The same line of thought as the previous post – I just wanted to ram home how reluctant/uninterested the English are when it comes to taking the kind of action that would produce international success.
- Would we be discussing our level of skill – or our need to improve it – if we weren’t falling behind? If we were ahead, would we be making urgent efforts to stay ahead or get even further ahead?
- List recent tactical and other innovations in English football that were brought about by an Englishman. I can think of two – Clive Woodward’s peripheral vision coach at Southampton and Simon Clifford’s (erm, Brazilian) Soccer Schools.
- List all of the truly great managers who have worked in England and not been either foreign, or from Scotland/the North-East of England. I think your list should have at least one league title acting as doorman.
I don’t mean any of this as criticism – just reflection on the real nature of our native football culture (admission: I’m more Scottish/Irish by blood than English, but I’ve lived my life in England and it’s important to me that England “win” in that sense). I’ve been writing this blog since late Spring ’05, and I’m coming to the conclusion that there’s no really deep unhappiness here at the state of our game – our failure to add gold stars to the three lions doesn’t cut as deeply as we’d like to think. If it did, things would be different, but then, we’d be different, too, so unless one supreme visionary/maverick obtains supreme power over the game, what we’ve got is what we’ve got.