Dave Reddin: England rivals have 'structural advantages'

ENGLAND must continue to “think differently” because of the “structural advantages” of their rivals, says Football Association Head of Team Strategy and Performance Dave Reddin.

The 50-year-old is leaving the FA in December after six years and said the lack of English players in the Premier League was still the biggest issue facing the national team.

Speaking on the Training Ground Guru podcast, Reddin said: “Last season in the Premier League, 30% of the starts were made by England-qualified players, 19.9% at the top six clubs.

“That translates into about 65 players on any given weekend. Some of those will be a bit young, some will be past their peak.”

That figure of 30% of top-flight starters in 2018/19 was down from 33.2% the previous season and represented the lowest figure in Premier League history.

Young English players, like Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund) and Reiss Nelson (Hoffenheim), were playing top-flight football abroad last season, but Reddin said the numbers still paled into insignificance compared to countries like France.

“On an average weekend, France had 175 players making a start in one of the A-grade leagues around Europe last season,” he said. “Other nations have stronger structural advantages in my opinion.

“If you take Germany, they delayed the start of the Bundesliga in order to let their Under-23s play in the Olympics (in 2016). I’m not sure that’s likely to happen in England.”

However, Reddin, who formerly worked for England Rugby when they won the 2003 World Cup and Team GB at the 2012 Olympics, said “there’s no point crying about it” and that England would have to continue to “think differently”.

During his tenure they significantly developed their backroom staffs and focused on culture and DNA.

“Against that context, we need to continue to think differently,” Reddin said.

"There’s no point crying about that stuff.

"My mindset is, ‘look, we don’t control that. What do we control and can get better at?’

“If I was here for another six years I would continue to celebrate the differences, as a secret source of our success. That is a structural piece which is clearly driven to some extent by the financial power of the Premier League, which isn’t likely to change.”

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