England are going home from the World Cup empty handed once again despite promising displays with a youthful team against Italy and Uruguay. The 3 Lions haven’t won the World Cup since hosting the competition in 1966. Neither have they won a European Championship and it doesn’t look like coming to an abrupt end any time soon. Despite boasting about maintaining the most entertaining domestic league in the world, England doesn’t quite hold their national team in quite so high regard. So why do England always seem to flop at the World Cup?
10 – Past tournaments
England always head into a new tournament looking back at their last and trying to improve on their finish. Rather than going into the tournament in a fresh state of mind they are reflecting on past performances and hoping to improve. Until they eventually win a World Cup they are always going to be comparing their performances to previous tournaments that haven’t gone particularly well.
9 – Pressure
Playing for your country is monumental pressure for any player but it seems the English players feel this more than any other country. Rather than relishing the chance to wear the three lions on their chest they are more stressed over the pressure from the media and fans back home.
8 – WAGS
heir partners so close is a distraction for the players. The media attention surrounding their partners could take some eyes off the pitch and direct their focus elsewhere. Although you can argue that having close ones by could help the players relax away from the matches and training.
7 – Youth development
The lack of players coming through the youth ranks isn’t particularly promising. Jack Wilshere has had a lot of hopes pinned on him to become the next best thing to come out of England. Rather than allowing Jack to progress through the age groups has was thrust into the senior set up such was our desperation to bring some younger players through due to the lack of them coming through.
6 – Fear of failure
Linked with the pressure of playing for England, a lot of players are filled with fear as opposed to the excitement and pride of playing for their country. It seems we are more prepared to avoid defeat instead of going out to win which is a very negative attitude to adopt. Failure unfortunately comes with football but it seems our players always fear the worst right from the off.
5 – Tactics
Our tactics seem to be off the pace in contrast to other teams. England had the possession game under Fabio Capello but the arrival of Roy Hodgson has embarked on more counter attacking football and pressing high up the pitch. Can Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard play together? This question has passed by numerous England managers and despite being world class midfielders, whether they are too similar is a dilemma Hodgson will need to address.
4 – Coaches
England have one of the fewest amount of qualified coaches in Europe. Germany and Spain boast tens of thousands of qualified coaches compared to England who falls well behind. Is it a surprise then that Germany tend to reach the latter stages of the competitions more consistently than England and Spain are the current European and World champions?
3 – Expectation
In recent year’s expectation for England to achieve has dropped to an all time low such is the state of our national team at the major tournaments. The expectation is there due to the fact the players in England’s starting 11 are world class players playing for the top clubs in England.
2 – Penalties
It is very well known we have a poor record in World Cup penalty shootouts. England has lost all three of their penalty shootouts since winning the 1966 World Cup. It seems the fear of missing and self doubt creeps into the minds of the players and the composure which is needed most is lost. These same players though have no trouble scoring penalties on a regular basis for their respective clubs.
1 – Confidence
The most major factor heading into a major tournament is possessing confidence. If you’re not confident going into a match then the chances are you will come out second best. England have struggled with confidence against the harder teams but don’t seem to have problems putting the minnows such as San Marino and Moldova to bed in the qualifiers. Players from Brazil, Spain and Germany have no issues with confidence whereas when an English player is on the ball, they would rather play safe rather than expressing themselves and trying something adventurous.
Will England ever win another major tournament?
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