The Problems With Footballing Philosophies In Children

It seems there is yet again another inquest into why England suck, and I think many have already deduced the answer… It seems children are the future, and Whitney was right all along.

As a kid, I was rubbish at football – literally dire, and reminiscing about it as I’ve got older has made me realise how bad I was. At the time I thought I was the absolute pinnacle of footballing excellence, but how very wrong I was. Obviously football is also partly nature as well as nurturing, the very best players aren’t 100% formed by knocking a ball about for an hour after football practice is finished. There is clearly something in their make-up that helps them, albeit it an ability to read the game at an early age or a physical edge, such as speed or strength.

I think I summed up my entire footballing knowledge as a child with one sentence, “If in doubt, get it out” and I know for a fact, other people my age have heard the exact same line and my older brothers had it at school level, too. My eldest brother once told me a story of his friend whilst playing in a school match, he chested a ball down and had no one within in forty yards of him and had too much time to think about what to do. With all the time in the world at his feet, simply knocked the ball out for a throw-in for the opposition and replied with “I was in doubt” – if that isn’t reason enough for a complete overhaul of the footballing scheme for kids, then I don’t know what is.

English people as a nation are generally impatient, and we would results by the time the next major footballing tournament. But in reality, this takes about 15-20 years to see any notable changes with how England would play and I don’t think the FA have got the right mentality should they wish to succeed this goal and follow suit of Spain and Germany, who themselves overhauled their youth systems in the 90’s. Expect more years of pain and suffering when watching our national team, boys.