January 25, 2011
English Soccer - The Identity of a Nation - by Stewart Flaherty
Anyone who watches the World Cup enjoys seeing the obvious contrast on style. Some nations play pretty, technical soccer whereas some nations seem hell bent on defending and organizing. The question is, why?
In this series we cut through the cliché’s and generalizations. Fans often say “they wanted it more,” or like to blame one personnel decision as the defining factor in a result. The answer is a lot deeper than that. A professional soccer player you watch on television is at the end of a life long journey. Years of practice, diet, coaching and living a positive lifestyle results in a player reaching the elite levels of the game.
The environment we are in as people shapes us, at work you will find behaving a certain way will get you the results you want. It is no different for a soccer player, the coaching philosophy and what behaviors are sought will develop the psychology and ability of a player. In each nation throughout the world, this will differ, that is what makes soccer truly the world’s game.
Here we look at England, the 2010 World Cup saw an England team draw criticism from all corners. The so called “arrogant mentality” reporting to have hurt them glory, this attitude is simplistic and off base. England has strengths and weaknesses that are influenced by their youth coaching system and surroundings after they reach the elite level.
Check back next week for Strenghs and Weaknesses of this English system.