Initially I wasn’t concerned about the tactics and style of Hope Powell’s squad when they took on Canada one week ago. But as my eyes wandered from the wizardry of Sinclair and company it was hard not acknowledge the enemy . While their overall play was somewhere below decent, the way in which Team GB’s Ladies played – stringing more than three passes together – paled in comparison to their male counterparts.
Spain aren’t the boring ones. Though the Tiki-taka way of life is lamented by some, I prefer it over the long ball glory that seemingly dominates the English game. ‘Kick and rush’ is why Grant Holt almost made the English team, it’s why Andy Carroll did.
It’s too late for this generation. As any two-bit pundit will tell you – changes must be made at the youth level to see progress in the top flight years down the road. Former Canadian international and current talking head Jason deVos has championed the overhaul of youth soccer in Canada. As it’s currently set up, the youth system in Canada stresses promotion and relegation. Coaches select the most physically developed kids in order to win now. deVos, and rightfully so, believes this is rubbish. Above all, it would behoove the CSA to focus on the technical ability that seperates the elite from the good years down the road.
So what about England. Who will be their Jason deVos. If you’ve read the title of this post – damn – you’ll already know the answer. ‘Le God’, or as the non-believers call him, Matt Le Tissier:
“They are trying to change things with smaller pitches and fewer players and hopefully it will make a difference but it’s all very well to say ‘right we are going to play on smaller pitches and with fewer players but I’m still going to pick the biggest boys so I can win the game’, then nothing will change. Take out the winning and stick in the enjoyment and you will end up with far better players at the age of 15.”
The Southampton legend will select around twenty boys from each age group to train with him once a week throughout the season. Rather than form a teams to compete in special leagues, the kids will “be encouraged to express themselves, experiment and enjoy actually playing the game while also competing for their school or youth teams. Le Tiss himself was a product of the famed Southampton youth system, winning the player-of-the-year honour as an 11-year old. The man’s got the resume.
‘Le God’ also took aim at coaching badges in his interview with Pete Jenson of The Independent. The money quote:
“Whenever I say this it sounds really arrogant and I don’t mean it to but it is just that when you have had years of somebody who is not as good as you with the ball telling you what to do you lose the will to go and do what that guy is doing. And the biggest obstacles are the coaching badges. You have to go through so much rubbish to get qualified.”
This doesn’t always work – former hockey legend fails at coaching in Phoenix, etc – but it’s a question worth asking. Players embody their coach on the pitch, thus a workman like coach produces a similar display on the field. Would a Matt Le Tisser managed side be defensively stalwart – probably not, but they’d be fun as hell to watch.
It’s going to be a tough one. Toronto FC down seven regulars against visiting Portland.
Whitecaps battling injuries ahead of Wednesday’s match.
It’s almost here! Club-by-club guide to the upcoming Premier League season.
England vs. Italy - Match Preview
Holland manager Louis Van Gaal reveals Robin Van Persie’s future is in his own hands.
Portsmouth on the brink of liquidation once again.
Frank Lampard has it all planned out…wants a new deal with Chelsea.
Roy Hodgson hopes John Terry is cleared of his FA charge.
More on new coaching methods in England.
Karl Henry extends deal with Wolverhampton.
Manchester United making progress with Van Persie transfer.
Broken promises at White Hart Lane according to Croatia manager Igor Stimac.
West Ham c0-owner David Sullivan reveals he was set to “blow the budget” for Andy Carroll.
Cassano set for Milan extension.
Felipe Melo leaves Juventus on loan again.
Prosecutor appeals Bonucci and Pepe acquittals.
Three Napoli players suspended after Super Cup loss.
Marcello Lippi believes Juventus is still strong even without Antonio Conte.
Inter Milan and Napoli target keen on Serie A.
Talk about a stab in the back! AC Milan defender Mario Yepes reveals Juventus are the best in Serie A.
Prandelli admits to experimenting with youth during England friendly.
Bits and bobs
Vintage video of the day: Zidane’s first game for France
Get arrested in Chile for smuggling drugs…you play soccer.
All 25 goals from week 23 of MLS.
Didier Deschamps isn’t going to like this…Franck Ribbery and Karim Benzema face soliciting trial.
2012/2013 Premier League promo.
Today’s rumor roundup.
Cheers to Michael Tomasone for the links.