Well, World Cup 2010 in South Africa is soon coming to a close. As perhaps to be expected, most of the predictions were misleading or were overtly overoptimistic in the first place, barring Paul The Octopus of course (more on this here and here).
Now that Germany have beaten Argentina very convincingly, England’s defeat doesn’t look too shabby. However, England’s problems still remain and some key changes will need to be made. It’s an interesting case of ‘lessons learnt‘, particularly as it’s the complicated type where politics and egos are bound to have a key determining role.
There was a nice summary in a leader in The Times recently (before the confirmation of the continuation of Fabio Capello as manager), here’s an extract:
To learn from defeat requires an understanding of causes. The FA has now tried every type of coach, from passionate motivators to coolheaded rationalists. None has succeeded, so it is obviously time to look elsewhere for the real reasons for England’s failures. It’s time to invest in the grass roots, not to redecorate the shop window. There are now 34,000 elite Uefa-trained coaches in Germany. England has fewer than 3,000. After Germany’s defeat at Euro 2000, all that nation’s top clubs were told to establish youth academies or face having their licences revoked.
Supporters may crave the thrill of change, even if it is only cosmetic. But José Mourinho or Arsène Wenger would probably not fix the England team, even if either could be persuaded to take on the impossible job. Unless English football addresses its structural inadequacies, we won’t need a great manager to win the World Cup. We will need a miracle.
Picture credit here.