The Big "Paucity of English Youth Talent" Debate!

Discussion in 'England' started by The Guardian, Oct 3, 2010.

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  1. The Guardian

    The Guardian Member+

    Jul 31, 2010
    Club:
    --other--
    For several years now the likes of Grahame Taylor, David Platt, Big Sam, Arry Redknapp, Lou Macari and the press pundits have been saying that the technique of English youth players is nowhere near as good as it was over previous generations up until the current "golden generation". Once they have gone the future will be very bleak they say (and yes it's not as if they have an awful lot to live up to).

    During this time I've been arguing against this popular view. For one thing if the standards of the youth players are so bad how does that view square with the England youth sides doing so much better in recent years than before.

    Another oddity is how it's often claimed the problem is English youth players don't get a chance in first teams (yet there are countless young English players holding age related records of various kinds). And when young players are given a chance and the result isn't a good one the same people (it seems) claim the manager has lost the plot.

    Do you agree with the "expert consensus"?

    PS Presumably this issue will be discussed in tonight's Can England Win The Next World Cup (before MOTD2) but let's not start chatting about England's chances - not here anyway, if you must anywhere.
     
  2. BarryfromEastenders

    Staff Member

    Jul 6, 2008
    It's more a case that the age groups that were supposed to take over from the likes of Beckham, Scholes, Campbell, Neville etc were never going to be good enough. There were a few quality players in the 1981-1986 born year groups but nowhere near enough depth. Even decent quality in those levels was lacking in depth, nevermind international quality.

    So most of the observers that you mention are only commenting on the same players over and over because the generations from 81 to 86 were so lacking. I think the future being bleak is strange because it hasn't been good anyway but changing the team is hard because most of the players that will have to come in are young and don't have enough experience yet. If we had more 25/26/27 year olds it would make it easier.

    Youth football has improved since then but there is still a lack of depth overall coming through. So it's not as bad as being made out but it's not great either.
     
  3. The Guardian

    The Guardian Member+

    Jul 31, 2010
    Club:
    --other--
    They are not referring to the 1981 - 1986 year groups. They are referring to the youth players of the last few years. Macari was on about them only yesterday. And he was his usual disparaging self (his football failure of a son of course committed suicide - but let's not get into that).
     
  4. BarryfromEastenders

    Staff Member

    Jul 6, 2008
    You will have to provide specific quotes then if you can please? Youth players of the last few years meaning what? Huddlestone/Milner era? Or younger? I haven't even heard Macari speak on anything other than Man Utd.

    Everything I've heard is always the same after a senior team failure.
     
  5. BarryfromEastenders

    Staff Member

    Jul 6, 2008
    Found some quotes from Fat Sam -

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/fo...nt-pool-warns-bleak-future-national-team.html

    It's very hard to define what he's saying completely but to me he's talking about players in the specific age groups I'm on about.

    I'm not certain what the exact average Premiership age of a regular starter is but it's not going to be 23 or lower at all. Which is where our younger players will be (1987 and beyond).

    The work he's demanding in developing players will not see any progress until another 10 or so years anyway. Because it will start again with very young kids. So if he is talking about players not in the 1981-1986 group then he's stupid because he will not have seen enough at all of the next 5 year batch. Whether 1987-1991 is any greater is a question? Yes but not exceptionally. But we will not know for certain for a while.

    Here is Harry now on the TV. So lets see what he's on about.
     
  6. BarryfromEastenders

    Staff Member

    Jul 6, 2008
    Harry just said he doesn't think there is a group coming through like the Gerrard, Ferdinand and I think he said Lampard one.

    He said there is some talent about but not enough. He doesn't define what groups he's on about though. Again he might just be looking at what is starting now.

    Again I struggle to understand what he's on about because the comments are too vague. Nothing seems to be in-depth or worthwhile with these peoples quotes. Not surprising. It's all pretty typical of saying what the media wants to say. Or what they think the media wants him to say.

    He's not really saying anything though. Fat Sam isn't either above.
     
  7. sharpovic

    sharpovic Member

    May 20, 2010
    92 and 93 born year groups are the best we've had for some time IMO

    overall the technical level seems to be improving. Whether it's a coincidence or if it's the result of a new philosophy I'm not sure

    But clearly England seems to start producing more flair players, like Wilshere, McEachran, Bostock, Aneke, Morisson, Sterling etc.

    These players , for those who make it, won't be ready anytime soon (except Wilshere who is not far from the senior team), so England might have a few difficult years in the mean time

    The golden generation was good, but not skillfull enough to actually win something IMO. Will the new generations do better I don't know, but at least the players' charateristics seem a bit more continental , which gives me hope.

    it could be better though, and we're still far from Spain or Germany (I don't mention France, as I think they've gone backwards lately, french academies focusing too much on the physical side of the game) but I think we're heading in the right direction.

    ps : I'm half french half english, and french is my mother tongue so sorry if my english is not perfect. I support England 100 % though :)
     
  8. The Famous CFC!

    Jan 2, 2007
    I would agree that there isn't really a great depth in the quality coming through, from what I've seen but there are certainly quite a few good players.
     
  9. The Guardian

    The Guardian Member+

    Jul 31, 2010
    Club:
    --other--
    It's been periodically over the years (particularly as you say when the seniors are under fire). Those mentioned in the opening post have been the most consistently "brutal" -Arry has pulled back from his "we are doomed forever" comments before the WC - should we fail in the last one. There have been hours and hours on the radio bemoaning how the youth players ain't what they used to be. I remember one a couple of years ago on Talksport (yes I know - they are, aren't they) for three hours every one and every caller was coming out with the, "they need to be made into winners from the age of seven". None of this skill/technique business. Come on my son!

    But I digress (just a bit anyway). Macari doesn't just criticise Man U young players (including the foreigners - but let's not go there) he has a go at English youth generally, saying there are no young players worth their salt (bit strange I know). What these grumpy old men don't seem to grasp is that not all top players of the past were first choice players at 17/18 themselves (as they seem to think kids these days should be to be any cop) and this was before the money and foreigners flooded in. Just out of interest the God Like Gaza didn't make his England debut till he was 22 - Linacre, 23, and Chris "The Crusher of Youth" Waddle 24.
     
  10. BarryfromEastenders

    Staff Member

    Jul 6, 2008
    Redknapp comes out with some odd stuff but I think it is actually because he's passionate about things regarding England. That makes him say even more stranger things than usual. Like when England drew at home to the Czech Republic (one of Capello's early games) and in the studio Redknapp went on a random frustrated type rant.

    The talk after every poor senior team showing is like you say the same. Some of it points at certain truths. Things are far from perfect and changes need to be made but most of the debate is rabble and incoherent.

    I don't really know much of what Macari has said at all. I guess at the end of the day however good or bad our youth teams do, how rated they are by 'pundits' or ourselves or even how well they do at youth tournaments it is all irrelevant unless they step up when it matters.

    We aren't replacing anything exceptional and the myth that this last group were excellent at youth level or even great prospects is frankly bizarre. No doubt some where though. I guess that is the main issue.
     
  11. 'appy Addick

    'appy Addick New Member

    Dec 23, 2009
    Portsmouth
    Club:
    Charlton Athletic FC
    Country:
    England
    The argument isn't so much about whether or not the players will have "talent", but rather, whether that talent will be able to compete against the best young players emerging in other countries.

    It may always be a case of "Their best young players are better than our best young players". The development of good young English players always seems to be years behind, comparably, to the best of the continental countries.

    England will always be able to field a team. Even in the foreigner-obsessed Premier League, we should be able to find at least one half decent goalkeeper, a couple of full backs, centre backs, etc, etc.

    Those players will become our countries footballing representatives, and if anyone ever tells them that they are crap, they will be able to retort "Perhaps, mate, but we're the best you've got".

    I'm fairly sure that England will be able to qualify for the major tournaments more often than not, but the acid test will come in the tournaments themselves.... as has always been the case, and always will be.

    Now, I don't want to do a resume of things that have gone wrong for England in the past. We all know what has transpired in the past. But what of the future..? What problems do we think are likely to present themselves to us in the next ten years or so (and then, beyond).

    Well, the way I see it, we may very well develop a core elite of talented players, capable of competing at tournament level, but how deep would that pool be..? It would be no use going to a world cup with, say, one very good goalkeeper who could break a finger in the first match, and then leaving us having to field the utterly hopeless second string who was only supposed to be there to make up the numbers.

    What I'm saying here, is that, whilst it is likely that the top clubs may produce a team with enough talent to fulfil the requirements of Plan A, what happens when Plan B is required..? Who steps into the breech then..?

    Another problem I see is the increasing importance of the Champions League. Managers and players at the top clubs have been whispering it amongst themselves for several years now, but last season Jose Maurinho came out and said it: The Champions League is more important than the World Cup.

    In all the major footballing countries of Europe, the Champions League is rising in importance. Not just qualifying for it, any more, not even getting to the knockout stages.... but either winning it, or at the very least, being in the final. This is now the holy grail for the top players in Europe and if push ever came to shove I think that the better English players would be more inclined to give somewhat less of their effort and commitment to the national team, if it meant keeping fit and fresh for Champions League duty.

    Of course, they won't say so. Players are far too media savvy these days to come out and say such a thing. They'll continue to talk about their "passion for wearing the three lions", but we all know that's a crock of bullshit.

    In a nutshell, three problems are likely to be a major factor in England's continuing decline at international level in the future:

    1. The development of English youth players having to always play "catch up" with our continental rivals"

    2. An insufficient pool of highly talented players. The talent may be there, but it is likely to be spread very thinly.

    3. A reduction in the commitment of the best players, due to the increasing importance of the Champions League.


    Feel free to agree / disagree if you will, but that's how I see it.

    .
     
  12. BarryfromEastenders

    Staff Member

    Jul 6, 2008
    Continuing decline from what? Do you mean not qualifying at all? I don't think we can decline any further than recent times atm.

    I can agree to that in areas.

    Hard to say yet for the future. So it's hard to agree or disagree on this issue. Unless we are discussing now or the next year or two.

    We are no different to any of the other nations in this situation that do compete for trophies. It hasn't harmed the Spanish. Or the Italians when they won the World Cup.
     
  13. DonkeysMouth

    DonkeysMouth New Member

    Oct 4, 2010
    Club:
    Sheffield United FC
    I agree in a large part with the pundits claims that our youngsters are not as good as the departing players, but add the word YET.

    The main areas we lack world class youngsters are:

    Goalkeeper - Hart is good, but not world class. Foster is good, but no longer a youngster. Who else is there? Where's our next dominant goalkeeper?

    Center Backs - We have a few quality center halves in their mid to late 20's - Cahill, Jagielka, Dawson - but they have 2 tournaments in them - 2012 and 2014, before they inevitably wrack up too many injuries. The only youngster looming at the moment is Smalling and the jury is still undecided about him.

    Left back - We are royally screwed once more when Ashely Cole calls it quits, just as we were before his emergence. How many years did we have to rely on a past his best Stuart Pearce who bleeds lions and would still answer the call today? How many years is Cole going to have to keep coming back once he finally calls it quits. Thankfully we have him for a few years yet.

    Right Flank - Once our most productive part of the field is now going to become problematic. Johnson has come onto the left with great effect, but who is there for the right? I don't feel Milner is best suited to wing play, but with Lennon, Walcott and Wright-Phillips lacking in consistency he may have to fill in there a little longer. For the benefit of the squad Capello should let Beckham come to the training camps every time and spend all the spare time the team has working with Walcott, Lennon, Wright-Phillips and Milner on delivering a decent ball from the wing. We have no final delivery from that area.

    Strikers - Rooney is young, but far from prolific up front. No England boss will give Crouchy an extended run in the side, and he is quickly approaching the age of 30 that pundits seem to see as the death sentance for internationals. Bent is untested at this level, Carlton Cole sucks, we have nobody to strike fear into opposing defenders the way strikers like Linekar, Shearer and a younger Owen once did. Defenders are not afraid of Rooney because of his tendancy to drop back when getting nothing up top. Hopefully Andy Carroll can develop consistency in his game and become the next Shearer for England.
     
  14. BarryfromEastenders

    Staff Member

    Jul 6, 2008
    I don't really like the term 'World class'. It doesn't have any real meaning and especially if we are talking about younger players.

    Hart is only 23 and has time to grow into a good goalkeeper. I think it's looking slightly better at youth level but still we will have to wait a while.

    Smalling isn't our only centre back option. There are a few I like atm but it's still early days with most of them.

    Kieran Gibbs has the potential to compete for Ashley Cole's left back position imo. Big shoes to fill but we are far from royally screwed.

    Adam Johnson has mainly played on the right side.

    Forwards might be a problem. We have a few that show quality but aren't ready and still have quite a few question marks.
     
  15. The Guardian

    The Guardian Member+

    Jul 31, 2010
    Club:
    --other--
    It's easy to forget that not long ago the only "winger" we had was Golden Balls. Not so now though.
     
  16. RickChelsea

    RickChelsea Member

    Sep 28, 2008
    sidknee
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    Country:
    Mozambique
    The technical level of the younger players are getting better. You only have to look at the players born post 90 to see for yourself. It might not be a reflection of all English young players as a whole right from the lower divisions to the very top, but the very best of each age group - ala the 91's, 92's, 93's that are involved with the national youth setups at the moment are technically superior than any age cycles before them.

    What i find most annoying though is when someone like big Sam or Redknapp will harp on about too many young English players not being good enough for the Premier League yet, when he's asked about whether there are enough English managers in the top flight, his mood changes to "It's not fair, we deserve a chance!"

    There are definitely many individual's coming through the ranks right now that will set a platform for the national team in years to come. The likes of Rodwell, Wilshere, Gibbs, McEachran etc are just a few of some very good young technical players that we are starting to churn out but there's obviously still an overwhelming amount of kick and rush players that need to be grinded out from the system. It's a long term plan.

    But anyone who says that the new batch of younger players are technically poorer than their predecessors obviously does not pay enough attention to what's going on around himself...
     
  17. DonkeysMouth

    DonkeysMouth New Member

    Oct 4, 2010
    Club:
    Sheffield United FC
    I disagree. Most of the decent center backs coming through the ranks, including the youngsters, are foreign by birth. Even those progressing through the ranks with the English teams who would be eligible to play for England will not choose to do so once they reach the appropriate level, would you choose to play for somebody else? My point on the center backs is that, other than Smalling, the rest of our yonger guys should be ready now to compete with the cream of the crop around the world, and thanks to the rotating managerial doors at our clubs no managers are willing to blood their developing players (Fergie apart). Rodwell should have played many more games than he has, so should the likes of Gibbs. Others, such as Shawcross, Cahill, etc should be ready, in my opinion, to be thrust on the world stage and Cahill maybe about there but the rest lag behind. My main complaint is not at the lack of talent of upcoming youngsters, but the fact that none of them will attain the levels needed to make us a force.
    With managers forced to give instant results are they going to spend the necessary time showing faith with a player who could be the next Beckham, Rooney, Adams, Shearer, etc or are they going to spend a few million on a finished foreign product and give their budding starlet a bit part role? Such a role really dents a players potential as they feel they cannot be trusted, or maybe just aren't good enough, to fill that role.
    The other part of the argument is the mentality of the English youngsters. Arsene Wenger is the only one who has publically spoken of it, but there are others thinking it. As a manager of a club with 10 promising talents ready to be slowly filtered into the first team they have to go with the guys whose minds are set on succeeding. Most English kids want to be footballers, but few of us have the mindset to make it happen. Of those who do go through the youth ranks, many fall off the rails when they hit 18. They start drinking, which subsequently leads to lateness, lack of fitness, loss of form, and ultimately loss of heart once they get frozen out. Frozen out because of their attitude, not ability. Would Wenger have given Ramsey the role he has this season had Capello and the papers not mentioned him as the future of England, maybe but maybe not. Did he thing, here we go again, when Ramsey's name was all over the papers for being arrested? You betchya. It must have been a case of one more promising English player on the skids. Then you have our players who do push themselves for a time, they succeed then self destruct. David Bentley was the name on everybodies lips while at Blackburn, and he looked phenominal. Big money move to Tottenham, big wages and the guy goes off his rocker a la Gazza at Lazio. We see it too often and we will continue to see it.

    As for my comments about Hart, I know he's 23 and keepers mature with time. However, I am not sold on him. He is athletic, has good reactions and can produce some fine saves, but he lacks concentration. He is prone to too many errors, mis-judgements and flaps. I know he can develop with time, but he reminds me of a young Richard Wright. All the makings of a great keeper, now we look back and say Richard Who? I hope he proves my lack of confidence in him wrong.
     
  18. sharpovic

    sharpovic Member

    May 20, 2010
    Wilshere, not Ramsey... :)

    and right now I prefer Phil Jones than Smalling
     
  19. BarryfromEastenders

    Staff Member

    Jul 6, 2008
    Smalling hasn't even played regular games yet and you mention him. But leave out Phil Jones who has played regularly more than any of our youngsters.

    Not every player is going to be ready at 18 or 19 to start regularly anyway.

    Rodwell began to make his way into Everton's team and got injured again.
     
  20. The Guardian

    The Guardian Member+

    Jul 31, 2010
    Club:
    --other--
    The argument has always been about the quality of young players coming through compared to the the past - we can't do anything about the foreigners so focus on our lot. We used to hear a lot about the wonders of Clairefontaine - to contrast how shit we are. But that's all gone quite now.

    Whenever people talk about the depth of keepers in the past they usually trot out the name Joe Corrigan. He was a big clumsy joke ( a bit like Tommy Cooper without the fez) - Malcolm Allison used to tell him he was a joke every day in training - he's a goal keeping coach now. Remember when Banks pulled out with the shits and The Cat stepped in.

    Full backs have always been a problem going back to George Cohen who was quick but hopeless. That's why I've always been keen on the idea of converting good players to full back. Delph would be ideal. We've got Gibbs, Walker and Kelly coming along in the same squad.

    At c/b we've got the very impressive Smalling, Jones and Kelly - in the same squad. We're laughing again.

    We have more "technical" sophisticated midfield players coming up now with the likes of Morrison, McEachran and Wilshere. At a time when it's harder for a winger than ever, we've got loads to choose from.

    In the same squad we have Welbeck, Sturridge and (admittedly the less "technical") Carroll.

    We've never had so many genuine future England players in an u21 group.
     
  21. The Guardian

    The Guardian Member+

    Jul 31, 2010
    Club:
    --other--
    More odd complaints from Sir Trev (with the help of a journolist) about England's new wave and their opportunities to play first team football:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/footba ... hance.html
     
  22. BarryfromEastenders

    Staff Member

    Jul 6, 2008
    I don't like the way Brooking does his job. Why is he even commenting on these players at this point in their careers? He offers way too many quotes to the media.
     
  23. The Famous CFC!

    Jan 2, 2007
    I don't really see 17 yr olds not getting regular game time in the first team a big deal tbh.
     
  24. The Guardian

    The Guardian Member+

    Jul 31, 2010
    Club:
    --other--
    It's interesting how the likes of Chris Waddle and David "I'm Not Bitter" Platt scapegoat young players and yet go easy on the 100 grand a week stars when a team plays badly.

    One very good example of that was a United game when they couldn't string two passes together and yet Waddle spent the whole first half slagging of the innocent Welbeck on the left flank. At half time Mick McCarthy came to his rescue putting the blame where it should have been and saying, "why the hell should Welbeck not have had a shot - do you think Owen would have passed to him in the same position (he may have been looking to sign him on loan).

    And yet you do get the odd lads who the pundits universally clamour to be in the England first team before they've had a run of games in the u21s. They'd soon turn on them when it all goes wrong.
     
  25. The Guardian

    The Guardian Member+

    Jul 31, 2010
    Club:
    --other--
    It's interesting how since the Rooney "bombshell" Macarie has suddenly stopped his attack on young players after all these years.

    I'm wondering what the chances are of (the unmentioned) Morrison getting a run out in the CC tomorrow. Unlikely I know, a few more reserve games would have helped but more importantly is how the work on his "life-style" is going. "Rewarding" him and throwing him into the limelight of course have their dangers. As much as the pundits and fans complain about youngsters being given a chance when he does they'll soon be complaining he's not in the England senior side. What are they like eh.
     

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