Gary Neville has tweeted that those who believe that England can attempt to copy Germany's model for success are oblivious to 'the obstacles' and that it is as foolish as claiming that England need weather comparable with Spain to succeed. It's just not going to happen.
It is suggested that Neville may be referring to the relationship between The FA and the Premier League as the 'Obstacle' that so many are oblivious to. It has been thought for several years that the cash cow that is the Premier League is not interested in the plight of the national side and that the fact that Premier League clubs are self regulating is what could be causing the problem.
The Football League Board, which features several independent members, governs the 72 clubs that participate in their league structure. However, the Premier League is run by the 20 clubs (shareholders) which participate in it. This, in effect, means that for a restriction on foreign players being introduced, a majority of the 20 Premier League teams would have to vote in favour of restricting their own transfer business.
This is unlikely as this would further drive up the cost of British players and could eventually lower the quality of players involved week in week out, which would, in turn, make the Premier League's brand difficult to sell abroad to those that enjoy the end to end, fast paced football on show.
This isn't the only problem that is facing the national team at present. There is also an unprecedented level of greed amongst the youth players and their agents involved in the modern game.
Ryan Giggs spoke candidly in 2010 of how young players are receiving a level of financial gain that can break players before they have established themselves and how he earned £30-per-week until he was beyond the apprentice age when he got a rise to £200 per week plus expenses. Some young players are earning over £1 million a year before they have kicked a first team football.
Next big thing
Josh McEachran, for example, was touted as the next big thing at Chelsea. He made his debut for Chelsea at 17 during the 2010-11 season and made a big impression in this breakthrough year. This, however, seems to be his greatest achievement despite a reported annual salary in excess of £1.5 million. He has gone out on a couple of loan spells which haven't quite worked out for him for one reason or another.
There needs to be greater hunger from younger players to become real stars of the game and achieve all they can, not just to get that first seven-figure salary. There is a long list of players that have joined big clubs or come through the ranks at big clubs and have simply disappeared into reserve team football or gone out on loans to clubs that they will never have any affection for, rather than force a permanent move to attain regular first team football.
Perhaps it is time for the FA to step in and come up with proposals to ensure young players do not rot in reserve team football so that more players can get the games needed to reach their potential.
Could the FA introduce a subsidy for clubs based on the number of under 23's in the their squad who start 50% of league games? Or, heavily restrict the number of foreign players in the youth leagues that are beyond the EPL's governance?
I'm not paid a six-figure salary to get this right but I'm sure there must be those out there that can help turn the corner for the national team. It won't happen overnight and may take 20 years, but whatever they decide to do, everyone (including the press) must get behind it for the long haul. Not just until we get knocked out of the group at EURO 2016.
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