters for the simple reason that a diet of 10 internationals a year is not enough to sustain interest.

It may have been different before satellite television - and all the extra demands that go with that - and the enlargement of the Champions League.

But these days it is wall-to-wall club football, with the international breaks leaving fans starved of their virtual daily football fix for a fortnight or so.

The head coach has rightly been toppled after England's failure to reach the finals of Euro 2008.

Steve McClaren can have no excuses as he had at his disposal a highly-paid squad with enough ability to compete with the world's best. But the Premier League is King these days.

Its riches are enormous and multiplied many times over by those fortunate enough to have the wherewithal to attain Champions League status.

Playing for England is great and an honour, but it is being outdated by the power and strength of club football.

McClaren's replacement has to be a foreigner because there is no English alternative and if England are to become a force again they must produce better players - and coaches.

This has to mean a shake-up from grass roots upwards with EVERY youth team park manager having coaching qualifications and an end to 11-a-side games until youngsters reach at least 13.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus