John Cross from the the Mirror has reported that Glen Johnson could be targeted by the Old Lady of Italian football in the January transfer window and Chris can’t seem to hide his delight!
While on International duty with England, Jordan Henderson has been injured and is likely to miss the qualifier against Switzerland. Chris looks into it and has a rant at Hodgson’s archaic training techniques!
Friday Sep 5Posted by: Ben Green Comments Off
Here we go. That age old topic. One which on occasion seems larger than the question of life itself. Many have been called to lead the perennial enigma that is the England side. Far fewer have ever been chosen to receive the gift of fortune in winning a major tournament. Only one in fact.
Having watched England’s farcical showing against Norway the other night it’s clear the current national set up, with the abundance of talent in Raheem Sterling, Danny Rose, Daniel Sturridge et al, there still seems to be a total inability to fashion anything like a decent performance. England are currently 20th in the FIFA world football rankings. When one considers the list of teams ahead of our once World Cup winning side includes the likes of Greece, The USA, Switzerland and… Wait for it… Bosnia-Herzegovina no less, then one realises how bad things have become.
Following this the usual cries ring out for a change of manager. Many have identified Gareth Southgate as the “natural successor” (whatever that means) to Roy Hodgson, along with Stuart Pearce and even current Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers – God forbid – to bring about a way in which the current approach can be brought up to date and vie alongside the likes of France, Germany and even Spain. The last of whom, for all their failings at this year’s World Cup could still play England off the park. As has been said for years, what’s needed is a change of direction, a change of philosophy. And with that word we have the answer “Philosophy”.
The problem lies with those at the top of the game. For all his faults, one can’t even blame Hodgson beyond a point. If we look at Germany or Spain the difference these sides have over England is not about technical ability but it’s far more profound. They, along with France and others have a Philosophy. A way of playing football that is a standard for their nation. A way of attacking, a way of defending, the kind of players they need for each position, the focus and duty of each player in their respective position, their technical ability, physical ability etc.
This is what England don’t have. They don’t have a method. A way of applying a certain philosophy through the entire game. From the Under 16 side to the first team. The Managers need to buy into this and follow the same way. There may be some tactical changes here and there but the core philosophy remains the same. England did have this, but with the coming of the Premiership, money and the inevitable we don’t need you attitude toward the national team and it’s governing body, any coaching approach falls away in preference of teams developing their own brand of football. Their own Philosophy. The result, a national side that is left behind and out of touch with the progress being made by those it is supposed to represent.
I watch the Liverpool Under 18s and Under 20s play regularly and their application of the game is exactly the same as that of the first team squad. Pressing, high tempo, emphasis on possession and having the right tactical appreciation. This, unfortunately is lost on the England side. Simply because there is no standard in place to instil this type of uniform approach throughout the coaching of the game. This is clearly something that has caught the eye of the powers that be in English football and to be fair to them, what Liverpool is doing would make an ideal blueprint for the FA.
That said, it would be a dark day for Liverpool if ever Rodgers were to succumb to the FA’s call. A very dark day indeed. Rodgers is perfect for Liverpool and Liverpool is perfect for him. Could you say the same about the English Football Association. Probably not. In fact, definitely not. The support he’d need to put in place the required structure is further away that planet Pluto and doesn’t look as if this situation will change anytime soon. Liverpool are on the verge of greatness and I’m sure privately, the Gaffer must know this. In my opinion, there are numerous managers around who could do the job anyway, but then as Hodgson can testify, it needs more than capable players and a willing manager.
This seems to have always been the case. From Brian Clough to Terry Venables, to Stuart Pearce and latterly Harry Redknapp. For one reason or another they’ve not been allowed, or decided against it. As far as I understand, there is no shortage of technology at St. Georges Park, the team’s training centre, so it clearly isn’t about embracing modern technology. It’s about embracing modern thinking and a modern approach. Until the FA get around to doing this English football will only continue it’s trickle down the world rankings.
Follow me on Twitter: @Mrbengreen
Friday Sep 5Posted by: Aymon Bertah Comments Off
At only 19 years of age Raheem Sterling has proven why he is one of the best teenagers of the modern day. He has appeared in the World Cup and becoming one of England’s star players often outplaying English compatriot Wayne Rooney.
Raheem Sterling’s performances for both England and Liverpool are receiving several plaudits due to his ability to open up defences with his shear pace. Already notching up 2 goals in 3 matches for Liverpool he has become a focal part of the Liverpool squad and at times being the best player on the pitch. Sterling started the season off well scoring the first of two Liverpool goals in a 2-1 win over Southampton, he was able to run onto a left-footed Henderson ball and slot it past Fraser Forster into the bottom right corner. Throughout the match he was menacing and was at several instances getting into scoring opportunities. For his performance he received Man of the Match, he and Sturridge were praised by Rodgers saying “Those boys did that last year so I don’t think they’re stepping up, I think they’re continuing at the level they were at last season,”.
After the departure of Luis Suarez to Barcelona Liverpool were in need of striking power. After a solid 9 goals last season from Sterling, he looks to better that and hopefully score over 10-15 goals. His performance against Manchester City was overshadowed due to the poor performances from Liverpool as a team which made it extremely hard for the team to work together. Sterling at some stages played quite well but not enough to create any chances to break through the defence of City. Out of the Liverpool teams performance he was one of the players to show any glimpse of good football.
After the 3-1 loss, Liverpool fought back from this tough circumstance with a 3-0 win over Tottenham at White Hart Lane. Raheem Sterling again was on the score sheet in the eighth minute slotting home another Jordan Henderson pass. He has been noted to be at the right place at the right time. With the arrival of Mario Balotelli it allows Sterling to play in the number 10 role sitting behind Sturridge and Balotelli which means that Sterling doesn’t get lost sitting on the wing. Though Sterling played outstanding throughout the match there were often times where he could have played an easier ball or chose a different option, nonetheless Sterling is still growing and improving and noted to be the fastest developing English player. He was awarded the Man of the Match for the second time this season which is a confidence booster for the young player.
One main thing that Sterling should work on is shooting with the left foot, it was evident in the Tottenham game where he was dribbling through the box and came one on one with Hugo Lloris. He didn’t know what to do, where he should of shot with his left foot. It ended up being an easy save for Lloris with a soft effort from Sterling.
With continued progression throughout the season with added experience being in the Champions League i’m sure Raheem Sterling will become a focal part of the Liverpool setup and hopefully continues to stay on with the club.
Please follow me on Twitter @AymonBertah