You can’t win anything with English kids…part 77

England's U19s: Likely to be warming a bench in League One very soon...

Fabio Capello’s no-show at the Under-19 European Championship
has got everyone steamed up. He’s betraying our young talent, he’s not bothered about England or fixing what went wrong in South Africa. But really, why should Capello waste his time making a day trip to France?

From the way the media have been banging on, you’d have thought the England U19s were stuffed with homegrown versions of Diego Forlan, Lionel Messi and Maicon. That all we had to do to reclaim international glory was get these kids into the senior team. We need to come out of this orbit of delusion and return to planet reality.

Let’s ignore for the moment that England only reached the U19 semi-finals through being physically stronger than their technically superior opponents. Let’s brush over the fact that the defeat to Spain showed you can’t bully your way to victory. Let’s look at who is actually in this England side. I’ve picked a few at random, because I’ve never heard of any of these players.

We’ve got Reece Brown. Apparently brother of Manchester United’s human tangerine. He’s never played a senior game. We’ve got Ryan Noble from Sunderland. He’s made a grand total of one appearance for the Black Cats. And that was as a substitute. It’s the same story for the rest of the squad.

Now if they’re not even good enough for the sodding Sunderland first team then they shouldn’t be anywhere near the full England team. We don’t even know if these kids are going to cut it in domestic football, let alone international. People talk about how Germany’s World Cup team was packed with players fast tracked from their successful U19 and U21 teams. But if you look at Mezut Ozil’s CV you’ll find he’s already played over 100 first team games.

I have vague memories of a past England manager getting lambasted for taking Theo Walcott to the World Cup because he’d never played in the Premier League. Well at least he’d had a few games for Southampton. So until these kids have got the experience of a first team season, what’s the point in Capello looking at them?

Obviously after England’s disastrous World Cup it’s now open season for the press on Capello. Tactics, formations, his selections, the index, there’s plenty to get stuck into. But to try and make a point about his ability to be England coach over skipping this pointless tournament? Do me a favour.


2 Comments on “You can’t win anything with English kids…part 77

  1. I agree, England won 1 game in 4 and only 8 teams actually took part in the tournament.

    The clamour for young players in the England team may be another false dawn, too much experience doesn’t get you far, but neither does a team full of inexperienced young players.

    The gap between England and Spain, Italy, France and Germany may feel wide now – from a purely technical point of view – but I think it will be getting a lot wider.

    Top class scouts at Premier League clubs have been scouting “Pace and Power” for too long, forgetting technique because “we can teach them that later”. Doesn’t seem to be working…

    • Good article. Remember reading about Gabriel Agbonlahor, and how most of Villa’s youth team coaches wanted to release him. However, one dissenting voice argued that his poor technique could be worked on later, and his raw pace was such an asset that he was worth a gamble. I suppose he is a decent Premier level player so you could say he was worth a punt, but tells you a lot about the mindset of English coaches. Most teams would sign Usain Bolt up given half the chance. International football is not played at 90mph, when will we learn?

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