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

D

on't go to England at your age, you'll either be mugged or not appreciated. Or made to lump the ball long to a bloke who looks like a mascot.

megabrow (cufc)
Beckenbauer warns Schweinsteiger

F

rom the headline I presumed he meant boots, pants, jim-jams, toothbrush and paste, passport, tickets, premier inn long-term package, Scouse-English-Portuguese-German dictionary, 'How to be a 9 and 3/4' by B. Rodgers, few dozen tins of food and Evian because you can never be sure about the local food/water...

KevinBoatang
Firmino has 'everything' for PL - Willian

H

e looked like he was playing with a plastic pound shop ball in the wind against Juve, his passing was so bad.

paddy7s
Sergio Ramos: Exactly What United Need

Footer 365

Arsenal striker Lukas Podolski completes Galatasaray move

Arsenal striker Lukas Podolski has completed his transfer to Galatasaray, signing a three-year deal.

England's Laura Bassett: 'I wish no-one knew my name'

Laura Bassett says she is still deeply hurting after her stoppage-time own goal ended England Women’s World Cup dream.

Gerrard turned down Euro move

Former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard admits he turned down a "couple of nice opportunities" to move to a club in Europe in order to sign for Los Angeles Galaxy.

Mail Box

Has Everyone Forgotten About Khedira?

Sami Khedira is one of the signings of the summer and yet he's flown completely under the radar. Plus Dommy S's views of women's football get a right old shoeing...

Women's Success Won't Alter Viewing Habits

The Women's World Cup hasn't inspired everyone. Also in the Mailbox: a plastic's guide to Brazil, Nani regrets, tears over Henry, and The Beach Boys...

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