FA COMMISSION COMMENT: England have no divine right to win a major tournament
PUBLISHED: 18:32 09 May 2014 | UPDATED: 18:32 09 May 2014
Manchester United had the 'Class of 92', West Ham are 'The Academy of Football, while Everton are known as 'The School of Science'.
The ‘Class of 92’ included the Neville brothers, Gary and Phil, David Beckham, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt, while the Hammers brought through the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard and Joe Cole. As for Everton, they found Wayne Rooney.
The above players have all featured for failing England teams at a major competition. The Manchester United players, not including Butt, were among a squad that failed to progress past the first round at Euro 2000.
The West Ham stars all played their part as England failed to make Euro 2008 and didn’t fare much better two years later in South Africa.
When England failed to reach USA 94, 69% of players in the top-flight qualified for England. Now, as we head for Rio, it’s 32%.
Yet, the England Commission think the only way we will win a major cup again is by, among other things, tearing up the lower leagues, having League Three in between the Conference and League Two.
Why wasn’t this thought of 14 years ago? Because it wasn’t necessary, and it isn’t now in my opinion.
England have failed over the years because the players haven’t been good enough. Simple as that.
Is the England Commission suggesting the Red Devils’ and West Ham academies were not effective?
England has no divine right to win a major competition, just like Spain didn’t for 44 years.
In my opinion, ‘League Three’ would devalue football.
The commission says it would give younger players a greater chance to get competitive football, but isn’t that what the current loan system does?
It’s helped Ross Barkley, Connor Wickham and Tom Cleverley, who, in-turn, helped lower-league clubs.
The top clubs would be able to have a lower-division ‘partner’ to loan players to, meaning the likes of Colchester would suddenly have a smaller pool in which to fish.
Don’t fear though, the academy system allows the lower-league teams to develop their own talent.
Or it did.
The Premier League’s Elite Player Performance Plan rules means category A academy clubs can now buy a player from a lesser-ranked academy for peanuts. All this is being implemented to ensure the best talent play for the best clubs which, in turn, will improve the England team. I don’t buy that.
The Commission should look far more at the hunger-sapping riches thrown at our youngsters from the Premier League clubs, and getting more grass-roots coaches qualified.
If League Three goes ahead, I can see lower-league players and teams drifting out of the Football League as the Premier B teams take over.
But never mind, come 2022, the World Cup will be back in England.