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Mame Biram Diouf

Englands Real Golden Generation?

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It was a phrase thrown around by many serious England fans, reporters and pundits that the team Sven inherited and built up who were touted to be Englands best team since 1966 and were highly expected to win if not at least challenge for the World Cup and Euros. The players who were labeled in this bracket were individuals such as: Beckham, A.Cole, J, Cole, Gerrard, Lampard, Owen and Rooney

However the majority of these never really delivered on the international stage apart from Beckham and A.Cole but none of them delivered to the level expected and which they delivered week in and week out for their club teams. The rest of the players always seemed to lack the key ability which other successful nations such as Brazil, Spain and now Germany have. Technical ability. They were all typical English long ball players who were seemingly unable to perform out of system or in different formations which made it difficult to implement different tactics which were more suited to beating individual teams.

As we are about to continue Englands quest to towards qualifying for their next competition which they will again fail in with the senior squad is it fair to say beneath them, there is a real golden generation coming through? Players who have grown up in academies with foreign players and trained with foreign coaches which has allowed them to become more technical and more suited to playing against footballing nations.

The core of these up and coming players have potential which we have not seen in years who are all versatile players who have a mixture of flair and 'English' grit. These are players such as Jack Wilshere, Ravel Morrision, Rahim Sterling, Danny Welbeck, Daniel Sturridge, Jack Rodwell, Chris Smalling, Kieran Gibbs, josh mceachran who when mixed with tough players with that win at any cost mentality like Cahil, Tunicliffe, and many more. Are we finally witnessing a generation of players who have the real ability to be world players whilst playing cultured football or are we just over hyping our younger generations once again?

(Before you neg me was an article I decided to write off the top of my head so I didnt include facts, figures and a wider range of players but still makes for a good discussion imo)

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We have a new breed of English player granted, but ENGLISH football lags behind the rest of the World in so many ways that the personnel doesnt even really matter.

English and football fan = Enjoy the Premier League

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England's golden era was in the mid 90's...top players there, real competition for places, real footballers..i mean the players who cudnt even get in the squads yet a place on the bench puts alot of these players 2 shame

I like Sturridge, Welbeck, Rodwell, Wilshere & McEachran, but again people get carried away with youth and overhype them plus inj come into play

People like Sterling, when we've seen SWP, Julian Joachim etc small pacey players..and I doubt he will have a betta career than SWP tbh

,people forget reserve & youth football is very different to league football with men

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Not really, i wouldn't say they are that much better than the so called 'Golden Generation' when you consider players like Joe Cole and Rio Ferdianand were some of the most technically gifted players to come out the England game in recent years, not forgetting the likes of Gerrard, Murphy, Owen, Ashley Cole, Joey Barton etc who were coming through at the same time, and before that you had arguably the most gifted generation of players coming through in recent times, technically gifted players like Paul Scholes, Steve Mcmannaman, then you had players like Nicky Butt, David Batty, Sol Campbell and so on, and who could forget a generation of strikes which included Le Tissier, Shearer, Fowler, Cole Les Ferdinand strikers who would easily put our current front line to shame. To be honest in various times during the last 4 decades, England have always had a few talented players breaking through. The problem in my eyes has always been how our previous managers have utilized these gifted players, unlike countries like Argentina, France, Spain and Brazil where every single player they produce seems to be extremely gifted on the ball even the defenders as Luiz Silva and Lucio prove, England always produce these players sparingly, for every Wilshere there is always a 100 Cattermoles.

What has aggrieved the problem in my eyes in recent years is the way these technical players are implemented into the side, in the past players like Scholes, Mcmannaman, have been criminally misused, Scholes in particular was played everywhere most often on the left before retiring, the same thing has happened to Gerrard who in reality should have had the England side of the last 5 years built around him, instead he like Scholes has been played on the left, on the right , and most commonly in a midfield two alongside the inferior Lampard, who is a very similar player to him. Away from the fact that our Philosophy towards football and our grass roots program has been poor for the best part of a century, higher up the managers of our national team have been inept and totally mishandled our key players. I just hope Capello or whoever is the manager of England learns from previous mistakes, and choose to build the side around technically gifted players like Wiilshere, although it wouldn't come as a suprise to me if the best part of Wilsheres career is spent putting in shifts on the left right and everywhere but his best position.

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Once people get past this silly idea that international football is some next level you can be a bit more objective. Champions League is a higher standard of football than international imo.

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They better not fuvk up huddlestones international career

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The tekkers of the new breed is very high. I just hope they are given their chances to develop on the big stage.

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I been told by many football fans England haven't had a golden generation since 86-90(they were awful at the euros and they met Van Basten but @Mexico 86 they recovered well ran into Maradona but Italia C0 they were peak after the group stages)

Them guys there didn't have the chance to test themselves in Europe because of the ban and plus the top foreign players were plying their trade in Italy unlike from 96 until now which clealry helps english players development domestically.

The new generation coming through are going to be very good but you have to ask yourself imagine what the germans/spanish/brazilians are going to be like.

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We have a new breed of English players granted, but ENGLISH football lags behind the rest of the World in so many ways that the personnel doesnt even really matter.

This and...

also the fact that so much unnecessary & false hype is constantly given to the national squad that when it all goes pear shaped it seems nothing is ever learnt from it. Most ppl scratch their head like what went wrong? The next tournement comes along & all is repeated.

For the record I'm not talking about the usual hype/pride one feels & expresses for their national football team. I'm talking about over & above hype. Yes we got good, in some cases excellent players but when you compare them against other national team players we ain't cutting it but somehow 'we' still expect great results.

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Joe Cole should of been the best english player by a country mile.

How can you go from doing the things he was doing to doing two stepovers when nobody is there but as soon as a defender confronts you you pass the ball also always having your hands on your hips.

RIP the Joe Cole of 98-03

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Once people get past this silly idea that international football is some next level you can be a bit more objective. Champions League is a higher standard of football than international imo.

Not really.

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Sturridge is gonna be a problem

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Joe Cole should of been the best english player by a country mile.

How can you go from doing the things he was doing to doing two stepovers when nobody is there but as soon as a defender confronts you you pass the ball also always having your hands on your hips.

RIP the Joe Cole of 98-03

c/s

as a youngster he was doing things that the likes of anderson wet themselves about

to see the state of him now at liverpool is devasting

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Joe Cole should of been the best english player by a country mile.

How can you go from doing the things he was doing to doing two stepovers when nobody is there but as soon as a defender confronts you you pass the ball also always having your hands on your hips.

RIP the Joe Cole of 98-03

c/s

as a youngster he was doing things that the likes of anderson wet themselves about

to see the state of him now at liverpool is devasting

Very.

I went from yeah, his going to do tings at pool to what happened to this guy to allow Cole in a very short period of time.

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Joe Cole should of been the best english player by a country mile.

How can you go from doing the things he was doing to doing two stepovers when nobody is there but as soon as a defender confronts you you pass the ball also always having your hands on your hips.

RIP the Joe Cole of 98-03

c/s

as a youngster he was doing things that the likes of anderson wet themselves about

to see the state of him now at liverpool is devasting

without doing the whole look at me ive gone to a million games thing, ive seen Roy Keane against some of the best midfielders of our generation, and Joe Cole was the only one who i remember making him look overly stupid and useless, can't remember if it was a league or FA Cup game, but Cole did his thing running all over Keane from the start, then after a while Keane had enough and kicked a lump out of him, got booked, then regular service returned,

excellent player,

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But you see Keane's cure is half the reason I said English football lags behind...

Not saying every team should be like Arsenal and I'm not gonna do the predictable blame Stoke thing, but there is a mentality here... Which needs banishing, lets just say I'd love to see a season where foreign refs were used in the Prem, it wouldn't change the top of the league but it defo would change the bottom & inturn mentalities here.

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Joe Cole hasn't been a top level prem player for a long time and these days he isn't even giving himself a chance to be a half decent one because his fitness is diabolical.

Ancelotti's views on Cole compared to Yossi and this insistence that the best players supposedly have to play in the same team pretty much sum up why the supposed golden generation failed.

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Joe Cole hasn't been a top level prem player for a long time and these days he isn't even giving himself a chance to be a half decent one because his fitness is diabolical.

Ancelotti's views on Cole compared to Yossi and this insistence that the best players supposedly have to play in the same team pretty much sum up why the supposed golden generation failed.

Yep but players like Cole were criminally misused by England, thats another reason why they failed from when your putting players like Scholes Gerrard on the wings and not building your team around them, then your bound to fail from 2002 the team should of been built round players like Cole and Gerrard.

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Cracking coaching's final frontier

By John Sinnott

Countless reasons have been put forward to explain England's repeated failure at international tournaments, so here is another one - a lack of intelligence.

Nothing to do with GSCEs, A-levels or university degrees, mind, but when it comes to football IQ, surely England has been sitting in the dunce's corner for too long.

A year ago former England international Chris Waddle hinted at English footballers' cerebral deficiency when he said Arsenal winger Theo Walcott lacked a "football brain".

So given its importance, why is the brain the one part of the body for which players receive no special training or instruction?

That is where Belgian Uefa A licence coach Michel Bruyninckx comes in.

Over the last decade Bruyninckx has been training young players with what he calls "brain centred learning", a common idea in education, but a new concept for football.

Bruyninckx's methods and philosophy touch on the last frontier of developing world-class individuals

Tennis coach educator Pete McCraw

Based on the premise that the brain is at least 1,000 times faster than any computer, Bruyninckx's intention is to make sure the young players he trains are programmed to take full advantage of the body's "hard disk" and become more skilful and intelligent footballers.

Standard Liege midfielder Steven Dufour - in the past linked with a move to Manchester United - and Utrecht attacking midfielder Dries Mertens, who came close to joining Ajax in the January transfer window, are the two most high-profile players with whom the Belgian coach has worked.

"He has given me that crucial extra metre in my head that is so important," Belgian international Mertens, who can kick the ball with both feet at a speed of 74mph, told BBC Sport.

There are plenty more players coming off the Bruyninckx production line - boys like Wannes van Tricht and girls like Imke Courtois - while clubs such as Lille in France and Espanyol in Spain have been in contact with other teenagers that the Belgian coach has helped to develop.

When Germinal Beerschot and Belgian international midfielder Faris Haroun came to work with Bruyninckx, he could not kick the ball with his left foot. Two years later his former club Racing Genk thought he was left-footed.

"Michel's methods and philosophy touch on the last frontier of developing world-class individuals on and off the field - the brain," renowned tennis coach educator Pete McCraw stated.

"His methods transcend current learning frameworks and challenge traditional beliefs of athlete development in team sports.

"It is pioneering work, better still it has broad applications across many sporting disciplines."

Bruyninckx coaches about 68 youngsters between the age of 12 and 19, players affiliated to first and second division Belgian clubs like Mechelen, Westerlo, Anderlecht, Sint-Truiden, OHL Leuven, Vise, KVK Tienen.

The youngsters have been selected by the Belgian football federation and study at Redingenhof secondary school near Brussels, an institution which plays a key role in Bruyninckx's work.

With his methods endorsed by ex-Belgian national coaches Paul van Himst and Robert Waseige, Bruyninckx estimates 25% of the 100 or so players that he has coached have turned professional or are in the women's national squads.

Compare this one-man Belgian football academy's success rate to England where, according to the Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Gordon Taylor, of the 600 boys joining Premier League and Football League clubs at the age of 16, 500 are out of the game by the time they are aged 21.

"We need to stop thinking football is only a matter of the body," the 59-year-old Bruyninckx commented. "Skilfulness will only grow if we better understand the mental part of developing a player.

"Cognitive readiness, improved perception, better mastering of time and space in combination with perfect motor functioning."

A world away from the traditional "on me 'ead son" philosophy of English football, Bruyninckx's idea, which he began studying 20 years ago, is to "multitask" the brain.

His drills start off simply but become increasingly more complicated to challenge players' focus and maintain their concentration.

Sometimes players train in bare feet to make them more "sensorially" aware; at other times they would play simple maths games while doing physical conditioning work.

Bruyninckx emphasises teamwork ahead of individualism, while aggression is frowned on - players do not wear shinpads - with tackling seen as the last solution to recover the ball.

"You have to present new activities that players are not used to doing. If you repeat exercises too much the brain thinks it knows the answers," Bruyninckx added.

"By constantly challenging the brain and making use of its plasticity you discover a world that you thought was never available.

"Once the brain picks up the challenge you create new connections and gives remarkable results."

It is an innovative approach, though neuroscientist Jessica Grahn strikes a word of caution with the "brain centred learning" label.

"It makes perfect sense to use lots of different approaches in order to maximize potential in people, because they are all different," said Professor Grahn of the Centre for Brain and Mind at the University of Western Ontario.

"Similarly, well-rounded training is bound to be better than singular, focused, training. To say these multi-pronged approaches work because they use multiple parts of our brain makes it sound more scientific, but really, that's about marketing.

"We can't do anything without our brains 'doing it' for us, so absolutely everything we train at involves changing our brains."

Labels aside, what is indisputable is the enormous amount of research that Bruyninckx has devoted to his method, which incorporates the idea of "differential learning", a training approach pioneered by Professor Wolfgang Schoellhorn of Mainz University.

"The idea is that there is no repetition of drills, no correction and players are encouraged not to think about what has gone wrong if they have made a mistake," explained Schoellhorn, an expert in kinesiology or human movement.

Only two professional clubs have picked up on Schoellhorn's work - Spanish giants Barcelona and German outfit Mainz - though in January he gave a lecture to the German Football Federation.

Working with Schoellhorn, Mainz coach Thomas Tuchel has incorporated drills of playing 20-a-side games or 11 versus 11 in one half of the pitch to improve speed and agility, with wingers only allowed to move within a specific space. Tactics would only be discussed using videos.

In the UK intelligence is not valued

Ex-USSR international Sergei Baltacha

"Players have to take responsibility," Schoellhorn added. "They have to be creative and take responsibility and have to find the optimal solution. It's a whole philosophy.

"In football you are fighting against a lot of tradition. The reason why Barcelona's fitness coach Paco Seirullo and Tuchel were ready to listen was that they were already aware of this theory."

Mainz striker Lewis Holtby, who is of German-English descent, has described working with Tuchel as "extraordinary", while his midfield team-mate Andreas Ivanschitz has quipped that you need to be a university professor to understand the coaching sessions at the Bundesliga club.

Another German coach Horst Lutz, the founder of Life Kinetik, has worked with Borussia Dortmund or Hoffenheim, in the area of "brain performance".

Perhaps not surprisingly the way Barcelona play football has key reference points for Bruyninckx and during his training sessions players are continuously moving to better understand time and space when they practise the drills.

He explained: "If a team continuously plays the balls in angles at very high speed it becomes impossible to recover the ball. This requires high concentration and creativeness."

Not that Bruyninckx is only interested in exploring how the brain might best be used by his players. Biomechanics, psychology and kinesiology are equally important in what the Belgian coach calls a "holistic" approach to training.

"Many researchers warn that there is too much conditioning in our world and deliver athletes and people with health problems both physical as mental," the Belgian continued.

"If that is the case we can't go on with our traditional approaches - we must look for other ways."

Bruyninckx points out that in Spain there is no 11-a-side football before the age of 15. He also believes that if you want to produce technical footballers then forget the idea of competition.

"I create players that can play to win at the right moment, but firstly you have to explain that learning is more important than winning games," he added.

In addition to his desire to cultivate talented footballers, Bruyninckx has made it his aim to create well-rounded human beings, who if they fail to make the grade professionally, go on to successful careers outside football.

He stresses at the start and end of each game that players, parents, coaches and referees must greet one another.

He has just returned from a coaching demonstration at Dinamo Minsk for trainers from Belarus, Ukraine and Lithuania, but before leaving he took a wander round the Belarusian capital and bumped into some of the youngsters he had coached.

Bruyninckx said: "They came and greeted and shook my hand. This is the most important message: they respect me and they are telling me I've taught them a lot.

"It's about letting 'competition' go and opting for 'education and apprenticeship'."

Bruyninckx, who also uses his method to help elderly people and children with behavioural problems, demands that his players also concentrate on their academic studies.

If they do not they are banned from training with him - in some cases for up to a month at a time.

That demand for academic rigour has had spin-offs for Redingenhof secondary school.

"Progressively over five years the school performance has improved remarkably," Redingenhof headmaster Yves Dewolf commented.

"The results of 80% of the children in the "elite group" have always been above the average results of the regular secondary school children.

"The teachers' reactions are very positive regarding school performance and behaviour.

"The project has been extended to other sports as volleyball, dancing, basketball, table tennis, cycling and from next year tennis."

Like Schoellhorn, Bruyninckx has admitted that he is fighting "a lot of traditional habits" in football, but slowly the Belgian is beginning to win recognition for his work.

The Dutch Football Federation recently awarded its "More than Football" award - normally given to professional clubs - to Dutch amateur team club Apeldoorn which has started to use the Bruyninckx method in recogniton of its social benefits.

"I've never met anyone like him in football with the possible exception of Wiel Coerver," said Eurosport commentator Herman Hobert, referring to the famed Dutch skills coach and former Feyenoord manager, nicknamed "the Albert Einstein of Football".

"Michel is so inspiring, so enthusiastic, always open minded and friendly. He gives players freedom, but also sets down boundaries that they mustn't cross. He demands very high standards," added Hobert, who is involved with the Apeldoorn project.

Elsewhere Canada, the United States, Nigeria, Egypt, Austria, Germany, France, Brazil and Turkey have been in contact with Bruyninckx about his method.

The one country to show minimal interest in the Belgian's approach is England.

"In the UK intelligence is not valued," stated ex-USSR international Sergei Baltacha, who is director of coaching at Bacons Football Academy - the first football development centre in London - and has been working Bruynincxk over the last year.

"But the brain - it is the most important thing; it is everything."

Bruyninckx will be speaking at Bacon's College School Sports partnership Coaching Conference on 27 May

Story from BBC SPORT:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/sport1/hi/football/9421702.stm

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But you see Keane's cure is half the reason I said English football lags behind...

Not saying every team should be like Arsenal and I'm not gonna do the predictable blame Stoke thing, but there is a mentality here... Which needs banishing, lets just say I'd love to see a season where foreign refs were used in the Prem, it wouldn't change the top of the league but it defo would change the bottom & inturn mentalities here.

Get what your saying, but Keanes cure didn't deter Cole from going onto to continue to rape him till the end of the game, and doesn't explain why the likes of Cole has been so badly used by every England manager of his time.

Scholes f*cked off international football for similar reasons,

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