Excerpts from today’s World Cup Podcast, with Adrian Clarke and Iain Spragg:
Adrian Clarke: Maradona, Argentina, they are out.
Iain Spragg: Who would have thought it? England are officially better then Argentina.
A: Must be.
S: Cause we lost 4:1, they got beat 4:0. So we are officially a goal better then Argentina.
A: You reckon, do you? What stood out for me in this one was Messi. It was… he just couldn’t get the ball unless it was about 50 yards from goal. It was an absolute master stroke tactically from Joachim Loew, who has emerged as the manager of the tournament.
S: Yeah, not only for the results and beating pre-tournament expectations but also the style which his team has gone about it.
A: I mean aside from what they did on the ball, what they did off the ball against the Argentinians was just amazing for me because the likes of Tevez and Higuain just couldn’t get the ball. We talked about would Germany see the ball and it was the other way around. They only let Argentina have the ball when they were in their own half. Anywhere within range it was a no-go zone.
S: And Loew has got this fantastic bonus prize of having the best worst striker in the tournament. Klose is just so unassuming, he is not mighty quick, I mean the one thing that is really noticeable about Klose is he has got springs in his heels, he can jump and hang like nobodies business. But he is not particularly quick, he is not particularly big, he is not particularly strong and yet he keeps scoring. He doesn’t get many…relatively speaking he doesn’t get many at club level and he is one Ronaldo’s record of 15 for World Cup finals. It’s amazing, I still can’t work it out what is Klose’s secret cause maybe it’s just positional sense, he just happens to be at the right place most of the time. He is not the kind of striker to get the pulse racing particularly but you can’t argue with his record.
A: Second in the all time list now, I mean he is going to be remembered as a legend, isn’t he? Even more so if he helps them beat the Spanish.
S: If he gets one in the semi then scores the winner in the final that may take him to 16, I mean he will be made the Kaiser.
A: But no, disappointing exit from Argentina. But I think you just have to take your hat off to the Germans. Instantly all this success from the Germans has prompted everyone to fake them, some new system they’ve got, how they were on their knees 10 years ago and now they’ve invested in youth.
S: Ah, their new domestic system.
A: Yeah now suddenly the domestic system is now the blue print. I was a bit sceptical about this but I did hear on TV this morning that England has 2000 and something UEFA licenced coaches, do you know how many Germany has?
A: 30.000. Actually 34.000. They have 17 times as many top qualified coaches across all levels of the game then in England.
S: Well yeah obviously they are going to reap rewards of that. But saying that Germans themselves 3 years ago were wondering where the hell new players were coming from from the international side. So it might look now like a carefully planned master plan in a very Teutonic, efficient style but even the Germans admit that 3 years ago they didn’t know where they were going. And they knew even then that Ballack was aging they were going to lose these players and who is coming through?
A: The difference is clear. Bundesliga does not have the pull for so many overseas players. Obviously there is a lot of overseas players playing in Germany and the best young players have had 4 or 5 years of experience in Bundesliga which is not Mickey Mouse league. It’s not Premier League, it’s not as good. But as proven at this World Cup you don’t need to play at Premier League to do well. In fact it has been the opposite. Those players that have been showing the Portuguese leagues, the German leagues, the Italian leagues have come to the fore and I don’t know what that means nor what does it mean for the future of the Premier League.
S: You’ve answered your own question. You look at the top 4, the old top 4 including Liverpool in it and there is no young English talent whatsoever. You’ve got to squint to actually see any English talent. And it’s all aging now. I mean just as a side point this is an interesting problem for the big 4 now. That they are aware that they have to have a vestige of English involvement in their first team other then Wenger. So but they need to buy the best English players cause they are the best, the biggest, the richest club but there is nothing English to buy anymore.
So when Lampard is running out of steam, Gerrard is running out of steam, Terry is no spring chicken, neither is Rio Ferdinand and when they go who is going to play for Manchester United? Which English players will play for Manchester United and Chelsea?
It is a dilemma for the international team, for Capello cause he is staying hooray stay where you are Harry (laughs) But it’s also a dilemma for the English clubs cause they’ve got nothing to buy.
You can listen to this episode below: [audio:wcpod_july5.mp3]
Download link (mp3, 17mb, 18 mins)
Make sure you send in your feedback and questions through firstname.lastname@example.org and Clarke and Spragg will feature the best on the next episode.
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