Aye. We're still turning people away for being too small... It beggars belief... 3 of the 4 best players in the world are small FFS. But beause it's assumed they won't be able to 'hold their own' in the Premier League, they're dumped.
In the era of the best club team that ever existed, that made its name passing and moving, what were the English doing? Hoofing it, and turning kids away for being too small. Embarrassing.
My concern is that unless more Premier League teams start adapting their game to incorporate a style that is based around knocking the ball about on the deck, there won't be a call for technically adept English players and talent will continue to be squandered like it is now, where young English kids spend too much time in the gym and not enough time with a football on the training pitch. Also, all too often English players are brought in for grit and strength, and it's the foreign players who do all the skillful stuff. In an ideal world United wouldn't be looking abroad for a skillful creative midfielder with bags of tricks to replace Scholes. We should be able to produce one ourselves.
One plus is that clubs like United are allowed to work with kids for longer than 90 minutes a day. So long as they're training the right thing we might see some results.
agree with both of you that it's cultural. there is also a misconception that side passing and long passing makes a player "technical". it doesn't when you consider european players. it's close control and being to control the ball for more than 3-4 seconds and then releasing it forward and positively.
the difference between scholes and gerrard, veira, keane and robson is that scholes can do everything the box-to-box players can do but can control with a man on him - and distribute it positively.
this is not to say that gerrard, keane, viera and robson have no technique. Gerrard has a fantastic passing range and shot, keane and viera had a fantastic command of space and launching a counter.
xabi alonso is a brilliant example of the modern midfielder. he can do everything agains any team in any scenario. wonderful in close control, fantastically combative and suberb freekick and shot. basically a larger version of scholes in his prime.
brooking said it right about five years ago (although has done fuck all about it) - that English players when they get the ball just want to pass it, i.e., shit their pants.
gone are the days when you dribble with the ball to pass players, draw players in and win space elsewhere on the pitch, it's just a slow painful laborious build-up with no consistent end-product, with the hope that a lump upfront can get a goal. watch how we play, we shuffle the ball across the pitch, play it down the wing and hope for a cross. fine once or twice but for a whole campaign? we simply don't know how to play through the middle anymore.
"Woy - let's get behind them lads and get some crosses in". Right.
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