Football

Grassroots coaching to blame for England's failure in Champions League

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It's a question that remains unanswered in England, much to the frustration of fans - why aren't English teams performing in the Champions League?

With the huge amounts of money being pumped into English football, it's become almost a mystery why the Premier League's top four are unable to perform on the big stage.

Both Manchester clubs and Arsenal all lost in the Champions League last week in games that they should arguably have won, with only Chelsea victorious, running out as 4-0 winners at home to Maccabi Tel Aviv.

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The last English Champions League win came in 2012, when Chelsea saw off a famous victory in Munich, overcoming a dominant Bayern Munich. Not too long ago, fair enough, yet eyebrows have and should be raised over the fact that only twice in ten years has the Champions League been won by English representatives. 

This, simply, shouldn't be the case, especially when the Premier League is hailed as the best league in the world.

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This season saw a record £5.14 billion TV deal for Premier League clubs, making England's top division the richest league in the world. Such money suggests that our clubs should be dominating in Europe.

However, it is the Germans, Spanish and, to an extent, Italians at the top. With ticket prices and subscriptions to watch European games forever increasing, the least football fans expect is a worthwhile performance in return.

'Why are English teams not dominating when they are spending more than anyone else?' is a question all-too-often asked as well. Premier League clubs spent a mind-blowing £850 million on players this summer, more than double any other league.

It comes down to one main reason - grassroots coaching in other European countries is head and shoulders better than in England.

In Spain, Germany, Holland, and Italy, to name a few, players are taught from as young as ten the technical side to football. Young English footballers, on the other hand, are taught the importance of pace and power, with physical attributes thought to be more important than the technical side of the game.

It is evident that through developing players' technical ability allows them to be better players, and win in Europe. The classic example is Barcelona and their youth training setup - La Masia. Countless Champions League winners were developed here including Lionel Messi, Gerard Pique, and Cesc Fabregas to name a few.

English Clubs need to improve coaching at youth level. With the development of St George's Park, and Manchester City's new £200 million training complex, English clubs may improve their European performance in the future - there's no excuse really.

Of course, it then relies on youth players being given a chance - the implementation of financial fair play should allow young players to come through and show their worth.

The money in the Premier League has somewhat halted the development of our young players, whilst the models used by Barcelona and Real Madrid show that home-grown players are often key squad members, capable of winning European trophies.

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Football

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