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Southgate's England - Now or never?

Discussion in 'General British Football' started by buzzbee, Jul 3, 2019.

  1. buzzbee

    buzzbee Registered User

    Oct 12, 2013
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    Since Gareth Southgate took over as England manager, we have seen a shift towards a new generation of footballers, with players coming in who would not have previously been considered and we seem to be looking pretty good. I can’t help but think of Germany, who did similar and then kept that young team (Ozil, Neuer, Khedira, Schweinsteiger, Podolski, Muller, Kroos, Gomez, Boeteng etc) together until their peak, when they were deserved world champions and I hope we also keep this team together for years, with minimal changes. However, I wonder it might be a case of ‘Now or never’? Might this be our last chance?

    The thought occurred to me while chatting to friends about the differences between my childhood in the late 70’s and early 80’s and the lives of children today and one major thing jumped out at me. I spent so much time with a football at my feet!

    I was far from alone in that I would come home from school and the first thing I would do was to pick up my football and go knocking on doors, looking for other kids to come out and play. We would go to a field behind my house and play football EVERY DAY! If no one came out to play, I would just go out there on my own and kick a ball against a wall. I would practice shooting or passing the ball off the wall and back.

    Today, we live in a different world. Firstly, we are a lot more concerned about the idea of kids playing outside unsupervised than was the case when I was a kid. Added to which the rivals for kids’ entertainment indoors is considerably greater! We could have stayed in a played with our action man or maybe played battleships. Now, kids have games consoles that provide far more entertainment.

    I went to school 3 miles from home and I walked there and back. Today, that is very rare. If a kid has that far to go, they will usually get dropped at, and picked up from the school gate. Many of the kids at my school (Not me TBH) would take a football to school and walk home kicking the ball along

    Simply having a ball at your feet so much as a youngster improves skill and ability immeasurably IMHO!

    I’ve also noticed something while watching quiz shows on TV. We used to be a sport-mad nation. I watch the Chase and it’s amazing how many contestants get stuck when a football question comes up. I watch Egg Heads and if sport is the category, it often gets greeted with a groan, with everyone looking at each other, saying they know nothing about sport.

    We live in a different world and one where kids do not spend as much time playing with a football! They would rather be playing with an x-box. Even though there is more sport on TV today, kids seem more interested in things like TOWIE, Love Island, Jordie Shore etc and anything to do with celebrities. We simply have a different, less sporty culture!

    There will still be kids who are playing, but nowhere near as many. I can’t recall the last time I saw a football on the field outside my house. This means we will have a smaller pool of young players to choose from and the smaller the pool, the less chance there is of great players coming through.

    On the flip side of course, academies mean that for those who do take it up, there is a better pathway, with better training

    Could the current crop of players be our best and maybe ONLY chance of winning a major tournament?
    Dirk likes this.
  2. Dirk

    Dirk Wir kommen wieder!

    Jul 21, 2016
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    Hamburger SV
    Same for me in the 70's, mate. Coming home from school, eating a bit (pretending to mum already doing my homework for school) and out playing football with the lads the whole day. Coming home, muddy (because we played everywhere not only on "fine grass") and totally happy. My mother wasn't always as happy as me when I brought the dirt back into the house but she had always a smile on her face nonetheless because she saw that I was happy.

    Depends of many factors. Sometimes you have a team full of great players but they won't win anything in a tournament where you also need luck. And sometimes you have a team with not so great players but they'll win it because the team chemistry is great and they have the needed luck in some moments. So many little things to consider.
    England has actually a team that is really strong and many talents in the waiting too (and I don't consider the actual failing U21 team in the Euros because they should've performed way better than they have (...or is this one of the things that I just mentioned?).

    Anyway, England can win something in the future. But to win something you must first reach a final ;)

    Jesus! Just noticed it's my 3000th post here. Never before I had that many in a forum (not even in a german speaking one). Kudos to ff ;)
    #2 Dirk, Jul 3, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
    Habbinalan likes this.
  3. The only Greek here

    The only Greek here Registered User

    May 4, 2019
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    Athens, Greece
    AEK Athens
    Actually there are way better academies and greater organization today that can develop a young, raw talent. There are also better facilities and coaches, so that's why the level of football has risen in richer countries.

    I think Santos and other Brazilian teams were way better than United or Juventus or Real Madrid in the 60s and 50s, but all of the above I mentioned helped the Europeans dominate.

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