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
Gunners' Debuchy Out Three Months     
Arsne Wenger on Tuesday confirmed that France defender Mathieu Debuchy will be out of action for ...
Roma's De Rossi to Miss Key Matches    
AS Roma on Tuesday confirmed that midfielder Daniele De Rossi has a first-degree calf injury, making ...
Portugal Appoints Fernando Santos as Coach    
The Portuguese soccer federation (FPF) on Tuesday appointed former Greece coach Fernando Santos as head coach. ...
Report: Liverpool in Breach of FFP?     
Liverpool on Tuesday said it's "very relaxed" about reports suggesting that it might have nearly 7 ...
Zidane in Hot Water Over Coaching Licenses    
Spain's national soccer coaching center (CENAFE) on Tuesday denounced former France and Real Madrid legend Zinedine ...
Ousted Magath Furious Over Cheese Remedy Revelation    
Former Fulham coach Felix Magath, who was fired last week after the Cottagers terrible start to ...
FIFA Mulls New Concussion Protocol    
At a meeting of its executive committee in Zurich on Tuesday, soccer's world governing body FIFA ...
Report: Lampard Could Extend City Loan     
Frank Lampard could be set for an emotional return to Stamford Bridge after Manchester City coach ...
Ozil on the Defensive    
In an interview with German news outlet FAZ, Arsenal's much-maligned playmaker Mesut Ozil defended his record ...
LVG: We Threw Away Three Points     
Louis van Gaal said that Manchester United threw three points away as Leicester City twice rallied ...
>> Section 2 Around the Net Archives