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Author Topic: England road to the Euros  (Read 2839 times)
Barry Scott


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« Reply #30 on: Tuesday, March 26, 2019, 15:51:02 »

A few years ago the FA started to take youth development seriously as a development "pathway" (sorry to use the jargon but it is appropriate terminology) so they started to look at trying to bring teams through together and take the age group competitions seriously so that by the time players arrived in the senior team they already had some experience of tournament football, what it looked like, what the pressures were etc. As a result we've won trophies at U17s, U21s, U23s level and seen some of these players start to come through into the senior set up. As opposed to the farce of Oxlade-Chamberlain being taken out of the U17s tournament to sit on a bench in Brazil watching the senior team playing in a tournament. Southgate was an integral part of this as U21s coach and has continued some of the approach he had at youth level into the senior set up (more emphasis on fun, creativity, players getting involved in planning and coaching more).Yes and I've already said that this is still a huge issue but this is down to the clubs, there isn't a huge amount the FA can do about it. The FA surrendered that power long ago, with the formation of the Premier League.

Don't get me wrong, there's still a lot wrong with the FA and it's in urgent need of massive reform but in relation to youth development at both elite level and what they are trying to get into grassroots, there are some good people there, doing some good stuff.

Thanks. Sounds like I need to realise this isn't The FA as such, but numerous footballing bodies that are pulling in one direction. Having no direct knowledge of any of it (sounds like you do) I'll take what you say as positive steps in the right direction.

As a cynical fucker though, part of me just can't shake the feeling that this hasn't been caused by the pathway development thing, but is purely one of those perfect storm random moments where shit is just slotting nicely together, along with a good coach and a decent balance of players that aren't the sponsor's favourites.
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pauld


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« Reply #31 on: Tuesday, March 26, 2019, 16:22:39 »

Thanks. Sounds like I need to realise this isn't The FA as such, but numerous footballing bodies that are pulling in one direction. Having no direct knowledge of any of it (sounds like you do) I'll take what you say as positive steps in the right direction.
Actually it largely is the FA, but different levels of the organisation pulling together. Previously, the youth setup and senior set ups were very much independent silos, now there's more of a coherent pathway through the age groups and recognition of the importance of the age groups. Which is what the England DNA stuff (underneath all the blather) is all about.  I think perhaps where the change in thinking is needed is you're perhaps thinking of the FA as the "blazers" of media fame, they're still there and they do need getting rid of, whereas the stuff I'm talking about is what the staff and the executive are doing.
As a cynical fucker though, part of me just can't shake the feeling that this hasn't been caused by the pathway development thing, but is purely one of those perfect storm random moments where shit is just slotting nicely together, along with a good coach and a decent balance of players that aren't the sponsor's favourites.
There's always an element of luck in any of these things obviously and it will be cyclical to some extent as Reg says but the FA are doing a better job now of ensuring they "create their own luck" by doing more sensible things to develop young players earlier and that they are better placed to make good use of that good fortune (in the form of decent young players) when it occurs

I sound like a massive FA fanboy but I probably share much of the reservations you have about their overall governance of the game, the shambles they made of Wembley, World Cup bids etc. But I do think this is genuinely one area where they are starting to get more things right.
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Reg Smeeton
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« Reply #32 on: Tuesday, March 26, 2019, 17:37:29 »

Thanks. Sounds like I need to realise this isn't The FA as such, but numerous footballing bodies that are pulling in one direction. Having no direct knowledge of any of it (sounds like you do) I'll take what you say as positive steps in the right direction.

As a cynical fucker though, part of me just can't shake the feeling that this hasn't been caused by the pathway development thing, but is purely one of those perfect storm random moments where shit is just slotting nicely together, along with a good coach and a decent balance of players that aren't the sponsor's favourites.

Still think it's a bit early to credit the FA with this, insofar as you say re causation and correlation. 

The last WC campaign started with Allardyce in charge, a necessary move given the mental collapse of the squad at the Euros.... created players who could barely do any of the basics properly.

It was only events which got GS the job and many had misgivings rather than it being some sort of plan.
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pauld


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« Reply #33 on: Tuesday, March 26, 2019, 18:12:42 »

Still think it's a bit early to credit the FA with this, insofar as you say re causation and correlation. 

The last WC campaign started with Allardyce in charge, a necessary move given the mental collapse of the squad at the Euros.... created players who could barely do any of the basics properly.

It was only events which got GS the job and many had misgivings rather than it being some sort of plan.
Yes you're right about that Reg and I've probably given too much credit for there being an overall plan. There has been a definite plan within the youth development sections of the FA, but until the appointment of Southgate it hadn't really permeated into what was done with the senior team, albeit there was considerable lip service paid to it. So it's probably fortunate that we have a manager in the senior setup who has come through from the youth development setup and buys into that plan (because he was part of creating it). I guess the test of whether the FA as a whole buys into it will only really be when they come to appoint a successor to Southgate. So the FA have got lucky to that extent. Nonetheless, credit where it's due in that they created the youth development setup that enabled that opportunity for good luck to be there and were able to exploit it when it arose. Create your own luck and all that
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Reg Smeeton
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« Reply #34 on: Tuesday, March 26, 2019, 18:34:14 »

Yes you're right about that Reg and I've probably given too much credit for there being an overall plan. There has been a definite plan within the youth development sections of the FA, but until the appointment of Southgate it hadn't really permeated into what was done with the senior team, albeit there was considerable lip service paid to it. So it's probably fortunate that we have a manager in the senior setup who has come through from the youth development setup and buys into that plan (because he was part of creating it). I guess the test of whether the FA as a whole buys into it will only really be when they come to appoint a successor to Southgate. So the FA have got lucky to that extent. Nonetheless, credit where it's due in that they created the youth development setup that enabled that opportunity for good luck to be there and were able to exploit it when it arose. Create your own luck and all that

I think the FA have made some grassroots improvements, but space to do a whole lot more, and they got lucky with GS.

When we lost to Iceland, there was the stat about how more or less every village in Iceland had an indoor all weather pitch and a UEFA standard coach, despite the population being so small.
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pauld


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« Reply #35 on: Tuesday, March 26, 2019, 19:10:06 »

I think the FA have made some grassroots improvements, but space to do a whole lot more, and they got lucky with GS.

When we lost to Iceland, there was the stat about how more or less every village in Iceland had an indoor all weather pitch and a UEFA standard coach, despite the population being so small.
God yes, there's loads more they could do. Spending more on coach education as most of the Nordic nations do would be a massive boost. Although rather than spending shedloads on 3G, I'd like to see them do more to take over the upkeep of some of the existing grass pitches that are badly neglected by local authorities and schools as austerity has taken root. I should rather than "just" spending loads on 3G, there is a place for more 3G pitches but I despair of the "either/or" thinking that seems to abound. We don't suffer from the same extreme weather conditions as they do in Iceland, it should be quite feasible for us to keep many more grass pitches in decent enough nick to be playable most of the year.

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