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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well, in the cold light of day and after some of the emotion has faded a bit, what can we learn from this world cup that will benefit us?

In my opinion, there are two different areas that need to looked at. External factors affecting the players, and personal factors that need to be addressed by English players and coaches themselves.

Firstly, I think the FA has to look at the length of the season. Most of the players who have played in the Premiership this season have looked jaded for their respective countries. Maybe winter breaks need to be issued, along with less league games, and the dropping of the League cup. I noticed that prior the WC, paul scholes had played something like 70 games this season. Geez, thats a lot of time on the field.

Secondly, we have to look at our game. Now, I'm a passionate England fan, but some of our critics (not counting the out right England haters) have a point with our inability at times to control possession and the tempo. Against Argie, we got it right. For 70 minutes, we were disciplined, we dictated the pace of the game, and we hit them hard. We controlled midfield, we had a good share of the possession., except for the last 20 minutes when Sven decided to defend en masse, and we had more goal scoring opportunities. Why? Well, for a start, Owen was reasonably fit, ran at them, exposed their lack of pace, and received some good service from Scholes. Sinclair played like a true winger, using the full width, stretching their defence, running straight at them and drawing some of their slower players out of the middle. Butt was very disciplined, marked Veron out of it, and stamped his authority on the centre of the field. Sholes looked reasonably fresh, innovative and happy to carry the ball, lay it off into players in space, and take a few shots. And the defence, most importantly, finally began to link with the midfield in creating the build up, instead of bypassing it and hoofing it up the field.

Against Brazil, though, what happened. For a start, Beckham just wasn't fit enough. He hasn't put more than a few decent crosses in the whole tournament, and he certainly hasn't been up to running at opponents or creating any width. Carlos, in the Brazil match, was the better player, quicker, more fluid on the ball, and putting in a far greater array of crosses. Scholes retreated in to a shell, which he always seems to do when he's knackered. Trouble was, Sven kept playing him. Maybe he should have trusted Joe Cole and given him a go. Because against Brazil, Scholes looked devoid of ideas and inspiration. We needed him to do something, and lets face it, he didn't look like delivering.
It no use looking to Butty to create, because he's not going to be the catalyst of any big moves. He breaks the oppostions options down, and thats his job. And thats it. Owen was obviously not fit by the end of 45 minutes, but the fact he scored the goal he did proves his talent. He is genuine class. Heskey, remains an enigma. Against Sweden, he did well. Against Argie, his physical presence intimidated them, and he created space for Owen. But against Brazil, he didn't have the genius to break them down. In my opinion, he is an option for some games, but he isn't the option for all of them. We need a more mobile type of forward, who can carry the ball, link well with midfield, and turn provider against a subtle team like Brazil. Who it will be I don't know, but it points to the area of tactics.

The same tactics don't always work. Sven kept at it, and looked like he had it right against Brazil. But the last 50 minutes of the game showed that theres so much to be done. Long balls against the Brazilian defence obviously didn't work, so why persist. Well, partly because we carry out plans to the last detail. When the coach says 'do this' we do it. Its why the English have the best armed forces in the world. But if we're to survive, then there has to be an ability to change the tactics, change the formation, change the gameplan at the spare of a moment, on field, by the players, if we're to compete at the highest level. The Brazilians can do this. The better German and Dutch teams have as well, and, lets give them their due, one or two argie sides. Vision and innovation on the field, by the players, have to become a greater part of our game, in my opinion.

So in my opinion, a few areas that should be focused on are, the structure of the English season, the conditioning of the players before a tournament, the way the coach approaches a game, the versatility of the players, and their ability to improvise when things go against plan.

I'm aware this is a bit of a ramble, buts its just a few of my thoughts. Hopefully the rest of you can build on this:)
 

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I was having a similar debate/argument with some of my mates about all this. One of the things we noted was that it seems English players are not very good tacticians. If you look at the managers who have won the Premiership, there are no Englishmen who have won it. Obviously the managers were players first and on the surface it would appear that the English players dont seem to have what it takes to manage at the highest level. If this is true it must also be that our tactical naievte extends to the pitch.

As you say there comes times when you look at whats going on on the pitch, and wonder whether the players are clever enough to adapt, and watching some of the recent performances in the WC, there is a big question mark hanging over that.

I would like to see every other year (WC and Euro champs) our domestic season should start 2/3 weeks earlier to give the squad time to gel and rest. 20 teams is OK for the Prem, although 18 would bring us more into line with other European leagues.
With the league cup I would make a ruling that if you are in Europe you have the option to opt out of it. Personally if I was a manger I'd field a load of reserves to get first team experience.
 

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I dont think that you have much to worry about;)

Look at your team. One year ago, the same team (more or less;)), had big trouble qualifying. Now you went out to Brasil in quarter finals. For a year of work, thats marvelous achievement:)

Which shows you that what was happening before was in the players heads, not in their actual ability. And Sven is the master of getting the best out of the player's mind & psychological preparations for the game. In two years time, this aspect, which i believe is the most important in the current game, will improve even more, given that Sven remains at helm.

Re Physical preparation, Sven already indicated that he will have serious disscussions with FA regarding winter break & number of teams in the league. Although i think that on the issue of winter break he might manage to get something out of them, the preassure to keep 20 teams will be too high for FA to scale down the league.

Give them time:) See how they fare in the quolifying & EURO 2004;) after three years with Sven, it will be right time to draw some definite conclusions;):)
 

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the english teams now have the squads to cope with the strenuous league. i think a major problem over the past couple of years is the growing success of english teams in europe. now when the majority of the english squad is selected from those teams you have to swap the national team around, and if you keep doing that you'll never get any decent stability. i suggest that the EPL be shortened to 18 teams. i'm not really too fussed about the league cup, because on the whole most big teams usually play their reserves.

i'd also consider adopting the italian system of legue games at weekends then cup games midweek so you don't end up with a massive pile-up of games at the end of the season, but in order to do that i suppose you have get rid of the worthington cup, or atleast make in inelgiable for the teams playing in europe.

we still have several problem positions that need to be filled. we've got a relatively easy qualifying group for the european championships and the left-wing and a new goalie need to be sorted out. heskey still needs to prove his international pedigree IMO. there's no decent young striker that can play as a provider, so it might be worth looking at a sytem similar to the brazilians, where you play two excellent attacking midfielders behind the front hitman (i.e. owen) and then play beckham, gerrard, dyer/butt and ashley cole in midfield, with southgate, campbell and rio at the back. sholes and heskey would be the obvious choices to play behind the front two.

another positive thing to come from this world-cup is the value of selecting players from only 3/4 teams. it was an arsenal/leeds defence, man utd midfield and a liverpool front partnership, however there is an obvious problem with that in that the likes of fergie and wenger won't be too pleased if you're always using their players.
 

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I don't think there are too many problems. This is a young team which will probably be at its peak in 4 years. By then we should be so much better with a lot more experience.

At this WC we didn't have one of our best players in Gerrard who is an inspirational midfielder even when things aren't going right. But we went out to the world champions so i don't think we can complain. The biggest bonus was the defence. Rio was masterful and Campbell struck up a great partnership with him. Cole and Mills were brilliant at the back and with Neville and Bridge we have some really good full backs.

In midfield i think we sometimes lacked that creative spark that can suddenly turn a game. Gerrards probably the man for that but we can't just rely on him. I like West Ham but i really think J. Cole should move to a bigger team to get experience at the top level. We've also got David Dunn and in Jermaine Defoe we have a Michael Owen Mark II in terms of scoring goals. I see the problem with not having a young playmaker to play with Owen. But who knows who might come through in the next few years.

I agree on shortening our season because it is a bit long. Although i did find it quite annoying when someone in the French team (can't remember who) said that they're English-based players were exhausted after their long season and if that wasn't so maybe they would've made it through. Come on! We made it to the QFs with our whole team knackered.
 

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i also thinks it's worth givning jeffers a couple of games when he's fit, because you never know what can happen, just loook at vassell and i personally think jeffers is capable of great things.
 

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I dunno with FJ maybe as he's not first choice thats why he might be overlooked. What with the inability of the French lads to score goals this world cup, maybe he'll be first name on the sheet at Highbury?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Theres definitely talent out there. Its just a question of how its used. I wonder, for example, if Nicky Butt is going to start getting more of a chance now at United. England obviously will benefit if he does.
 

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Fred Elliot said:
Theres definitely talent out there. Its just a question of how its used. I wonder, for example, if Nicky Butt is going to start getting more of a chance now at United. England obviously will benefit if he does.
in which case we'd have to accomodate gerrard and scholes into midfield. you could play scholes on the left(something to experiment with) or you could play scholes behind a lone front man in owen, alongside heskey.
 
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