The traditional 'he didn't make it after City, so he was no good' comment.

Discussion in 'EDS and Academy Forum' started by Neville Kneville, 2 Feb 2018.

  1. Cheadle_hulmeBlue


    27 Oct 2012
    you could argue some of them are though- pretty underrated. i mean trippier is an england international and spurs right back. mee is another whos been brilliant for burnley. schmiecal - a premier league winner, sturridge. i remember watching some of these and you knew they were talented and they've all gone on to have really successful careers. a few of the players we have now might. for instance i think gunn will. however i think apart from maybe foden none of them will really get given enough chances with us and we will constantly keep hearing about how the u16s or lower are the golden generation ( who then dont end up playing for us). or in five years time they will be ready....

    the facilities we have are amazing, however none of it means anything really unless we get a young player in the team. hopefully foden becomes a first teamer and others get a chance. i share your negativity about it, but hopefully things change.
  2. Neville Kneville

    Neville Kneville

    26 May 2008
    Apologies for long post ahead, but I honestly don't understand why I need to be patient mate & I'll endeavour to explain why.

    I'm sure it's true the best youngsters will be rocking up soon, as they have been for many many years. The likely difference being that after the initial publicity drive, many outside the academy now see City's whole youth system as a scam, & indeed the rag press now run a negative story on it daily, imo as part of a concerted effort by Utd to muscle in. Which will, without a shadow of a doubt, have affected the percentage of top British talent we have been able to aquire in recent times, wheras we were pretty much incomparable as a choice, when the promises of academy success were first made, with much national publicity.

    So we will recently have been losing a percentage of 'local' players to Utd, Liverpool Everton etc right now, & can try to replace them with Brazilians etc etc then we can regain our historical, high reputation for producing players & hopefully become the power we should already be, at that level.

    Because it's no exaggeration to say that we have become the Liverpool of football academies. But instead of 'next year's our year' it's become 'five years' time is our year'.

    There has been an interesting debate on this over the years but imo a lot of the arguments have been completely devoid of logic.

    1: nobody has ever explained to me, why, when we had one of the, if not THE best youth system in Europe, that moving it to a brand new location suddenly means that everything which happened before, is no longer counted.

    'It's only just opened, give it a chance' was the word (& still is).

    Which is effectively the same as saying Tottenham Hotspur, will have 'only just opened' when they move to their new ground, next season, so Harry Kane etc, don't actually exist, they need a whole new set of players & five years coaching, to see any reward (ok not the best example, as they'll still do fuck all, but you get my point). All that happened was, we moved the academy premises, to improved facilities. We already had a load of players & coaches there who were rated as highly as any, anywhere else, except maybe Barca (but we have a City player there, right now).

    And before the takeover, we had a bunch of highly rated players here then. And we had a bunch of them before that, & several in the first team squad, in fact ten years ago, several of them took 6 points off Utd, who had a much better team than they have ever had, since then.

    Prior to that, we had a tradition of bringing through quality young players (destroyed for a fair while, during the Peter Reid/ Kendall period) & our earlier successes were all built on a bedrock of home grown players, Tony Book's teams, Mercer's team & so on back into history.

    So when you mention being patient, I don't understand why I'm being patient waiting for us to do something, we have been doing, all my life & all my parents & grandparents' lives.

    2) Is the argument 'it's impossible to produce players for a team of City's quality'. It's an excuse invented by football clubs & academies in general, for their abject failure to find, coach & bring through, top level players. That's all he clubs here, not just us (a look at the England team shows it & Scotland are even worse).

    Some still argue this is a valid excuse.

    Well if that's the case, where are the players in City's team & Chelsea's team etc all coming from ? 'Somebody, somewhere' has produced all of them. Every single player we have signed, since the takeover, has been produced by someone's youth system, somewhere on he planet.

    During that period, how many players have come through at City to join them on a regular basis ? Not one. How many have looked like they will be used on a regular basis as genuine fill in, 'squad players' ?

    I'd say Boyata, Iheancho & now Zinchenko. So from the 'academy' only Boyata that I can think of, we brought he other two in.

    Imo that is not a coincidence. It pretty much ended when we got the money. It's easier for managers, to spend money, so that's what they have done. Pep seems as if he wants to change that, when he can, but imo he should have been handed fully trained club produced players, by the previous two managers, not be srtarting from scratch.

    3) It would have harmed our chances, to use young players.

    It didn't do Ferguson any harm, & Guardiola has a centre mid playing fullback right now. At Barca, he used scores of young players, some just for one game each. Most weren't 'good enough' but he found as use for them to fill in. Same with Ferguson at he swamp (& even Mourinho).

    Young players have always been involved here & there in successful teams, helping take the weight off the squad. It doesn't matter whether they are as good as David Silva, or Leroy Sane, only that they can do ten minutes here & there, to stop the senior players prevent injury or maybe give them a day off. If you are lucky, one takes to the intensity, steps up & becomes a star.

    We are seeing that happening right now, with Zinchenko. He may still not make it, but we can see, right in front of us, a player improving before our eyes.

    I was watching kids do that in our team & everybody else's first team, when I was less than half their age, & I only stopped seeing it happen at City, when City got loads of money & now, because of that, i don't go to kids' games anymore as I know I'm getting excited for no reason when tey play well, & no matter how good they are, they won't make it.

    Imo, there are two simple arguments: Either A) it's impossible for academies to produce top players (in which case shut them down & do something else).

    Or B) the players are there, but are not getting through, in which case it should have been fixed by our club & every club, years ago.

    Either way, it's a fucking mess countrywide & we are at the bottom imo, & I think I've had enough patience over the years, waiting for us to do something we should already be doing.

    Sorry for the long post but I was watching City's kids when I was younger than them & football was black & white & now I'm older than the chairman, the current system has been the least successful I've ever seen in my lifetime & cost the most money.

    Consequently, I don't bother going to watch it anymore.
  3. Neville Kneville

    Neville Kneville

    26 May 2008
    When I first saw the reserve A, B teams etc at City, as a very small kid, even then I was struck by their lack of quality compared to the first team, I think the best ones had already graduated into it. But we still got players through to do jobs.

    Then Power, Barnes, Owen etc era but the more relevant players, to now, were the likes of Ged Keegan, Kenny Clements etc, who weren't really that great. but did huge important jobs for us. In effect, that's Zinchenko now (albeit he is very talented, he's no more a fullback than Keegan or Clements were when they started). Of course we sold Barnes & Owen & bought shite.

    I watched the Lake, White, Hinchcliffe group, again great talent, came through, several sold. Beresford let go, played for Newcastle.

    Then the likes of Earl Barrett, Warhurst etc, who ended up in better teams than ours whilst we bought shite. Even Darren Beckford was a transfer target at one time after we'd let him go. Many many City players had good careers at a good level.

    Then Richards, Sturridge, etc. By comparison Ben Mee imo was heart and soul but just too clumsy for an attacking team & Trippier lax defensively, but Trippier in particular, had enough to think he might come back to the Prem.

    But the best consistent, technical football I've ever seen at that level, was after that. It was the lads most of whom, have disappeared, & hardly any played a game.

    I think about even some of the less flair players, the grafters such as Kean Bryan. He wasn't worth a few minutes run out as a def mid ? Just to see ?

    In years gone by, almost all of them, would have been tested out, like Pep is doing with Foden etc now, and ironically this team is much better & much more committed & difficult to get into. It should have been happening for years.
  4. Danamy


    28 Aug 2005
    On The Giddy Train
    You nearly lost me a few times but i stuck with it

    You make it sound like it's City's fault the whole Academy system isn't working in this country which is not the case, the reality is the players in this country just aren't good enough and that's down to grass roots coaching and training from entry at school level.

    This problem is evident throughout the country as I can't see youth players flooding through any other Premier League sides but please correct me if i'm wrong. The facilites we've now invested in and the scouting network in place we should be one stop ahead going forward finding the next Messi because he wont be rocking in England, that's for sure.
  5. Neville Kneville

    Neville Kneville

    26 May 2008
    I'm talking City because I am interested in City.

    The whole academy system is shit (or at least, getting kids from the academies to the first teams & top level is) & imo, City, due to the amount of talent, money & effort put into our academy in particular, are right at the bottom of the dung heap, when it comes to producing players for our team. We should be infinitely better.

    If you think about your last comment (don't get me wrong I'm absolutely not having a go at you I'm just making a point about our thinking over here) ' he wont be rocking in England, that's for sure' you are of course absolutely right, but imagine someone saying that about Africans, for example ?

    'We won't find a Messi over there'. The message would have to be qualified by 'because the system won't allow it' otherwise someone would basically be saying there's something wrong with Africans, that they can't play football to that level. There's nothing stopping one of their kids or ours, from being a football genius. Apart from the circumstances when they are brought through. The raw talent, must be there, in all countries, to some extent. And England's kids teams are as good or better than any by comparison.

    We have almost come to accept that as the norm here, we can't produce top level players. But it's not the kids who are footballerly challenged, it's pure & simple, the people who are in charge of them & imo, right at the top, it's the money in the Prem, & right at the top of that, is us, so we barely use any of them

    We have the best academy in theory (I believe in reality) but the worst record of giving players a chance to get into our own team.

    Now we have a proper manager, it's time we set an example to the rest & proved that we are as good as we say we are.

    We are ten years behind where we should be imo. I really believe Khaldoon wants this to happen too.
  6. TimH


    24 Sep 2017
    There has never(used loosely!) been a club that has successfully for a sustained period of time been able to field the vast majority of first teamers from their academy. Teams have been able to do it sporadically, but on a sustained basis. Its just such a lottery that until a player gets to 25ish you never really know for certain, and by that time they will have left for pastures new. For every Riyad Mahrez or Aaron Mooy, there’s a litany of Martin “Buster” Philips, Lee Crofts or Michael Johnsons. The reality is that with such a high level of first team skill, any player from the academy has to be in the top 30 players in the world by age 22 or they are likely to leave. It’s a huge ask and statistically unrealistic. If we get one player from the academy into the first team, we have done extremely well, so expect us to continue to spend vast sums on players going forward, and treat the Academy for what it is - a social project.
  7. asahartford1


    15 Nov 2016
    When Jim Castles took over the youth system, I started to go to watch matches. I used to play with him, and he was a family friend. The system was absolute garbage, the young teams were very poor and the coaches useless. They are not my words. All those coaches went pretty quickly.
    The facilities were dire, and the scouting system was ad hoc and unmanaged. So people shouldn't think that we have always had a good youth system. We used to promote the quintessential big lad up front and a pair of overgrown schoolkids at centre half. Now we look for technique.

    I believe Foden and Diaz will get plenty of chances, our youth set up continues to attract the cream of European talent, and those that match that talent with dedication will get opportunities in a 75 game season.
  8. Damocles


    14 Jan 2009
    As you'd imagine, it's a collation of many different problems.

    Firstly as cop outty as this sounds, there's the weather to contend with. We live in a cold, rainy and often muddy country where pitches at grassroot levels are often waterlogged for half a season. This doesn't encourage players to develop their passing game and instead focus more directly. This can be solved by greater funding from central bodies such as the FA and local councils but it can also be solved by tiny local clubs/leagues not spending 75% of their yearly budgets on annual award shows where they celebrate their season and instead ensuring they have proper investment in the pitches that they play on. That's not an exaggeration either - from my experience in grassroots coaching in England, which is getting pretty extensive now if I do say so myself, the biggest cost for small youth leagues is the big party at the end of the year.

    Second is that the FA is WAY WAY WAY too cowardly as a player and coach development body to ever really achieve the great change that it wants us to in terms of the depth of technically excellent players that we produce. Public and media pressure on the FA is constant because football has the Climate Change problem. The Climate Change problem is an idea that humans don't really deal well with solving large problems of this magnitude because there's a significant lag time between initial investment and the first measurable results and this means that in that time between, new directions are plotted as this one is seen to have failed/done nothing. A culture change takes a generation to achieve and really bear any sort of fruit. Older coaches need to be further educated which concentrates on your coach development pathways, players who are badly educated in their groundwork will rarely have the ability to transition over to the new paradigm so won't reach their potential, parents and other stakeholders need time to understand what it is that you're doing different and need to have implicit trust in both the worth of the programme and the ability of the coach to follow the guidelines and develop the player. That's not really something that happens in our culture which is very much focused around results first. So we produce players focused around results first to instil in them this mythical fantasy of a "winning mentality" hoping that that will drive them onto success. It's just "English Lions pashun" by a different name and no more mythical than that as a functional system of development. In the past 20 years we have had several fundamental changes to how players should be developed in this country, with several things such as pitch sizes for certain ages changed then changed then changed again. We've attempted our own model, then tried to copy the Spanish model, then tried to copy the German model and now are working under a model that tries to copy all of them a little bit. I imagine in 5 years time, once the England Youth players who did so well this summer get into the first team and fail due to not being able to physically bully opponents and just twat long balls towards the corner flag for the speedy wingers to chase, we'll have another public session of navel gazing where the influence of Pep Guardiola and the public success of the Ajax Academy will convince us that actually the Dutch model is the best thing to copy and we should do that instead. Strong leadership at the top of the chain in the local FAs and the wider national FA just does not exist and even worse is that I hear that there's a bit of a cull of dissenters recently and the open exchange of ideas is being stifled in lieu of being "on message".

    Thirdly, children have changed and we as a nation haven't really caught up with this. When I was a kid, I used to watch a bit of telly then go out on the park and play football every day with my mates for hours at a time. Computing was just starting to take off but wasn't the cultural phenomenon it later became. The internet wasn't a thing yet to any real degree. Mobile phones didn't exist. We played football because it was either that or doss around doing nothing. This isn't the life of a 21st Century British child and the actual hours of balls touching feet have been significantly dropped in recent times. We don't have poor areas any more where kids learn to play in an alleyway and develop that close control nor the culture to push children out onto the streets. Most adults I know are scared of letting their kids play out, let alone pushing them to get out. we've become far too insular and far too scared of a paedophile boogeyman to allow kids the freedom to develop. The amount of kids who suffer from forms of anxiety now is almost shocking, and getting them to try things like stepovers or to take on a person one vs one is hard as they fear the "humiliation" of failing. We also don't communicate with children in ways which they can connect to. Kids have grown up Youtube their entire lives and smartphones and tablets and these technologies are not integrated enough into coaching to show them the concepts that they're attempting to teach. Instead it's the old "everybody sit down while an old guy drones on for 10 minutes and nobody pays attention" thing. That's a training issue that the FA needs to solve, primarily.

    Fourthly, and I believe this to be the most important one, player development is an odd pursuit whereby the more you try to control it the less results you garner. That isn't to say that we should have an anarchistic model from the FA but there's needs to be a level of flexibleness in the plans in order to help people learn. The education system is going through a revolution recently where it has seemingly realised that people have different styles of learning and to get all pupils to the same benchmark then you have to employ different, sometimes personally shaped, methods in order to overcome that. This exists in the football sphere too. I have a bit of a catchphrase that I say to @BillyShears in conversation and that is that "England could never produce Xavi". Xavi doesn't just have a ridiculous amount of technical skill but he has an emotional intelligence to his game that we can't get into our players. Steven Gerrard is a perfect example of this - a player of great skill but his whole mindset was of desperation and anxiety.

    Here's a good piece that talks about this:

  9. moomba


    26 Jan 2006
    While they might have justification in thinking that the path is blocked, they're not doing their job if they're doing their best to get the best players in. And if they genuinely think we're ruining players they should find another club to work at.
    Last edited: 14 Feb 2018
  10. Colin Bells Boots

    Colin Bells Boots

    31 May 2016
    Absolutely agree with this.

    Their job is to identify / coach / educate the best talent available in readiness for progression into senior professional football , and if they are failing to do this on the basis of whether they think that those players wont get the opportunity or not, then they should be moved out of the club surely ?

    If such thinking exists within the set-up, then something needs to change very quickly. Everything else is in place to facilitate these young talents, so the thoughts of a few should not be allowed to provide a glitch in the process.

    I don't doubt the accuracy of twosips post, but I am absolutely shocked that " prominent members of City's academy " are identified in the post, to the point of " what the f*ck " !!

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