...what happened to the fourth Champions League place the last time an English team won the thing. Plus, who would want to pay £60 to watch the current England team?
A Sunderland fan in the mailbox is surprised by Jack Colback's call up to the England squad. Plus, thoughts on Welbeck and Liverpool's Champions League draw...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
More On Coaching
In response to Ben (PE Teacher) - Ben I am wholly aware that coaching is an invaluable aid when it comes to the development of young talent. Where we differ is I believe that coaching can only nurture the gift. It does not create it! La Masia - the very pinnacle of youth coaching - pioneers in developing technically gifted players - remind me again where Barcelona got Neymar, Suarez, Alves, Mascherano, Rakitic?? Real Madrid have also heavily invested in their own academy. I don't think I need to tell you where they get their players. Why did these schools not simply produce these stars instead of spending hundreds of millions scouting elsewhere for them? Is it possible that their pool was dry talent wise?
I see you have also skipped over my point about the Dutch centres of excellence. Germany have mimicked the Dutch blueprint. Where are the brilliant young Dutch players these days?? Have they closed all those centres or is it more plausible that the country is just going through a lean spell talent wise? Talent is cyclical in nature.
"The art of teaching is aiding discovery, and through inspirational coaching that is widespread and consistent in Germany since 2000, they have been able to inspire and allow children to discover an interest, and then develop the subsequent talent that comes from enthusiasm." Are you suggesting that before 2000, football was some mysterious concept German children needed to develop an interest in through education? Do these kids live in caves?
Lastly, I understand the principles of coaching/training/repetition in improving a persons' ability to perform a task. I am not a simpleton. The best coaches in the world cannot make a mid level player finish a ball like Van Basten, Dribble like Messi, Pass it like Xavi, Cross it like Beckham. You cannot coach the vision of Iniesta. These players are born gifted.
Iniesta, Xavi & Alonso don't exist BECAUSE of La Masia. If they did then they would have hundreds more ready to take up the plight.
England can refine their coaching methods all they want. Unless the next Bobby Charlton manifests they are going to be stuck with Lallana and co. You can only improve these players to a certain level before their limitations will hold them back. Surely as a teacher of physical education you can see that?
Germany are lucky right now to have some genuinely talented young players on their books. Like every other nation they will suffer lean spells in the future talent wise and all the coaching in the world won't change that.
Crookster (Difference of opinion)
David In California rightly calls attention to the mishandling of several head injuries by officials and team physios. I myself was once in the exact same position in an underage game. The only thing I remember about the game is jumping around the tenth minute, waking up on the floor and having strange tunnel vision for the rest of the game. In the clubhouse afterwards I shared with my manager that I had no idea what had gone on, and he said that I had insisted I stay on. I was the captain of the team at that time so I guess that may have also held some weight.
As for resolving the issue, I think the substitution rules should be revised. I feel that managers are loathe to use one of their substitutions immediately, especially in high profile games, if the player is actually fine to continue. This probably stems from the amount of feigning injury by top level players to gain advantage, something which I don't particularly like but do understand given the importance of these games. I feel that something like a 'blood substitution' should be allowed in cases like these so that a doctor can have a proper 5-10 minute examination of an injured player, which the opportunity for that player to switch back in if he is deemed fit to do so by an impartial judge.
In my view, this would not only allow for the proper treatment of serious cases, but also may have the added side effect of curbing some of the play acting. I don't think many players would be willing to fake a serious injury like this (as they do) at the risk of being dragged off for 5-10 minutes to get checked out by a doctor who has nothing to do with their team (I'm 99% sure that when a player is faking it they probably have a word in the team physio's ear when they are being 'treated' that they are actually fine and are just taking a cheeky breather, the dirt-bags!). You could even extend this to incidents like Schweinsteiger getting a bashing in the face. He was so eager to get back into the game that he probably wasn't treated with utmost care and the team were a man down for longer than they could have been if a blood-sub came on.
Can we have a "16 concussions" to make us more aware about the seriousness and prevalence of the injury?
A Happy Tooner
In the mix of the World Cup, the hysteria over Vidal and Sanchez (justified hysteria may I add, brilliant players) and Liverpool buying St. Mary's. Newcastle have quietly gone about adding class to our squad. Siem De Jong and Janmaat are two pieces of phenomenal business at their respective prices. But not only that we've spent over ten million on one player! Happy days all round.
Throw in the potential of Ayoze and signing Colback, which was worthit simply for Sunderland's comedy gold reaction. We probably won't win anything, but when do we? However next season with another striker added into the mix we're going to be dam easy on the eye. Which despite all the stereotypes of us thinking were Real Madrid, is all we really want. To see attractive football played with a bit of heart.
Jack Wilshere may just end up being the poster boy for the "nearly" men.
Another Mailboxer feared that Jacky boy may slip further down the pecking order if Khedira checks in and for very good reason it would seem.
It's always said that he has the potential to be as good as he wants to be but potential will only get you so far. At 22, he really should be kicking on and becoming the player many believe he can be. You only have to look at Tom Cleverley to see what happens when people realise that your potential was just that and nothing more. They turn on you and they turn hard.
While I have no real problem with the whole smoking thing (hell I did it for 10 years so who am I to judge) and believe that people seem to love a good high horse, all it does is give those people ammunition when he picks up another knock and for when he struggles for fitness.
In 20 years time, when we're looking back to a better time before the North Koreans vaporised half the planet (not such a joke anymore huh?), will we be remembering a Jack Wilshere who became a top quality midfielder or a Jack Wilshere that was all potential and didn't seem that arsed?
I have a feeling I know which one we will be remembering but we'll see, won't we?
Kris, LFC, Manchester
Cole's Move Won't Inspire Anyone
With all the hullaboo about the WC final, I can finally give vent to my thoughts on JT's best mate's transfer to Roma and why your optimism about the same is misplaced. The question "Will this inspire young English players to move abroad?" can be answered with a resounding "No". There's a couple of reasons for that.
The first reason is playing (when injury permits him) in Hamburg in the Bundesliga, in England's problem position of center back. Don't scratch your heads, I'm talking of Michael Mancienne. How many times in the past three years have you heard his name being mentioned with the likes of Dawson, Caulker, Shawcross and multiple other underwhelming options? How many times has he made it to your ladder?
The second (and much more important) reason is this: Just who would pay the insane fees that some of the English youngsters move for? A simple example: Luke Shaw moved to United for ~30 million pounds, and Stefan De Vrij is on the shop window for around a fourth of that. The latter is aged 22 and is fresh off a very successful World Cup. Apart from Real, Barca or PSG, do you think anyone on the continent can afford a Ross Barkley? And if they can, would they rather have him or get wee Bernard from Shakhtar? It's the same story in the loan market, only an English club will be able to afford an English player's wages.
AB MUFC, Atlanta, Stateside
Luis Or Shaw?
Chelsea look to have signed Filipe Luis, a 28 year old left back for 20million and not an eye has been blinked. Yes he's a proven talent and a good (but hardly world class) left back and at most will have 3 or 4 good seasons before needing to be replaced.
So some perspective please, as I'm tired of these Luke Shaw jabs over the £30m transfer fee, which with the benefit of hind sight in a few years will be seen as an absolute bargain.
Luke Shaw is a phenomenal talent, who is already an excellent left back (top 5 or 6 in the league) and has the potential to develop into something really special while in the mean time being good enough to start week in week out for United.
Also, despite having played two full seasons and therefore being a pretty experienced premier league player (and hardly an untried youth), he was only 19 last week and, without injury, has 12-13 years of his prime career ahead of him.
So £30m suddenly doesn't seem all that much for a quality, premier league settled player, to fill the left back position for the next decade plus.
So I guess it's a clash of ideals. Do you take the initially lower risk approach and buy developed players for a few years at great expense? The result is consistently good players and the occasional embarrassing flop!
Or do you buy and develop youth? The result is more varied with some failures, many good players and of course the occasional super star. Surely its far better to look for the potential super stars at an early age and develop them (Messi) than waiting to buy the finished product for mega money like Madrid did with Bale and Ronaldo and now Barcelona with Suarez.
Tom Saints (I know which approach I like to see!)
- 'G' is the 7th letter of the alphabet and 'Germany' begins with G.
- The name 'Germany' contains 7 letters.
- Germany was in Group G or the '7th group'.
- Germany finished the group stage with 7 points.
- Germany scored 7 goals in the group stage.
- Germany scored 7 goals vs Brazil.
- And in the 7th month of the year, Germany won the World Cup 7 minutes from the end of extra time.
Not an original piece...found on Facebook. At least I'm honest about it unlike some other mailboxers.
Lorenzo (The Illuminati does exist) Royle, MUFC