Thursday, November 15, 2007

Your Mama's So Fat, She Beeps When She Backs Up

You know what else beeps when it backs up? The wahmbulance.

We might have to call in another one at the rate English government ministers and players keep crying over the influx of foreign players into the Premiership. Sports minister Gerry Sutcliffe and Liverpool's Steven Gerrard are calling for a quota on the amount of foreign players allowed for a club.

"We may need to have some sort of independent look at what needs to happen. We have got the best league in the world and it's great that we have got the talent that is there in terms of the Premier League.

"But obviously we need to see how that impacts on and affects the national team."

"I believe," he said, "that if foreigners do take over completely it will make things even worse for the national team." Gerrard backs a quota scheme, despite the difficulties of developing a system that complies with European and national laws.
Interesting. Blame foreign players for England's lack of success and shit management. Are there a lack of good English players? Yes. There's no question about that. However it's a bit specious to blame England's mediocrity on the amount of foreign players playing in England.

Blame must start at the top with the FA which is a symbol of all that is wrong in English football. A misplaced sense of superiority combined with blinding incompetence. One only need look at the process used to choose the England manager along with the eventual choices. It's always a disaster from the start and they always rule out anyone who might have a chance of success for idiotic reasons. It seems similar to the NBA coaching merry-go-round where the same below-.500 donkeys always seem to get jobs.

Mediocrity is Job #1 in English soccer. If the manager is mediocre, there's little hope for success on the pitch. Time and time again, the FA picks managers who have limited success at the club level and I emphasize limited. Current manager Steve McClaren (affectionately known as McClown or McDonkey) was abysmal at Middlesbrough. He was so bad that a fan ran on the pitch, ripped up his season ticket and threw it at him. Clearly he was a man in need of a promotion and more responsibility.

Managers continue to pick players who don't perform simply because of their names. They're unwilling to drop under performing big name players who have no business on the field due to pressure from the FA and fans. Younger players with potential rarely get a chance. Sven Goran Eriksson was accused of using this selection policy as well however his current run with Manchester City shows that maybe it wasn't him that was the problem. It has become clear that he was forced to work with what he had and it wasn't much.

The influx on money from foreign ownership and television contracts has also increased the stakes and need for immediate success which limits the time young players have to develop whether English or foreign.

Perhaps players and management should look within themselves first before being so quick to cast the blame at others. Funny how the excuses are starting to flow even before England's crucial match with Croatia. Guess they want to have an excuse ready when they flame out and miss Euro 2008. They have no one to blame but themselves if they miss out.


Anonymous said...

Well said! As an EPL fan,(a Liverpool fan) I found your argument correct and well documented. When the English fail to qualify for Euro '08 they have no one to blame but someone else! HA! Bravo to you sir.

Mustafa Redonkulous said...

Seriously. English losses in tournaments or tournament qualifiers usually come from horrific blunders and a lack of quality management. They're not great but they have the ability to get it done. When they go down, you can see their heads drop as if they know they're going to lose again. They need a different mentality. Can they blame losses against Brazil, Portugal and Russia on talent? I think not.

Anonymous said...

Caveman football, the EPL is barely the third most exciting league in football, but their slogans are in English, so Americans eat that shit up.

When's the last time England had an actual playmaker? Form a British team, and toss Giggs in there, and you may stand a chance against the Latin teams.

It's just a shame that American youngsters are growing up watching this rubbish as opposed to La Liga or even the Bundeslig, let's face it, other than the top 4, the EPL is dominated by every other league top league in Europe (including the Eredivisie)

Ben said...

I would say that the NBA has faced a similar type of challenge in recent years. With the American team not up to it's 1990's standards, NBA officials could've followed the same mantra - not enough homegrown kids let's put a cap on the number of foreign players. Instead, they went in the opposite direction, expanding to China. It's a long-run strategy that's paying off. Better competition and better games make little kids want to play, pulling their athletic talent into basketball and away from other sports. My guess is that the US team will be better in the coming years, but will probably be unable to match its 1990's success.

The Black Hornet said...

I don't think Steven Gerrard understood the issue correctly. The premiership is essentially it's own league now. I'm guessing that was the intention when they split from the Football League. It's an international league now - that genie has already been let out of the bottle. But it's low hanging fruit for the english papers.

There's no lack of good English players, there's lots of depth there - look at what happened when Micah Richards, Garreth Barry and Joleon Lescott had to fill in. What's not there is the team aspect. They're not on the same page. And i think thats the biggest indictment of the manager. It's a tough job as he only has them for a few sessions, but the good ones manage to pull things together and motivate the players.

You're right - the FA are ultimately at fault and should be the target of the ire because there seems to be no accountability on that end.