The England Football Association happens to be one of the oldest football Associations   in the world.   It was founded in 26th October, 1863 even before the formation of FIFA in 21st May, 1904.

England, however, has one of the most interesting football traditions in the world. The English FA cup is perhaps the oldest domestic club competition in world football. With the advancement in technology and increase in commercial interest of football, the English league was metamorphosed from division football to Premiership in the 1991/1992 season with 22 club sides.

More so, down the years, revenues from T.V rights, title sponsors, and many other commercial values accrued to the English Premiership, and, these made the league to be more interesting and attractive.

Furthermore, revenues derivable from different commercial sources did further helped to strengthen the domestic game as more and more big name players across the globe and who equally plies their trade with big European club sides, were bought by English Club sides with mind blowing transfer fees. Usually, monies offered by these English Club sides with amazing transfer war chest to the selling clubs are irresistible and tempting. And to this end, the English league has indeed in the last two decades, attracted the best legs in the business.

Initially Club sides like Blackburn Rovers and Aston villa (who are currently playing in the English Championship), had their works cut out in terms of spending in the transfer market when Manchester United, and later Manchester city and Chelsea caught up with them courtesy of their wealthy owners.

In the last 14 years, the transfer spending power of Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool has been out of this world!

By and large, I could go on and on highlighting the essence money has played in making the English league one of the “A” list leagues in the world. Players in this league earn huge wages every week.

From the foregoing, in spite of the wonderful features of the English league, which I consider to be absolutely fantastic, the reality is that this supposedly fantastic and fabulous league that is supposed to supply and groom home grown talents to the English national team, the three lions has produced relatively average and overhyped players who often failed to deliver and compete favorably with other home grown players from other major leagues in Europe. In other words, the quality of Spanish players who plies their trade at home cannot be compared to the three lions. Same apply to the Germans whom players from their domestic club sides are a  major force in the diemanshaft set up.

And Contrary to general opinion, the media hype surrounding the English players has contributed in no small measure for soccer fans and stake holders of the English game to place so much confidence and trust on a bunch of players with over bloated egos only for them to falter and disappoint during major competitions like the European Championship and the World Cup.

It is on the premise of perennial underwhelming performances in major footballing competitions, which prompted the English FA to lost faith in English coaches to handle the three lions. The experiment of hiring a foreign coach to handle the three lions started with Swede Coach, Sven Goran Eriksson.  However, the Veteran Swede Coach failed to assert his authority on a team of over rated and over pampered stars, and, so the trend of monumental failures continued during the tenure of the experienced Swede Coach. And just to continue experimenting, they hired another veteran coach-Fabio Capello came on board with enviable resume and CV in Coaching. Having coached and won laurels with AC Milan, Lazio and juventus, he was mandated with the task of taking the three lions to the Semifinal of the World Cup. Capello’s performance never met their expectations nor matched their ambitions and so he left unceremoniously.

With all the calculations and permutations by the English FA to get it right at the International stage, the three lions have continued to be perennial strugglers albeit failing to do well in International Competitions.

And now with a good assemblage of brilliant young stars: Dele Alli, Raheem Lawal; Harry Kane, Eric Dier, Jordan Henderson and so on, let’s hope that Coach Gareth Southgate will bountifully repay  the trust and confidence reposed in him by the English FA (who were highly vilified by the public and English media following his appointment  as Substantive England Coach), would inspire his charges to glory by winning the world cup, or posting a descent and acceptable performance at the FIFA 2018 world Cup in Russia.

Nevertheless, the English Fans, pundits and stakeholders are expectant this time around, and believes that if the amazing form of Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Raheem Sterling whom all had fantastic season for their respective club sides is anything to go by, then England may finally end its long and decades wait for yet another grip at the world cup they last won on home soil in 1966 under controversial circumstance.

Though, they are not amongst the favorite to win the world cup, but can the hapless lions spring a surprise; defile all odds, and go ahead to lift the coveted world cup away from home?

One of the key reasons that the European footballing culture is still considered miles ahead of the African is organization. Football tactics and strategy is not merely carried out in the field of play. If a team is therefore armed with sufficient and appropriate information, it may help them  win games and outsmart its opponent.

And by this assertion, I will advocate that the technical crew of the Super Eagles carry out a thorough research on the referee that will be designated or assigned to officiate in either its group stage matches, or knock out phase matches at the FIFA 2018 world cup in Russia.

However, carrying out research on a referee before a match is imperative so that the players would be advised and given detailed instructions on how to go about doing their business on the field with some certain individual officiating traits or characteristics of a particular referee taken into considerations. World cup referees are   considered to be highly experienced.

And so with their pedigree of handling high profile international matches, continental and domestic league matches, they got picked and selected by FIFA to officiate at this summer’s world cup in Russia. Gernot Rohr and his coaching staffs should get video clips of matches that a world cup designated referee had officiated in the past; study his officiating pattern like: Is he temperamental in giving out cards? How often does he warn players before getting them booked? How often does he make penalty and controversial calls? Is he the friendly or hash type? Rohr should take a cursory look at a referee and his officiating history and advise his wards accordingly so as to forestall unwarranted bookings or refereeing decisions that may be detrimental to the team.