Delima Posted April 12, 2007 Share Posted April 12, 2007 The Times Good article. Foreign influence is has been good for English football in general. Open mindedness is the only guarantee to progression. Pitting Top English players against top foreign players English players will lose. Pitting top Enlgish players against top foreign players of any particular country English players won't lose out easily. The likes of Ferdinand, Scholes, Rooney, Neville, Gerrard, Carragher, Lampard, Terry etc are good enough players to play for every club and England national team is shite not because of the existence of Ronaldo, Alonso, Drogba and Henry in our league but because of a wrong manager. For years Spain and Italy, countries whose football league is severely infuriated by foreign players, have consistently produced great players. Italy have done well consistently in world stage because they have always got good managers to be national coach, whereas Spain don't not. There were few foreign players throughout 70s and 80s but England national team was not any better. Let's hope Steve McLaren can learn from his mistakes and improve. Time for National side to take cue from exhilarating success Matt Dickinson You can measure the health of English football in all sorts of ways. One is to look at the three clubs left in the last four of the Champions League and rush to acclaim a golden age. You might throw in the bumper-size £1.7 billion television contract and the queue of foreign billionaire investors and say that the game has never had it better. Or you might cast your mind back all of two weeks to a bitterly cold night in Barcelona when thousands cried “what a load of rubbish” as England stumbled along the road to Euro 2008. It was hard to detect a golden age when Steve McClaren, the England head coach, was being loudly decried as a “w***er” by his countrymen as they struggled to beat Andorra. Memories of that unpleasant evening should remind even the most happy-clappy believer in the Premiership’s preeminence that taking the temperature of the English game depends on where you put the thermometer. And, perhaps, on what you want to see. The English game is rich, exciting and played in smart, safe stadiums. Three of its leading clubs have been snapped up by ambitious new owners since 2003 and Arsenal have attracted their own predatory American. It might produce three titanic duels between Chelsea and Manchester United in the space of one unforgettable fortnight in May to decide the championship, FA Cup and Champions League. The significant roles played by John Terry, Frank Lampard, Jamie Carragher, Steven Gerrard, Michael Carrick and Wayne Rooney have provided comfort, too, for those who remain convinced that there is a talented England team waiting to cast off the mediocrity of the past few years, but it has also drawn attention to the men who are driving them towards European glory in Athens. There is, of course, not an Englishman among the distinguished quartet of Rafael BenÍtez, José Mourinho, Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsène Wenger, and their “foreigner” status is not all that they share. All would concur that their success in Europe has come despite the Premiership rather than because of it. One of their most pressing challenges, and their greatest feats, is to bridge the divide between the hurly-burly of the domestic league and the more sophisticated threat from European opposition. Success in Europe for Wenger, who led Arsenal to last year’s Champions League final, came only after the most cosmopolitan of managers compromised his attacking system and switched to a more pragmatic 4-5-1 formation, while Ferguson has been forced to learn from his many mistakes in the Champions League. Both have been required to look and learn from the examples of BenÍtez and Mourinho, whose willingness to embrace different systems has been masterful. BenÍtez looks at his most comfortable in continental combat, while Mourinho showed again with the victory over Valencia on Tuesday that he remains brilliant at adapting to most situations. Tweaking his team in the interval, he orchestrated a rare victory in the Mestalla. “Huge credit to the manager, there’s no doubt about that,” Lampard said. “You can’t talk highly enough of the moves he makes. The best I’ve played under? For sure. He’s one of the best in the world. I don’t see many better than him out there.” The debt to these managers is huge and they are rightfully showered with praise. But all those laurels tend to detract from arguably the greatest failing of the English game — namely, the failure to produce a manager capable of competing with them. Should any of them stand down — or be dismissed, in Mourinho’s case — there would not be an Englishman on the list of interview candidates. Aside from Terry Venables, a curious exception in so many ways, McClaren’s record makes him the leading English manager and yet he is struggling to defy a legion of critics. Sam Allardyce, at Bolton Wanderers, is the next best of a thin crop. The best managerial feat of the season has been pulled off at Sunderland by Roy Keane, an Irishman. Keane is a product of the English league, but can we be proud of a national game that fails to produce the men capable of sparring with Mourinho, Wenger, Ferguson and BenÍtez? The FA may be willing to recruit foreign managers, but the other leading football powers are entitled to regard it as an admission of weakness. So while this week’s achievements are cause for expectation, celebration might be wide of the mark until England not only starts producing top-level managers but exporting them. While we are collecting sobering thoughts, it is worth remembering that three out of four semi-finalists is not without precedent. Spain was there before England in 2000, producing an all-La Liga final between Real Madrid and Valencia. And Italy followed in 2003. Hopefully they did not acclaim a golden age when AC Milan met Juventus in the Champions League final. Now torn apart by match-fixing and terrace violence, Serie A is the sick man of European football. Title deciders Manchester United and Chelsea could play each other three times in the final weeks of this pulsating season, with a trophy at stake on each occasion. Here are the three mouthwatering encounters that could be coming up next month . . . Premiership title decider (May 9, at Stamford Bridge)In their penultimate league match of the season, Chelsea will be hoping that they are well placed to overhaul United and snatch their third Premiership title in a row because they trail their rivals by three points at present. But, having led the table for much of the season, Sir Alex Ferguson’s men will be bidding to end their championship drought and win their first crown since 2003. FA Cup Final (May 19, Wembley Stadium) Wembley could be set for a dream curtain-raiser if Chelsea can defeat Blackburn Rovers and United dispatch Watford in the FA Cup semi-finals this weekend. José Mourinho is chasing the only significant domestic honour to have eluded him at Chelsea, while United are gunning for a twelfth Cup win. Champions League final (May 23, Olympic Stadium, Athens) If Chelsea can win the Premiership title and the FA Cup, to add to their Carling Cup success, victory in Greece would earn them an unprecedented quadruple. However, should United secure the Double, they could have the chance to repeat their treble heroics of 1999. Bayern Munich or AC Milan will be looking to halt United’s charge to the final, though, and Chelsea will probably have to overcome Liverpool in their semi-final. Link to post Share on other sites More sharing options...
Create an account or sign in to comment
You need to be a member in order to leave a comment
Create an account
Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!Register a new account
Already have an account? Sign in here.Sign In Now