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10 excuses for England’s failure we’re definitely going to hear

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David Cornish
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And so the inquisition begins.

How can England - a nation that prides itself on hosting the 'biggest', most lucrative, most watched football league in the world - produce a national squad that can only muster one win in an international tournament, finding their eventual defeat at the hands of nation whose entire population (323,000) is smaller than that of Leicester's (330,000)?

This is familiar territory. An English isle of gnashing teeth and flapping gums. 

As such, we've compiled a list of the excuses you're guaranteed to hear over the next few months as anyone with access to a keyboard/microphone/newspaper column adds their opinion to why England just aren't very good at football. 

  • 10 excuses for England's failure we're definitely going to hear

    The problem's with grass roots football

    "The FA isn't doing enough to support grass roots football," says someone from somewhere, probably FA chief Greg Dyke. "We need to change how we introduce kids to the game, make sure we're nurturing the right talent..."

  • 10 excuses for England's failure we're definitely going to hear 1

    Root and branch review

    We have no idea what this means. No one does. Yet it's a phrase that's always dragged out like a limp equine corpse during the post-tournament media circus and given a thorough whacking with said roots and branches.

  • 10 excuses for England's failure we're definitely going to hear 2

    It's the academies

    "Clubs should be putting more money into footballing academies rather than buying foreign players," says a newspaper columnist who almost certainly backed the Brexit.

  • 10 excuses for England's failure we're definitely going to hear 3

    They get paid too much

    "It's money that's the problem. These kids get paid so much for playing for their clubs that playing for their country doesn't mean anything any more," shouts the angry man on the radio. "If you let players from smaller clubs play, they'd put their heart and soul into it."

  • 10 excuses for England's failure we're definitely going to hear 4

    There are too many foreign players in the Premier League

    "If English clubs had more English players, we would definitely have a better national squad."

  • 10 excuses for England's failure we're definitely going to hear 5

    There aren't enough foreign players in the league

    "If we had more international players playing alongside our English boys, they could learn something of their footballing culture to pass on to the national squad."

  • 10 excuses for England's failure we're definitely going to hear 6

    Not enough English players aborad

    "We need to have more of our best players playing in foreign leagues. If we could pick players from La Liga and Bundesliga, they'd improve the national team with their knowledge of a different kind of football."

  • 10 excuses for England's failure we're definitely going to hear 7

    We need a foreign manager

    "The English game just doesn't work - what we need is a foreign manager with some different ideas to come in and show our guys how to play some new football," says a man who definitely voted Remain. 

  • 10 excuses for England's failure we're definitely going to hear 8

    We need a winter break

    "All the best leagues in Europe get a winter break. We should change the system, give our boys a chance to recover. We'll get less injuries, and they'll be fresh for major tournaments."

  • 10 excuses for England's failure we're definitely going to hear 9

    There are too many games

    "The England players have just got too many games in a season. There's the League Cup, the FA Cup, European games and the Premier League fixtures. No wonder they don't want to play in the friendly matches and start building a strong sense of teamwork - they're all knackered."

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David Cornish

Shortlist.com’s esteemed Tech Editor. David has a keen interest in video games, Star Wars and stuff that runs on batteries.

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