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Grey Dyke is chairman on the FA. Do you think he knows anything about football? Okay, he does have a voice which echoes Roland Rat a little too accurately to take him at all seriously, but worse than that is what he had to say about the state of English football.
"The real challenge for us (middle-management-speak alert)looking forward is that we've gone from 70% English players in the Premier League to 30% and it's still falling. If that continues, we won't have a chance in hell in future tournaments. We have got to stop that decline and we've got to get more English players playing at the highest level."
Let's say this clearly, it's bloody nonsense, son. Shut up, go away, think about it a little more deeply and then try again.
This is the sort of old rubbish that a lot of people who think they know about football will tell you, usually while they're driving you around in a taxi. On the surface it might seem to make sense, which is why people like Dyke who knows nothing about football outside of shallow, received opinion reiterate it as though it is some sort of wisdom. This blithe assertion is infuriating because it so damned stupid.
When the Premier League started as The Premiership in 1992, England were world beaters due to having such a large amount of Englishmen in the league, were we? No. We were not. We were probably worse than we are now. In fact, all things considered there's a case to say that since the number of Englishmen have diminished, England have done no worse or a little better, especially when we don't employ an English manager.
So a word to the wise, Greg. When England's leagues were largely populated only with Englishmen, we didn't win anything. We failed to qualify for tournaments between 1970 and 1982 and in 1994. We were, by and large, no good. We were outplayed on a regular basis because we had arcane tactics, relied on physical strength too much and paid little attention to technique. On top of that, despite the images of players bleeding from head wounds, our teams lacked composure and basic bottle.
Our so-called legends were donkeys and often showed up as such. None of this was anything to do with the number of players available to choose from for the national side. It was to do with our football culture and the quality of our coaching from junior sides upwards.
You only need 11 players for a team, 22 for a squad. The volume of players to pick from isn't important. Listen to me carefully now, Greg, it is the quality of players that matters. Hear that word? I'll say it again. Quality. Not quantity. Got that? It's not hard to understand.
But in Greg's simple mind, more is better per se. This is the man who is charged with running the national game. And apparently he consulted widely to come up with this old guff. Worse still, he doesn't have a clue about how little clue he really has.
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