Will England ever win a tournament again?
Remember when the England football team were actually capable of winning a tournament? 50 years of hurt and we look no closer to repeating the heroics of the boys of ’66. Gordon Banks, Booby Moore, Bobby Charlton and Geoff Hurst, I think most England fans would kill for a spine like that today. But the question is what is the secret? How have Germany and Spain been able to dominate football in the last 10 years?
England’s 2-1 defeat to Iceland was said to be one of the lowest points in English football and people began to question if the FA was out of touch with the game. How could a country with a population of over 50 million, approximately 8 million currently playing the ‘beautiful game’ be defeated by a country with a population smaller than Leicester. I asked an England football fan his opinion. ‘The players didn’t have the mental capability to deal with the pressure of going 2-1 down.’ Another said, ‘the pressure on players is too much, they know that if they give a bad performance they are going to be ridiculed and abused when they get home.’
In my opinion it’s the money that is badly affecting the England players of present and future. Take John Stones and Raheem Sterling for example. Both only 22 years old and supposedly worth £50 million each? This is due to the fact that whenever a young player seems to burst onto the scene in the premier league, we treat them as if they are our main hope to bring football home again. Players need to be given time to develop and accept that they are going to make mistakes. The fact that the younger players seem to be peaking a lot earlier now and seem to be carrying their respected teams at such a young age just shows how times have changed. When England won the world cup in 1966, there was one player in the starting 11 below the age of 23 in Alan Ball. In the shock defeat to Iceland at euro 2016 there was 4 in Eric Dier, Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling and Dele Ali and then 18-year-old Marcus Rashford coming on as a substitute. England lacked the experience to turn the game around but instead their heads dropped as soon as the 2nd goal went in.
let’s hope for England’s sake that these young players only continue to improve because if this is their peak now then get ready for another 50 years of hurt.