So far in this European campaign, England have been on a perfect run, with 27 points from 9 games, following a 2-0 win over Estonia. They are top of Group E with just Lithuania left to play.
However, England manager, Roy Hodgson, knows that his team must not get carried away and that he will get far more of an idea of how far his side can progress after the upcoming friendlies against Spain, France and the current World Champions, Germany.
Despite this good run of form recently by the Three Lions, the Evening Standard reports that Javier Tebas, the Spanish Football League President has hit out against the FA and English football, claiming that the national team will always struggle at major tournaments.
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He believes that England’s lack of success, which includes failing to progress through the group stages at the World Cup in Brazil last year is down to young players not getting enough competitive experience from playing Under-21 football in development leagues.
This is a view that had been shared by the chairman of the FA. The BBC reports that Greg Dyke had his plans of creating Premier League B teams 'dismissed' by the Football League. Dyke warns that failure to adopt his plans to improve English football could lead to a bleak future for homegrown talent.
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There is good evidence to suggest that these B teams can benefit the national team, as well as club success at a European level. Spanish clubs have won the Champions League four times from the last six, including an all-Spanish final in 2014.
They have also won three Europa League tournaments in this time, most recently with Sevilla, who have won the tournament in back-to-back years.
Current holders of the Champions League, Barcelona, are one of the clubs in Spain to have a B team that competes in the Segunda division B. Real Madrid Castilla also compete in this division.
Effectively equating to, for example, a Chelsea B team playing in League One. Something Chelsea would easily be able to fulfil, seeing as they currently up to 32 players out on loan at various clubs.
Some may also argue that it would lead to the big clubs hoarding the talent, able to blow smaller teams out of the water with their financial budgets.
There would also be an argument for which teams are able to enter a second or ‘B’ team, with it suggested that Premier League teams would supply 10 B teams which would combine with 10 teams from the conference to create a new fifth tier of English football.
In Spain, such a policy has been argued to of led to a two horse race until Atletico Madrid managed to win the title on their way to also making the Champions League final in 2014.
However, on the other hand, it could also inject money into the lower leagues, with larger crowds expected to see Manchester City B take on Bury or Arsenal B against Barnet. This may lead to more televised games throughout the football leagues, which may also then filter down towards the grass roots of the game.
One argument I would make is that there should be a high percentage of English/ British players within these teams to give the national side the greatest advantages in future competitions. Dyke has insisted that 20 of the 25 players in the squad should qualify for the home-grown rule, no non-EU players allowed and that 19 of the 25 players in the squad should be under the age of 21.
Do you think B teams is the way forward for English football? Have your say in the comments section below!
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