By Keith Ingham
So the World Champions Germany were crowed in Rio at the magnificent Maracana stadium. The hard work for this victory started back in 2009 when the Germans won the Under 21 Championship when Neuer, Howedes, Boateng, Khedira (c), Ozil plus a strong squad did so well in the tournament and battered England 4-0 in the final. These boys were special and the German FA knew it.
Howard Wilkinson, around fifteen years ago approached the English FA with a model of how to transform the structure of the game, incredibly given Wilkinson's football pedigree he was not given the nod to implement his plans but the Germans did, although not completely the same, they overhauled their federation from top to bottom. Fifteen years later the fruits of these changes sit at the top of the international tree.
I'm suggesting that Leeds United should follow a similar formula with the likes of established youngsters Tom Lees, Sam Byram and Alex Mowatt leading the way, with Chris Dawson and Lewis Walters hopefully following them into the first team. There's others, Dominic Poleon has been in and around the first team for a couple of seasons and others travelled to Italy for experience. Matt Smith, hopefully will be leading the line, there is a small basis for hope. We will not in the near future be able to follow the Leicester's of this world by 'flashing the cash', Mr Cellino is hardly setting the imagination alight with his signings to present. They may indeed be good or great players but the Championship demands physical attributes which may be too much for the players brought in. I hope I'm wrong.
The one thing against the model shown to be a success with Germany is that previously the outgoings of promising players at Elland Road has been uncomfortably regular and this must put any plan at great risk. We did indeed try to build a team around Ross McCormack but it was a failure as others in the team didn't or wouldn't put in the effort to make it a success and in the end the money offered was just too much to turn down plus the player wanted to leave. The finances at the club seem better than for a long time and I'm hoping for a good season. Anything must be better than the dross offered up in the last two seasons. I'd settle for top ten this season and go from there.
Maybe this year it's time to indeed look at the World Champions and realise they've done all they have because of two things, faith in themselves and bloody hard teamwork. A great lesson for all.
Well done Germany, worthy winners of the 2014 World Cup.