03.25.05

Strachan On England’s US Field Trip

Posted in Football at 11:53 am by

The former Coventry boss Gordeon Strachan uses his fascinating as-told-to weekly column in the Guardian to castigate the England F.A. for their plans to play friendlies in the United States against the U.S. and Colombia.

In the summer before the World Cup a proper break would be much better for the players and the England team. A physical breather is important after a long season but a mental break is possibly even more vital.

t’s not as if the players will be interested in the friendlies against the US and Colombia in May anyway. Top players only want to play in games that matter because they’re competitive animals and they’ll want this even less at the end of the season.

I went on a similar tour once with Scotland to Canada to play three games and it was torture. I was at Aberdeen and had played 67 times that season so I didn’t want to be there, and it will be the same for these guys.

I think Eriksson has said the tour gives England a good chance to play opposition from outside Europe. But I don’t imagine the players will learn anything. How interested are Colombia going to be? And anyway, there are no surprises these days.

England’s top players are facing South Americans in the Champions League all the time because the best Brazilians, Argentinians and so on are in Europe. They know each other so well now that they’re the best of mates. You can see that from the way they shake hands after matches.

That the World Cup is in Germany means there will be European surfaces, familiar weather and more of a European mentality, so there’s no reason in going to America. If Sven wants to make a few points to his players next summer get them together and talk about it.

The only people who will want the tour will be a few press men and FA officials who fancy a couple of weeks away from the missus, and the finance people. The only reason to go is finance.

The only people who will want the tour will be a few press men and FA officials who fancy a couple of weeks away from the missus, and the finance people. The only reason to go is finance.

National associations need to play friendlies to make money and Sven is a £4m-a-year manager. Maybe the games could be called the Sven-Goran Eriksson testimonials. That’s nothing against Sven because I like him a lot, and he has to be paid somehow.

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