Liverpool Message Board
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You can't discuss this topic whilst using the words 'in the old days', 'in the old days' you did not routinely have players who could run the 100m with a ball in 12 seconds odd, they weren't all built like middleweight boxers, and they didn't all eat the right things, weren't encouraged to shun nightclubs, get married and settle down early, avoid routine alcohol consumption etc....the game has changed. Not neccesarily for the better, as witnessed by this world cup, but it HAS changed, to the point most English footballers certainly are almost athletes first and players second. Look at the best (in our leagues) Ronaldo, Henry, Lampard, Gerrard, even Rooney, they are all explosive athletes as well as footballers. That level of performance comes at a cost, and that cost is consistency over a long period of time. Comparing how we play at whatever minor level that might be is irrelevant.
My suggestions did not just include a winter break, but a reduction in league games, and rules to limit the participation in the league cup of the senior pro's you would expect largely to make up the national side.
PS I'm not excusing the lack of passion, application, and fight our players showed this summer. The performances ranged from incompetence (Rooney), to downright insubordinate and selfish (Terry), from apathetic (Lampard), to ineffective (Barry), not mentioning our own overawed and out of his depth contribution (Gerrard as captain).
We were abject, and tiredness is not sufficient enough an excuse, albeit there is merit in discussing it as a contibutory factor.