England, what now?
So another major tournament has passed us by without any real success, knocked out in the quarter finals is a familiar way to leave for England and something is going to have to change in the future. If England want a lasting success we need to start all over again and redevelop our way of playing from. For too long we have relied on having a 4-4-2 formation or something very similar and I'm still wondering why no matter how many years we have used it without success we still come to fall back on it. It has to be the easiest formation to play against and attack with only three lines of players to get through before you're in on goal. It's not too hard to defend against either, especially when England don't have a player who can have a free roaming attacking position like all the top teams in the world have. England with Capello did try a 4-2-3-1 formation and even though I never liked Capello I do understand his reasoning as the formation is based around the two holding players, these allow the full backs to attack and when done right you can have 6 players attacking around the box with the holding midfielders available to fill defensive gaps if you lose the ball or support the attack if you cant break through. This was a system I personally would like to see back with England but I'm sure many would disagree.
Another thing that needs to change is the development of our kids, I remember being at a young age and having coaches try to drill tactics that Madrid or United used at the time and no child at that age will ever understand it, never mind be able to implement it into my game. We need to teach what comes naturally to kids when playing football, mostly dribbling. With dribbling you not only be good at taking players on when you have to but it also makes you comfortable on the ball and can develop your first touch, something which England haven't got. Then when the kids get older to about the ages from 10-12 they will start to realise that they need to start passing more, this is the key stage in which you tell them to stop dribbling everytime they get the ball and to pass the ball more, allowing them to understand tactics used by more experience players but leaving them with the abiltiy to take a player on if they have a good opportunity to do so. This is something that the Barcelona academy has been doing for years and is with players like Messi who is a prime example of this coaching it is easy to see how the final product looks.
What we also need is young technically gifted players. Germany, France, Spain, Holland and Portugal seem to be getting young ones through constantly but aside from Jack Wilshire I don't believe we have any at all. You could say "what about Oxlade Chamberlain" and yes I agree he is fast, exciting and young but is he technically gifted? I personally don't think so, he just reminds me of a young Walcott, full of potential but whether he fulfills it no one knows.
Finally we need to keep things simple, pass and move may sound like kids stuff but it works and Spain are a great example of it, they don't do anything extraordinary or superhuman, they keep it simple and because of it they are the current World cup holders, something Englands youngsters should aspire to be in the future. If all of this fails we'll just have to hope we can get our own Messi or Ronaldo to win it for us single handedly but believe it or not, thats not going to happen.