Wembley Stadium

Next Game

England v Lithuania

Friday, 27 March 2015, 19:45

European Qualifiers Group E

Celtic Park

Last Game

Scotland 1 - 3 England

Tuesday, 18 November 2014, 20:00

International Match

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

L

oved the article. i remember at school, after failing an exam, I would become obscenely secretly happy if I discover that others failed as well. Misery loves company...Now here is to hoping Chelsea joins the party and Stoke city wins the league...Cheers!

gabu
The Premier League: As Crazy As A Bag Of Snakes

C

haos reached its ultimate reckoning last weekend with Tony Hibbert looking assured at left back and Osman looking like a cultured ball playing midfielder before busting a gut to get to the back post for a Samuel Eto'o ball. Different chaos but chaos. If Kone scores the winner tonight I fear the world will end.

jelasfirsttouch
The Premier League: As Crazy As A Bag Of Snakes

A

beautiful demonstration of why stats mean diddly-squat in football.

cheshire-gooner
WhoScored's PL Team Of 2014 So Far...

Footer 365

La Liga: David Moyes says he wants to 'excite' Real Sociedad fans ahead of Elche clash

David Moyes wants to "excite" Real Sociedad fans in his first home game in charge of the Basque club against Elche.

Europa League: Everton qualify for Round of 32 with 2-0 win at Wolfsburg in Group H

Romelu Lukaku and Kevin Mirallas both scored as Everton won 2-0 at Wolfsburg and qualified for the Europa League Round of 32.

Europa League: Benjamin Stambouli fires Tottenham to win over Partizan Belgrade

Benjamin Stambouli's strike earned Tottenham a 1-0 win over Partizan Belgrade and a place in the last 32 of the Europa League.

Mail Box

Arsenal Fans Are Full Of Hope Again...

Arsenal fans have been sucked back into believing Wenger can bring the glory years back after beating Borussia Dortmund. Plus, more on Liverpool's worrying decline...

Makes Sense To Make Gerrard Liverpool Manager

That's the thoughts of one Mailboxer, who wants Jamie Carragher as defensive coach. Plus views on Arsenal, Malmo v Juventus, Alexis Sanchez & tremendous improvement...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property