Sir Trevor Brooking has claimed England's international fortunes will not improve until more emphasis is placed on youth coaching.
Yet again, the Three Lions are licking their wounds after getting mauled at a major tournament. The inevitable inquests have already been launched as to how England's so-called 'Golden Generation' have slumped quite so badly, and what chance there is of an improvement for Euro 2012.
"Clubs are understanding the importance of developing young players," said Brooking. "We need to invest in specialised younger-age group coaching. The old days when I played informally around the corner with my mates, developing my skills base, are not going happen anymore."
He added: "An 11-year-old youngster in this country isn't good enough technically so we have to play more short-sided games and do more ball work."
Those technical deficiencies were obvious in Bloemfontein as England subsided to their worst ever defeat by Germany.
German coach Joachim Low admitted he had highlighted obvious defensive frailties for his team to exploit and in the second-half, as England desperately chased the game, Germany were able to pick their opponents off with ease on the counter-attack.
"The way the game is going is pretty clear," said Brooking. "Teams are keeping the ball on the floor more. In the back four, you want all players to be technically comfortable. It all starts at the back and we want to encourage the grass roots this is the way to play."
Brooking estimates it will be five years before the Under-17 side that won this summer's European Championships will be challenging for full England honours, which means some dark days might be approaching.
"World Cup 2014 will be difficult for England," he said
"I don't think there are the obvious quality players coming through who can replicate what we have currently unless we can fast-track one or two of the younger ones, which is asking a lot."
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