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Damning FIFA report spells out why England flopped during disastrous World Cup


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Damning FIFA report spells out why England flopped during disastrous World Cup



By David Kent

Last updated at 7:56 AM on 3rd September 2010




FIFA yesterday issued a damning analysis of England’s failure at the World Cup.

The governing body’s technical report into the summer tournament was compiled by a 25-man study group including former Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier, former Scotland coach Andy Roxburgh and former Middlesbrough midfielder Christian Karembeu.

The report suggested England: failed to show the required tactical flexibility, lacked attacking players capable of ‘winning matches on their own’, eschewed the more successful 4-2-3-1 formation employed by three of the four semi-finalists, had too many players lacking ‘freshness’ after long Premier League seasons, struggled under the weight of expectation and have not taken enough care over the development of young talent.


article-0-0A3AA3A5000005DC-453_468x363.jpg Stinging: England boss Fabio Capello has come in for heavy criticism since his sisde's World Cup flop


FIFA did have some praise for individual members of Fabio Capello’s team, citing Ashley Cole (‘good technique, forceful attacking runs’), Wayne Rooney (‘hard working, energetic’) and, above all, Steven Gerrard (‘dynamic’) as outstanding players.

However, it was the longer ‘trends’ and ‘tactical analysis’ sections of the report which will make alarming reading for Capello and the FA.

The report said tactical flexibility was key because almost every team in the tournament defended with eight or nine men behind the ball.

Only one World Cup — Italia 90 — had a lower goals-per-game ratio. This meant a premium was placed on teams who could adapt during a match — and here FIFA cited nine teams who did that.

Not surprisingly, England were not among them. Nor was any Englishman mentioned among the players whose brilliance could create a goal out of nothing.









Silver linings: Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard and Ashley Cole were all singled out for praise


‘Excellent passers are a key commodity in modern football,’ the report stated, but its list of the tournament’s best — Wesley Sneijder, Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mesut Ozil — was also an England-free zone.

In the section entitled ‘tournament factors’, FIFA noted that many players from top domestic leagues did not perform in South Africa but that ‘players who are usually substitutes at their clubs were able to shine’, thus adding weight to the argument that those like Rooney were not at their physical peak.

They also argued that England, France, Italy and Brazil struggled under the weight of expectation at home.

More worryingly for the FA’s director of football development, Trevor Brooking, the report noted that ‘the outstanding youth development work of many associations is starting to bear fruit at the highest level’, and added that three of the four semi-finalists — Spain, Holland and Germany — are ‘regularly among the leading teams in youth tournaments’.

By contrast, England’s average age was 29, younger only than Brazil and Australia.

England’s 4-4-2 formation was not heavily criticised by FIFA, who ranked England 13th of the 32 teams in the competition.



Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1308537/Damning-FIFA-report-spells-England-flopped-disastrous-World-Cup.html#ixzz0yRytITe5

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