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post #101 of 891 (permalink) Old March 25th, 2010, 01:43
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"walcott a really poor player"

lol Deano, stop it with that. He's not incredible or anything but he's a decent player who can be devastatingly effective if used correctly.
I've heard this since forever...

Can't we just admit he was over-hyped youngster who was amazing at youth level but when it cam eto playing with the big boys...he's pretty shit?
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post #102 of 891 (permalink) Old March 25th, 2010, 02:04
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post #103 of 891 (permalink) Old March 25th, 2010, 08:32
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How about that place inbetween 'amazing' and 'shit' since he's clearly neither one of those extremes.
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post #104 of 891 (permalink) Old March 25th, 2010, 10:09
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Walcott reminds me a lot of Cameron Jerome...Lightening quick and really unsettling for defenders, but sadly very inconsistant with end product.
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post #105 of 891 (permalink) Old March 26th, 2010, 12:49
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How about that place inbetween 'amazing' and 'shit' since he's clearly neither one of those extremes.
I disagree, he is simply shit.

You would find it hard to go to North London, and speak to a bunch of Arsenal fans who would all agree on the same thing, but well, for sure, every Arsenal fan I know thinks Walcott is simply that 4 letter word. Sh!t.

The problem is Walcott is not like Cameron Jerome in terms of unsettling defenders, because hes a weak ass shit who gets thrown off the ball too easily.
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post #106 of 891 (permalink) Old March 26th, 2010, 13:43
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How can you "throw" somebody off the ball when you can't get near them?

Walcott is so far removed from Jerome it's not even funny. The only thing they have in common is that they play football and are both black. You ask any defender, in any type of football, whether it be at International level or pub team, what unsettles them most. Power or pace?

That hattrick Jerome scored against Croatia in Croatia was amazing... oh, wait.

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post #107 of 891 (permalink) Old March 26th, 2010, 14:15
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Like I said already in this thread. Even a league one or two player can look like Luis Figo in a single game, but doing this more consistently is something that makes or breaks a player. Walcott has done something special in maybe 3 or 4 matches in his career, and bear in mind, he has been playing football at the highest level for many seasons now. Plus if pace is his main asset, its something he will not keep with the recurring injuries, and his football brain is crap.
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post #108 of 891 (permalink) Old March 26th, 2010, 15:00
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Walcott hasn't been playing at this level "for many seasons". 06/07 he was mainly a Carling Cup player and got the odd sub appearance so I'd say this is his third season as a proper first team player for Arsenal, and because of the injuries he's only really had one and a half seasons: 07/08 + half of 08/09. The last time he was fit and in the side for a prolonged period of time was in 2008 and he was playing consistently well in that time, from the brace v Birmingham and the run against Liverpool at the end of the 07/08 season to the hat-trick v Croatia and a succession of games in which he was our best attacking player at the start of the 08/09 season.

Then he got injured and since then he's had maybe one decent run of games, this time last year, when he racked up goals against Wigan/Villarreal/Chelsea.

The only reason he doesn't play consistently well is because he's injured too often and fails at the "play" part. Once he's actually fit and in the team he's got no problem with consistency.
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post #109 of 891 (permalink) Old March 26th, 2010, 16:11
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I disagree, he is simply shit.

You would find it hard to go to North London, and speak to a bunch of Arsenal fans who would all agree on the same thing, but well, for sure, every Arsenal fan I know thinks Walcott is simply that 4 letter word. Sh!t.

The problem is Walcott is not like Cameron Jerome in terms of unsettling defenders, because hes a weak ass shit who gets thrown off the ball too easily.
I was referring to his pace...
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post #110 of 891 (permalink) Old March 26th, 2010, 16:54
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So San Jose, what has Walcott offered Arsenal in the past two seasons? What game has he changed? What part of which season did he play a decent level for more than 1 match?

Even if we take the sh!t/world class words away from the player, what has Walcott offered in the last two seasons to say he should be at the World Cup? There are several wide players in England who are performing better than him, and 1 good England performance in October 2008 should not mean he goes to the World Cup 2010.
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post #111 of 891 (permalink) Old March 26th, 2010, 17:01
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^ A hat trick against Croatia in the qualifiers?
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post #112 of 891 (permalink) Old March 26th, 2010, 17:03
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That hat-trick was in October 2008, yes it was a good performance from him, but does 1 match mean you should go to the World Cup? When since then, its hard to remember a decent contribution to his club or country.
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post #113 of 891 (permalink) Old March 26th, 2010, 17:50
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Basically everything people are saying about Walcott now was being said and was probably valid up until 2008 - that was when Walcott showed serious signs of improvement. Unfortunately for Walcott he's had his best spells as an Arsenal player when the rest of the team was playing like shit and ruining everything he was doing. So instead of asking 'what game has he changed?' you could ask 'what game would he have changed if others hadn't fvcked it up?' The nightmare Birmingham game - Walcott would have won us the game if it wasn't for that late penalty and instead everyone remembers the Gallas tantrum, Liverpool in the CL he pretty much won us the tie with that outrageous dribble from his own half but our defence fvcked it up again with the late penalty. At the start of the 2008/09 season he was playing well, probably our best player in a team that was absolute shit, and when he returned at the end of the season he was pretty good.

You said it's hard to remember a good contribution to club or country since the Croatia hat-trick. Not surprising when he got injured soon after that - the only decent run of games he's had since then was in March/April last year and off the top of my head I can remember about 3 goals and 3 assists in that short space of time. Hardly shit.

Who are these wide players playing better than him? Beckham's out, Lennon's been injured for ages, Wright-Phillips has done nothing. The fact that people are touting Adam Johnson for England after a handful of good performances suggests to me a lack of options at the moment. And while one good England performance shouldn't guarantee a place in the squad, this one good performance did come in the biggest game England have played in the last two years, and it's more than any of the players competing with him have ever done in an England shirt.
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post #114 of 891 (permalink) Old March 26th, 2010, 21:41
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That hat-trick was in October 2008, yes it was a good performance from him, but does 1 match mean you should go to the World Cup? When since then, its hard to remember a decent contribution to his club or country.
In all fairness he has been injured a good bit since then eh?

My mistake, I thought he scored the hat trick in Sept 09.
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post #115 of 891 (permalink) Old March 27th, 2010, 04:22
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The problem with Walcott is that he has hardly shown signs of improvement over the past few seasons. Someone of his age should be showing a noticeable progression but I just don't see it. Can you really say that Walcott is better now than he was when he did that amazing run against Liverpool in the CL? He's still the raw talent that only relies on pace. Honestly, apart from pace he has nothing to his game. I personally wouldn't take him to the World Cup if I was Capello and everyone was fit, but then Barry and Heskey start for England so I just don't know.
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post #116 of 891 (permalink) Old April 5th, 2010, 03:11
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The guy's footballing brain is pretty horrendous. It's quite clear that Ramsey will be a more established outstanding Premiership player than Walcott in 2-3 years time.

Ashley Young, whom I don't particular like either, has got 22 goals and 34 assists in the last 3 seasons. That's a personal contribution to 56 goals, and he still won't go to the World Cup. He's a graduate from the Martin O'Neill school of football - pass to the winger, cross the ball. Do that 50 times a game and we'll get a goal or two. He's a decent player.

Wallcott is between shit and half decent. Leaning more towards shit.

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post #117 of 891 (permalink) Old April 5th, 2010, 07:13
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Walcott is nailed on for WC...... just have to admit some things

Johnson has looked excellent since his move to City..... certainly an outside bet for the 23

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Gotta love the Utd fans, one min hes Keane and Gerrard put together, soon as they find out hes not signing for them hes shite and they dont need him

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post #118 of 891 (permalink) Old April 6th, 2010, 20:45
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Walcott is nailed on for WC...... just have to admit some things

Johnson has looked excellent since his move to City..... certainly an outside bet for the 23
I'd take em both...Pace to burn.

Everyone is flapping about Messi...Look at his stats for Argentina.

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post #119 of 891 (permalink) Old July 13th, 2010, 14:07 Thread Starter
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Very nice article by The Guardian about Englands numerable problems and a little on how to fix them. To be fair there are a lot more issues but it covers most of the main ones.

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1. Abolish expectation

Brazil have it because they own five world titles. Spain had it because they were reigning European champions. But no country who have appeared in one World Cup final (and that, on home soil) since joining the party in 1950 has the right to march into a tournament chuntering about "pressure". As countless neutrals observed in South Africa – and Fabio Capello said it himself – the England shirt turns men into mice. The reason: a misreading of history, and an inability to distinguish between Premier League wealth and international success. When England are honest about their record they might stop feeling this self-generating "pressure".

2. Success is planned

England's 2003 rugby World Cup victory was the culmination of a four-year project but the Football Association still thinks hiring big name coaches and throwing together the country's best 23 players will make it all right on the night. Spain invested heavily in coaching and Germany absorbed the lessons of a dire Euro 2000 campaign to reform the national youth programme. The FA, which is consensus obsessed, needs to get nasty and drive the philistines from grass-roots and schoolboy football. Anyone who refuses to adhere to raised technical standards copied from the Dutch, Germans and Spanish should not be allowed to teach children the vocabulary of the game.

3. England's style of play is archaic

Here Capello must pick up the tab for sending out a side to play 4-4-2 when most of the top nations were using 4-2-3-1. To see Emile Heskey or Jermain Defoe and Wayne Rooney playing in a flat line ahead of an equally rigid four-man midfield was mortifying. Germany's Jürgen Klinsmann writes of his time as Germany's coach, when he worked with Joachim Löw (from 2004-2006): "'Jogi' and I began the whole regeneration process by trying to give our national team an identity. We eventually decided to go down an attack-minded route, passing the ball on the ground from the back to the front line as quickly as possible using dynamic football."

4. England internationals still don't think enough about the mechanics of their game

Jamie Carragher is one honourable exception, but his former Liverpool team-mate, Xabi Alonso, remembers asking Anfield academy boys what their main attribute was and being told: "Tackling." Young English players are allocated single positions and rarely think outside the tram lines of those narrow vocations. The young Germans, Thomas Müller and Mesut Ozil, can open up a pitch with angled passing and running. Spain and Holland (when they are not in warrior mode) are fluid and flexible. The English intelligence remains disengaged.

5. "We need to improve from [the ages of] 5-11 and 11-16, to get creative players who try the unexpected," says Sir Trevor Brooking, the FA's director of football.

There is no English Wesley Sneijder, Ozil, Xavi or Andrés Iniesta. Joe Cole is the closest but a succession of club and international managers have given up on him as a No10. Over the past 20 years, Paul Gascoigne was a rare artistic presence but wrecked himself. Teddy Sheringham was a clever deep striker. Paul Scholes, the best English midfielder since Gazza, was miss-used. He was seldom able to orchestrate games as he did for Manchester United. Improvisation and self-expression remain un-English qualities.

6. Countries with big manpower gaps are doomed

While the world's best were switching to two holding midfielders Capello was haranguing the barely-fit Gareth Barry to perform a role he no longer fills at Manchester City. Without Owen Hargreaves, England lack a single credible defensive midfielder from the Bastian Schweinsteiger-Alonso school. There is no world-class cover for the full-backs, Glen Johnson and Ashley Cole, and no English winger who can deliver reliable crosses. James Milner had to be sent back to his old right-sided berth to compensate for the inadequacies of Aaron Lennon and Shaun Wright-Phillips.

7. There is still no end to England's celebrity-driven isolationism

To hide in a compound in a remote location only distorts the self-image of the players. Yet again England failed to engage with this World Cup. Where was the trip to Robben Island, in Cape Town? Players from other countries were seen both there and at the apartheid museum in Johannesburg. English football infantilises its stars. Capello's squad wore a suffering look from the moment they touched down. Brazilians and Germans behave as if national service is the pinnacle of their working lives. England look like prisoners.

8. Achieve harmony between the different groups of organising bodies

Unless Premier League clubs stop blocking the release of England youngsters for Under-19 or Under-17 duty (some are told that money-making pre- season tours are more important than mid-summer international tournaments) then no-one will take seriously the top division's claim to be pro-England. The successful countries achieve harmony between the leagues, coaches and their FA. Klinsmann again: "We quizzed everyone we could. We held workshops with German coaches and players, asking them to write down on flip charts three things: how they wanted to play, how they wanted to be seen to be playing by the rest of the world and how the German public wanted to see us playing."

9. Fitness of players is actually important

England were not alone in shipping unfit players to South Africa. Brazil admit Kaká turned out with a thigh injury and Spain's Fernando Torres laboured through the first five games. But England topped the charts. Ledley King lasted 45 minutes. Barry, who looked heavy and slow, had been rushed back into action via an oxygen tent. No coach would have left Wayne Rooney behind but he, too, displayed an absence of faith in his own body.

10. None of the other 31 nations here moaned about being tired

English football is only marginally more gruelling than the top leagues in Spain, Italy or Holland. Dirk Kuyt (Liverpool and Holland) and Sneijder (a Treble winner with Internazionale) were still going like trains, all the way to the final. The truth may be that England are afflicted by ennui: an unconscious desire to be somewhere, anywhere, else, brought on by constant exposure to failure and ridicule. Their "tiredness" may be spiritual.
Saucy: http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/b...ngland-lessons

Four, five, seven and eight seem the most important to me. The FA need to dissolve or take back the premier league, England needs to manage the league either way. The German league is better than ours, as is the Spanish and they have a core group of home grown players. Barca have shown it is key to success to have your main players want to fight and die for your club, you will only get that with local talent who have grown up with the history. If the premier league don't want to back down on it then they should face the conseuqnces with the FA imposing fines, restrictions and demands on them with the help of FIFA. Time to grow some fvcking balls. And we need a central theme for technical football at young ages. 5/7-a-side pitches built all over the place with all offical coaching taking place there. No keeping of scores, no parents to contradict, all ballwork, no fitness training or whatever, just skills taught and expressed with an emphasis on creativity and trying things with the ball. Tackling and shite can be learnt later on, the best defenders are usually good because they read the game however not just tackle... which comes from playing 'football'. Learning to anticipate, movement off the ball, being able to bring the ball out of defence and being comfortable in tight positions etc..

And the big time charlie attitude of English players needs to be ground into dust, absolutely pathetic all the whining about being bored or wanting this or that. Maybe to help combat that, the FA/government should arrange 6 month schooling/training in Germany one year (11?), and then a trip to Spain another year (13? if you make the grade). Hook up with Hoddles spanish training camps for example. Hardly costs a lot to goto Germany/Spain. They get a feel for different football and cultures and hopefully encourage newer generations to play abroad professionally.

A lot of work needs to be done, and there doesn't appear to be the will to do it as usual.

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post #120 of 891 (permalink) Old July 13th, 2010, 14:41
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I agree with you that 4,5,7,8 are the main problems for England there. It is just clear that actual talent is not appreciated here in England. Just to tell you, when I and 1 other friend (still a mate) was in primary school we were easily technically the most gifted players in that school. We played for the same 11 aside Under 11s team aswell. While I was being played at left-back mostly because even though I used to be very good with the ball at my feet and able to run rings around a full-back at that age, my defensive abilities was too important for my team otherwise we could lose with a crap defence. While my mate was stuck in at centre-back, and he had the touch of a creative midfielder for the age group. He was picked up by certain clubs youth teams in London and even they just played him at centre-back more because of his quite big size, but his actual footballing ability was out of the top drawer, no way should he have been played like this. Anyway as years went on football went out the window for the two of us as things happen this way in life, but it is just an example of how skills should be harnessed and progressed in England, not dismissed. Just for 1 other example in my Under 11 team, the other centre-back was also with me and my mate the third best player technically in the team. So we had a team where 3 of the best players at passing a ball were used at the back, while the rest of the attacking players were just fast and can run around as headless chickens.

Another point, my brother, much older than me, was at Wimbledon reserves, He is about my height, just 5 foot 8 maybe at most, not the strongest plaer, but can hold himself, however he could deliver a pass on to a sixpence. He could take players on as if they were not there. At the time he was in the Wimbledon reserves for the first year Mick Harford was in charge and liked my bro, by the 2nd year Kinnear had taken charge, and anyone who knows what kind of a poor manager Kinnear is would realise he doesnt like 'small' players. So he eventually was released and not given a pro contract or any help what so ever to find another team. Another thing that is quite poor over here, is that when players are released they are just left to fight on their own, a large percentage of players, who even have potential, will never make it because they are not given much help from people within the game to find a place at a lower league team. Not that lower league football over here is the way to go, I have been to plenty of barnet matches when I was younger and it is just completely kick and rush, not much chance of true talent being spotted in them divisions because it is played out of the game.

Nowadays you ask a good trait of a footballer in the amateur leagues or sunday leagues over here and it is because they can get stuck in or use their strength. Ability doesnt count.

How many players who are my height, who even have great technical skills from a very young age are asked to play at full-back or wide midfield or possibly upfront (if they are quick) because of their height and yet have the technical ability of a creative central midfielder? Xavi or Iniesta would probably have never really made it over here because they would have been played as left or right backs when they were 10-13 years old and they are not 'dirty' enough or do not put their foot in enough to really be counted as central midfielders.

As it said above, young players growing up over here do not think outside the box enough. Most players begin as left-backs from a young age and remain as left-backs their entire life. The best way for a kid to be able to play any position is to play more 5 or 7 aside football where positions count, but not as much, and its technique, positioning and skill that wins the game at the end of the day.

In terms of actual NT management go, Klinsmann has a very good point, many ridiculed him for still living in LA while being NT manager, but what he and Loew have done certainly showed in this World Cup if not the last. It is not just about squad selection or tactics, but also the way to play the game, the way to unite a group of players together. It is difficult for NT managers to do, but maybe it is why alot of succesful club managers are not necessarily the best NT managers. I think it is best if coahces work with the federation for a long time or are trained up for the roles by the federation. Italy used to do this, and even though Lippi did great with us in World Cup 06, and hopefully Prandelli does well now, I would like the old school way of choosing NT managers by being trained up coaching the youth ranks. Not just any old farts or ex players, but ex footballers/managers who gained their coaching licences and show a great tactical knowledge of the game and can hold their nerve coaching these squads. Right now it would suggest Pearce, who has certainly done very well with the England U21 set-up. This is beneficial as these coaches know who are the players from these teams that can make the step up in grade.

I think there will be a problem where Capello stick to his guns now, and unless the group shows a huge improvement in belief and courage, another early exit is bound to happen in 2012 and the team will be left in disarray strategically thinking for 2014. Maybe you all will disagree, but I think they could have given Pearce the job (for not a great deal of money) and give him a 4 year plan for the team to have success in 2014 by calling some young players right now. 2012 could be some kind of a right-off in this type of strategy, but then if Pearce made the right choices as early as now, there is still certainly enough talent in England to suggest they are one of the 4 best nations in Europe by 2012.
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