Today is the day our Under 21 national played its final group stage match, and lost for the third consecutive time. That's 3 games, 3 losses, against teams we should beat every single time (Italy [okay, they're decent], Norway, and Isreal). We weren't competitive in any of the games really and looked like we didn't want to be there. You could put it down to younger players being more assured with themselves now, aka cocky, and thought they were above the championships where their team-mates at their clubs were on holiday. Or you could put it down to yet another case of England under performing in important championships due to our ridiculous style of play. You're in for a long thread. The style of football we play simply doesn't compete with anything any more. Football has evolved so much because the game just gets quicker and quicker with modern technology and sports science. Our long ball football died ages ago, and now it's a case of our players not being confident enough or talented enough to keep the ball and dictate play. Look at Spain. I know comparing England to the best team in the world (both senior and under 21) might be unfair, but their rise to dominance in football wasn't just a good generation of genetics. From the ages of like 6 years old, kids are taught that keeping the ball the longest means you're the winner, and the "win at all cost" approach of England football at grass-roots is non-existent there. They are taught how to keep the ball and play with confidence, and not encouraged to do whatever you can to get the result because the "result is what matters". The reason why Spain are so dominant is their coaches at grass-roots. They have a nationwide program for coaches at that level that their federation has committed to, and in 2008 they had 15,000 Uefa A and Pro Licence coaches (couldn't find an updated report). That's more than double the number of any other European nation. And that is despite the 750 hours needed to get a pro licence in Spain. Guess how many England had? 245. Every single one of those Spanish coaches teach the kids the exact same style of football. Before this regime, their best place finish was like 6th in 1950 or something (cba to Google that; that's based on memory). So I think we know one deadly secret to their success. So investment in grass-root coaches is the fix? It helps a LOT, but there are more issues for England football. The Spanish league is dominated by Spanish players, funnily enough. The English Premier League - the best league in the world - is dominated by foreign players and foreign managers. While that may add to the excitement and revenue the league gets, it certainly damages English football exponentially. Not many English players are starting weekly at their top sides. Most of our national team now are substitutes in the big teams. How many young players for England play every single week? They're not good enough, and they don't play, it's a deadly cycle that results in our national team - once a force in international football - flopping at every turn. The annoying thing is we do have some talented young players like Jack Wilshere, but not enough. Maybe I'm overreacting seeing as Germany went out the same tournament within their first two games as well, and got dominated by the Spanish in one game. The thing is though, Germany are revamping their football regime, and are improving. I'm not trying to send out a message that English football sucks and Spanish football is amazing. This was bitter-sweet to write seeing as I was born in Spain and my family is predominantly Spanish but raised in England all my life. I guess that contributes towards my love of the game, I get to taste the success AND the distraught of the best sport in the world. What does England football do to catch up with the rest? Because although we're ranked at 5th or whatever it is, we are certainly not that high up in terms of worlds best teams imo.