A FORMER England football manager recently blamed the team's poor showing in Euro 2000 on foreign players in our leagues. He implied they stopped our talented youngsters from gaining any useful experience. What a load of tosh!
The reason that England is so bad at sport (not just football) is that schools today teach it badly, if at all. There is little encouragement for sport and hardly any facilities to nurture the gifted.
Many schools are reluctant to encourage competition. It seems it is better for us all to be mediocre than have a few stars.
Foreigners, by contrast, come from countries where sport is taught without any hang-ups.As a result, more of them have reached the highest levels.
Any parent can see the problem at an average school sports day. Most of these now resemble It's A Knock Out: it's all fun but it's not sport and will never make sportsmen and women.
Another problem is that sport, unlike computing or business studies, doesn't lead pupils to make money. Like theology, philosophy or any other discipline which doesn't create wealth it must be got rid of.
Our footballers and their manager did their best. But with our attitude to sport we have got what we deserve: mediocrity.
12 Grove Street