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FIFA World Cup: Is England too insular for World Cup success?

India TV News Desk 26 Jun 2014, 8:26:25 AM IST
India TV News Desk
Belo Horizonte, Brazil: In many ways, it's a head-scratcher: the country that invented football and which has the richest, most watched and, many would agree, best league in global football is also one of the worst performers at this World Cup. How can that be?

We are, of course, talking here about England -- that self-important nation which is no longer very good at football but is quite brilliant at marketing it.
And that, right there, is part of its problem.


The argument goes like this and by now is familiar: Because the Premier League is so good at selling itself, its wealthy clubs can pay huge salaries to attract the best footballers. These foreign imports then elbow aside young Englishmen who don't develop as they should because they don't play enough. The resulting weakening of the English game, according to this logic, helps explain why England is now flying home winless from Brazil.

Twenty years ago, two-thirds of players who started Premier League matches were eligible to play for England. Now, just one-third are, the Football Association said in a report released before this World Cup debacle, sounding the alarm and getting its excuses in early.
In short, the pool of top English talent is becoming too shallow. But there's also another reason that the English don't talk about: their players are too English, too insular, and they're failing to use the globalization of football to better themselves, as other nations are doing with such spectacular results at this World Cup.