Normal service to be resumed....
PUBLISHED: 00:11 15 October 2010 | UPDATED: 17:26 05 November 2010
Archant © 2010
Two weeks without a game - and it seems so much longer. The international break was punctuated for Canary fans by a visit from the England under-21s.
For those of us who watched the game last Friday, it was an opportunity to look at some stars of the full England squad of the future.
If you went to Wembley - or like me stayed at home and watched on ITV - you most likely wished for some of our young England players to be promoted as soon as possible. We were so boring and predictable against Montenegro!During the break the Press has had little to write about - but two football stories have been running. By far the most coverage has gone to the Liverpool ownership saga. It is distressing to read/see/hear about all the wrangling in and out of court concerning the ownership of one of our great football clubs - with no mention of what would be good for the club, its passionate fanbase or the actual game of football.
Comparisons between the effect of the foreign ownership of many of our Premier League clubs and the local influence feeding into top-flight Spanish and German football need to be made and conclusions drawn by the FA and Football League. Football is not a commodity to be traded by international punters, it is our national game.The other story that has been humming along quietly concerns how we scout, sign up and train our young footballers. Chelsea have signed an eleven-year-old from Northampton this week - it would be interesting to know how this young player will be nurtured within his new club.
Earlier in the week there was an interesting discussion on 5 Live about how young players are trained and educated across Europe. The programme focused on a few promising young English players who are getting their training at clubs in Portugal, Spain, Germany and Holland where the football coaching is only part of the picture.
There is also a heavy emphasis on schooling and learning skills for a life that may (or may not) lead to a career as a professional sportsman.
At Ajax for example, young players go to school all morning where they study for the international baccalaureate - in case they want to go on and be doctors or lawyers and not footballers. At lunchtime these young players are collected from school and taken to the football academy where they eat, train, do their homework and are returned home by 9.00pm.
Perhaps leading a more normal existence with a variety of potential goals in life will encourage them not just to be good team players in their sport, but to have a more balanced future. I do not want to make excuses for the young English players who lead sensationalised lives, but what advice and example did they get along the way?This weekend sees a run of games which will show whether the Canaries have been fortunate or good in their rise to third in the table. I think that both apply - long may fortune smile and good play be the norm! OTBC