The English are not really doing well at sports. Unless you have an overbearing parent or positively motivated parent there is little else to move English youth in the right direction. I think that this is borne out by ridiculous levels in alcoholism and teen pregnancy in Britain. In Japan and the USA I see much more development of youth in sport. Soccer in America should be nowhere near the level of the UK, considering the status it has here, but the USA is competing with England on an equal footing. Relative population, I think is not a factor. I think a major difference is the ‘can do’ positive attitude of Americans compared to the ‘gissa fag, I’m bored!’ attitude of British youth. In fact if anyone shows any flair in the UK they are cut down as a ‘flash git.’ We tell them they need to sit around and be glum supporters of third-rate football like the rest of us. Maybe it’s the climate, maybe it’s the economy. I think it is a collective psychology of negativity. How many English boys are prepared to develop their technical skills for two hours a day after school? That is what I saw in Japan and the USA. Every day after school, enthusiastic, happy kids train in their sport of preference for two hours. In the UK we had one practice a week and just took lumps out of each other after the designated member of staff through the ball in and watched. Has much changed in the English schoolboy approach?
Another factor, apparently, is that there is a lot of money in English football clubs. They spend it on talent that comes in from overseas. One or two English players join an academy and get good training up until the age of 17 or 18. However, there is a gap after the academy where the players that are developed lack experience because they can’t get a look in at the top sides. Maybe a trouncing by a fit, talented, youthful German team will cause the English to change their approach. What I think they will do is sit down and moan and whine about World Cup 2010, until they get to moan about Euro 2012. Why not stop moaning and fix it?