Ashley Young and England and football in general

I've said this many times before, but I love the game of football and Aston Villa is the team I support. I also enjoy watching football, almost as much as my wife hates me watching it, but one thing that is becoming increasingly more difficult to get even interested in, as every match comes up, is England.

Don't get me wrong, if you are a player, that is what you aim for, so I can understand the interest from the players side and seeing Ashley Young pull on the shirt last night was good for him and I believe good for England, but I'm not sure I'll be tuning in for the next match.


It isn't the inept performances on the pitch from players, in fact it isn't that. It is the inept decisions at the very top of the Football Association, right through almost all aspects of the game that make me not interested in watching England. It started with all the friendlies, but now it has made me not interested in competitive matches too.

I'm just not interested and I don't care about the England team any more. Sorry if that isn't the right thing to say but it is just my view and how I feel and it is because of what I see happening in the game and so many aspects surrounding it.

Ashley Young

But, our Ashley Young played last night and I think he had a good game. However, Ian Taylor tweeted that we saw the best and worst of Ashley Young last night and if you didn't see the match, you won't be surprised to learn what the worst was.

But before we get to the worst, let's look at the best. He was industrious and rarely, if ever, gave the ball away in open play, unlike Adam Johnson and Gareth Barry who both did in the first half and both times it led to a shot from Montenegro. That is what we see from him every week and that was why he was picked last night.

However, he does have his other side and I know you know what it is. First, a free kick 30 yards out on his right foot; guess what happened? Yes, you're right, over everyone and out. Nobody had a chance of getting to it and the keeper just watched it float wide and very high. Come on; £65k a week should warrant some time on the training pitch to work with the dead ball.

The other area of his game that we have actually seen less of this season and for a lot of last, is the diving and falling over after getting touched up. Last night was shocking. He is in the box and instead of continuing his run, which would have quite possibly led him running into an outstretched leg and quite possibly a penalty, he planted his feet in the ground and dived over it. There was no contact and he got a yellow card.

However and this does deserve saying; that is the game these days. Just moments later Adam Johnson dived when he got touched up - the only difference was he waited for physical contact, whereas our Ashley went for appearance first.

He can't be blamed for trying to squeeze an advantage out of a situation as like I said, that is part of the game these days, he just has to get better at it or figure out that actually, he has done the hard work, now just run into the leg and let your momentum take over.

The game is so soft these days I worry for the future of it, but I know I shouldn't let it bother me and I truly do believe that one day it will get fixed and I actually think that that day might come sooner rather than later.

But until that day, I just hope Ashley Young spends an extra hour or two every day on the training pitch, because if he could master that free kick from just outside the box, he would be the first name down on Capello's team sheet and he'll score a lot more goals.

Right, I'm off to sell my England shirt on eBay.