In Alan Pardew’s column in the Independent today, he has put his own thoughts together on what England need to do in the future, under new manager Roy Hodgson’s stewardship.
Alan Pardew – future England manager – it’s likely
There was only one game of the four that England actually had any interest in attacking the opposition, and that was the 3-2 win against Sweden.
But it appeared that we thought France, Ukraine and Italy were better than us, because we immediately went on the defensive from the very first whistle in those games, and were more concerned about not losing, than winning those games.
That’s hardly the attitude that gets wins and produces a successful side, so as we’ve said before, we have to have a much more positive approach to these games.
England players and coaches need to stand up and be counted, and start attacking the opposition more, and be more positive about things in general.
And if we get ahead in games, let’s not pack up shop, and try to hang on to the lead for dear life – which we’ve done far too many times in the past, and it’s just not the way you become successful.
This is what the Newcastle manager had to say about England today:
England teams have played what I call simplistic football for the past 25 years, maybe even more, and let’s be honest, it has got us nowhere. A clear lesson from this championship which we should in any case have learnt some time ago is that at international level that word “possession” is key – as the two countries who will be contesting tonight’s final have shown us. I have to go along with a majority of fans I’ve spoken to who are just disappointed that we didn’t try to play a bit more.
To read that our most frequent pass in the game against Italy was Joe Hart kicking it long to Andy Carroll was not a nice statistic. We’re all aware that we went into the tournament without Roy Hodgson being able to do enough work with the players, which can possibly excuse us for this one, but going forward we must start to play. Encourage youngsters to do so at all levels. With the new National Football Centre coming on line at Burton, and new rules governing academies, we have that opportunity. We need to bite the bullet and try to evolve to where we get the balance right between possession and being sufficiently forceful in the last third to get goals.
I’d like to think that is being reflected slowly in the Premier League, which hasn’t really filtered through as far as the national side are concerned. We like to go forward, like to be on the front foot, but we have to get the balance right or we will just keep failing. Nobody will fault our endeavor or effort, which is one reason, as well as the low expectations, why there’s not been much harsher criticism of our efforts this time. But there is definitely a lack of bravery in keeping the ball. Everybody is saying it, but we need to get on and do it.
The most important point is to understand that even though our climate doesn’t suit it, boys need longer on the training ground and the ball at their feet more. Coaches at junior levels need to trust players more, encourage them to play with the ball even if they are giving it away in the final third of the pitch. Otherwise, when they come to League level they’ll shy away from it. It is a fundamental problem which I’ve heard all the time I’ve been in coaching. Now is the time to do something to address it.
And if Alan Pardew keeps making Newcastle great again, over the next several seasons, he will have every chance of becoming a future England manager, and a good one too, since he seems to understand the game and handles the top players very well – and he also plays good attacking football.
England will play at Moldova on 7th September, followed by a home game with the Ukraine on 11th September at Wembley, and we are in Group H, with the other countries being Montenegro, San Marino and Poland, in the six team group.
We hope to see a more positive and attacking display from England in those two games.