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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Germany shows England the way., 21 July 2014
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This review is from: The Way Forward: Solutions to England's Football Failings (Paperback)
A clear and concise account of where English football is going wrong in comparison with our European neighbours. Especially relevant with regard to the recent German World Cup success. Matthew Whitehouse shows the way we could quite easily take lessons from the German model and, if so, it could be England who are World Champions in the not too distant future.
Basically, the Germans have exploited their two strongest characteristics: discipline and organisation, to streamline and reinvigorate their youth development. These also used to be English characteristics but they have gradually disappeared over the years. If we could recover them then there is no reason why we could not emulate the German football achievements.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A thorough and brutal look at the whole range of areas where England are going wrong, 10 Sep 2014
This review is from: The Way Forward: Solutions to England's Football Failings (Paperback)
This summer saw the expectations of an England team at the World Cup at an all time low, and even then the team still managed to disappoint. The club game in England may be one of Europe’s most dominant but that isn’t built on English foundations any more. The money buys in foreign talent in key coaching and playing positions and the English game suffers. Even youth academies are being filled with many a foreign lad, as allowed by the ambiguous “homegrown” rule.

Originally published in 2013, ahead of the World Cup woe, this study of England’s football failings and suggestions for a way forward makes for even more pertinent reading in the wake of the 2014 World Cup disappointment. It also mirrors the fact that the English FA set up a task force in 2013 to look at this very subject and suggest plans for the future. A very topical publication indeed.

Each chapter focuses on a different aspect of where Whitehouse, a professional football coach, feels England are going wrong. From the Premier League and its effects, the flawed methods of Allen Wade and Charles Hughes, the lack of facilities and qualified coaches as compared to other European countries, errors in talent identification and skewed priorities, and everything in between. This is a thorough and brutal look at the whole range of areas where England are going wrong.

Some chapters go into a fair level of depth; notably the one looking at the reasons for and the impact of Charles Hughes’ blueprint for English coaching and playing methods. Some other chapters are rather briefer reaching their conclusion and statements of intent a bit early, but given the wide ranging view being taken here it would be overkill to have delved too deeply into each aspect, so a happy balance has been found by Whitehouse.

As each chapter progressed I found myself nodding my head in agreement and despairing that the patently obvious (in some cases) is so consistently ignored by those in a position to do something about it. It felt at times like listening to one of Chris Waddle’s radio rants at England’s many failings after another World Cup exit. He ranted on many of these points in 2014, just as he had in 2010. The same things were said, but nothing changes, as Whitehouse notes in paraphrasing Einstein no less: “Coaches, players and the FA have been guilty of doing the same things each time and expecting different results.”

Will it ever be thus? We can only hope not, and as Whitehouse reflects there are signs of possible hope for the future, with the junior game focusing on smaller teams on smaller pitches and less of a need for results above anything else. He finishes off with a chapter outlining his own 17 point plan for the future, some of which is fairly unarguable (grassroots and schools investment, coaching investment and so on) and some which would provoke as much discussion as the FA’s B team league proposal such as a switch to a summer season.

Agree or not, Whitehouse sets out his reasons, and if only some of the suggestions made here were fully and effectively implemented there would surely be a greater hope for the future of English football.

This review is from my website thesportsbookreview.com
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must read, 13 Aug 2014
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For anyone who has concerns over the state of English football this is a must read. For years now I have been banging on about the issues we have in English football and it is uplifting to come across an author who feels the same and has managed to publish a book on it. Meticulously written, the book addresses all the issues we have in our game and then provides solutions on what needs to be done if we are to again see England crowned champions of the world. Whilst to have every solution implemented may be a fantasy, the key ones regarding the standard of coaching and the relationship between the FA and the premier league are a must. Whilst I sit here in a buoyant mood after completing the book my emotion quickly returns to one of pessimism as the realisation that seeing these solutions come to fruition is a fairy tale. Whilst the premier league remains such a powerful body and a dictator of our game then I see a very dark future for English players. I will continue to cling to the hope that the PL will eventually listen and implement quotas and fan majority ownership but whilst the people at the top continue to make millions of pounds I doubt another England world cup victory is something I will see in my lifetime.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for any coach., 28 Feb 2014
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Anyone who is involved with grass roots football should read this book, it highlights everything that's wrong with how we develop our young players and what we should do about it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Any coach, or any one mildly interested in English football should read this book., 23 Dec 2013
This review is from: The Way Forward: Solutions to England's Football Failings (Paperback)
Matt Whitehouse has observed, researched and witnessed first hand the problems facing English football.
He is one of the few to offer a viable solution that touches everyone from the grassroots under six player
taking their first steps in the game to the men in charge at the FA.

The book begins by looking at what is going wrong with English football, why there is a lack of talented
players coming through the ranks. But instead of offering the same knee jerk solutions and the
same old platitudes about what should be done, Whitehouse offers clarity and insight.

Changes have to be made at the top of the FA structure, with the archaic FA Council, that will
trickle down the coaching system. Changes have to be made at the bottom of the pyramid that
will see a greater base of talented English players produced.

What separates this book from the morass is that the solutions Whitehouse proposes
could be implemented very quickly, make complete sense and would be welcomed
by the vast majority of people working within the game, and volunteering at grass roots.

This is a thought provoking, system challenging, ground breaking read.

If you are interested in the game of football in England, buy it.

If you are not, buy it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A provocative read, 11 Sep 2013
By 
@FozzieHere (Buckinghamshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This book will make you think. For any England football fan, coach, administrator, player or armchair supporter it will open your eyes and make you question why England has had relatively little success since 1966, from a country with a huge population and with a passion for the national game.

I don't necessarily agree with everything Matt says in the book, but that doesn't matter. There is so much in the book that it is the general thread that a radical shake up is required if England is ever to succeed again - and win a trophy in my lifetime. We had the "Golden Generation" which won nothing. If we had another golden generation would we again win nothing? Probably, because as Matt suggests they would be stifled of creativity, they would not be allowed to develop game intelligence, they would be encouraged to play long by archaic coaches, and some of them would be too small or born at the wrong time of the year to be "spotted", or their places given to foreign players etc....

All these points are generalisations, but as a coach of youth football and scout all I can do is wholeheartedly agree with Matt on pretty much all the points made in the book based on my own observations. The book looks at the problem area in a holistic way looking at the effects of foreign players, academy player make-up, the EPPP, previous failed attempts to modernise, our history of coaching, current coaching philosophies, jobs for the boys, player recruitment, grassroots, the effects of the premier league...to name a few. Despite being involved in football for years I still learnt a lot from the book.

There is good and bad practice in every village, town and city in England, and Matt's book certainly paints a picture of a way forward that we can only hope Greg Dyke reads and takes heed of.

Read it, it will make you think
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ignore Greg Dyke's pointless predictions - and buy this book, now!, 10 Sep 2013
This review is from: The Way Forward: Solutions to England's Football Failings (Paperback)
Euro '96 was the last time I got excited about England. There was also, a brief moment, after Sol Campbell's `winner' against Argentina under Hoddle in 1998. Not a big return for a country that plays host to "The World's Greatest League', produced the "Golden Generation" and saw fit to ignore Brian Clough - the winner of two consecutive European Cups - when he applied for the national job. What has been the problem? And crucially, what are the solutions? Thankfully, Matthew Whitehouse has written a comprehensive analysis in this book, `The Way Forward - Solutions to England's Football Failings'.

I was a little sceptical and apprehensive when I first read it. Every time England fail to win a tournament (or reach the semi-final), the written press gloss over the detail of the failure, usually by mocking the manager, and then demand `root and branch' action. The action, usually, is a review of procedure or infrastructure and the resulting report outlines the future; then, we ignore it, because the next tournament arrives and we pretend to have a chance.

Matthew's book is different though; although like Greg Dyke and every other FA boss in recent history, there is a chapter looking at the impact of foreign imports and the lack of English players in the Premier League, it is by no means the sole focus. Instead, he delves down into the evidence, looking at a manager's remit, the transfer premium for the `better' English players and even the failings of the `home grown' quota system. Therefore, while the football press focus on cliché after cliché, this book digs deeper and looks at why managers prefer the overseas import; why England ignored or mistreated Hoddle and Scholes; the key ages for footballing development; the lack of practice and street football that would allow children to develop and `learn their trade' away from angry parents and agenda-driven coaches. Furthermore, that is, still, just the tip of the iceberg.

If anything is to change, everyone who cares about football needs to get involved, in whatever way possible. It's not as bad as some would suggest, especially with coaches like Matthew Whitehouse about, with the passion to study, research and put together a book that embarrasses any report ever published by the English FA.

So, I'll say it again: buy it, read it, take notes if you're interested in coaching, learn from it, then give it to someone else who cares about football. Please. This isn't about England winning a World Cup; it's about all the children who want to play - and enjoy - football, getting the right environment from which to learn and excel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Too close (to the truth) for comfort, 22 Aug 2013
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"Common sense is used so little these days, it should be classed as a Superpower!" If this were true then Matt Whitehouse would be Superman! In writing this book he brings together, no doubt, the same thoughts that many of us coaches have. But he goes beyond this to try to find the solutions - and none of them take a rocket scientist to figure them out! I'm sure that Matt won't take this as a criticism because it isn't. The Keep It Simple, Stupid is a mantra I swear by and that's what you'll find in "The Way Forward". In my opinion, Solution 17 is what will prevent the majority of this from ever happening, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't fight for it! This is the future of our National Game that we are fighting for! Any coach serious about his/her involvement in the youth game should read this book and see what you can do to make a difference!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for any football enthusiast, 11 Aug 2013
By 
Steve Phythian (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Way Forward: Solutions to England's Football Failings (Paperback)
"The Way Forward - Solutions To England's Football Failings" by Matthew Whitehouse is a must read for any football enthusiast.

Whether you are an armchair fan, a season ticket holder at your local club or a grassroots coach, this book will make you reflect on all aspects of our national game.

Matthew Whitehouse is a prolific writer and analyser about the game which can be seen from his famous blog The Whitehouse Address [...]

However, Matthew is no mere pundit. His analysis and thoughts come from key knowledge as a holder of the prestigious UEFA A Coaching Licence and a Master's Degree in Sports Coaching coupled with practical coaching and youth development experience.

Whilst the book contains no `drills' with which to enhance your coaching practices, it will make you review your personal and our collective national philosophies on how we play and develop the game from the 6 year old novice to the professional and national team levels.

It's an absolute page turner. I recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly wonderful book on the state on English youth development and ..., 19 July 2014
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A truly wonderful book on the state on English youth development and the English game in general, Matthew should send a copy to the FA, the Premier league and the Football league in the hope that they can all see the error of their ways!!!
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The Way Forward: Solutions to England's Football Failings
The Way Forward: Solutions to England's Football Failings by Matthew Whitehouse (Paperback - 10 July 2013)
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