Biting Back: Football coaching simply not up to scratch
What does coaching mean to you? A fairly open-ended question, admittedly, but there is a broad consensus that soccer coaching on these islands is not on a par with that of the sophisticated continentals.
Proof of the pudding comes in the inevitable exits of England from international tournaments. They huff and puff, but most of their goals come about as a result of solid effort, rather than demonstrations of carefully planned structured attack.
It took the passing of the inaccurately-labelled 'Golden Generation' of Lampard, Gerrard, Scholes et al in order for a change of heart.
However, imagine my own personal surprise when I should stumble across the prices of obtaining your coaching badges.
Anyone who has attended a Bundesliga match can't have failed to notice how they admirably refuse to rip off fans when it comes to drinks, food and club merchandise.
Therefore it will not surprise you to learn that obtaining a Level 3 B License will cost you £310 in Germany. It's more expensive in Spain, at £794.
But to do it through the FA? £2,450. Yeah. Your Level 4 A License in Germany? £382. Spain; £866. England? £5,820.
Spain, the home of the tiki-taka revolution, has 12,720 A License holders. Germany has over 5,500. England has 1,178.
The numbers are even more astonishing when it comes to Pro License holders. Germany has over 1,000. Spain has 2,140.
Can anyone be surprised?