Mel Eves believes England must learn to run before they can walk – literally.
The former Molineux favourite says the country’s top stars simply can’t put two feet together properly.
Eves’ Eleven Sports Management Company – employing, amongst others former Saddler Chris Marsh, ex-Coventry winger John Williams, and former GB Olympic sprint coach Roger Walters – was set up more than 20 years ago to help footballers reach their full potential.
“We don’t run properly, we don’t move properly because it’s never taught in football,” he said.
“We don’t embrace all the other technologies based around what we should eat.
“We have a ‘one size fits all’ policy which Arsene Wenger brought in, which is brilliant, but we haven’t stepped up.
“We are not as conscientious as other nations are. We are nowhere near the Italians.
“I’ve looked after a lot of their players and have spent a lot of time over there.
“We think we are professional and we don’t want to be taught anything.”
Eves believes even the true greats would have benefited from the types of coaching methods, favoured on the continent.
“If you are a Paul Gascoigne or a George Best, in other words a genius, you’ll probably do well whatever.
“But even Gascoigne or Best could have been even better for even longer and been less injury prone.
“That’s all I’m trying to do – get that message out there. This is what needs to be done.
“Our sprint coach says to me, ‘Why don’t footballers run properly? Why don’t the England players move properly?’
“Andy Carroll is not too bad, to be fair, but a slight alteration to his action would make a significant difference.”
Eves believes England will continually fail at the top end of international football with an emphasis remaining on power at grass roots.
“If a lad who is big for his age plays centre-back and whacks the ball 60 yards up the pitch, they get a massive round of applause.
“If a small kid starts playing football and they lose the ball, it’s ‘bloody clear it next time!’. That’s the fundamental issue that we have.
“Kids try and lose the ball – so how on earth will they ever be comfortable keeping it?
“The Spanish have Iniesta and Xavi and it’s wonderful to watch.
“The Germans have embraced it and have power as well. They’ve got the two. We haven’t got either!”