Martin Smith column: Why England needs a revolution like Sheffield Wednesday’s

Andy Murray
Andy Murray

The more we improve the worse it gets.

First it was athletics, cricket, then rugby union, now tennis and motor racing again. All have British champions or successful England teams.

Wales reach the semi-final of the European football championships with a team of players largely brought up by English league clubs and playing in England. On the biggest occasions Wales, Andy Murray, Lewis Hamilton, Jessica Ennis etc grow more resolute.

But our football team falls apart.

They need to do a Sheffield Wednesday.

Not by losing an important final - that would be too much to ask - but by having a revolution.

Look at the similarities.

A team with a glorious past going nowhere, a culture of uncertainty and a backroom structure that wasn’t cutting it. Sound familiar?

With respect to all those who tried and partially succeeded over 15 years to turn Wednesday round it was the stability of the MilanMandaric era that layed the foundation for the great leap under Dejphon Chansiri and Carlos Calvalhal?

Past glories were parked in the past, dead wood was cleared out, a fresh approach brought in on and off the field, the club’s culture was changed and a spirit of togetherness forged. That’s what Wednesday did when it seemed it had become impossible.

Wednesday is a work in progress and England is a much bigger job but it needs the same root and branch approach.

A smaller Premier league, a winter break, new youth structures, more qualified coaches, better skills training an things we haven’t thought of yet must all up for consideration.

Otherwise we’re doomed to repeat the disasters of the recent past.

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*Apparently there was social media chatter that Ronaldo may have ‘faked’ his injury on Sunday night to avoid being part of a ‘losing’ Portugal side?

As hair-brained conspiracy theories go, that’s a cracker.

Ronaldo rarely misses games through injury, he’s captain of the team, his country’s top goal-scorer and Portugal are in the final of Euro 2016 against the odds.

Ronaldo is one of the most motivated (and vain) players ever and made himself into one of the best (and vainest) players ever. So this vain, successful and highly motivated player in the last days of his peak powers would fake injury in the eighth minute of the biggest game of his life and in his country’s history to avoid the possibility of perhaps being part of a losing team?

Of course, it’s obvious really.

Hey look! There goes Lord Lucan riding Shergar…