PLAN B: How to make England and Bournemouth a better team

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In a desperate attempt to make the future of English football a more successful one Greg Dyke (that well-known footballing expert) suggested the introduction of a B-team league. Thankfully, the proposal was turned down.

The FA review provided statistics that  only 32% of starters qualified to play for England in the 2012-13 Premier League season, compared to 69% 20 years ago.  Lets take a look at the figures, 32% of starters in 2012-13 compared with 69% of starters in 1992-93. The England manager 20 years ago was Graham Taylor, who had more than double to choose from. So on that basis England should have been far more successful than the current team. So how well did England do at Euro 92?

If Graham Taylor had had 100% of English players to choose from would he have been more successful, of course not. Having more players to choose from doesn’t guarantee success. A manager can still only chose 23 players and is choosing 23 players from a wider base of English players going to mean better players, it may but we think it will have a nominal effects?

The last 20 years has seen the Premiership bloom into one of the best leagues in the world and this has been deemed one of the causes of the failure of English football. Too many cheap imports taking the place of what would have been spaces for developing English youngsters. We see it as having the opposite effect. It means that the players that are not good enough get weeded out and those that are good enough get to play against better competition. Plus, it provides healthy competition.

So how can the Premiership help itself and get its youth and non-squad players an opportunity to play at a competitive level?  We suggest an extension of the current loan system. There are four leagues that make up the 92 football league teams. As we all know there is the Premiership, Championship, League One and League Two. We suggest that at the beginning of each season teams in the Premiership team up with teams in the Championship and League One and teams in the Championship team up with teams in League One and League Two. It would be like a twinning of towns. The loan of players could be sorted at the beginning of the season with a number allocated to their the new partner team.

This would allow teams in a lower league to take players from a higher league and improve their team at a minimal cost. The benefits for the higher league teams is that their developing players would be involved with a real team and get real game time. The good players would continue to progress and the less ambitious/talented players would get a good idea of what level they should be playing at. Everyone gets to benefit from this solution and maybe even the England team, but progressing the England team is a story for another day

Its not a perfect solution, but it could prove to be a good start. If it did happen who do you think that AFC Bournemouth would be ‘twinned’ with? Or, more to the point who would you like to be twinned with?

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