England take a step forward

Neither Morata nor any of the Spanish players who have been brought up in our footballing culture can be force-fed instructions or have orders bellowed at them on the training ground. Football has not been taught that way in our country for a long time. They have grown up knowing how to play and at a later date each of them, based on their individual skills, intelligence and physical attrributes, has been integrated to benefit the needs of the team at any given moment, with some making it further than others in their sporting careers.

Spanish kids, without knowing but thanks to the education they have received, know more about football than most of us. That concept of making the footballer think, that education allowing them to 'plan, execute, review' that defines us has been applied across English football for four years, and with indisputable success.

England's young stars | Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Joe Gomez, Jack Butland and team mates during training.

England's couragious step

England's younger categories have won at the World Cup and European Championships, and their senior squad reached the semi-finals in Russia. It's an evolution. Clearly, they depended a lot on dead-ball scenarios, but they also had to visualise them, practice them, and improvise. Situations occurred in Russia (against Colombia, for example) where, instead of looking for excuses or glancing towards the bench, players had to find a solution on the pitch. And they found them. This is a step forward, and a courageous one, because part of it is an admission of failure.