(This appears in the Tuesday, February 26, 2008 edition of the Business Mirror)
the title was inspired by Oasis' great second album
Another year. Another failure on the international stage. Their Golden Generation will be watching Euro 2008 from the telly unless they can’t stomach the sight of their international teammates and foes moving to the second most prestigious football tournament on the planet.
The English gifted the world with football but it took a Brazilian to not only lay claim to the title as its greatest player ever but to also give the sport its poetic nickname… the beautiful game.
But when you talk about
This makes for bad comedy, lads. The Bard may sugarcoat it, but I will not mince my words. English pride has been supplanted by money.
The best player on EPL-leading Arsenal, which has a distinctly French flavor owing to its manager Arsene Wegner, is none other than Spaniard Francesc Fabregas. If you think that Manchester United is winning because of Wayne Rooney then you’ve got another thing coming – it’s actually Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo and Argentine Carlos Tevez.
The Hillsborough incident and being banned for five years from European competition cleaned up football in
Being a Liverpool fan, I’ve always been a fan of Robbie Fowler, Michael Owen, and Steven Gerrard, but some of the team’s most prolific scorers have been Welshman Ian Rush and Scotsmen Kenny Dalglish and Graeme Souness. And now Torres is scoring like crazy.
What’s wrong with British football? Does the team need stewardship by proven international winners like Capello or is a team composed of millionaires the football equivalent of American Dream Team wannabes who have been taking a beating by teams from Europe and the
1) To say that they’re composed of nothing but millionaires is a fallacy. The Italians, Germans, French, Dutch, even the African teams are comprised of the equally rich and famous. Save for the African, Middle Eastern, and Asian teams, the best teams in the world are all coached by their own countrymen.
How does an Italian effectively communicate “for Queen and for country” when he learned to speak the language from watching the BBC and English Premiere League games! Fabio Capello may be a winner but he is better off coaching a club team or
And then again, they must choose a manager who is smart enough to field the right team. If Steve McClaren understood his team, he played Shaun Wright-Phillips on a muddy Wembley Stadium when the midfielder relies on pace to be effective. And equally stupefying is his move of benching Paul Robinson (of Tottenham) in favor of a relatively inexperienced Scott Carson (of Aston Villa) whose blunder led to
2) There should be a limit to the number of foreigners plying their trade in the English Premiere League. Take for example
This doesn’t guarantee success since you have to go win it on the pitch but you will develop more experienced and better footballers.
Whenever a player goes off to play for flag and country, the clubs usually frown on that because it could mean an injury to their “properties” and less chances to advance which leads to less people in the seats and revenue. It’s a money thing. Case in point, Ashley Cole and John Terry played a full match (in spite of reports of their being less than 100%) for
Maybe if the money is the language these players understand then maybe the FA should start paying them to play for
3) The top clubs’ grassroots development has begun to see the inclusion of young boys from other countries. These are the kids they hope to grow up through the system are expected to one day more up to the top flight division. Wow, not only are they disenfranchising the English in the top levels but they’re also nipping them in the bud before they even have a chance to grow.
4) Prior to the England-Croatia match in the Euro 2008 Qualifiers, the English media and some its players (Michael Owen in particular) made light of the team from the Balkans by saying that none of their players were good enough to start for
It’s been 44 years since the late Bobby Moore and Geoff Hurst’s
Oh yeah, they don’t drink coffee in the Sceptered Isle, right? No wonder.