England’s Euro 2016 Exit
England’s Euro 2016 Exit
I’ve had some lows as a football fan in my times, but last night was right up there. Every time a major tournament comes around we all set ourselves up for the biggest letdowns, and it happens tournament after tournament, year after year, game after game.
Going into Euro 2016, I had never been so confident in the squad we had. On the back of Tottenham’s season and Chris Smalling’s improvement, I thought a spine of Smalling, Dier, Alli, and Kane would be one of the best in the tournament. Throw in man of the moment Jamie Vardy, young gun Marcus Rashford, and the ever-present Wayne Rooney, and we seemingly had a squad that had most areas covered. How wrong we were.
Last night looked like 11 players who had 11 different ideas, against a solid unit; a team who’s togetherness is so far away from ours, you’d think we were the ones with a population of 300,000. Missed tackles, heavy touches, no runs in behind, poor tracking, and goalkeeper mistakes. Everything that could have gone wrong did.
But this wasn’t a one off performance, this wasn’t what we’ve just experienced under Roy Hodgson, this has been ever present since I started watching football over 15 years ago. If we take a look at our recent history in big tournaments, it doesn’t show for pretty viewing.
In 10 years we’ve never gone further than the quarterfinals; no matter what formation we played, who managed us, we’ve never been good enough. It seems like no matter what we change, we never do well. We always get the ‘Group of death’, refereeing decisions go against us, injuries hit us, maybe the football gods just don’t favour us? Yet throughout each shambolic campaign remains one constant, one thing that persists and persists, constantly trying to use an inept plan to solve our problems.
At the root of all our problems lies the Football Association, a governing body stuck in the 70’s, out of touch with modern football. A governing body that charges over £5000 to complete a UEFA ‘A’ coaching qualification in comparison to £1000 in Spain. A governing body that consistently picks the ‘Yes’ man as a manager. A governing body that fundamentally underprovides at a grass roots level, year in, year out.
Simply put, the FA is a complete farce. It has been for years, and acknowledged as such by people kept out from it. Yet those from within will lead you to believe there is nothing wrong, that poor performances when it matters and bad luck are the reasons we disappoint every tournament.
Forget Joe Hart’s mistake, forget that no one made any runs in behind, forget the tactical ineptness of a coach who should have gone after the last world cup. Anyone can see that, and anyone with accessibility to a search engine, can find articles on it. And they can do the same for when we drew with Costa Rica in 2014, and when we were stifled by Italy in 2012.
I’d even say forget a new manager. Because until we have major reform, until the gentleman’s club that is the FA is shook up, we have no chance. From top to bottom the whole thing needs transforming, and until that happens, how can we possibly perceive anything else but failure?
Next England Manager Betting Odds
Gareth Southgate 6/4
Glen Hoddle 7/1
Eddie Howe 8/1
Alan Pardew 10/1
Harry Redknapp 10/1
Alan Shearer 12/1
Sam Allardyce 16/1
Jurgen Klinsmann 16/1
Gary Neville 20/1
Guus Hiddink 25/1