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Until we sort out the fundamentals of the national game, we'll always be stuck behind the major footballing powers. I'm talking about issues such as youth football, coaching qualifications, the pathway for coaches and managers to get experience in club football, the FA's National Football Centre and so on and so forth. Then there is the issue of the Premier League (or as Brian Glanville has it, 'the greed is good league'). Do clubs need a proper incentive to bring through young home grown players? Would a proper cap on foreign players help the prospects of the national team? The Premier League has its own agenda and it seems very little that it does helps the national game.

Good point about the media to be fair, it can be pretty mental elsewhere too, such as in Italy or Brazil (from what I hear). There is just so much sensationalism in the UK media though, it's "always" a huge high or a huge low. Some proper analysis and half-decent objectivity wouldn't go astray. The media seemingly just waiting for a big name player to fail and then stick the dagger in his wound and whirl it around has got to affect them in some way.

But your last paragraph is what I think is most important, and I tried to focus on that in the big-ish post above. This is the area where English footballers fall hopefully far behind the good sides on the continent and across the pond. Being good with the ball at your feet and thinking quickly is almost alfa and omega in today's fast-paced football. It takes a ridiculous amount of hours of practice to get to the required level, plus a sizeable talent. Players like Wilshere, Rooney and Cleverley are pretty good with the ball at their feet, but these are the exceptions rather than the rule. This is what the clubs and England youth teams need to focus a lot more on if they want to become better.

The key really lies in becoming much better with the ball individually, and putting such players into a well-thought out and modern tactical system, with flair players that can break the gridlock. England have good enough players for the route one football (little harsh, but it's all relative) to work well in qualifying, but when they're up against the top teams in tournaments they either can't retain the ball or they can't effectively break them down. The last World Cup provided ample evidence of both scenarios.

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Taylor was a lot better manager than a lot of people credited him for. If you listen to his analysis during Five Live commentaries you can tell he has deep knowledge of the game.

Redknapp or Mourinho would be my choice given that Brian Clough can't do it.

Death isn't the handicap it used to be in the olden days.

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Taylor was a lot better manager than a lot of people credited him for. If you listen to his analysis during Five Live commentaries you can tell he has deep knowledge of the game.

Redknapp or Mourinho would be my choice given that Brian Clough can't do it.

Death isn't the handicap it used to be in the olden days.

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... how many English players play abroad? Almost none. How many of them have been in the England set up? None. The only exception was David Beckham. So that leaves us with the Premier League to get the English players, but wait, the clubs have been going round Europe and buying the best Spanish/Italian/Brazilian etc players. Around half of the players that will play in todays Premier League games will be English. Around 90% of the players that play in this weekends La Liga games will be Spanish. This is probably the main reason we aren't getting the quality through. The FA introduced the Home Grown players rule, it has done nothing because when they introduced it, everyone was abiding to it anyway so no one had to change anything. They should increase the amount of home grown players in the starting 11 and subs by 1 every year till a certain number, that way there would be more emphasis on getting good English players into the squad. Again, I'm not saying we should be one of the best teams in the World but we can be, if only the FA took note of what to do (as you stated).

There's three things at play here: a lack of English players playing abroad; a relative lack of English players in the Premier League; and a lack of quality coming through the youth teams.

I'm not sure the second one is really that relevant to the England side because the kind of player who will be good enough to play for England will always get noticed - the cream definitely rises to the top.

The first one is more relevant to the personal and technical/tactical development of the players once they're established professionals. I think the issue is that players get into a comfort zone in the Premier League and don't see a reason for them to leave. Hopefully we'll see the new generation of more technically able players like Sturridge, Wilshere and Johnson head abroad at some point, but I won't hold my breath. It's a shame because it really improved Beckham's game, and Joe Cole has been reborn at Lille.

The third is the absolute crux of it I think. The French are starting to see the same sort of problem with their youth system. They prioritised strength and power for too long in young players so they're slightly lacking the more technical players. I read a great article about it in The Blizzard (Issue Two I think), basically you have a kid who looks amazing at U19 because he can physically bully the other players, but as soon as he steps up to U21 or senior then suddenly the other players are just as strong and they realise they never had to develop their touch and skill. Players like Marvin Martin, Kevin Gameiro, and Antoine Griezmann were rejected for being too small, now they're some of the best technical French players. Griezmann had to go to Spain to get a chance in football.

We have to really look at our youth coaching and make sure players are getting the right advice from the youngest age, developing the skills they will need, and not discriminating based on size. As crouchy says, a big problem is the number of qualified coaches. I can't remember the exact figures but the difference between England and Spain is staggering. But the issue with this is we probably won't see the fruit of any positive change now for a generation.

That's true but it also shows what I've just said to Pangaea about the FA, I think we all seem to agree that the FA could do a better job and I agree with what you say about them saying: Get us to the tournament. But we are more than a qualifying team, we can go far and like Holland could have a great year (with a bit of luck) and reach the final of the Euros/World Cup. Do you not think the players couldn't grasp Plan A because he could never speak proper English? It must be a downfall, having to have a translator giving the orders to the team and he never really learned the English language, which he should because he had plenty of spare time.

He spoke English plenty well enough, I'm sure he spoke it far better than he let on in press conferences. His disdain for the media is well documented. If anything he probably speaks it better than some of the players! I think the issue is frame of reference. In England they're used to the 'Arry school of "f-ing run about a bit Pav" rather than the more studied approach that Capello and others have on the continent.

I don't think winning things is the best way to see who is a good manager or not. If Harry Redknapp gets the Manchester United job and is given the same time and money Fergie has got then I'm sure he could build a great squad and go and win things, in my eyes Redknapp is one of the best club managers around but a lot of his success has come from his brilliant dealings in the transfer market which unfortunately you don't have in the international set up. I'm honestly not sure who would be the best England manager but I don't think it would be Redknapp because of he is a club manager, nothing more. That being said, I'll hold all judgement till the end of the World Cup in Brazil on the next England manager.

Redknapp just isn't competent enough with tactics to be a top class manager. The players may like his uncluttered approach but that will only get you so far. Given the same start Ferguson had at Man Utd I doubt Redknapp would have won a thing.

If you are on about how would I try and beat Spain then I'd have players like Cahill at CB, Johnson and Cole at the full backs, Parker in CM with Wilshere (when fit obviously) with Oxlade Chamberlin and Young on the wing with Sturridge and Welbeck upfront. (If Wenger had used Walcott as a ST rather than a winger then I reckon he'd have got more hat-tricks than just the one against Croatia as I firmly believe Walcott could be a world class striker but just not a good winger, he has 13% cross completion and one of the reasons for that in my eyes is he's to fast for everyone else, he gets to the crossing position but no one is there to get on the end and he has shown he can score great goals, but it's a lot harder from RM/RW than ST although that's another debate).

See what happened at White Hart Lane yesterday for what happens when a decent side turns up at an excellent side with two strikers and two attacking wingers. I really cannot see that approach working in the slightest.

To be fair, you are only describing a certain section of the media here. You are describing typical headlines from trashy tabloid newspapers such as The Sun!

We do have quality sports writing in this country, you know! I think you're being a little unfair about the media here. We have some of the best football writers in the world (and also some of the worst too no doubt!) and they definitely shouldn't be tarnished with the same brush as the sensationalised tabloid rags!

And even though I agree that most of our BBC and ITV pundits are terrible, even they - as ignorant as they can be - are willing to admit to the quality of football in other countries. The way they fawn over Spain is pretty pathetic to be honest!

It's the section of the media that the general populace listen to though, that's the problem. There are some absolutely outstanding sports journalists in this country but jingoistic idiots like Steven Howard at the Sun are the ones with influence. It's such a shame.

And the key question is: why don't we have top class coaches of our own? That's one major problem that needs to be addressed. There was some statistic that came out after the World Cup in 2010 and it suggested that we have a mere fraction of the number of qualified coaches when compared to some of the other major footballing countries. This needs to change. We need to bring through more coaches and managers for the future and they need to be educated, qualified and given their chance to manage in English club football.

Totally right.

Yes, we have attitudes that need to be changed across football and not just in the media, but let's get down to the main issues here.

Until we sort out the fundamentals of the national game, we'll always be stuck behind the major footballing powers. I'm talking about issues such as youth football, coaching qualifications, the pathway for coaches and managers to get experience in club football, the FA's National Football Centre and so on and so forth. Then there is the issue of the Premier League (or as Brian Glanville has it, 'the greed is good league'). Do clubs need a proper incentive to bring through young home grown players? Would a proper cap on foreign players help the prospects of the national team? The Premier League has its own agenda and it seems very little that it does helps the national game.

Bang on again.

Taylor was a lot better manager than a lot of people credited him for. If you listen to his analysis during Five Live commentaries you can tell he has deep knowledge of the game.

That was the point I was trying to make :thup:

The key really lies in becoming much better with the ball individually, and putting such players into a well-thought out and modern tactical system, with flair players that can break the gridlock. England have good enough players for the route one football (little harsh, but it's all relative) to work well in qualifying, but when they're up against the top teams in tournaments they either can't retain the ball or they can't effectively break them down. The last World Cup provided ample evidence of both scenarios.

And that's the crux of the problem with the current set of players.

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There's three things at play here: a lack of English players playing abroad; a relative lack of English players in the Premier League; and a lack of quality coming through the youth teams.

I'm not sure the second one is really that relevant to the England side because the kind of player who will be good enough to play for England will always get noticed - the cream definitely rises to the top.

The first one is more relevant to the personal and technical/tactical development of the players once they're established professionals. I think the issue is that players get into a comfort zone in the Premier League and don't see a reason for them to leave. Hopefully we'll see the new generation of more technically able players like Sturridge, Wilshere and Johnson head abroad at some point, but I won't hold my breath. It's a shame because it really improved Beckham's game, and Joe Cole has been reborn at Lille.

The third is the absolute crux of it I think. The French are starting to see the same sort of problem with their youth system. They prioritised strength and power for too long in young players so they're slightly lacking the more technical players. I read a great article about it in The Blizzard (Issue Two I think), basically you have a kid who looks amazing at U19 because he can physically bully the other players, but as soon as he steps up to U21 or senior then suddenly the other players are just as strong and they realise they never had to develop their touch and skill. Players like Marvin Martin, Kevin Gameiro, and Antoine Griezmann were rejected for being too small, now they're some of the best technical French players. Griezmann had to go to Spain to get a chance in football.

We have to really look at our youth coaching and make sure players are getting the right advice from the youngest age, developing the skills they will need, and not discriminating based on size. As crouchy says, a big problem is the number of qualified coaches. I can't remember the exact figures but the difference between England and Spain is staggering. But the issue with this is we probably won't see the fruit of any positive change now for a generation.

I agree with everything you say there.

He spoke English plenty well enough, I'm sure he spoke it far better than he let on in press conferences. His disdain for the media is well documented. If anything he probably speaks it better than some of the players! I think the issue is frame of reference. In England they're used to the 'Arry school of "f-ing run about a bit Pav" rather than the more studied approach that Capello and others have on the continent.

I'm not saying he didn't speak it well enough but at the start of his tenure he had to use a translator and then his English never got 'brilliant' or 'really good'. Take Mancini for example, granted he's working in England day in, day out and it's slightly different but he has picked up the English language well and can banter with English journalists which for me shows how well he grasped the language. Capello probably isn't a bantering guy anyway but you could see he sometimes struggled to think of the words he was saying. In the dressing room if he's trying to moativate them and he has to stop half way through 'err, erm, what is the word I am looking for?' then it probably doesn't have the effect that he wanted to give out, same as tactics.

Redknapp just isn't competent enough with tactics to be a top class manager. The players may like his uncluttered approach but that will only get you so far. Given the same start Ferguson had at Man Utd I doubt Redknapp would have won a thing.

I think he is, this point seems to be a debate we'll never agree on because I think he is brilliant club manager and could manage Tottenham to the Premier League trophy or any other team that lets him spend a bit of money.

See what happened at White Hart Lane yesterday for what happens when a decent side turns up at an excellent side with two strikers and two attacking wingers. I really cannot see that approach working in the slightest.

That is true, however if we went with the attacking approach then maybe, just maybe we might have won another group game and came top, meaning we'd have faced Ghana (granted they were brilliant in the World Cup) but it would have been an attackive Ghana side against an attackive English side and I reckon we'd have had the quality to beat them. Same as if we'd been more attackive against the Germans, they ended up whitewashing us with the pace and power they had. If we'd have gone for it at 0-0 and 2-0 then the game would have been different and the scoreline would have been a lot closer in my eyes.

Also, I wouldn't play Sturrdige, Oxlade Chamberlin, Welbeck etc and expect them to defend with the odd counter attack. They are quick, fast, pacey players and should be alowed to have freedom to run with the ball all game and try and get as many goals as they want. The midfield/defence should be good enough to hold out the opposition.

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Just going to repeat what SnakeXe said early about this being a great discussion/debate.

I'm currently having one in the football forum and it seems that the mentality taken is this is my opinion and you're wrong, which is a little bit frustrating when there isn't really a right or wrong answer. It's nice to have a debate where people seem to listen and take on board your points of view even if they strongly disagree with them.

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The football forum is pretty terrible for that. There are some users on there who really do believe that their opinion is fact as you say HC. It puts me off posting on there, I must say.

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I'm in perfect agreement that 'Arry is a slightly better version of Kevin Keegan.

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While he's hardly a terrible choice, not convinced that he will be the one to finally make the difference.

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I doubt many people will agree with me or at least they don't agree where I work, which is filled with muppets that have no knowledge of football outside of the EPL. I think we need a manager and a system that has the guts to drop all the players that have let us down for so long, the only older player I would keep around would be Ashley Cole he usually plays pretty well and is in my opinion one of if not the best left back in the world on his day. I think Rio, Barry, Gerrard, Terry and Lampard all need dropping they have had too many chances for my liking. My ideal England team at the moment would be.

GK - Joe Hart

LB - Ashley Cole

RB - Micah Richards

CB - Phil Jones

CB - Chris Smalling or Gary Cahill

CM - Scott Parker

CM - Tom Cleverly

CM - Jack Wilshere

With a front three made up of three from Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge, Adam Johnson, Danny Welbeck, Theo Walcott or even Aaron Lennon.

Another point that people might not agree with is in my eyes the FA should give a role to Dario Gradi the guy might be close to 70 years old but he has constantly got youth players coming through at Crewe. These players might not make it to the top leagues but he gives them chances no matter what there physical size and encourages them to play football. I am not sure what he could actually do but surely the FA could use his extensive experience on getting a decent coaching system up and running that encourages a more technical approach for players at a young age.

The football forum like many other football forums has too many people who view their own opinion as fact in here I think the atmosphere is directed more towards a good conversation and debate. Also I could never see it getting petty and argumentative in here like it does in there at times.

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Can't argue too much with the lineup, both different from the usual flops in a lot of places (though I've been a fan of Baines for years), and still looks good. Gradi was a bit of a surprise, and has actually made me think about how much a manager's status should matter, as my first thoughts were 'surely not' for that very same reason, and appointing someone without top-flight experience would be something that would not-unreasonably be questioned, despite the logic when examining what Gradi has done.

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I don't think Gradi should be the proper manager I just think he should be given a role within the FA.

I believe no matter who is appointed the national team will suffer the same fate as it usually does, qualify pretty easily for the tournament, stumble through the group then get knocked out again one of the top nations.

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You speak a lot of sense AcidBurn.

My ideal line up would be:

GK - Joe Hart

RB - Glen Johnson (Richards is also a very good shout)

LB - Ashley Cole

CB - Chris Smalling

CB - Phil Jones (Cahill is also a good shout but Smalling and Jones play at Man Utd together and would have a better understanding)

RM - Alex Olade Chamberlin

CM - Scott Parker (Captain)

CM - Jack Wilshere

LM - Ashley Young

ST - Daniel Sturridge

ST - Danny Welbeck

Let the wingers get upfront when on the ball and try and help out the attack as much as possible.

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I like your line up as well my only problem with it is Ashley Young for some reason I really do not like him. I think Chamberlain will be a great player eventually and despite a lack of experience I see no reason why he should not at least go to the Euro's. Once Rio and Vidic retire, leave or start to drop out of the Man United team I would pick Smalling and Jones starting for England especially if they are starting together for Man United. Personally I would prefer Micah Richards or Kyle Walker ahead of Glen Johnson especially against teams with strong left sided attackers.

I think England really are short on the left besides Ashley Cole I consider us weak at fullback and on the left wing.

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Richards and Walker are both brilliant full backs but recently Johnson has shown he has that finishing touch and skill to get into the box past players that Richards and Walker don't have. I suppose that comes down to who you play, against smaller teams Johnson could actually get a few goals but against bigger teams Richards is probably the better as you'd want your full backs to stay put.

You're right about left back, apart from Cole, Baines and possibly Walker (Naughton at a long shot) then we don't really have many if any good enough and Walker/Naughton would be on the wrong side of play.

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Oi! Don't forget Kieran Gibbs at left-back too!

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GK - Joe Hart

LB - Ashley Cole

RB - Micah Richards

CB - Phil Jones

CB - Chris Smalling or Gary Cahill

CM - Scott Parker

CM - Tom Cleverly

CM - Jack Wilshere

With a front three made up of three from Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge, Adam Johnson, Danny Welbeck, Theo Walcott or even Aaron Lennon.

That lineup looks good to me too. It really is time to drop the old geezers (bar Parker and Cole). The future lies with Smalling and Jones at the back and Cleverley and Wilshere in the middle anyway, so why not start giving them international experience now? Wilshere is probably already a starter when fit, but the three others ought to be as well.

Then one can discuss what tactical system should be employed. The "numbers game" is one thing (4-3-3 v 4-2-3-1 etc), but the main thing is how the players perform in the system; that the players and the system complement each other and favour the strengths the current English players have. Maybe Redknapp will be able to do that, but I'm not sure how he will cope when up against the more tricky tactics and players of the top teams in the world (and Europe for that matter). Then again, Tottenham isn't exactly doing crap at the moment, and he's up against some top-notch managers there too.

Will be unfortunate to see him leave Spurs though. They've really blossomed under his leadership, and if he leaves and they don't get in another good manager I can see players like Modric leaving in the summer. Maybe he will anyway given what happened last summer. Interesting times ahead no matter what though, and hopefully England can do a little better. Though I must still maintain that they have not really underperformed, because their real level is being knocked out one or two matches after the group stage.

Guus Hiddink is available though, and I think the FA will be crazy if they don't check him out. It looks set to be Harry for the longer term, mind, and perhaps it will end up with Pearce taking them to the Euros. The FA have really dicked this one up, haven't they? :D Such a terrible time to indirectly chase Capello away.

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I can't see them looking at any managers bar English ones, they'll want to make sure the majority are happy and I don't know many people that would prefer or be happy with another foreign manager in charge. I'm not saying they wont be as good etc, they could be better but it goes back to the whole, we are England and should be managed by an English manager.

I like the approach Scotland took, Craig Levine had a good CV, was Scottish and although he'd never managed one of the Galsgow clubs, they took him. Even if someone like Dario Gradi, or a Championship manager was put in charge, I'd still be happy.

One thing is why Alan Shearer hasn't been mentioned?

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I think Hiddink would be my preferred choice but I also think the FA will feel pressured by sections of the media and a lot of fans that want an English manager. I read in the papers today to get Harry and his staff it could cost up to £30 million, obviously that figure must take into account wages and such. That is a disgrace I am sure there are better ways to spend £30 million than that. Then again this could simply be paper talk.

I feel a bit sorry for Spurs but it was suggested today on Sunday Supplement(for those who don't know/watch it is a program on Sky where four journalists discuss the footballing events of the week) that Harry could lead them into the Euro's with Stuart Pearce taking over after the Euro's. Might sound crazy but I would be in favour of this if the FA did no appoint Hiddink.

I am probably blinkered by being a Sunderland fan but Shearer would be awful, I would pick Gary Neville over him.

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Sorry to interrupt this debate but :D

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I am probably blinkered by being a Sunderland fan but Shearer would be awful, I would pick Gary Neville over him.

I don't really think any player that has had almost no if none managerial experience I'm just surprised he hasn't been mentioned as when he left Newcastle he was favorite for almost every job going.

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I don't really think any player that has had almost no if none managerial experience I'm just surprised he hasn't been mentioned as when he left Newcastle he was favorite for almost every job going.

Fair point, he was linked to a lot of jobs and being English it is surprising he has not been mentioned.

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Apart from a short stint with Newcastle (where he did pretty poorly if I recall) he has zero experience though. Does he even have coaching badges? If he is half as clueless as he is on TV, it would be a disaster anyway.

A lot of big English names have and will retire over the next few years. Will be interesting to see if (m)any of them choose to go into management. Must say I was a little surprised Gary Neville didn't, but it was probably a good choice. Certainly does a good job commenting and analysing. It's only a slight exaggeration to say he is the lone sane voice in a the madhouse.

We sometimes get Dutch commentators (wink-wink) and it is a delight. Don't understand much of what they say, but it's an advantage over some the loons that comment on Sky et al.

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To be fair, you are only describing a certain section of the media here. You are describing typical headlines from trashy tabloid newspapers such as The Sun!

We do have quality sports writing in this country, you know! I think you're being a little unfair about the media here. We have some of the best football writers in the world (and also some of the worst too no doubt!) and they definitely shouldn't be tarnished with the same brush as the sensationalised tabloid rags!

Eh, I don't know about that. I've seen some shockingly blinkered writing from even the more "respectable" papers like the Telegraph (granted, not nearly as much as the Sun or the Mirror). Even Henry Winter can be abysmal at times.

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I think the issue is that players get into a comfort zone in the Premier League and don't see a reason for them to leave. Hopefully we'll see the new generation of more technically able players like Sturridge, Wilshere and Johnson head abroad at some point, but I won't hold my breath. It's a shame because it really improved Beckham's game, and Joe Cole has been reborn at Lille.

"I hated living in Italy. It was like being in foreign country." ;)

Interestingly, this has also been cited as a reason why the Mexican team never gets past the QF. Because the Mexican clubs pay so well (and regularly), that players have no need to chase Spanish or English paycheques. Contrast with a nation like Argentina or Brazil, where the pay might be more, shall we say, irregular. (Granted this was about 10 years ago, but when Christian Gomez signed with DC United and was asked what difference he noticed between football in Argentina and in the US, his response was "The cheques come on time" in the US)

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Oi! Don't forget Kieran Gibbs at left-back too!

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Shearer would be an abysmal choice for England, the man is an utter tool. I'll always love him as a player and some of my greatest memories are thanks to him, but he is a moron and would be comfortably the worst England manager of all time. I'd quite like him to take a managerial job just to stop him embarrassing himself weekly on MOTD but not one quite so close to home, thanks!

I think for Redknapp the question to him is whether he thinks he could win something with England. If he thinks so then (he's an idiot) he has to take it, if not then he should go nowhere near it. He's got a team at Spurs which is right on the verge of competing for major trophies across the board. For me it's a choice between a 1% chance of being a national hero and a 75% chance of being a Spurs hero. I'd take the latter every time, regardless of my own allegiance.

In response to HC about 'Arry being a great club manager, I'd meet you more halfway and say he's a great cheque-book manager. Which isn't a bad thing - there's plenty of managers who completely trip over their own feet when given a lot of money to spend. He completely failed at Southampton and arguably should have done far better with West Ham considering he had the likes of Di Canio, Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard, Joe Cole, Michael Carrick, and Jermain Defoe at his disposal. He did very well at Portsmouth of course, and is doing a great job at Spurs. His greatest achievement for me was the run-in where Spurs and Man City were going for the final CL spot and he got some excellent results against the other top-6 clubs to take it. However he couldn't repeat that last season, and I think he's missed a trick this season - Spurs could have had a really really good chance at the title if they'd spent well in January. I just don't think Saha and Nelsen are PL-winning signings. He's gone for consolidating 3rd rather than reaching for 1st, which is a shame considering his attacking instincts on the pitch.

Finally, to add a bit to the "where do England go next" debate: what about doing a Spain and basing the national side around our most successful club?

Hart; Jones, Smalling, Ferdinand, Cole; Oxlade, Wilshere/Parker, Cleverley, Young; Rooney, Welbeck.

7 players, including three quarters of the defence and a strike partnership already gelled at club level. Yes it means leaving out some great players like Sturridge, Johnson, Walker and Richards, but playing as a team would potentially offer far more than the difference between those and the ones chosen.

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I'd hate to see Shearer as manager, I was just saying I'm surprised he hasn't been mentioned although I don't think he's got the badges, he was only caretaker at Newcastle and I think you can have 12 weeks as caretaker without any badges, he ended up getting them relegated although I wouldn't blame it on him at all.

Fair enough Snake I'll take your point about Redknapp although I wouldn't dismiss Saha or Nelsen yet, correct me if I'm wrong but didn't Saha win a Premier League title with Man Utd? And they were both on a free so he hasn't spent anything. I don't think they will win it this season but they can and they shouldn't give up. It looks like they'll get 3rd at least which means Champions League next season so I hope Arry stays because he hasn't done anything wrong in the transfer market as of yet and should be able to build a great team that might be a lot closer next season? Although we said that about Arsenals youth: When they are at their peak they'll be title challengers, maybe not in the end.

I quite like that team and I can see the logic in picking a settled squad that's already gelled. It definitely seems the feeling is that all the old players like Lampard and Gerrard should be ditched however have you heard what Harry had to say this morning? If he takes the job then he'll ask for Scholes to come out of international retirement. It'll be interesting if he does and I for one, would take him back. He seems to have come straight back into Manchester United with ease and is probably better than last season, no matter what SnakeXe thought :D

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:D

I'm quite content at being right about Scholes. But to be frank I hadn't expected him to play as much as he has. I think the layoff has been good for him. He's been properly rested, which I guess a footballer of that age needs. He probably wants it more too now, having been away from the game and seen how much he misses it.

He could probably do a good job for England now tbh, but I'm not sure he wants to. Well, I think he wants to, but he is an intelligent man and may well conclude his body can't take those extra matches and travel if he wants to be his best for Manchester United. But Scholes in a midfield 3 with Parker and Wilshere/Cleverley could certainly work quite well.

No doubt Harry has done well with Tottenham this season, but we should perhaps also factor in that they have played with virtually the same squad the whole season with few injury problems. The squad isn't particularly thick behind the first eleven, so if they got a few key players injured at the same time I'm pretty sure their results would suffer. There is a bigger risk of that happening next season with CL football again. Always a bit tricky when the "must-win" matches come thick and fast after Xmas, often with great opponents twice a week. You need a big squad to handle that, and I'm not sure Tottenham have that. They have the summer to fix it up somewhat, but it's a big step and a big risk if they don't qualify again.

In any case, Redknapp looks a dead cert for taking over England. I think the only question is whether he does it now and takes them into the Euros, or if he wants to take over with a clean sheet after the (inevitable) poor England performance in the Euros.

Calling back Scholes may not necessarily be a bad sign because he has played great since his comeback, but I do hope he plans to rejuvenate the squad by going for the talented youths we have talked so much about here and strongly limit the caps the older players get.

Such a lose-lose scenario for him though. There is (virtually) zero chance of winning anything with England. Go with the old guard and the press will lament him for not changing anything, walking in old tracks and failing again, etc. Go with the young talented players, and if good results and play is not instant, he'll be lamented for not going for the big names that have been successful at club level. We know how the press works. Not strong on sense, but keen on sensationalist headlines. They're also in a "praise Harry" phase now. They'd love to turn into "burn the f*cker" mode.

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The last paragraph reminds me of something that got me furiours the other day. The way (mainly The Sun) seem to control everything, they want 'arry to be the manager and therefore they say how he's innocent, best man alive, god etc where as Stuart Pearce, who has sat quietly and said nothing, done nothing, just got on with the daily life gets ragged through the mud again over an accusation of racism, what? 18 odd years ago? Un-f***ing-believable. I know he hasn't done great with the U21's but I wouldn't blame he for it at all and anyway the fact that the Sun seem to ignore Harry was in court only last week spilling lies about this that and the other is incredilous.

It was a bonus, Milan is wrong, it was a bonus, I'm telling ya. Whatever Milan has said it's wrong.

Then suddenly, no, it's not a bonus, it's what Milan is saying it is.

How he got away with it I'll never know. Scrap that, I do know. Cos he's arry fooking Redknapp.

:D

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Finally, to add a bit to the "where do England go next" debate: what about doing a Spain and basing the national side around our most successful club?

Hart; Jones, Smalling, Ferdinand, Cole; Oxlade, Wilshere/Parker, Cleverley, Young; Rooney, Welbeck.

7 players, including three quarters of the defence and a strike partnership already gelled at club level. Yes it means leaving out some great players like Sturridge, Johnson, Walker and Richards, but playing as a team would potentially offer far more than the difference between those and the ones chosen.

I think that is a good idea, but players shouldn't automatically walk into the starting 11 just because they play for Man Utd. Playing one of Jones/Smalling as an adapted right-back instead of Micah Richards who is far more accomplished in the position, just because it'd make for a 3 man Man Utd defence, would do way more harm than good in my opinion.

I could see a Man Utd based side lining up like this. Same tactic that Utd plays, that hybrid between old school 4-4-2 and modern 4-2-3-1 with Rooney withdrawn and the wingers pushed forward:

Hart

Richards

A. Cole

Jones

Ferdinand/Smalling

Parker/Barry

Wilshere

Young

A. Johnson

Rooney

Wellbeck

This way you'd have the benefits of a duo of Utd centre-backs and a trio of Utd attacking players, based around their tactics. With the extra bonus of a gelled City right-wing with Johnson + Richards. Another bonus is the fact Young likes to come into the centre a bit, adding creativity and leaving space for Ashley Cole to bomb forward since he's fairly able to take care of the left-wing by himself. Theo Walcott and Daniel Sturridge would then be prime substitutes, capable of filling in in the right or as central striker, I could see Sturridge even able to adapt himself to a left-wing role, filling Young's shoes as a winger who cuts inside and shoots. He is a right footed striker adept at finishing who managed to adapt himself to the right wing very well thanks to his pace, that sound ideal for that left-wing role, why not try that once at least?

There is one issue with this tactic/line-up and it is absolutely crucial in modern football: getting the midfield right. With two attacking wingers + an attacking midfielder who is more of a striker than an attacking midfielder, to compensate for that you need 2 players very well adept at defending and covering a large amount of space. The best english central midfielders at the moment are Scott Parker and Jack Wilshere but I'm not sure that would work well - too soft/attacking-minded a pairing for this role. Gareth Barry would fill in better but leave Wilshere out and you're severely depriving the side from creativity (no playmaker - Rooney isn't a creator, the inspiration would have to come almost solely from Young, and Johnson's sole trickery). Leave Parker out and that's the most charismatic leader of the side out. There's other options like Michael Carrick (Man Utd bonus, excellent passing ability and understanding of the game, but little space covered), the dreaded old school of Gerrard/Lampard, the exciting but very inexperienced Cleverley, a desperate rescuing of grandad Scholes, none of them seem a proper solution.

Perhaps an alternative if the midfield doesn't click is compromise the attack, leave Wellbeck out, play Rooney as sole striker and field Barry-Parker-Wilshere. In a modern 4-3-3/4-5-1, balancing the midfield perfectly. This in turn ruins the chemistry of the Rooney-Wellbeck striker duo and puts Rooney in a role he doesn't play often nor very well, but he used to be a quality striker in the Euro 2004 days, and creates little from the withdrawn striker position anyway, why not try it?

Oxlade-Chamberlain seems a very exciting player too, but I don't know enough about him, he's sort of an attacking midfielder I think? Perhaps he could slide into the Ashley Young left-wing/cut-inside role. Or as an alternative to Rooney as AMC when he's not available - and isn't Rooney out for the first 2 Euro matches?

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Is this debate/discussion making anyone else want to start an FM save with England?

I feel a sequel to Fabio Crouchello might well appear on the forums at some point in the not too distant future. :cool:

Perhaps 'Harry Crouchknapp' will be coming soon to an FM Career Updates forum near you! :p

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Is this debate/discussion making anyone else want to start an FM save with England?

I feel a sequel to Fabio Crouchello might well appear on the forums at some point in the not too distant future. :cool:

Perhaps 'Harry Crouchknapp' will be coming soon to an FM Career Updates forum near you! :p

*AcidBurn also likes this*

For me we really lack a goal scorer, Rooney is great at dropping deep and Welbeck is only going to get better. The trouble is neither fill me with confidence when they go through on goal, I like both players and hope Welbeck can become that goal scorer we need. I put Welbeck in my starting line up but if I was playing a 4-4-2 I would prefer Rooney and Bent, if you can create chances for Bent he will score them or at least he did when he played for us.

Do you think Andy Carroll will ever become England class? I would love us to have a big target man playing especially with Ashley Young as much as I dislike him he can cross a ball perfectly.

I know it has already been said but I really do enjoy taking part in these sort of conversations on here.

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Let's put it this way, I hope England won't have to play Carroll up front. How Newcastle got 35 million for him I'll never know.

An England update would be interesting, crouchaldinho. :thup:

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I think that is a good idea, but players shouldn't automatically walk into the starting 11 just because they play for Man Utd.

Absolutely, but if they're fit and in form and bring a pre-developed team ethic and mentality from their club then it will help create a national team ethic and identity. Once this is established you can start bringing in a couple of others who are individually better, they'll be coming into a confident and (hopefully) winning team and this will create a better whole in the long term.

I do like the team you mention (forget Barry though, he's been good for about 3 months of the last 2 years).

I could see Sturridge even able to adapt himself to a left-wing role, filling Young's shoes as a winger who cuts inside and shoots. He is a right footed striker adept at finishing who managed to adapt himself to the right wing very well thanks to his pace, that sound ideal for that left-wing role, why not try that once at least?

He's left-footed isn't he?

The best english central midfielders at the moment are Scott Parker and Jack Wilshere but I'm not sure that would work well - too soft/attacking-minded a pairing for this role.

I think they'd do just fine. Wilshere puts himself about enough for a smallish guy, and Parker is in a rich vein of form as a ball-winning midfielder for Spurs. Don't forget the much-vaunted Germany side of WC2010 had Schweinsteiger - a converted right winger - in the Wilshere role. Khedira isn't exactly a pitbull either, he's more of a classy defensive midfielder with decent touch and vision, like Parker on a good day.

Oxlade-Chamberlain seems a very exciting player too, but I don't know enough about him, he's sort of an attacking midfielder I think? Perhaps he could slide into the Ashley Young left-wing/cut-inside role. Or as an alternative to Rooney as AMC when he's not available - and isn't Rooney out for the first 2 Euro matches?

He's basically Walcott with a brain. If he continues his current form until the end of the season he should definitely start at the Euros.

Is this debate/discussion making anyone else want to start an FM save with England?

I feel a sequel to Fabio Crouchello might well appear on the forums at some point in the not too distant future. :cool:

Perhaps 'Harry Crouchknapp' will be coming soon to an FM Career Updates forum near you! :p

Do iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit :D

For me we really lack a goal scorer, Rooney is great at dropping deep and Welbeck is only going to get better. The trouble is neither fill me with confidence when they go through on goal, I like both players and hope Welbeck can become that goal scorer we need. I put Welbeck in my starting line up but if I was playing a 4-4-2 I would prefer Rooney and Bent, if you can create chances for Bent he will score them or at least he did when he played for us.

The problem with Bent is he's a complete passenger when he's not scoring goals. If Welbeck or Sturridge aren't scoring they're still causing problems for defenders. Bent on form is formidable, but he's not really been in that sort of form since his first few months with Villa.

Let's put it this way, I hope England won't have to play Carroll up front. How Newcastle got 35 million for him I'll never know.

Because love them or loathe them, Derek Llambias and Mike Ashley are excellent businessmen. However, having watched him first-hand for the 18-odd months he was first choice for us, he was absolutely outstanding for the latter 12. He absolutely bullied opposition defenders, and was pretty much unbeatable in the air. In the opening day 3-0 defeat for us at Old Trafford when we were promoted, the commentators were laughing at him for missing a half-chance with his head, saying it wasn't befitting of a Newcastle number 9. However he absolutely dominated Vidic in the air - how often does that happen? - and with a bit more support we might have nicked a goal or two. We'd still have lost, mind, with Perch at right back.

He absolutely looked the real deal, like a Geordie Drogba, and was probably worth around £15m due to the young-and-English premium. The reason Liverpool ended up paying £35m is that he wasn't for sale and didn't want to leave, except in the circumstances of a stupid bid like that. Even so at the time I was absolutely gutted. I loved watching him play in a black-and-white shirt, and I felt physically sick seeing the pictures of him having his medical in a Liverpool shirt. I don't take any pleasure at all in seeing him struggle.

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The only England game I've been to, loved the occasion but this is why Bent shouldn't be in the England team, skip forward to 4:05.

[video=youtube;ki9TZQ42d50]

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[video=youtube;4--ayQXorcY]

Not trying to argue not even sure if you are serious to be honest but does this mean David Villa should not be in the Spain squad?

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Harry Crouchknapp thanks everybody for their support. :D

I'm definitely in the mood for a sequel to my Fabio Crouchello thread. I think it has to be done!

Will probably wait for the patch though. Aren't we due one soon with a data update? Usually around Valentine's day, isn't it?

I'm not joking, I really have been that cut off from GD during recent months. I don't miss the 'when's the patch' threads! I honestly have no idea when the patch is out and with Steam doing the updating now maybe I already have it and I haven't noticed! :o

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I love a good when's the patch out or a steam is **** thread, it really makes my day.

Although I think you are sneakily kind of asking when is the patch out.

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I love a good when's the patch out or a steam is **** thread, it really makes my day.

Although I think you are sneakily kind of asking when is the patch out.

Those claiming the game is broken or fixed are my favourites. Or anything that's so ridiculous I can feel superior.

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I love a good when's the patch out or a steam is **** thread, it really makes my day.

Although I think you are sneakily kind of asking when is the patch out.

I'm not really asking when, just if we are due one!

The home page says we're still on 12.1, so I'm guessing we haven't had it yet! Must be due any day though.

Worth waiting for before I start my Harry Crouchknapp adventure as I guess there will be edits to one or two players.

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Those claiming the game is broken or fixed are my favourites. Or anything that's so ridiculous I can feel superior.

I haven't been on there for so long, I've mostly forgotten how bad it can get. :D

Is it quieter on there these days or about the same AB?

To be honest, playing the game without any knowledge of the nonsense talked about on GD is quite nice, almost liberating in fact!

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For the last couple of years the final patch has been released in March, so that's my guess.

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Oh, I didn't realise. I think the Valentine's Day patch was ages ago now anyway. Maybe even FM07 or 08!

I thought the patch might be imminent. In that case, I might well just kick on with a bit of Harry Crouchknapp action. :D

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I haven't been on there for so long, I've mostly forgotten how bad it can get. :D

Is it quieter on there these days or about the same AB?

To be honest, playing the game without any knowledge of the nonsense talked about on GD is quite nice, almost liberating in fact!

It's not too bad in there the most annoying threads are the steam ones and people claiming the game is scripted and fixed. In my opinion there are very rarely any threads that bring about a good discussion.

Get started on the England one I think we would all really enjoy it.

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Oh, I didn't realise. I think the Valentine's Day patch was ages ago now anyway. Maybe even FM07 or 08!

I thought the patch might be imminent. In that case, I might well just kick on with a bit of Harry Crouchknapp action. :D

8/3/11, 1/3/10 and 26/2/09 were the last three release dates for post transfer window patches, the Valentine's Day one was indeed FM08 :D

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[video=youtube;DEqRc4JS9R4]

3 months out of action and my 20 year old returns to his left wing slot and scores this goal, not too special but I love the through ball.

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