Football - Allardyce: Schools are pivotal

Sam Allardyce feels Football Association chairman Greg Dyke's plans for world domination will only succeed on the back of a healthy and thriving schools programme.

PA Sport
Premier League - Allardyce plans on making changes
.

View photo

Sam Allardyce is keen for English football to move in the right direction

Dyke last week highlighted the dangers with regard to the growing number of overseas players, suggesting measures were urgently needed to ensure England could again be successful on the international stage, with victory in the 2022 World Cup his main target.

He described the English game as a "tanker which needs turning", believing everyone involved in football in England has a duty to reverse what he sees as "a frightening trend".

Dyke's words have so far been met with a favourable reaction from club managers, but words and deeds are undeniably two different things.

From West Ham boss Allardyce's perspective, there are a number of factors which naturally inhibit managers at present.

"There is a definite need to say to ourselves 'What do we want to do?'" said Allardyce.

"As an Englishman, you are always passionate about the England team and always will be, so you want to see as many top English players develop as you can.

"Unfortunately, as managers, we can't control all of that. It has to come from everybody in this country to be willing enough to develop young players until the system changes.

"Most of the research will tell you for the last 10 or 15 years that we have not had enough time.

"Without enough time we will not achieve the ultimate goal, and that is time in the club, or time at school, developing young talented people."

Allardyce sees the development of the game in schools as pivotal, adding: "For me, first it has to get back to the schools.

"There has to be an overall grounding of high-quality sports, youngsters being developed in the schools and then moving on to wherever it may take them - football, tennis, rugby, swimming or athletics.

"Let's face it, Andy Murray did not achieve greatness by being coached in England.

"He only achieved greatness by moving to Spain to get his coaching, rather than staying in this country.

"So it does not just happen in football. It happens in most sports unfortunately."

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has indicated he is willing to engage in private discussions to improve the state of the game in England.

Mourinho, who believes his experience can assist, said: "I don't want to participate publicly.

"It is the kind of discussion I am ready to have privately if people think my participation can contribute one inch.

"If the right people think my experience of being abroad in important leagues, important cups and knowing English football as well as I do, then I am ready for an internal debate on that."

Cardiff manager Malky Mackay believes the FA and Premier League will always be at loggerheads given their different agendas, with the hope being some middle ground can be found.

"The Premier League is the best league in the world and it is going to attract top, top foreign players," said Mackay.

"It has a worldwide audience who want to see the best and demand the best. Club owners demand the best.

"So you have a parallel between the excitement of watching the best players in the world and the FA hoping the English national team can be good, and sometimes those two things do not fit.

"There is no short-term solution, there has to be a meeting of minds between the people who run the FA and the Premier League clubs.

"There has to be some give and take on both parts."

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup can understand Dyke's concerns, but has also highlighted the difficulties managers such as himself face when it comes to transfer dealings.

"Every time a national team struggles, or are thought to be struggling, it is always the same," said Laudrup.

"It has happened in Spain, Italy, Germany and France. People say there are too many foreigners and not enough space for youngsters.

"Look at Spain and the players they have in the seniors, Under-21s and Under-19s. They have an incredible generation of talent.

"In Germany, four or five years ago, they decided to start from scratch and now they have a generation including (Mesut) Ozil, (Sami) Khedira and company, but they still have the same number of foreign players.

"I believe the majority of players should be domestic players, but it is also about money and getting value for money in the transfer market."

View Comments