I feel it's always best to blog when the feelings are raw and fresh but watching all 3 England games in the Women's Euro 2013 made me sit back & think. But hasn't make me rethink my support for Women's football (as i've enjoyed the group stage of the Euros), because in my view, the women's game is still very much in a developmental phase and when you're in that stage you need support rather than chastisement. There will be other tournaments for our Lionesses to thrive at but this tournament showed me that England's lack of quality (especially in depth) knows no gender or age bounds.
Changes are needed at all levels but especially at Under 21's level with Glenn Hoddle's recent comments it seems like all some people want to do is talk rather than commit to actions, and yes that comment is aimed at Glenn Hoddle himself. The more we talk, the more we fall behind and for me actions do speak louder than words and we need to eradicate the greed & short termism that plagues our game and start focusing on the future of our game, forget copying other nations, we need to stamp our own authority onto the game we love and the game we arguably brought to the world. Women's football is getting more exposure and I for one am and will continue to be an advocate of that but development, rather than the pursuit of money needs to be our focus. Women's football needs our support instead of the FA making borderline moronic decisions & hampering the game and on the mens side, from youth all the way up we need to be looking long term, not at the money that can be made, new television deals and clubs raising ticket prices, but how our youngsters are developing. Something is missing from our youngsters and in general from English footballers and most would say it's technique, which in my view it is, but mental prowess is another glaringly obvious attribute our players seem to be missing and the chasm is getting bigger as each year goes by.
St. Georges park is a great idea & concept but as the powerful 'Football's Suicide Secret' documentary hosted by PFA Chairman Clarke Carlisle showed, the mental side is horribly under recognised & under utilised. To me it looks like players are badly advised and used by unscrupulous agents and clubs as money making machines that are to be discarded after they've outlived their usefulness which for me is borderline disgraceful. As a wrestling fan and as I have done on a recent Pitch Talk Live show i'd like to paraphrase Gordon Solie and say 'Football is half physical & half mental' and England are lagging behind the top countries in the world in both areas. Support, development, technique should be the key words & key aims to improve, not money and revenue as every area of the game needs help, Youth, Women and; especially the full Men's squad or the future won't be bright, it will be bleak & teams getting dumped out early is what we'll continue to see.
I'm Straight Shootin' LJA & that's my opinion