Jamie Carragher Goes In Two-Footed On The ‘Generation Of Soft Babies’ English Football Has Produced

Chris Wright

29th, June 2016



The fallout from England’s sombre Euro 2016 exit continues apace with Jamie Carragher being the latest person of interest to go in hard on Roy’s beleaguered boys.

Specifically, Carragher has targeted England’s distinct lack of mettle and moral fibre, indirectly accusing the FA and the Premier League of producing a generation of “babies”.

Writing in his Daily Mail column, Carra let forth a diatribe on what he calls ‘The Academy Generation’ – the coddled, soulless young oiks being produced by a system that panders to their every whim and makes them millionaires before they’re out of their teens.

Too soft. This is what England’s players have become. The Academy Generation — for that is what they are — are soft physically and soft mentally.

We saw the end result in all its gruesome detail in Nice on Monday when another major tournament ended in calamity and blame.

I call them the Academy Generation because they have come through in an era when footballers have never had more time being coached.

They get ferried to football schools, they work on immaculate pitches, play in pristine training gear every day and everything is done to ensure all they have to do is focus on football. We think we are making them men but actually we are creating babies.

The former Liverpool centre-half then turned his focus to the current England team, delivering a few home truths as he went:

It never is the players’ fault when England crash out of a competition, is it? It’s always the manager not listening or the facilities not being good enough or the climate was too hot or the officials made mistakes. But never the players. Absolutely not.

Well, it’s time to explode that myth. I was in South Africa in 2010. I heard all the complaints about Fabio Capello and his strict methods and all the grumblings about the base where we stayed in Sun City being too isolated.

Do you know the truth? The complaints were bulls**t. We came home early because we were not good enough.

England deserved to go out then, just as we deserved to go out [at Euro 2016].

That weakness that runs through England squads is only getting worse and I was enraged by the way that team disintegrated when the stakes were rising.


I call some of the squad – I don’t believe it applies to the full group – too soft. Why won’t they take responsibility?

They live lives now with personal assistants, player liaison officers, nannies and agents organising every little detail for them. Some wouldn’t even know how to book a holiday or an appointment at the dentist for themselves.

It strips character. You can see that in the interviews they give… there really is no point in watching them, as they are afraid of saying anything.

Does this generation love the game? I’m not sure.

That is the Academy Generation. The generation that became too soft.

For the record, Carragher then went on to pick Jurgen Klinsmann as the man he’d like to see take over from Hodgson in the England set-up, chiefly because he’s managed to reach a semi-final or two as both Germany and USA coach.

This is what it’s come to. Daydreaming about reaching semi-finals.

Posted in England, Euro 2016

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  1. PetrovskyKSC says:

    I can’t argue with his opinion, can you? He said what I have been thinking for a very long time now. I would even say that this goes for a great number of players from all countries in modern day football and it probably won’t stop. Players are torn out of their normal environment as soon as they are signed by big clubs and are subsequently forced to live a plastic life. How should they be able to develop a solid character without any kind of occasion where they have to stand their ground? I would even say that these guys are not wanted to have an opinion or be edgy from time to time. They are supposed to function, just as hens in a battery cage. I admit that some of them might not care for anything other than their money and fancy sports cars, but you simply cannot put the blame on player alone. It is the system that corrupts them and I do feel sorry for them.

    • Chris Wright says:

      @Petrovsky: He does seem to gloss over England being a bit naff for several decades before the ‘Academy Generation’ showed up.

  2. Andrew R says:

    Why are these ex-English players and other pundits so obsessed with ‘character’ and being ‘hard’? Yeah the players may lack character but these players also lack skill and cohesion as a team, shouldn’t they sort that out first?

    Also what has Carragher’s generation got to show for their efforts?

  3. Bruno says:

    I think it was much worse losing everything to everybody with Beckham, Lampard, Gerrard, Scholes, Rooney, Owen, Terry and Ferdinand than it is losing to Iceland with this shit team with Cahil, Sterling, Hart and all.

    Last decade England had a great squad, maybe the best in the world and never won anything.
    Now the squad is average and it’s only natural to lose again.

  4. Martin says:

    On the basis of what successes do England feel they should be going far in international tournaments? Why, because they do well in the group stages when playing no one challenging? They make it about as far as they deserve in every tournament.

    A few out-of-the-norm results do not mean you’re a world-beating team. England beat Germany. Congratulations. USA beat Spain (and ended their record-breaking undefeated streak) and almost Brazil back at the Confederations Cup. Sweden annihilated England a few years ago. These results happen, but they don’t mean that these teams are suddenly better because of the result. Only England interpret their results differently than the rest of the world.

    Stop with the inquest. England are a barely above-average team. There is no explanation needed if that’s the answer. No other top team would give a shit about Jack Wilshere, Eric Dier, Kyle Walker, Adam Lallana, etc., but those are England’s stars. Dele Alli and Marcus Rashford are treated as if they’re the next coming. They aren’t.

  5. tony says:

    Why is it that a national team that has the majority of players from one premiership club fails miserably, when theoretically it would perhaps suggest the opposite. The Brazil team at the last world cup had 6 players from Chelsea, lacked flair one expects from Brazil and were soon eliminated. As were England who had a number of players in the team from Liverpool. This years Euros were no different with a number of players from Spurs. So what is it ? Is it the coaches or just the fact that these players look good(enough) when playing WITH foreign stars but lack anything when playing AGAINST them. Perhaps the major factor for poor performance in our country is that NONE of our players play and train abroad, with foreign demands, preferring to remain secure in their comfort zone within these shores, just look at Gareth Bale, better than good at Spurs but brilliant at Madrid!! Maybe somebody should ask him or Beckham what it is. It could also be a reason so many excellent foreign players come here, the pressure and intensity of the game abroad is eased here in England, after all who in their right mind would give up Spain and sunshine lifestyle for the family, to live in wet and soggy Manchester. Easier life and money.

  6. JustAPasserBy says:

    just because the premier league is possible the best and most-watched (and now, the richest) football league in the world, does it mean that the england national team is the best? or among the best? does it mean that it is a guarantee.

    i am trying to do a simple analysis of the england squad, position-for-position against some of the other teams in euro 2016. with the exception of harry kane who is the bpl top scorer, i dont see any other england player anywhere close to the standards of their counterparts in other parts of europe.

    spurs and man utd have the joint lowest goals-against record in 2015/16. the goalkeepers are hugo lloris (french) and david de gea (spanish) respectively.

    look at the assists table. arsenal’s mesut ozil leads the assists with 19. james milner is the highest-ranked english player with 11 on joint-5th with riyad mahrez and david silva.

    i can go on with other statistics but it will probably bore everyone. my point is, player-for-player, position-for position, where does england stand vis-a-vis other teams in europe?

    the top stars from around europe (and other parts of the world) are plying their trade in the premier league, yes. and this makes the premier league the best in the world. but does it equate to the england national team being one of the best? how many english players are plying their trade (or are wanted) at the other top leagues elsewhere in europe or other parts of the world. heck, even wales has a galactico now.

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