I do envy the older generations. The football days my dad grew up watching, the days where professionals would play football for the love of it, taking every tackle as it came and playing the game, rather than spending the majority of a game rolling around on the floor winging and whining like a toddler because the referee did not give them a free kick.
It seems that I spend my time watching this kind of football every week at the highest level. Watching professional’s play who are more concerned about their hair styles and their bank balance, counting up the pennies as the go.
In the 90s ‘big-money’ transfers were sums of £3 million for the likes of Paul Kitson to Newcastle United, where I think it would be fair to say he would have played for the club and the fans, these types of players that enjoyed a good scrap and hard tackle, compared to those who would go down from just a flick of the heel.
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Even the footballs, covered in different colours and patterns, lack the simplicity of a good old-fashioned plain, white, solid ball that doesn’t give the goalkeepers the chance to make excuses of the ball moving too much.
It is not just the money involved and the flashy boots, hair styles and moaning that makes modern football a sad game to watch, more due to the lack of English talent that comes through England’s top clubs, or should I say players who actually ‘make it’ at the highest levels.
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10 years ago the England squad consisted of players like David Beckham, Steven Gerard, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole John Terry and Wayne Rooney, the last of that era; nowadays it consists of Jordan Henderson, Harry Kane, Nathanial Clyne and Jack Wilshere. Granted, these players are obviously of a high quality, however, they do not strike fear into the hearts of the opposition in the way that Beckham and Co did.
Lampard, who made 106 appearances for the National team finally made his move to New York City FC after a loan spell with Manchester City last season, has spoken out regarding the lack of young English talent coming through.
"The way the Premier League is it's so competitive, it's not easy for young boys to break through,” said the former England International, "Those late teens early 20's, you can lose a young player," he told the BBC.
It would appear that the increased amounts of money being thrown at certain English clubs these days from wealthy businessmen and sponsors, Chelsea and Manchester City to name two, may be one part of this issue. It is the nature of the modern world for money to run everything, and more often that not it gets results on the football pitch.
The Chelsea legend went on to speak of the importance of the earlier stages of a player’s career: "There are questions that need to be answered that may help young boys get the quality they need at a younger age because that is a huge part of your development.
"I think you can lose potentially top players."
Players like Lampard, Gerrard and Beckham will be, and are now, sorely missed for their roar passion and love of the game. It would appear that the system does need to be looked at, which has begun where English clubs have been told by the FA that over a four year period from 2016 at least 12 players included in the 25-man squad must be home grown, and two to be ‘club trained’, meaning they must have been registered at the club three years prior to their 18th birthday.
This move from the FA shows that they’ve recognised the issues with the National squad, however, means that it could be a while till we see an England side with a natural motivation to hurt other Nations and play for their club and country, without putting their sponsorships before their clubs.
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