With the focus firmly on the England nation team this week, with the world champions in London, comparisons are being made throughout both teams and the reason for Spain’s superiority in the world of football at the moment.
The FA are confident that England can jump to the level of the top countries; in terms of coaching and producing players; by completing the building work at St Georges Park in Burton that will act as a base for all coaching, training and teaching of young English players coming through the ranks. The national team currently train in north or west London at clubs such as Arsenal and Watford’s training grounds as they do not have their own area to do so.
After nearly ten years of planning and building, the National Football Centre will be completed next year and the FA, LMA and PFA will move in to the facilities and begin the scheme that will hopefully make England one of the greatest teams in the world again. The site will include two adjoining hotels, 228 bedrooms, five gyms, extensive hydrotherapy area and acres of space for medical activity, research, kit preparation, statistical analysis, even rooms for courses on how to make players better people, as well as 12 outdoor full size pitches and an arena that includes an astro turf pitch indoors.
Other countries around Europe have already installed similar facilities such as France’s Clairefontaine and Coverciano in Italy that will be smaller and less modern than St Georges, but they have been successful over the years and this is genuinely a chance for England to produce better players and coaches in the next ten years.
The head of the scheme, David Sheepshanks has claimed that it may take 20 years for us to see a return in players for the opening of the park but with gems such as Jack Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Phil Jones now taking place in the national squad it may be the beginning of something really special. The new generation of players will get to train and learn at what is being called the University of English football.
It is a fantastic idea and the FA have got to finally be applauded for the plans but is it really going to work?
Unfortunately, thousands of young English players are being released by club and replaced with foreign talent that come in cheap as a youngster and will become a first team player in front of the English players. In regards to Spain, you can look at Andres Iniesta, Xavi and David Silva and compare them to English players, how many English internationals are genuine two footed players? None!
There are just six English managers in the Premier League at the moment and the foreign coaches have settled in England and could start to dominate. Is it not peculiar that Spanish players, Italian players, German players come and play in the English league but no foreign clubs seem to want to buy English players. None of the England side plays abroad, which should make watching the players easier for Mr Capello but bad for our players learning different styles of playing when it comes to major competitions.
When the new, young coaches’ graduate from the St Georges centre will they be given a chance to prove what they have learnt at the highest level? If the best managers in the world are not English that will not stop Premier League chairman from hiring them, supposedly bringing their coaching staff with them it will be impossible for the English coaches to make a mark. They will have to break into football the same way they do now, working their way up the clubs ranks or starting off in the football league to show their worth.
While St Georges Park is a great idea and could prove to be extremely beneficial for English football, the Premier League clubs will have to give the coaches and players a chance for it to help our country become a force yet again.