Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Sun Sets on British Tactics
New York Sun, November 27th, 2007 6:30PM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

It looks like the sun has finally set on Britain's soccer empire: England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Northern Ireland all failed to qualify for this summer's European Championships in Austria and Switzerland. And with their collective failure, "British influence within soccer has dwindled to the point where it has become a national embarrassment," says soccer columnist Paul Gardner.

At least, in England it is. Last week, the national team's "futility hit a new low" as the Lions were roundly beaten, 3-2, at home to a far superior Croatia in a game that meant everything to the hosts -- alas a tie would have done the trick—and practically nothing to the visitors. "Actually," says Gardner, "this was a total British calamity."

The worrying part is that England seems to be getting worse as the years go by. The English game simply hasn't evolved. Coaches and players still champion that ugly brand of soccer known as the long-ball approach, in which players bypass the midfield completely, opting to launch the ball at tall forwards like Peter Crouch (6-foot-7) hoping they can either manage a shot on goal or a "knockdown" to an onrushing teammate. The other strategy is to get the ball on the wing and pelt the penalty box with cross after cross—a strategy that works reasonably well when you have a quality crosser like David Beckham in your team. But it's a rather one-dimensional approach, one that England paid dearly for against Croatia, a team whose "players were technically superior, more comfortable, and confident in their ball control," says Gardner.

Read the original story...



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Section 2 Around the Net
Arrests Mar Roma's UCL Win     
Police arrested three fans prior to AS Roma's UEFA Champions League opener against Russian side CSKA ...
Roma Players Warn City, Bayern Following Rout     
AS Roma's players said they are full of confidence following their 5-1 hammering of CSKA Moscow ...
Di Maria: "I Needed to Change My Life"    
In an interview with Perform, Manchester United forward Angel Di Maria says that he left Real ...
Drogba: "I'm Like a Diesel, I Need Time"    
Didier Drogba admits that he needs time to regain his fitness and confidence after squandering chances ...
Ajax Earns Draw with PSG    
Danish international Lassa Schone scored in the 74th-minute from a free kick to spoil Zlatan Ibrahimovic's ...
Barca Uninspiring in Narrow UCL Opener     
It was an uninspiring debut for Barcelona coach Luis Enrique in the UEFA Champions League on ...
Mourinho: Costa's Hamstring Injury a Concern     
Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho reiterated his concerns over striker Diego Costa's hamstring following the Blues' 1-1 ...
Report: NYCFC Eyes Queens Stadium    
New York City FC is considering building its stadium near the Acqueduct Racetrack in Queens, Capital ...
Ronaldo on Track to Break European Scoring Records    
If he remains injury-free this season, Cristiano Ronaldo should become the all-time leading scorer in both ...
Jardim: Monaco "Superior" in UCL Opener    
Leanardo Jardim hailed AS Monaco's "superior" display in Tuesday's 1-0 win against Bundesliga giant Bayer Leverkusen ...
>> Section 2 Around the Net Archives