Gary Lineker: 'Pushy parents damaging English football'

Lineker: 'Pushy parents damaging English football'
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Former England star Gary Lineker says that pushy parents are having a negative impact on the country's young players.

Former England striker Gary Lineker believes that pushy parents are damaging the national team's chances of developing top-class players.

The Match of the Day presenter said that the "maniacal parents on the touchline" are having a negative impact on the English game at youth level.

Lineker claims that mothers and fathers barking orders at their children during matches is exacerbating England's "long-ball culture".

"It's obvious, then, why we have a long-ball culture: the big lads who can kick it furthest are the ones that stand out," he told New Statesman.

"The competitive nature of most mums and dads is astounding. The fear they instil in our promising but sensitive [youngsters] is utterly depressing. We need a parental cultural revolution."

Some academies in England insist that parents only applaud during matches, and must otherwise remain silent - a ground rule which Lineker supports.

"This has allowed talented young players to express themselves on the field, to take people on, to try a trick, all without the dreaded, predictable rubbish cascading into their ears. This is a very good thing," he added.

Lineker was complementary of the role of academies in general, describing them as "revolutionary".

Gary Lineker arrives in Zurich for the England bid at the FIFA World Cup 2018 & 2022 Host Announcement on December 2, 2010
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