England U21s

Ebeneezer Goode

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There is no Abraham is getting anywhere near the England squad yet. He's got miles to go.

He worked his socks off throughout the tournament, but I thought he was one of the most underwhelming performers in the squad to be honest. You can make exceptions for his age, he should have been at the U20 World Cup really, but that's no excuse for him continually getting picked as a starter. Boothroyd stumbled upon a fluid system against Poland, in which we had our best performance, but then just jettisoned it straight after.
 
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Liam_SWFC

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To be fair whacking the ball up to him with no support within 30 yards didn't help him, I think if he scores goals for Swansea in the Premier League he'll be in the squad.
 

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He didn't have the best of tournaments, but it didn't help that Boothroyd seems to think he's a targetman which is not remotely his game. As long as Swansea don't play him like he's Llorente he'll do fine there.

He's not ready for the senior side but you can bet Southgate will be picking him within a year in order to try and appear progressive. We rush on our youngsters too much, why Rashford wasn't at this tournament I'll never know
 

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Given the disparity in population sizes between the two nations, I think we should be proud of taking Germany all the way to penalties. A heroic effort from our young lions.

They should be, fluking their way to penalties is about the best England have, or will, achieve against sides like Italy and Germany in competitive football.

They should have been beaten comfortably, had a 2nd string Germany taken their chances, but they got till penalties and lost there. The narrative since, at least from the BBC, is woe bitde England who were so unlucky and lost to Germany on penalties (again). Oh and Pickford is better than Donnarumma.

You can either accept this bizarre and clearly incorrect narrative, or question it. I'm choosing to do the latter.

From a population perspective England defeated (or drew) against each of the smaller sides they faced and then lost to the only larger one they faced. Of the 12 competing nations the 4 semi finalists were, completely coincidentally of course, the 4 with the largest populations.

Thanks for bringing it up, a real slam dunk in this tournament.
 

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The clubs really do have all the power don't they over the FA..

What is it like elsewhere?

Germany for example - they seem able to have 2 fairly young squads competing in two tournaments at once!
 

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Germany for example - they seem able to have 2 fairly young squads competing in two tournaments at once!

on the other side, we didn't care that much about the U20 World Cup shortly before, where England won the tournament.
And yes, more than half of the regular U21 team is actually involved in the (meaningless) Confed Cup (where Germany has the youngest squad. In the last match against Cameroon we had the youngest German (Adult ) team since the World Cup 1934 on the field (!!!) )
 

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Pickford/Donnarumma is the new Harry Kane!

----------------

There's no doubting this the most disappointing youth tournament this summer. But then the bar as been set pretty damn high by the U17s, the Toulon squad, and the U20s all having successful tournaments. We have the U19s to come next week. Some interesting players in that crop such as James and Sessegnon, with Dozzle just stepping up to that level. (Quick shout out for "Bournemouth's" Ramsdale!)

This one threatened to go tits up early on, when at half time against Slovakia we looked set to be knocked out. The FA's choice of U21 manager is frankly bizarre, I'm sure we can all agree. But no matter who the manager is, this particular U21 squad doesn't look a bumper crop by any means. Although. Loftus-Cheek and Rashford would undoubtedly have improved the side, whilst Roberts and Brown would certainly have been involved.

Germany may have players elsewhere at the moment, and frankly Germany's depth is something most nations (outside of France) would aspire to. But as above we've had young squads of overlapping ages spread all over the shop this summer as well. It's not as if this u21s was the sole focus. As far as England football summers go - this has to go down as a successful one!

Who could we say from this particular squad might threaten the senior side in the near future? Pickford will be involved as a backup keeper I'm sure, and we'll see how he gets on at Everton. Gray needs to become a firmer starting choice for Leicester, but he'll be there abouts soon, and is a shade ahead of Redmond who'll also get there with a little more consistent end product. RB is strong for us but Holgate is versatile and might pop up as an option elsewhere, depending on how much first team football he can continue to get at Everton. As said, probably not a bumper crop just now.
 

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Seeing the Spain team that played Italy, it really irritates me that players who have been capped as full internationals regularly don't take part. Whether it's arrogance or ignorance, I don't know. But when you see Bellerin, Saul and Ascensio playing for Spain and the likes of Dier, Stones, Rashford, AOC, Shaw etc don't attend, it's confusing.
 

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A little stat came out of this game which might be somewhat telling.

Apparently, the players who played for England in this match have a combined total of around 200 Premier League appearances, whereas the German team players have a combined total of more than 1'100 Bundesliga appearances.

It would appear from that, that German clubs are more willing to back their own talent than we are. Moot point, but it could be a factor.

We've known for some time that our clubs are reluctant to promote young English talent, preferring to simply buy in established players from abroad. Some argue that this is the reason why England can't compete at international level whereas others say that if the players were good enough, they'd get into their club sides. After all, the cream will always rise to the top. Nice analogy, but is it true..?

What does the group think of this..?
 

Ebeneezer Goode

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The clubs really do have all the power don't they over the FA..

What is it like elsewhere?

It's as much a matter of will as it is power. The Spanish and German leagues genuinely want their respective national clubs and national teams to do well in European/international competition. The Premier League by contrast is belligerent almost to the point that you'd think they actively want England to fail. Last time there was media talk about the lack of English players in the league Scudamore flat out said that England will need to start picking players from the Championship in the future. He doesn't give a shit.

Does anyone know what would happen if the FA just renounced all affiliation with the Premier League? Would UEFA/FIFA allow them to create a new première division with the Football League? I have no idea.
 

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It's as much a matter of will as it is power. The Spanish and German leagues genuinely want their respective national clubs and national teams to do well in European/international competition. The Premier League by contrast is belligerent almost to the point that you'd think they actively want England to fail. Last time there was media talk about the lack of English players in the league Scudamore flat out said that England will need to start picking players from the Championship in the future. He doesn't give a shit.

Does anyone know what would happen if the FA just renounced all affiliation with the Premier League? Would UEFA/FIFA allow them to create a new première division with the Football League? I have no idea.


Re: my embolden.

The FA can't / won't renounce the Premier League. The FA created it and owns it. It's their biggest cash cow, and Scudamore milks it mercilessly.

On the other hand, I question whether they would like to (not "can they", but would they "like to") renounce responsibility for the national team.

I'm not sure they can do that under UEFA / FIFA rules. Does anybody know different..? Please put me right on this if I'm in error. I believe the national association in every country is responsible for the formation, maintenance and organisation of their national teams at all levels. This is a pre-requisite for membership of UEFA / FIFA and therefore, entry into any international tournament.

I think this is wise. If this were not so then national teams - especially England, with its massive profit potential - would quickly be snapped up into commercial ownership whose interest would be financial rather than sporting. This in turn would bring all sorts of problems too many and varied to list here.

The cure would be worse than the illness.
 

Ebeneezer Goode

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The FA can't / won't renounce the Premier League. The FA created it and owns it. It's their biggest cash cow, and Scudamore milks it mercilessly.

The Premier League is a private corporation that's owned by the member clubs as shareholders. The FA don't own it and commercially the FA and the Premier League are completely separate. Scudamore does not work for the FA.
 

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The Premier League is a private corporation that's owned by the member clubs as shareholders. The FA don't own it and commercially the FA and the Premier League are completely separate. Scudamore does not work for the FA.

But the Premier League is the sole reason the EFA is the richest association in the world.

In recent years brand new stadium, new training complex and several managers paid off.

The EFA is clearly a ludicrous organisation that is in no sense fit for purpose. It rivals FIFA for its bumbling incompetence. The Premier League clearly does not care about the English national team, it has no real reason to do so, but at least it is a competently run organisation.
 

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A little stat came out of this game which might be somewhat telling.

Apparently, the players who played for England in this match have a combined total of around 200 Premier League appearances, whereas the German team players have a combined total of more than 1'100 Bundesliga appearances.

It would appear from that, that German clubs are more willing to back their own talent than we are. Moot point, but it could be a factor.

We've known for some time that our clubs are reluctant to promote young English talent, preferring to simply buy in established players from abroad. Some argue that this is the reason why England can't compete at international level whereas others say that if the players were good enough, they'd get into their club sides. After all, the cream will always rise to the top. Nice analogy, but is it true..?

What does the group think of this..?

It's certainly an interesting comparison.

It's been said many times over the last decade and it remains the biggest challenge IMHO that England faces. That route from a decent 18-20 year old playing development football, to gaining a first team berth in the Premier League, or at the very least Championship to move back up soon. The financial muscle in this country means clubs in those leagues do not need or want to take risks by trying unproven youngsters, and only a small few are the cream who stand out enough to be given a chance. The rest just stagnate for a few crucial years in their late teens and early 20s.

Rather than give several youngsters a chance over the course of a season to see if any 'sink or swim', it's more - 'that one's already built like a shark', so he'll almost definitely swim, and the rest we won't look at.

If I knew how to solve that I wouldn't be sat here right now. Ultimately the biggest clubs who nurture the most young players need to want the England setup to succeed. But because many of our clubs are massive multinational organisations in their own right, England just isn't on their list of priorities or a source of any pride to them.
 

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It's certainly an interesting comparison.

It's been said many times over the last decade and it remains the biggest challenge IMHO that England faces. That route from a decent 18-20 year old playing development football, to gaining a first team berth in the Premier League, or at the very least Championship to move back up soon. The financial muscle in this country means clubs in those leagues do not need or want to take risks by trying unproven youngsters, and only a small few are the cream who stand out enough to be given a chance. The rest just stagnate for a few crucial years in their late teens and early 20s.

Rather than give several youngsters a chance over the course of a season to see if any 'sink or swim', it's more - 'that one's already built like a shark', so he'll almost definitely swim, and the rest we won't look at.

If I knew how to solve that I wouldn't be sat here right now. Ultimately the biggest clubs who nurture the most young players need to want the England setup to succeed. But because many of our clubs are massive multinational organisations in their own right, England just isn't on their list of priorities or a source of any pride to them.

Thanks for that Mark. Very interesting comments which I pretty much agree with.

It is an source of much frustration that the very people who our national sport is entrusted to seem so indifferent to the development of our own young players. Shame on them.
 

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The idea that it's down to the Premier League.

Simple, have a look at their financial reports. They make the overwhelming majority of their money from broadcasting, more than twice any other source. The Premier League has massively inflated broadcasting revenues, particularly in this country.

The FA Cup, which used to be watched by far more people, gets significantly more money than it ever did, pre Premier League.

But if you have a different view, share it. Why do you think the EFA is the richest in the world? It's incredible record of success? It's organisational capability and competence? I'd be really interested to hear.
 

Ebeneezer Goode

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Oh is it of course broadcast revenues, that much is obvious, but how Premier League broadcast revenues have made FA Cup games or England internationals more valuable I'm not sure. I would suggest that this is more about the success of Sky and the emergence of competitors like BT driving up the bidding price more than anything else. None of these companies are paying more than they have to.
 

St. Juste

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Oh is it of course broadcast revenues, that much is obvious, but how Premier League broadcast revenues have made FA Cup games or England internationals more valuable I'm not sure. I would suggest that this is more about the success of Sky and the emergence of competitors like BT driving up the bidding price more than anything else. None of these companies are paying more than they have to.

Really? What is your theory as to why they attract higher revenue than, say, German, Italian or Spanish Internationals / Cup games? The success of Sky (now changing) is because of the Premier League, and it has pushed up TV revenues across the board in England.

It's quite common for a national broadcaster to champion domestic football, the BBC does it for the FA Cup (even though English football clearly does not need the money).
 

Ebeneezer Goode

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Really? What is your theory as to why they attract higher revenue than, say, German, Italian or Spanish Internationals / Cup games?

Because there's greater demand from the public and greater competition among broadcasters. The BBC is extremely competitive for a terrestrial broadcaster, and BT Sport has driven the bidding war for content up massively, to the point that the FA Cup final is no longer an exclusive package and Sky are having to pay over £1bn just for cricket rights. The Premier League doesn't push up TV revenues in England, Sky and it's competitors do. The only way you could argue that the Premier League is responsible for the FA's wealth is by arguing that without it Sky wouldn't have prospered the way it did after it bet it's house on Premier League games, but in the context of the discussion about the FA abandoning the Premier League today that's neither here nor there.
 

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I don't think the FA would abandon the Premier League all the time that it's the goose that lays the golden egg. If Sky are daft enough to keep throwing ludicrously excessive amounts of their money at English football, the FA will be happy to trouser it. Cheers, easy.

But I'd be sure that Sky get their money back, and probably in spades. For a start, there is subscription revenues. Then the money they make from selling matches around the world. Football attracts big advertising income and then there's betting. The explosion in gambling on in-play betting during football matches since the advent of online and mobile phone app gambling has brought in vast revenues.

I'd be pretty certain that Sky's financial gurus have factored all these revenue streams into account and will have come to the conclusion that whatever they spend to keep their football product on our screens, they're getting significantly more out of it than they put in.

I have no figures or evidence to back any of this up. This is just my gut assessment of the situation.
 

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People have to decide if we want the "best league in the world" product wise which is mainly down to the influence of the overseas players and owners coming in or a decent national side with a chance to win competitions.

I suspect the FA and Premier league differ on those options as EG suggests!
 

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Seeing the Spain team that played Italy, it really irritates me that players who have been capped as full internationals regularly don't take part. Whether it's arrogance or ignorance, I don't know. But when you see Bellerin, Saul and Ascensio playing for Spain and the likes of Dier, Stones, Rashford, AOC, Shaw etc don't attend, it's confusing.
What I find amazing is that a country as small as England is expected to throw about a side for the U20 World Cup, the U21 Euros and the U19 starting today. Do we honestly need a competition for each age group? I find the whole concept extremely puzzling as players over the age of 21 are playing for the U21s. It's a lot of games for such young boys.

People have to decide if we want the "best league in the world" product wise which is mainly down to the influence of the overseas players and owners coming in or a decent national side with a chance to win competitions.

I suspect the FA and Premier league differ on those options as EG suggests!
It is indeed a choice to make. I believe Germany have a better record at international competitions because they don't have a league cup, they play 4 league games less and they have a winter break. I'm not a big fan of 18-teams leagues but if you take out the other 2 factors (which really need to be in place if England are serious about winning something), then England would a chance.
Giving youth its chance is another factor but just one among many. Having no winter break must be psychologically horrendous for the players.
 

Cornish Piskie

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It is indeed a choice to make. I believe Germany have a better record at international competitions because they don't have a league cup, they play 4 league games less and they have a winter break. I'm not a big fan of 18-teams leagues but if you take out the other 2 factors (which really need to be in place if England are serious about winning something), then England would a chance.
Giving youth its chance is another factor but just one among many. Having no winter break must be psychologically horrendous for the players.


I'm rather doubtful that a winter break would be beneficial simply because clubs would most likely use the fixture window to jet off to places like Dubai or the Far East to play lucrative "friendlies". The players wouldn't get any rest and recuperation at all.

The justification such matches would most likely be along the lines of "We have to keep players match fit. If we simply stop playing for a month then it would take three or four weeks to regain their levels of match fitness after they come back." Weasel words, but clubs have become practiced in brazening out the most ridiculous justifications and speaking utter bullshine.

To stop playing in January would put the early rounds of the FA Cup back and all that would create is fixture congestion in February, March, April and May with the subsequent complaints that players are having to play more than one match a week (poor dears) for an extended period.

There is no history or tradition of a mid season break in England. Indeed, at one time, clubs used to have to play 42 league matches, and FA Cup ties would sometimes go to two, three or even four replays. And that was at a time when players didn't play on snooker-table perfect pitches with undersoil heating. Some of the playing surfaces that matches were played on were strength sapping bogs. And yet, they just got on with it. Nobody died.

In an era where players are already playing fewer games, are physically conditioned to the highest possible standard of fitness with specialist coaches, bespoke dietary regimes, and all the luxuries of comfort travel that money can buy, I don't think it's expecting too much of them to simply do their job.
 

St. Juste

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Because there's greater demand from the public and greater competition among broadcasters. The BBC is extremely competitive for a terrestrial broadcaster, and BT Sport has driven the bidding war for content up massively, to the point that the FA Cup final is no longer an exclusive package and Sky are having to pay over £1bn just for cricket rights. The Premier League doesn't push up TV revenues in England, Sky and it's competitors do. The only way you could argue that the Premier League is responsible for the FA's wealth is by arguing that without it Sky wouldn't have prospered the way it did after it bet it's house on Premier League games, but in the context of the discussion about the FA abandoning the Premier League today that's neither here nor there.

Sky and other digital broadcasters have existed for years, but nothing has changed for cricket, FA Cup etc. (beyond far less people watching it), the only change has been the Premier League which has pushed up broadcasting revenues across the board. I don't know why you even disagree with this, it's surely quite obvious.

The FA is a ludicrously dysfunctional organisation, but it understand it only where it is now because of the Premier League. I'm sure it doesn't want to go back to being an 80s pariah apologising for the behaviour of English fans abroad - decadent and still incompetent will suit them much better.

But I'd be sure that Sky get their money back, and probably in spades. For a start, there is subscription revenues. Then the money they make from selling matches around the world. Football attracts big advertising income and then there's betting. The explosion in gambling on in-play betting during football matches since the advent of online and mobile phone app gambling has brought in vast revenues.

I'd be pretty certain that Sky's financial gurus have factored all these revenue streams into account and will have come to the conclusion that whatever they spend to keep their football product on our screens, they're getting significantly more out of it than they put in.

I have no figures or evidence to back any of this up. This is just my gut assessment of the situation.

Not really, it is a discussion that has happened elsewhere, but football viewing figures are declining and the last great gamble looks to have been a big mistake.

It makes sense, you can easily watch far more games free of charge online - this current big TV deal will decline when it's renewed, it's a near certainty. The only question is - how much?

People have to decide if we want the "best league in the world" product wise which is mainly down to the influence of the overseas players and owners coming in or a decent national side with a chance to win competitions.

I suspect the FA and Premier league differ on those options as EG suggests!

Currently, they have neither. And are not close to being either.

What I find amazing is that a country as small as England is expected to throw about a side for the U20 World Cup, the U21 Euros and the U19 starting today. Do we honestly need a competition for each age group? I find the whole concept extremely puzzling as players over the age of 21 are playing for the U21s. It's a lot of games for such young boys.

It is indeed a choice to make. I believe Germany have a better record at international competitions because they don't have a league cup, they play 4 league games less and they have a winter break. I'm not a big fan of 18-teams leagues but if you take out the other 2 factors (which really need to be in place if England are serious about winning something), then England would a chance.
Giving youth its chance is another factor but just one among many. Having no winter break must be psychologically horrendous for the players.

England is not small in a footballing context.

Although the reason Germany is better will be partly because they have an additional 29 million people to choose from.
 

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Thanks for your reply to my comment, Juste. I was unaware of the decline in viewing figures. I appreciate your input.

If, as you suggest may happen, the next TV deal is lower (significantly..??) then we may see the start of an exodus of foreign players from the English game.

I don't blame those players for coming here and taking the big wages and I hate to use phrases like "take back control of our national game" (I voted remain, btw. lol), but I do want to see England become competitive again on the international stage and that will be best facilitated in a league where more English players are playing regular, competitive league football.

I've never been convinced by the Size-Of-Population argument. But we've done that one before too so let's not go there again, eh..? <smile>
 

Ebeneezer Goode

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Sky and other digital broadcasters have existed for years, but nothing has changed for cricket, FA Cup etc. (beyond far less people watching it), the only change has been the Premier League which has pushed up broadcasting revenues across the board. I don't know why you even disagree with this, it's surely quite obvious.

Because it's unsubstantiated assertion that you keep repeating over and over again while refusing to even attempt to explain how or why that would happen. How does Premier League broadcast revenue make Cricket more valuable, more expensive? It doesn't. Cricket isn't costing Sky over £1bn now because of the Premier League, it's costing them that much because of BT Sport*. If the Premier League and the FA somehow parted ways, how would that magically make FA Cup games or England international games less valuable to Sky and BT?

*launched in 2013
 

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