Tuesday, 6 July 2010

The Team Ethic Has Been Triumphant In This World Cup

At the start of the World Cup, this was a tournament marketed around the superstars.  Rooney, Torres, Messi, Ronaldo.  And how did they do?  Spain would probably have been better off without a clearly unfit Torres. He does still have two matches to make his mark on the tournament though.  Messi didn't quite transfer his club form to the tournament (particularly on Saturday against Germany); Ronaldo was pretty much anonymous before Portugal were ejected by Spain; and the less said about Rooney's performance the better.

Although the likes of Muller, Forlan, Villa and Sneijder have really made their mark on this tournament, what has really made its mark on this tournament is the effectiveness of teams that are greater than the sum of their parts.  The teams who have performed well in this tournament are composed of players not accustomed to and conditioned by failure.  Successful teams in the 2010 World Cup have not been the teams composed of clashing egos.

Instead, the successful teams have been teams with team ethics and team spirits.  They have been untainted by past failure and by crushing ego.  I wouldn't go as far as John Barnes' suggestion that everything will be OK if we give multi billionaire footballers copies of 'The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists' and 'In Place Of Fear' .

However, we do need to inject the team ethic into England teams and grow an England team that is a real unit and more than a collection of talented (albeit overhyped) individuals.  We need to grow an academy system that produces a talented new generation of footballers - looking at the German and Dutch success in particular.  Building an England team devoid of oversized egos, who will work for each other and play as a unit must be Capello's goal for the next two years.

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