Football

England remain decades behind the rest of Europe in player development

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Ever wanted to know why most Premier League talent is being brought in from the continent? The reason why England are so behind the top countries? Here are a couple of good theories;

Lack of versatility in players

To keep a long story short, European countries have a completely different mentality to coaching their youngsters. This theory can be proven by the number of players abroad who have played in different positions to learn a number of key skills, for example, Vincent Kompany and Javier Mascherano.

Both players have been two of the best centre backs in Europe over the past few years, why? Because they are complete players as well as great defenders.

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This is the result of their respective academies both opting to play them in centre-midfield. This way they learn composure on the ball, awareness and the art of dribbling. As well as solid defensive work.

Compare this to all of England's centre halves, whilst great defenders in their own right, they offer very little other than solidarity. You can blame this comparison on the coaching mentality in Britain.

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You often hear phrases such as; "get rid of it" or "away". For me, this highlights the lack of risk in the English game. Which might be fair enough, but to be complete defenders like Kompany and Mascherano, you need to have that composure on the ball as well as solid defensive play.

Youth setups

It's no secret the Premier League has been drafting lots of its major talent abroad recently. The reason for this is the lack of English stars coming through their respective club's academies.

But just why is that? Because youth coaching abroad and here is entirely different.

The teachings abroad are a lot more individually focused on certain players strengths. Whereas in England, the academy coaches focus more on their youth teams as a whole. Therefore, whilst the teams may play well, you'll get very few world class stars coming through like in Europe.

An example of this would be Bayern Munich's drubbings by Manchester City's elite development squad (EDS) in the UEFA Youth League recently, with City's youngsters romping to a 7-0 win against the Germans at the Academy stadium.

Whilst this may seem a bad reflection of Bayern's youth on paper, the reality is that individual players of that academy are much more likely to become stars because of the one to one coaching style. Compare that to Britain's philosophy, all the youth coaches really care about is the results of the team and how it reflects them as a coach.

For example, remember when Patrick Vieira was one of the favourites to succeed Manuel Pellegrini at Manchester City amid rumours of a sacking last season?

Why do you think he was one of the favourites? Because of the positive results he achieved with his City EDS.

Whilst some exemplary products have come through the Blues' academy recently - the individual coaching style on the continent has been working for years. You only have to look at the likes of Barcelona, Ajax and Anderlecht to see that.

Summary

So, in conclusion, for England to start producing more stars for the future - we need to adapt the same coaching philosophy as our European neighbours.

Not only that, but encouraging our youngsters to experiment with their playing style is also likely to effect the talent coming through the system.

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Premier League

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