The Rabid Fans of English Soccer
Put quite simply, the English have a passion for the sport that is rivalled in few places around the world. English fans are particularly rabid and always set the highest of expectations for their national team.
Unfortunately, these lofty expectations are rarely ever met, with England having only once won the World Cup. Interestingly though, this World Cup victory came in 1966 on home soil, the only time the host country has ever been crowned world champions.
Aside from this, the English team is actually quite steeped in history and shares the honours with Scotland as the world’s oldest soccer team, both having been established in 1872. This long history sees the aforementioned World Cup victory, as well a 4th place finish in 1990.
Usually listed in the top 10 on the FIFA rankings, England typically shows much promise. Unfortunately, it has yet to deliver much success in its most recent international campaigns, much to the chagrin of the always optimistic English media.
English Soccer Style
The English soccer style is best described in one word: physical.
Even at the domestic level, the English Premiership represents an often times brutal form of the game, especially for the many players who play there from overseas.
There is usually intense fighting in one-on-one situations to try and win the ball, with shoulder checks, front blocks, and slide tackles all being featured prominently in the English game.
Tactically speaking, the English style also uses long balls to set up attacks rather than relying on extensive possession.
Quick runs down the flank also lead to the many crosses that feature so prominently in this style of play. In fact, the English style is often characterized by many, many crosses swung into the penalty area and relying on the size and strength of the striker to direct the ball into the goal.
The Domestic League: The English Premiership
If we’re talking about English soccer, then the English Premiership deserves to be discussed.
Perhaps owing to the vast amount of money that is available to teams and sponsors in the United Kingdom, the EPL boasts a collection of world class players the likes of which is unheard of elsewhere in the world. With the exception of La Primera Liga in Spain (whose wealth is really only locked up in the top two teams, Real Madrid and Barcelona), teams in the EPL are able to outspend their rivals from around the world and field squads containing some of the best players in the world.
Players come to England from far across the world and bring with them their own culture and style of play. At the same time, the intense physical nature of playing in the EPL becomes an asset for these teams when they return home to play internationally for their birth nations.
As a result, the experience of playing in England in such a physical league and against the best players in the world on a weekly basis ends up being a huge advantage for the players who have the benefit of playing there.
As they say, intense competition breeds success!
Take a look at other european soccer styles: