England Will Never Win the World Cup

In Sports, World Cup on July 8, 2010 by atomicapple247 Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , ,

I know a sweeping statement from someone who can’t predict the future, but I am quietly confident my prediction will stand. Why? Well for a number of reasons I shall go into here.

Every time a World Cup or European Championship comes around, the English nation assumes it’s going to win it. Admittedly I would say that belief was much dampened this time around. But for years we have had to put up with ‘Football’s coming Home’ or ‘Engerlund is gonna do it like ’66’. For some insane reason, because England won the cup in 1966, the English seem to think they are going to win it every time it comes around. Forget ’66, football isn’t coming home.

‘But the Premiership is the best league in the world’. Yes, it’s one of the best leagues in the world, along with Spain, Italy and Germany. It certainly has the most money thrown at it in the world, average Joe’s being paid £40 – £50,000 a week. How many of the players in the Premiership are English? The answer is 67 (2008) that is under 3 per club that started a premiership game for their club.  How can you build a winning England team from 67 players. Until clubs start increasing the number of English players in their teams, England can not even hope to win. One main problem is that it’s too easy for clubs to buy in foreign talent, to save them having to spend money trying to invest in young English talent.

‘English clubs do well in Europe.’ They certainly do, or least they have done in the past 6 years, but again we have teams full of European players, who can play the European way. But when a English club has done well in Europe how often have they had to beat a Premiership rival along the way to advance? Quite often. So many times, when the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea have come up against Europe elite teams, they have often been out played.

England doesn’t turn youth players in to leading premiership players. It costs clubs too much and they don’t want to risk their money when they can buy foreign talent. With Aston Villa being the exception, no other premiership club gives enough chances to English talent. Manchester United used to, Beckham et al, but even they are now scouting for young foreign talent. Admittedly England have just won the Under 21’s tournament, so there could be some hope. But Germany and Spain have been winning the various youth catergories for years, they can pick from a huge number of young players, England can’t. Until the FA and the Premier League make youth football a major priority, England will never have but a small group of top young players.

Total Football. English players are so one dimensional, so many English players are one footed which is why England has always had trouble finding good enough players to play on the left wing. So many foreign players are taught from early age, that they have to have the skill in both feet. In English football, apart from the top 7 or 8 teams, so much of the football is kick and rush, kick and rush. No wonder England are regularly humiliated by smaller nations, England are not hard to combat.

Team, there is no Team England. In so many other countries, the national squad is picked from about 25 players over a 2 year period at least. Players no they have a long period of time to play as a team together, getting to work with each other learning each other’s ways. They don’t live in fear of getting dropped for the odd mistake or on the whim of a new manager or being persecuted by the national press. Look at Germany, Holland, Spain even Slovakia, those teams have grown together, they are a squad. They will be picked and will play together. They have a team ethos.

Look at the recent England team, they have too many captains. At least half the squad have at some point been club captains. Whether it’s England or a Premiership team, you have to have one team captain and players around him. England has too many chiefs, not enough indians doing the donkey work.

England can’t hope to win the World Cup until they start playing in a European manner as a team, and being given the time to play and grow as a team. Even if the FA, radically changed things now, England still wouldn’t see the true effects of that for another 20 years.



Nothing Like a Freebie

In Social Issues on July 2, 2010 by atomicapple247 Tagged: , , ,

As the title says, there is nothing like a freebie. It’s always good to get something for free, I suppose it’s because in these days, you don’t expect to get anything for free. Or there’s the notion that you can’t get anything for free, there’s always a catch somewhere.

I’ve recently moved house from a part furnished house to an unfurnished house. So when we moved were missing a few items, like a fridge freezer and a washing machine etc. Also when we moved in, we found that we could get the sofa in the living room as it was too long. (That was a long 4 weeks sat on wooden chairs).  We found 2 small sofa’s being given away for free, from an ad in the local shop window. They were from a house where the old lady had gone into a home, the sofa’s had been well looked after. Bargain.

Next break was my wife opening a new account in the bank, whilst talking with banker he mentioned they were due for a refurb, did she want anything. 2 practically new office chairs now sit in our office. Then today, we hear from an old friend who is looking to get rid of her large widescreen TV. Brilliant, our’s had been playing up another bargain.

We couldn’t have afforded any of these items for months, so thanks to the generosity of others, we have have been given these items. So next time your looking to upgrade or throw stuff out, ask around you could help out someone in need.


Blooming Typical

In Social Issues, Sports, World Cup on June 21, 2010 by atomicapple247 Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

It’s just typical isn’t it. I seem to have a skill for predicting scores and so on when it comes to sports. My particular skill is football and the Grand National. Yet whenever I take a little punt on  a result, you can guarantee I’ll be wrong. In my time I have picked the winner of the Grand National 6 times, (Earth Summit, Party Politics, Red Marauder etc), yet when I have a bet the horse will trail in nowhere.

So with the world cup on, the wife, my boys and I have drawn lots on the winning football teams. I’ve said Spain will win the World Cup, my wife has gone for Holland, and the boys have gone for Brazil and Germany. Meanwhile my wife and I have been predicting results for each game, my wife is doing rubbish although she does tend to be over optimistic. But I’m been getting quite a few right. So I thought I’ll put a few £1 bets on scores for fun (last of the big spenders I know, but haven’t much money really.) So far out of the 6 bets placed, none have won.

So why is it I can tell everyone the right predictions,yet when I put a bet on the result, I nearly always lose. I think it might be life telling me to keep my money in my pocket.


Respected Scouting Elder

In Scouting on June 16, 2010 by atomicapple247 Tagged: ,

As some of you may know I have been in Scouting since I was 8, now at 35, I’ve left Scouting. I may go back, I may not, the hassle and treatment I’ve had to put up with though I probably won’t. But anyway next week I am going to the Group camp of my first group, where I started as a leader. They are celebrating their 100th birthday.

I am looking forward to seeing old friends and colleagues, but especially the old Scout Leader Ken Brooker. He was a man that did Scouting the traditional way and had the respect of many young and old. I remember being a ABSL, and he asked me if I wanted to come and help on a week long scout camp he was doing in Ross on Wye. I jumped at the chance and I had a great time, it was the first time someone in scouting showed belief and respect in me. I loved learning about how he treated the Scouts and the  respect they had for him.

I remember always thinking how he seemed to know everything from old skills, to sports to life in general. But he would ask my opinion, and as a young aspiring leader this was so encouraging. I always wanted to be a bit like him if I could, and help kids to learn and be able to do the new skills themselves. To me he defined what scouting should be about. It’s about teaching kids to have principles, respect for themselves and others. They need to learn how to look after themselves and how to progress in life, scouting will do this for any young boy or girl.

I helped him on the summer camp the following year at Thriftwood, these were two brilliant camps I will always remember. Especially as he got me out sailing in a dinghy on my own for the first and only time, as I have a huge fear of water. Ken Brooker was an inspiring leader, and I hope I was in a small way similar as a leader. Although Scouting has been soured for me lately, I would  recommend any kid to join scouting. If your an adult, go along and volunteer, inspire the local youth. Here’s to camp next week.


World Cup Bore!

In Sports on June 16, 2010 by atomicapple247 Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

Unless you really can’t stand the football, I’m sure most of you have seen some of the football dominating the television coverage at the moment.  So that must mean you’ve been really enjoying the action packed games and all the high scoring quality play. Yes?

More likely it’s a resounding No! I’ve watched many football competitions and with each team playing their first games, this has to have been one of the most boring competitions ever so far. The teams that should have lit up the Cup, Spain, Argentina, Brazil, Portugal etc haven’t. With the exceptions of Germany putting 4 past a woeful Australia and lowly North Korea giving Brazil a run for their money. The tournament has been very tame, boring and dull. All this and we haven’t mentioned those blasted horns in the crowds. Any part time football viewer will have turned off rather than having to put up with the blaring swarm of bees dominating the coverage. Let’s hope the rest of the tournament picks up, or else I’ll be turning off.


The Wonder of Why?

In Social Issues on June 11, 2010 by atomicapple247 Tagged: , , , ,

One of the things that keep me happy in life is Why? What I love to hear from one of my two boys is Why? I love to learn and I love to learn all the time and every day. Obviously the other thing I like about it is, when one of my boy’s is asking why. Because when you are asking it, you’re learning, your brain is working and you are aware of yourself and your world.

It’s a reason why I fear getting a disease like alzheimers or somehow losing the ability to use my mind and ask questions about life and how things are and work. Everyday I use the internet to find out information and news so that I am constantly learning something, and it can be anything really. Which I suppose is why a have a brain full of mindless little facts and figures, and I love to learn the small and quirky little facts and figures. The internet is a wonderful tool for learning and every child in the world needs to have internet access so that they can learn.

Being the father of two young boys, they have now got to that age when they are asking why. They are learning and exploring the world and news, absorbing information. As with all parents you get bombarded with questions such as Why is the sky blue? or Why can’t I walk up a wall like a spider? Most of the time they ask something and I know the answer. But like the other day I was asked why are planets round? I wasn’t 100% sure, so we looked up the answer on the internet. We were learning together and there is nothing better than encouraging children to learn and to think.

So go out and learn, keep your mind active and help others to learn too. Incidently the answer is gravity, equal pressures on an object help to force and move it round and about, thus helping to create a malleable object to become round.


Being Yourself Works

In Social Issues on June 10, 2010 by atomicapple247 Tagged: , , , ,

Be Yourself. But I am. Are you sure? Should you always be yourself or should you try and be someone or something your not? In my opinion, whether it’s work, social or home life, you should always be yourself. I’m not saying that gives you a license to go out and say anything or behave in a poor or provocative manner. But the amount of people in society who pretend to be something they are not, or don’t say what they want to say because it’s not the right thing to do is staggering.

I remember in my younger days, I wouldn’t say boo to a goose. Maybe I had too much respect for others or maybe I felt inferior to others and bowed to their supposed superior knowledge. But as you grow up and go through life you gradually get more fed up and frustrated that your opinion is never heard. So do something about it, start gradually stating your opinion or getting your viewpoint across. It’s actually very liberating and the more you do it the more confident you feel. This is because you are feeling you are being listened to, and people are actually listening to you. For the most part they are not telling you that your view is stupid or that your wrong. People are talking with you and actually respecting your viewpoint.

This works in all areas of your life from work, to home, to social. I have found over the years I have more respect and confidence in myself. I now urge others to explain exactly their thoughts if I think they are not being honest or putting up a guard. In fact I think being honest and confident gets you a long way in business, I respect others for being honest and confident and it works reciprocally. This doesn’t mean you go out and say anything. But if you show respect, confidence and honesty, it’s going to take you a long way.