The FA masterminding England's decline

With news that England are to slip to 16th in the FIFA world rankings behind Switzerland and the USA and the disjointed mess we witnessed in the Ukraine, Gerg Dyke has beaten the drum.

Newly appointed boss of English football [FA Chairman] he has to be seen to be doing something, he has to make his mark. His approach is a fact finding mission which is a sensible place to start.

He needs to welcome the likes of Gary Lineker who is willing to sit on his crisis commission into the state of English football.
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Last night's article in the tactical series:
Walker - understanding the maligned full-back role
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If you look at the stats Glenn Hoddle was doing an excellent job as England manager, he should certainly be another to sit on the commission. We don't have to many people who played abroad but their opinion would be valuable. What we don't need are the same people with the same ideas that don't and haven't taken England forwards. There will be some, and I have always had the impression Trevor Brooking was among them, who have ideas worth pursuing.

It would help if we stopped picking the wrong managers like Kevin Keegan, Steve McClaren and Roy Hodgson and stick with the right ones when you find them like Glenn Hoddle.

It should be compulsory for all players to be released for all internationals at whatever level and we should be sending the best team to international tournaments, not sending them to pointless money making matches in Brazil. Premier League managers should not be able to dictate to the England boss who can play and how long they can play, if you don't want international players playing for their country don't buy them.

The touble is there is to much money in the game, players are paid to much and they are more interested in earning money than what should be the ultimate honour, representing your country. National pride has gone missing, to many fans the Champions League has taken over and international football now gets squeezed into slots convenient to clubs. That has to stop.

International football has to be put first again and nations allowed to arrange their own fixture dates when they want to, not when the clubs want them to. If you lose a player that's tough.

There are issues with both FIFA and UEFA. It is unhealthy to have two people in the top jobs who simply stay there. Sepp Blatter will tell you he got re-elected and he did against nobody, he refused to allow anyone to stand! We pointed out bribes were being dished out that it had become a votes for cash organisation. Blatter having overseen all this corruption backed his opponent and the English were condemned for 'causing trouble', his opponent of course was guilty.

Blatter recently made comments about traditional football nations should no longer tell everyone else what to do, by that he meant England. I'd have had a private investigator looking into Blatter by now and exposing him for what he is.

Platini heads UEFA and wants tackle free football basically, an end to transfer fees and clubs 'owning' players. Both these men need to go before they do any more damage.

Quite how we are going to win back the support of the rest of the footballing world I don't know but I certainly applaud us for standing up for what is right, even if the rest are corrupt. Nobody should be allowed to serve on FIFA or UEFA for more than 4/6 years as a national delegate to help prevent corruption but who is going to vote to stop their own gravy train?

The English FA need to embark on the impossible task of bringing back tackling back into the game, refs give out yellow cards for nothing these days, when was the last player booked for simulating an injury? Isn't unprofessional conduct a bookable offence?

The rest of the world take age group football very seriously, we don't, we even appoint failed managers to manage them, where is the sense in that? What have Stuart Pearce and Gareth Southgate done as coaches/managers? They couldn't hack it, it all smacks of an old boys network.

I wonder do the FA talk to a club like Crewe Alexander who produce a conveyor belt of talent, do they take young coaches and managers like Eddie Howe and develop them?

All England age groups need to play the same system so they become totally familiar with it and players can step up a level knowing their role. They can't be an island with one coach playing the way he wants to and another another way, you are just pulling against each other.

Whilst we have a disjointed approach we'll achieve nothing. We need English players playing in the Premier League and more players playing abroad, quite frankly we need more players brought up abroad. The EU is blocking us with restraint of trade laws so although the like of Platini [UEFA] want more national playing in their own leagues there is little he or the FA can do about it.

Something needs to be done about English managers, the lack of them in the Premier League is restricting who we can appoint as a manager. More managers should be prepared to go and work abroad, I doubt many seek work beyond these shores, which it seems limits them to Championship and below.

Relationships like the one we have with Real Madrid should be encouraged and used at coaching level to exchange not only ideas but personnel. Six months coach exchange programmes to give insights and practical experience into foreign methods, foreign mentality.

How our children are taught needs to change. I wrote that article on Eric Dier and showed how he was taught to play in different positions, he had no choice, as a defender he had to learn to be an attacker and play it in competitive youth football. It is not a coincidence that foreign centre-backs are better on the floor and more composed in front of goal whereas ours basically have to rely on headed goals.

Player development was the priority for youngsters in Portugal, not winning as it appears to be over here. We stunt player development for meaningless wins. You win the battle but lose the war.

This is not a subject that can be really done justice here but the hub of the problem is the FA itself. Are the people who consistently appoint the wrong managers sacked or do they continue to be allowed to multiply their mistakes?

The FA seem to appoint faces that will fit rather than talent and that is a recipe for disaster. The organisation as a whole seems to have the wrong focus.

I have been, and stated on my Facebook page [Tottenham Memorabilia], worried about England qualifying for the World Cup in 2014 as soon as Roy Hodgson was appointed in what was simply a money saving exercise, his salary is £2m whereas he predecessor was paid £6m.

I suspect we have a load of people in the FA who are comfortable in their cushy jobs ambling through, doing what they do but not with any passion or burning desire to make a difference, to achieve anything.

The FA seem more concerned with running media campaigns, be it racism or their latest version of political correctness, an attack on Spurs fans.

Talk is cheap so unless Mr Dyke is going to refocus the whole FA approach and weed out the pen pushers not much will change, except for a bright new shiny media campaign to tell us it has.



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