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The Sad State Of The English National Team And The Premier League

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I saw England win the World Cup in 1966. On TV I will admit but I saw it. The players are legends now and held in the highest esteem, one of which is Sir Bobby Charlton.

I also saw United beat Benfica at the very same Wembley in 1968. George Best was alongside the very same Bobby Charlton. Golden years.

Since then Liverpool dominated Europe and alongside Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa, we were by far the best league in Europe.

Of course that as all 40 years and more ago, in Brazil it will be 48 years since we won the World Cup and we might not even qualify after failing to beat anyone except San Marino in qualifying. How low can we go?

In Europe our top 4 couldn’t reach the last 8. That’s terrible, and Chelsea joined Manchester City in not making it past the group stage, the first time in history a winner failed to get thru the group the following year. How low can we go?

Manchester United are by far the best team in England and perhaps could have beaten Real Madrid but for a referee who made a howler of a mistake, and will easily win the league, perhaps by a record margin. However the league itself is no longer competitive.

Huge gaps have opened leaving the likes of Liverpool in a group with Stoke that are now not in Europe’s top 20.

United are still in the elite group but Spurs, City, Chelsea and Spurs are also fans at home and in Europe. They are below the same tier in Germany and Italy and far behind the top 6 in Spain.

The national team show us where we are in Europe.

Surely the lowest standard of first tier professional football in 40 years.

Add to that the debt burden carried by these teams. Liverpool are £80m in debt, United hocked to the eyeballs, Chelsea and City are hopelessly supported by men who have no history of the sport, like he Glazers just playing with them like toys. The players vastly overpaid to under-perform.

It’s time to wake up and realize this can’t continue.

Stupid money for mediocre talent to fail to deliver on anything beyond the domestic stage shows its time to rethink the game in the UK.

Some salary caps, some home grown quotas and some restriction on transfer fees is needed to restore some values and some pride, and competitiveness into the Premier League.

I’m not one who supports restraint of trade agreements but right now we are in crisis and the answer is to fix the game in our country and make it worth watching again.

It’s time to restore the values we believe in, which are hard work, integrity and pride.

England may well have 3 Lions on their shirt and I want them to roar again, maybe City can even discover what the 3 stars on their shirt really mean.

By Steve Burrows CBE @ifollowsteve

2 thoughts on “The Sad State Of The English National Team And The Premier League”

  1. Anyone who advocates 'hard work' as one of the virtues English football needs is so sadly off the mark that it
    is barely worth responding. The hard work ethos, together with the notion that pace and brawn are also the finer virtues of the 'English game', is so far behind the times and the realities of modern football that it's little wonder that both English football and its fans blunder along maintaining the delusion that England's rise back to the pinnacle it deserves as the creator's of the game is only a step or two away. It's the same delusion they live in by considering a talentless plodder like Rooney world class, when he isn't fit to lace the boots of players like Messi or Ronaldo when it comes to sheer skill, talent, artistry and football smarts. This is what European and Sth. American football is all about and why England has long been left behind as a guileless bunch of losers with delusions of grandeur.

  2. It's amazing how people dismiss hard work as unnecessary, as though Messi just strolls into training and somehow gets brilliant.

    Practice makes perfect and the English game needs more effort from its players to improve.

    When I read responses from people who think Brazilians are good by virtue of birth, it's clear they haven't been to the beaches and favelas and seen the hours of practice that go into developing ball control. Go to any English park and see how few kids do the same. Role models in pubs and chippes, hours on FIFA on PS3 don't make athletes.

    Open your eyes and value hard work. You only get back what you put in.

    Some people !

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