Land of Hoof and Gory

Land of Hoof and Gory
June 16, 2010 damienp

A few weeks ago, site contributor Damien Parsonage wrote a piece for TTT about youth development, and how England lags behind other major nations; but with all the developments at LFC it got put on hold.

Now, with the issue in the media following Franz Beckenbauer’s ‘kick and rush’ accusations, it seemed the right time to give this fine piece an airing. It’s not Liverpool-specific, but it does cover the wider issues affecting all British academies. While I feel this country does produce some technically gifted players, it’s the inability to play tactical, possession-based football – particularly when the chips are down – that is the main obstacle.

Why don’t we produce players like Lionel Messi in this country? Or Ronaldo? Or Xavi or Iniesta?

Does the rest of the world have some secret that we don’t know about?

Just look at the way the current Spanish international players ping the ball around. They pass accurately, to feet, and they are totally, utterly comfortable with the ball, even in tight situations.

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