Welwyn Hatfield football coaches give their verdict on England World Cup failure

SO where did it all go wrong for England?

Self-appointed experts in pubs, homes and offices up and down the country have been debating the reason for the country’s miserable World Cup campaign ever since the Three Lions crashed out to Germany 4-1 almost two weeks ago.

Some blame manager Fabio Capello, others say the players just aren’t the same in an England shirt – and others have pointed to fundamental flaws in the way grassroots football is played in this country.

So the WHT contacted a few of Hertfordshire’s youth coaches this week, and asked them what they thought could be done about the English game.

Alan Gibbs, chairman of youth football club Welwyn Pegusus, said there was a fear of making a mistake among footballers in England, with too much pressure being put on youngsters.


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“Football’s all about decision making, it’s about making the right decision at the right time on the pitch,” he said.

“But there’s a lot of pressure on kids; it’s all about winning. They can’t make a mistake, and that’s what the England problem was – they were afraid of making a mistake.”

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Mr Gibbs said the FA, for its part, was doing something about changing the culture of youth football in England.

“About a year ago, the FA came up with the Youth Module,” he said. “It basically centres around allowing kids to make their own mistakes and playing in a non-pressured environment.”

“When a kid makes a mistake, don’t tell him what he did wrong, let him give the answer.

“You’re taking the pressure off them.”

Andrew Anastasiou, , head coach at Brazilian Soccer Schools Herts South East, said a World Cup-winning England side would need more than just strength and determination (two things desperately lacking this time around) to triumph.

He said: “We’re all really disappointed about the result, but we must face the facts.

“Our players have not been able to compete at this level for many years,” said Andrew, who teaches children and teenagers, like NJ, pictured, in the game of Futebol de Salao (played with a smaller ball that doesn’t bounce and encourages dribbling and quick passing).

“We need to change the culture of our football in this country to develop a far greater number of technically able players who will complement our historic strengths and bring the World Cup back to the home of football.”

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