England v Poland – Townsend shines as Zaha remains out in the cold


In light of England’s qualification for the World Cup, Josh Jalal surmises some of the structural problems still inhibiting the national setup…

England’s victory over Poland has rebuked all previous claims about the future of English football. It seems, as you would expect, the future of the English game is only questioned after a defeat or a miserable performance. It is in victory however, particularly those against Poland and Montenegro, along side other events and circumstance, that the state of English football has come to my attention and the overbearing thought as an avid supporter of the English national side that I still consider English football is in disarray. I am not questioning the speculative issue of where the next ‘golden generation’ is coming from neither am I discerning the efforts of Greg Dyke and the FA with their ominous grass roots activities. I am instead questioning why young English footballers are restrained and condemned within the institutions that are funded in attempt to harness their talent?

At 22 years of age Andros Townsend has endured 9 loan moves and experienced a relegation battle. It was after the long and tedious transfer debacle of Gareth Bale, an injury to club captain Aaron Lennon, a tediously slow transfer dealing of Erik Lamela and a strenuous fixture list that Townsend received his first opportunity in a Spurs shirt. No one could have predicted these series of events and yet without them Townsend would be amidst hundreds of football players struggling to cement himself in the one industry he knows. He would not have played in the Premier League, he would not have had an opportunity, with the exception of a handful of minutes in the Europa League, to showcase his talents against the likes of Ashley Cole and Kieren Gibbs and he certainly would have never had the opportunity to aid England’s pursuit of a World Cup berth in Brazil. Continue reading

Too Much, Too Soon – Can Liverpool learn from Arsenal?


False Nine editors James Dutton and Hugo Greenhalgh investigate the dangers of promoting youth too soon…

You could be forgiven for thinking that Michael Owen’s personal blog is nothing more than a sanctuary for the unremarkable.

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