Next Game

S Marino v England

Saturday, 05 September 2015, 17:00

European Qualifiers Group E

Last Game

Slovenia 2 - 3 England

Sunday, 14 June 2015, 17:00

European Qualifiers Group E

Wilkins slams lack of drive

Former England midfielder Ray Wilkins has launched a scathing attack on the country's young players - insisting most lack the 'drive' to become top footballers.

Last Updated: 09/09/13 at 10:31 Post Comment

Ray Wilkins: Slams 'drive' of younger players

Ray Wilkins: Slams 'drive' of younger players

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

The ex-Chelsea coach does not see a huge problem with the skill levels being produced, but he feels many are lacking the desire to make it to the top.

He points to Frank Lampard - who is set to win his 100th England cap on Tuesday - insisting that he has turned himself into a world-class midfielder through hard work.

"We have a world-class goalscoring midfielder about to make his 100th appearance for his national team, he wasn't the most gifted players as a youngster, but he developed and honed his skills because he had the desire to become one of the best footballers we've had," Wilkins is quoted in The Game.

"Have we ever had a more skilful footballer than Glenn Hoddle? The answer is probably no. He was two-footed and could open a tin of baked beans with both, and how did he become a great player? By playing against a wall. Glenn didn't need St George's Park - he needed a brick wall."

Desire

Wilkins is firmly of the opinion that desire rather than a lack of skill is the main issue impacting English football.

"In this country at the moment, English boys coming through are extremely talented technically," he continued.

"But do they have the drive to becoming top footballers? I don't know. The British players think they have made it too early, most definitely, but the foreign player doesn't.

"We can have as many national football centres as we wish to have, but unless we have the desire from the young men there'll be problems.

"A lot of the big clubs have to win yesterday rather than next week, but if young players are showing enough get up and go, they'll get an opportunity."

Wilkins highlighted two players who he previously worked with in the shape of Nathaniel Chalobah and Josh McEachran - both of whom are struggling to make an impression on Chelsea's first-team squad.

"At Chelsea, we gave debuts to Chalobah and McEachran, but have they pushed on? No, they haven't. Do these lads have the desire to be world-class footballers?

"As far as wages are concerned, the horse has bolted. I'd have preferred performance-related contracts for young players.

"If you look at Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United had a deal with one of the big American car companies - but he wouldn't let any of his young players have a sports car from that company.

"He's always handled that sort of thing in the most fantastic fashion and just look at the number of English players who come through that system."

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

Y

ou can't blame De Gea for wanting to leave, he has enough to do in front of goal as it is as well as taking on the role of Man Utd's version of Derek Acorah in trying to contact and organise a defence that isn't there.

rodger's gusset
Van Gaal downbeat on De Gea

I

f you want to take six points off Arsenal, then that's a great strike force. Can't imagine either of them showing much for the rest of the season though...

foot in mouth
Adebayor & Berbatov: You Have To Admire The Balls

L

ooks like Real get their man, most likely at their own valuation, yet again. Resistance is futile.

paul7702
Van Gaal downbeat on De Gea

Footer 365

Leicester agree club-record fee for Charles Aranguiz

Leicester are discussing terms with Charles Aranguiz after agreeing a club-record £10.5m fee with Internacional.

Andre Pirlo backs Liverpool's Mario Balotelli to prove his potential

Andrea Pirlo thinks Mario Balotelli can still be one of the "top forwards in Europe" despite his struggles at Liverpool.

West Brom reject approach from Aston Villa for Joleon Lescott

West Brom have rejected an approach from Aston Villa for central defender Joleon Lescott, according to reports.

Mail Box

Neville Has It Wrong On Chelsea...

One Mailboxer says that the Neviller has it slightly wrong on Chelsea. Plus thoughts on sexy Saints, pre-season reviews, Connor Wickham and televised analysis...

De Gea Disrespectful? Remember RVP...

We got dozens of mails from people pointing and laughing at Brian D for suggesting David de Gea has acted disrespectfully; we printed some. And there's more...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company