Letters, Thursday, July 5th, 2012

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England must play the Spanish way

YOU just had to admire Spain’s free-flowing football in the final of the European Championships. The unstoppable, demolition job they did on Italy was utterly mesmorising. The 4-0 scoreline could well have been double that figure.

Spain had been criticised before the final for not playing forward players, but they shoved that criticism well and truly down their critics’ throats when they put on a display of football that every football lover in the world watched with amazement.

Their pinpoint passing was the closest thing to perfection we have seen in many decades of football. The pure elegance and swagger was a joy to watch, and the DVD of that performance should be played to every youngster learning the game.

These geniuses of football have now won three tournaments on the trot, each won with style, class and first-class entertainment.

My main point is: why can’t English football learn from this? Every major tournament ends in heartache for England fans and the players who never learn from their mistakes each major tournament.

Though Roy Hodgson restored a little pride by steering England to a quarter-final place, it ended in the usual damp squib of going out on penalties. Much of their football was the usual horrible style of lumping the ball up the field, hoping that one of our strikers will get on the end of it.

Why can’t we get it right and learn our footballers the Spanish way of graceful football? They treat the ball like a precious family treasure, never wanting to give it away. They let the ball do the work, and always have that extra man to pass to.

Their football is like a symphony played with their feet. They caress the ball as if it is their new-born child. They treasure it rather than humping it up the field as if it was an unexploded bomb about to go off.

Every English coach should give the players a DVD copy of that final and teach them the Spanish way of football. Another thing, our beloved Football Association should put a cap on foreign players that are stifling our game, and stopping the young talent coming through. Every failure at each tournament, we hear the same old drivel, about learning from our mistakes, yet every tournament, we never make the change to a better style of football.

All you coaches out there, make that change and teach our youngsters the Spanish way.

Clive Lee

Brigade thanks

SUNDERLAND Volunteer Life Brigade would like to say a big thank-you to the management and staff of Asda Grangetown in Sunderland for helping the Brigade collect £617 in their store on June 22.

Larry Hetherington, Press officer, SVLB

Rivet revelation

I WAS intgrigued to read the letter by Mr Robinson about the golden rivet found on ships.

When I first joined the Royal Navy 50 years ago, I was told about it and dismissed it as a scheme to catch out the gullible and to provide amusement for the more experienced.

Imagine my atonishment when, after a shorth while aboard my first ship, an older rating took me down below. There, sure enough, was a gold-painted rivet in the deck. I spent some time examining it.

I must admit that this rite of passage made a man of me. I never looked back. Indeed I had the pleasure over later years of showing it to a number of young men myself.

Happy days!

Kenneth Wilkinson, Barnard Street, High Barnes, Sunderland

One-sided advice

GOVERNMENTS, both the present Coalition and previous Labour, tell us that work, rather than benefits, gives us a sense of self-worth. That it “frees” us.

Isn’t it a pity that this advice only applies to workers, those of us, the majority, who depend on selling our mental and physical abilities for a wage or salary, in order to live?

It does not apply to the wealthy, the tiny minority who gain their wealth by exploiting this labour.

In their case, it is seen as quite acceptable to live lives of idle luxury, contributing nothing.

They, along with their media and the governments who work in the interests of the wealthy, create an atmosphere that pits one section of workers against another – an atmosphere of fear and insecurity over poverty, unemployment etc that prevents workers acting in their own interests.

Steve Colborn, Ivy Avenue, Deneside, Seaham

Boxers’ event

SUNDERLAND Ex-Boxers’ Association’s Annual Presentation Day is being held on Sunday, July 15, at the Railway Club, Holmeside, starting at 12.30.

Trophies will be handed out to local amateur boxers from around the city, and there will be a raffle, entertainment and buffet.

Entry is free and everyone is welcome.

Geoff Rushworth