How many young English players have failed to live up to the billing?
A young David Bentley is one such example. Yes, a good player at Blackburn, although unproven.
"David Bentley is David Beckham's natural heir," was the headline in the Daily Telegraph back in 2007.
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Surely its ludicrous to compare a young player who has one decent season to the likes of David Beckham?
Jack Wilshere is another example of an extremely over-hyped player. Hailed as great as the Spanish midfielders such as Xavi and Iniesta but in reality, Spain has hundreds of players in the same class bracket as Wilshere.
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The 'Big Move'
The perception of having to move to a big club straight away is hugely flawed. The temptation of a big wage packet and stardom is too much for young players to resist.
However, it never turns out that way. Time that could be spent gaining minutes on the pitch and invaluable experience, is instead spent sitting on the bench.
Young players who graduate to the first team at a big club rather than getting a big money move there, get an even worse deal. The intense media scrutiny on a manager prevents them from playing young academy graduates and instead they play more established stars in fear of losing their jobs.
These young prospects either get loaned out to a lowly league or play in the poor quality Under-21 league.
To be a great team, you need chemistry. This is non-existent in young Premier League players.
Chelsea for example have lots of great young players out on loan. When the day comes for them to play for the first team, many of them never would have even seen each other.
So how are they going to be able to compete when they have no understanding of each others game?
Look at Manchester United's treble-winning side of 1999, the spine of that treble winning team was a core of young players who had played along side each other at youth level and progressed together into the first team.
Barcelona as well - Xavi, Iniesta and Messi developed their understanding at youth level and they blossomed together at first team level.
Another problem is the FA's 'solution' - the Under-21 league. How is this going to prepare players for the rigours of the Premier League?
Playing against players at your level and your age isn't going to improve you. Spanish and German teams, for example, place their youth players in a 'B' team and they compete in the second/third division.
This allows them to be challenged and to improve. Playing against older, stronger players who have somethimg to aim for themselves(promotion) will improve these young players vastly.
The FA need to wake up and stop making excuses for the lack of young English talent. Foreign players aren't to blame.
If anything, they help by raising the overall standard of the league and making it more competitive. Reducing the amount of foreign players will reduce the quality of the league. Reducing the quaity, will mean that players who would not have been good enough now get a chance because the standard has been dropped to their level.
This is a terrible way to go. If a young Englishman is good enough, plays at a competitive and difficult level throughout his youth and is left alone by the media to be a player in his own right, he will make it at the top level.