England have not missed a major footballing competition since 1994. Arguably, English football has come on leaps and bounds since then and is now one of the most exciting leagues in the world.
Yet, as is usually the case over the last 13 years, England fans prepare themselves for a successful competition where the English world-beaters finally bring home a trophy (again). But with each competition we’re on the plane home way before the final.
The most recent catastrophe of England not qualifying for Euro 2008 is exactly what the country needed to give it a kick up the backside and sort the whole system out.
For the players, sort out the desire and the egos. Find a manager with hunger and experience, and for the fans, give them something to aim for.
So where did everything go wrong? In my opinion Steve McLaren was ripped to shreads for his tactics against Croatia. But he would have been labelled a genious if we’d won. For me, the problems lie much deeper.
Here’s my take of the major issues;
1) A Gruelling Schedule
The top English players are constantly burned out. Far too many games over the season means they are no where near their best for a summer competition. A winter break needs to introduced imminently.
As Roy Keane touched on earlier this week, there are far too many big egos in the England team. We need a bunch of players who respect and work for each other. Take a leaf out of the English rugby teams book.
3) The Media
We give them credit for great stories and coverage, but the English media has created a PR monster. The pressure piled upon the team and manager at every opportunity does not help whatsoever, and one of the key reasons for top managers not wanting the job.
I was one of many England supporters who was glad England didn’t qualify. It gives us time to put our house in order. Fingers crossed the FA make some sound decisions over the next few months.