Too much, too young: Brooking insists England kids lack hunger, desire and enthusiasm because of big contracts
09:45 GMT, 17 January 2013
10:13 GMT, 17 January 2013
Sir Trevor Brooking has hit out at the money culture that surrounds some of England's top young footballers.
The former England international and current FA director of football argued that the size of the contracts being handed to some teenagers results in a lack of 'hunger, desire and enthusiasm'.
Speaking as the FA launched its 150th anniversary celebrations in London on Wednesday, Brooking used the example of the England Under-17 side which won the European Championships in 2010 to illustrate his point.
'Players get lots of money too young,' he said. 'It’s a big challenge for the clubs to work out how to deal with that.
'If you’re getting paid 20,000 a week at 18 years old it will affect your hunger, desire and enthusiasm.
'We had an Under-17 team that won the European Championship back in 2010 where they beat Spain and France and passed the ball as well as any other young side. We had hoped that one or two of them might come through into the main national side.
'A couple of them have got big contracts and, to be honest, have not kicked on as we were hoping.'
Slow progress: Connor Wickham starred for England Under-17s in 2010 but has scored just twice for Sunderland since an 8m move in July 2011
The likes of Chelsea's Josh McEachran and Sunderland's Connor Wickham both featured in that side but have failed to hold down regular first-team places at their clubs despite signing long-term deals.
Later, Brooking reiterated his point on talkSPORT, comparing today's climate to the one in which he broke through in back in the late 1960s.
'When I first started you got a basic wage when you broke into the first team, but a lot of the rest of my wages were made up with appearance fees and win bonuses, whereas now they try to lock in massive basics straight away,' he said.
All smiles: Brooking chats with former England boss Fabio Capello on Wednesday
'If you’re getting a basic wage for sitting on the bench or not performing then your club will be thinking, “I’ve signed this guy up for four years and he’s not playing well”. They’re getting too much, too soon.
'It’s one of the biggest problems, especially if you’re a young English player.
'We haven’t got as many of them as we should do and then clubs have to abide by this home-grown player rule within their squads.
'Sometimes an English youngster is included in the squad and you’ll end up paying a bit over the top to get X number of home-grown players whereas, in reality, they’re not worth the money that they’re paid.'