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FIFA U17 World Cup: "Football's coming home, at least for younger English generation" - Ex-England captain Sol Campbell

  • The ex-Arsenal man highlighted the importance of the English players playing quality football for clubs regularly during his stay in India.
Rohit Roy
Modified 30 Oct 2017, 12:09 IST
Sol Campbell as part of the FIFA technical team
Sol Campbell as part of the FIFA technical team

Football's finally coming home, at least for the English youth sides believes former Arsenal and England defender Sol Campbell, who highlighted the importance of the stars of these tournaments to feature in top-flight clubs every week to help them continue on their path to total development. 

Campbell, who has played for a host of English clubs, is best known for his time at Arsenal under Arsene Wenger when he made the infamous switch from North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur before winning the Premier League as a part of the famous Invincibles team.

Talking about the importance of chances for these youth players he said: "The focus should be on how to transfer this success up to the senior team. It's in that process that the problem lies I believe. The players who are playing in these youth sides are good but are not getting enough chances at higher levels.

"We have a fantastic setup and really good players, who just need chances to play at the best level.Once you have the player playing Champions League football and top quality football week in week out, I feel the problem will be addressed well."

Campbell, who was present here in Kolkata during the semifinal and final of the FIFA U17 World Cup as a part of the FIFA technical team, was thoroughly impressed by the quality of football in the tournament.

"The quality of the games that are being played here are fantastic. The physical aspects of the game which plenty of teams lacked for so long have developed thanks to various coaches and their methods around the world preparing their players. I feel even 10 to 15 years ago, it wasn’t like this, some teams were more physically dominant than others and that has definitely improved. Tactical play too has changed greatly," added the former England defender. 

The FIFA U17 World Cup ended with a fantastic finale as England came back from two goals down at one point to win the match 5-2 as they dished out the perfect revenge to Spain, who had previously been victorious in both the side's last clash in the final of U17 Euros earlier in the summer.

The team became only the third English side to be crowned World Champions after the U20 side won their respective title earlier in the year, the first World Cup for England since the days of Sir Bobby Moore and Sir Bobby Charlton back in 1966.

But, as pointed out at instances throughout the entirety of the tournament, as far as the English players are concerned, the top flight English league clubs back home need to look into their own academies more often rather than buying talent from outside.

If not incorporated in the first team setup properly in the coming years, the Three Lions who have been trying so hard to develop a footballing identity of their own through their DNA project and have been quite successful so far might lose out on another Golden Generation of English stars. 

Published 30 Oct 2017, 11:21 IST
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