Umbrellas for Goal Post


This is England

Big Sam is renowned for taking a dogged approach to the game, his style often described as ‘dirty’ or ‘hit and run’. So would it surprise you that I would call Sam Allardyce innovative? Allardyce has had more ideas than Stuart Baggs, remember when the FA decided to change the offside rule so that you have to effect play to be offside….so Sam put two players on the line from a free kick. And what about his training techniques…according to Michael Owen, he had his Newcastle squad on morning bike rides and pilate’s (quite a contrast from the usual football training regime’s).

Despite being sacked from Blackburn in the week, Big Sam didn’t go down without leaving one of his latest ideas with us…’Youth Football should be played in the Summer!’

Well should it?

I’m sure thousands of young footballers would agree! Grassroots football is completely destroyed by the horrible weather conditions experienced in the winter, especially when we  weather extremities like seen over the past few weeks. Some teams go up to a month without playing due to snow logged and frozen pitches, as a result of the cold weather conditions. There are also problems with the hours of daylight experienced in the winter. The evenings are dark and gloomy meaning that to train, artificial pitches or areas with floodlights are required (not always an easy task when there are a limited supply of pitches and a high demand for them). In contrast playing football in the summer months would allow youths to play on any surface well in to the evening.

Ok the fundamentals behind the idea are obvious…more football means that young players play more and consequently are better because of the increase in game time. Right!

Well I think there will be another hidden advantage in playing our football in the summer months…the heat!

Yes heat… With temperatures soaring between 25-30 degrees in the summer months, heat is exactly what summer will bring. Despite dehydrating millions of youngsters, the heat will bring about a slower pace to our game…the style of English football will change forever! Remember the flops who played at the 2010 world cup, they were criticised for their hit and run style and as a country we were slammed for our inability to produce top players.

As mentioned in my blog post ‘Does England Lack Talent?’ Jose Mourinho has said that English players learn to compete but Spanish players learn to play. But could the weather conditions we play in, be the fundamental reason we play the way we do?

Cold weather conditions encourage a physical game played at pace. Physically, athletes can perform better at lower temperatures and as a result it is the athletes that thrive in English youth football. Physical players with a high work rate are able to bully and dominate games.

But by playing the game in the summer months, the warmer climate will automatically slow the game right down, encouraging a more technical approach to the game. Rather than having the athletes dominate the youth ranks, the technically gifted footballers will be given the chance to shine and develop.

Is it any surprise that the nations credited with playing the best football; Spain, Brazil, Argentina… are all hot countries? It makes sense. I have said before, we will never be able to play like the nations mentioned above…but playing our youth football in the summer months could change everything.

You also have to consider where the World Cup is going to be played in future years if you plan to win one. We all know FIFA’s criteria for hosting a world cup. They pick countries where the tournament hasn’t been played before…like South Africa, like Qatar, like…hot climates! If our young players are used to playing in hotter weather conditions their style of football will fit these climates better than our current style.

Saying that playing youth football in the summer months will change our style of football is a massive statement and I am under no illusion that the process will take time. I’m not saying that we will ever be able to play football like Spain or Brazil but we can’t play any worse than we are doing now! The fans are bored with ‘hit and run’ England we want change. We want players who can play football like Iniesta or Messi…and the only way of doing this is playing a different style of football. It’s ironic that it is Big Sam, the master of ‘dirty’ football who could revolutionise our game…but someone needs to.

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About patrickfc
I am 22 years old and co-founder of upper90magazine. I love all things football...Whether its a cold and rainy Saturday watching Rushden & Diamonds or an evening International match at Wembley Stadium.

6 Responses to Umbrellas for Goal Post

  1. JohnC says:

    Patrick, this is certainly food for thought – I’ve never seen this idea proposed, that the colder climate conditioning might interfere with the players’ ability to function optimally in warmer or even hot weather. I suppose we could go through the history books and try to find any Northern European/ UK – based players who excelled in a place like South Africa (though I don’t recall that SA was especially hot at that time of year.)

    For that matter, Brazilians don’t seem to do so well in the UK…….

    You really might have a point.

  2. James says:

    Typical English person making excuses as to why they’re bad at international football, ” nations credited with playing the best football; Spain, Brazil, Argentina”
    okay, Spain, World Champions i’ll give you that one,
    but i think you’ll find, Germany is not a warm country, nor is Holland, England may have won one world cup (via cheating) but i assure you, that will never happen again, as Englan are just a poor footballing side.

    • Firstly how can you say that Brazil and Argentina aren’t credited with playing some of the best football in the world?

      Holland and Germany do play good football but they don’t hold on to the ball, dominating possession like the Spanish, Brazilians and the Argentines. The Germans and the Dutch play counter attacking football . My article suggests that by playing youth football in the summer months there could be a shift in the way football is played in England, from hit and run to a game which concentrates on technique and possession…a style of football that a large number of fans crave.

      I am trying to give a possible reason as to why England are ‘a poor footballing side’ (in your words) and I am giving a possible solution as to how they could improve… Rather than dismissing a whole nation as poor, If you could actually give a reason as to why you feel England are poor it may be more constructive!

  3. ed says:

    James.
    I hate the you are a typical english comment that inevitably crops up when you talk to anyone not English. I go to university in Scotland and obviously I get this alot, however, first of all you have to realise the typical englishman does not see England as serious contenders, we all hope but rarely believe. We DO have WORLD CLASS players in amongst a mediocre team and this is why we HOPE that we might one day be able to use these players to win the biggest trophy as our teams such as MUTD and Chelsea and even Liverpool have done on (with the Champs league).
    England will never win the WC? a very poor Italy side won it and an underperforming Spanish side won it so I say why not…. I am rather too optimistic for my own good however.
    with ref. to the idea however, I don’t really know whether it would work, but hell it’s worth a try, it makes sense when you think about it. the problem might be lie deeper than just this but if this helps in the slightest then it’s worth a shout.

  4. Automat says:

    Some interesting points, but preference for World Cups in hot climates? South Africa generally has a mild climate (the average summer tempereture in Cape town being around 26, compared to, say, Cairo’s 34) and it was winter when the last World Cup took place there. Russia has mild climate, too.

    You may have a point with the youth football being better left for summer – in fact, I believe, you do – but you do carry the whole point a bit too far. I suggest you tone it down a bit, it clouds the good stuff you say.

  5. What'sinaname? says:

    Argentina can get pretty cold ya know…a small point, but I felt like making it :)

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