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
Steven Gerrard: 'Every Person Slips'    
Steven Gerrard says the slip that arguably ended Liverpool's title hopes and England being knocked out ...
La Liga Champ Eying Chicharito    
Mexican striker Javier Hernandez, who started just six Premier League games for Manchester United last season ...
No Charges for Moyes Over Bar Incident    
Former Manchester United coach David Moyes is in the clear after he was investigated over an ...
West Ham Acquires Ecuador World Cup Striker    
West Ham has finalized a $20 million transfer of Ecuador striker Enner Valencia from Mexican club ...
Bayern Boss Not Allowed To Board Plane to USA    
Bayern Munich executive board chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, along with six youth players and three crew members ...
Thai Refs Must Swear Oath to Buddha     
Thailand's soccer federation bosses have made more than 100 referees swear an oath of honesty at ...
Scolari Gets a Job    
Luiz Felipe Scolari, who resigned as Brazil coach after its disastrous 2014 World Cup campaign, has ...
World Cup Runner-up Coach Steps Down    
Alejandro Sabella, who guided Argentina to the World Cup final in Brazil, has decided to quit ...
Ronaldinho on the Move    
Former World Player of the Year Ronaldinho has left Atletico Mineiro. The 34-year-old former Barcelona, AC ...
Beer Approved in the Big House    
Normally, alcohol sale and consumption is strictly forbidden inside the University of Michigan's stadium, but beer ...
>> Section 2 Around the Net Archives