- Understand the real reasons for their consistently poor results since winning in 1966. Don’t just simplify the reasons down to one or two things alone.
- With the UK government’s influence and FIFA’s support, ensure the England team has a full month to train together just before the World Cup, so they practice well as a team. No doubt that means playing fewer Premier games as a result. The players could all be forced to take a pay cut during that time, whether selected for the national team or not. Once England did this, (some) other national teams would follow to increase their own chances of winning.
- During the pre-Cup training, get sports trainers from outside the football industry to run sessions with the English team on self belief and adopting a winning attitude (trainers from the SAS of ‘who dares wins’ fame could usefully teach this), sprinting at twice the speed (to reach the ball, with trainers from those who coach Olympic sprinters), long distance runs to build stamina to perform at peak in the last 15 minutes including any injury time (Mo Farrah’s trainer seconded for this?) and some grid-iron coaches to help the team develop innovative set-piece routines. Also have SAS trainers in the changing rooms at half time to inspire the team further.
- When selecting the players for the team, put far more weighting on speed (accurate passing at pace and ‘Bolt’ sprinting ability to follow the ball) and hunger to win. And far less on technical performance earlier in that player’s career.
- Drill the mid field in how to do two things – firstly, receive an ultra-fast incoming ball and pass it on accurately in record time. And secondly, for one or two of the mid field to sprint back to bolster the defence, as required. Train the mid field hard by having a striker slam balls at them to practise.
- In the 3 months leading up to the World Cup training, second the foreign strikers playing in the English premiership to each do a session, slamming the ball past the English defenders and the English goal keeper. Then when the defence face them in the Cup, the defence will be even more familiar with handling World-class threats.
- Don’t ever appoint a team manager who knows everything there is to know about how football was played in the past. Instead, appoint a football architect – someone who is designing how best-practice football will be played in the next ten years. This may include flexible and dynamic formations, using deception more creatively as a tool, more use of set pieces, more sequenced header plays and new types of passing techniques.
- Make anyone invited to play in the England national team sign a contract saying they’ll join a ‘walk of shame’ through the London streets, where the English public can pelt them with rotten vegetables, if the team doesn’t a least make it through to the quarter finals. If the players won’t sign that contract, they’ll be immediately dropped from the England squad. Refuse in the following World Cup or refuse to walk in the actual walk of shame and they’ll be dropped for good. For true World class players, there is little downside risk.
- Train each player to be flexible – in their mental attitude and in which position they can confidently play. Then if forced by circumstance to play out of their perfect comfort zone, the player will simply step up and try even harder. Put every England player under pressure (train hard, play easy), so they learn to handle far more pressure than they ever thought they could.
- Since the team members are default role models for English youth and since losing yet again will dent the confidence of the subsequent World Cup national team even further, all players selected need to feel the pressure of needing to play the best game of their lives, every time they play a World Cup game.
Match fixing in sport is at best, the height of short-term thinking. Sport by definition is about competitive, but fair play. Changing the players’ incentives dissolves the purpose of the event.
What’s worse; UK football players (Sturridge, Wellbeck & Sterling excepted) with no real hunger to win for their country in the World Cup, or the UK national selectors who simply don’t have the courage to select a team with less apparent talent, but hugely more hunger to win?
Rags to riches to rags in 3 generations. Parental fulfilment; riches to rags to riches in the first 3 decades of your children’s lives.
Countries that construct laws that they don’t apply rigorously and fairly, cease being taken seriously by outsider onlookers (especially potential investors & skilled migrants).
Why in this day and age, do some governments appear to willingly let default rule over design? The UK is facing persistent (and successful) immigration of illegal migrants, who fled their home country because of persecution and prejudice. Yet when those illegal migrants arrive in the UK, ironically they see evidence of police corruption (eg London Met Police), significant criminal re-offending & hardliners taking over UK school curriculums with impunity (Birmingham).