Monday, 25 June 2012

England football fans are hurting

I've been surprised by the quantity of do-do England football fans have dumped on the national team in the wake of its quarter finals defeat on penalties to Italy at Euro 2012 last night; at least as far as phone-in callers are concerned.
Admittedly this isn't a fair cross-section of opinion; usually you only take the trouble to phone a radio station if you have a particular beef. The same fans were predicting we'd struggle to get out of the knock-out stages.
It would have been an injustice if Italy had gone home - and we've avoided the risk of being humiliated by the Germans on Thursday.
The pity is we had a 20 minute or so spell at the beginning of the game when we held the ball and were passing it well. And that was it; for the rest of the time we were hanging on.
So much depended on a flash of magic from Wayne Rooney but it didn't happen. In the end John Terry was my man of England's match.
Now some are starting to question Roy Hodgson's credentials as manager and re-visiting his unhappy stay at Liverpool. But even if Harry Rednapp had been in charge, he wouldn't have been able to pluck skilled ball players out of thin air.
To a degree the success of the Premier League will always frustrate the development of homegrown soccer stars, because the money attracts so many top foreign coaches and soccer stars.
I've grown tired of the number of times over the years I've heard the pundits say we have to go back to grass roots and start proper training in schools each time the national side has a setback.
It's taken 50 years to get round to the notion training kids on full-size pitches only promotes kick and rush games.

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