The English education system was turned on its head in 2014 when the National Curriculum was revamped and relaunched under the rule of Michael Gove’s misfiring leadership. The curriculum became subscribed, dry and bereft of creativity. The maths curriculum in particular in Britain has borrowed aspects from successful international education systems – most prominently, Singapore. […]
Author : Simon Bolger
Living on the Dreams of Legends: The FA’s England DNA Plan
The happenings on a traditional sports day in a British primary school represent a cultural mindset prevalent through British society – and its impact reaches deep into the veins of sport – and especially football. Most schools organise their sports day in a carousel fashion where pupils rotate around a series of activities. Often these […]
Living on the Dreams of Legends: England are victims of unrealistic media expectations
With every major championship comes the same unrealistic expectation from the media that England are ready to win a tournament. Two things are in play here; firstly, the media, and especially newspapers, who lead their support campaigns with statements like ‘Believe’ and ‘Their time has come’ are trying to transmit a positive mindset into the […]
Living on the Dreams of Legends: Only Maradona won the World Cup on his own
England are guilty of pinning their major tournament hopes on the shoulders of an individual more than any other nation. When David Beckham broke his foot before a major tournament the entire nation learnt what a metatarsal actually is. We were even encouraged by major newspapers to rub a printed image of Beckham’s foot and […]
Living on the Dreams of Legends: Are foreign players in the Premier League stopping England win the World Cup?
The short answer to this question is: we don’t know. In the 2016-2017 season, 69.2% of players in the Premier League were foreigners. FA chairman, Greg Dyke, wants to decrease this figure to 60% by ensuring clubs give increased first team action to English players. Steven Gerrard believes fewer foreign players in the league would […]
Living on the Dreams of Legends: Premier League Teams Must Be Courageous and Give Homegrown Players First Team Opportunities
Premier League teams consistently show a lack of courage when it comes to playing young, homegrown players. The best sides in the league have invested millions in developing academy facilities to ensure they are equipped to support player growth to the highest standards. However, Premier League teams do everything right in finding and training young […]
Living on the Dreams of Legends: Do Football Academies Help or Hinder Players?
The cultural mindset of short term, instant success in our society has bled into football academies and prevented England from producing a group of players capable of winning the World Cup. Football academies in England have been overhauled in the last few years with the introduction of the Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP). The recent […]
Living on the Dreams of Legends: The Money Pit
Money has changed football forever. It swells from the pockets of everyone involved. Revenue of behemoth levels is generated from television broadcast deals, ticket and merchandise sales, and commercial sponsorship. Agents command huge fees for their part in transfers and have deeply vested personal interest in the outcome of negotiations. The players themselves earn huge […]
Living on the Dreams of Legends: An Introduction
It has been 51 years since England won the World Cup in 1966. Three decades after, the stands of Wembley swelled with the anthemic tune of Three Lions as England, the host nation of Euro 96, tried to end thirty years of hurt. The outcome was the same as it always had been. Failure. Another […]
The perception of success and how it affects expectations
With every major tournament the media build the hype and expectation around the England national side. Fans begin to believe the latest crop of a golden generation will emerge victorious against the global superpowers of football. But when England inevitably lose, the media are first to vilify the players. The expectation of English football fans […]
The Paradox of the Mind and How Football Fans Culturally Expect Success to be Instant
The call for instant results has bled into every vein of our lives. Instant coffee, same-day delivery, high speed fibre optic internet connection – the demand for something ‘now’ is everywhere. Our smartphones have removed the need to wait to book a taxi, find a date, buy tickets for a show, or secure a table […]
Elite Football: The Myth of Talent and The Power of Practice
When David Beckham stood over an injury time free kick against Greece in 2001, he carried the entire weight and expectation of a nation on his shoulders. Beckham still faced harsh criticism from some sections of English fans over his role in England’s elimination from the last World Cup. Defeat against Greece would mean failure […]
Video Assistant Referees: Black Box Thinking in Football and Learning From Failure
There are two schools of thought when it comes to defining and explaining where success comes from and how it is achieved. The first route to success is underpinned by the belief that talent is dominant. Success comes from good DNA, having a high IQ, and possessing ‘the gift’. This is defined as a ‘fixed […]
The IFAB Rule Changes Would Improve the Aesthetics of Football and Revolutionise the Game Forever
The most significant rule change in the modern era of football has been the abolition of the back pass. It changed the game overnight. No longer could defenders being pressed by attackers use the goalkeeper as a get out of jail free card. A pass to the goalkeeper now meant the ball remained in play, […]
Football is the Universe
As the shores of the Earth move and the sands of time fall into place, human beings forge their way in the world through glorious diversity. Different religions merge with different beliefs and shape the structure of society and culture. Religion itself is not universal. The Pope leads 1.2 billion Catholics whilst Christianity reaches far […]
The supreme Cristiano Ronaldo bends football reality at will
Cristiano Ronaldo walks out under the lights of the Millennium Stadium. He stalks around the pitch with a ball at his feet. He walks and every now and again jogs before he shakes off and loosens. Then stretches alone and moves to the edge of the penalty area. He gathers several footballs and one by […]
Would video assisted refereeing stop us savouring the drama of football?
Sometimes in football referees get it wrong. That is part of the game. And for the most part football fans accept this. England fans have had a wealth of poor decisions given against them over the years. When Ronald Koeman professionally fouled David Platt in the penalty area in 1993 and the referee awarded a […]
Controversy in football: Do we love it?
Anything can happen in football. Surprising events and results now happen so frequently we should expect the unexpected. Very rarely does a weekend of matches, or a tournament, pass without an incident requiring further dissection, analysis and discussion. Goal line decisions have been taken care of at the top level in recent months with the […]
Do Footballers Have No Personality? Or Are Their Images Sanitised For The Media?
We have seen and heard it thousands of times. Managers interviewed after games where their team has been beaten. Instead of saying “they were better than us,” or “our defence didn’t play well,” they do whatever they can to take the limelight, and the pressure off the players. This in part is gamesmanship. The art […]
Are footballers only in it for the money?
Money makes the world go round. And in the eyes of many people it is the demon that sits on the shoulders of footballers. The one club players are now few and far between. Those that remain loyal to clubs are from a different generation of player. Youngsters moving through the game now are paid […]