So, what is the England problem?
Will Burton create a true ‘golden generation’ that will win a major Championship or will it be another damp squid, another chute down which the FA will throw a shed lot more money down?
Truth is, we won’t actually know the affects of Burton for at least a decade after it has opened. What I am going to tell you is the reason that England have been so average for so long?
The two best sides England has had at World Cups have been the 1990 semi-finalists and the 1966 winners.
Breaking down those two teams, England’s World Cup winners’ success was based around dropping a world-class goalscorer (Jimmy Greaves) for a target man (Geoff Hurst) that allowed England to press opponents deep in their own half. The 1990 side was actually completely average, in a flair free tournament, based on hard-work, defensive stability and a shed load of luck.
England’s worst era? Without doubt the 70’s. No major championship qualification between 1970 and 1980. There is no doubt that this era had the most creative players in England history, Tony Currie, Stan Bowles, Alan Hudson, Frank Worthington the list goes on and on.
The truth is, England have never played well with vastly creative players. They have played best when they play a very direct, high paced game, based around getting the ball in the final third and pressuring and playing their football there. England’s best midfielders have been the box to box type like Bobby Charlton, Bryan Robson and Paul Scholes, players who work well in that type of system.
My point is this, England must play to their strengths. They can’t play like their club sides, the need to stick either Carroll and/or Crouch up there with the pace out wide England currently possess, pressurize the ball and play their football in the opposition final third.
Because, while they try and play ‘pretty football’, they’ll continue to get played off the park.
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