Football

Is Carlos Queiroz right to attack Manchester United's policy?

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Former Manchester United assistant-manager Carlos Queiroz has become the latest to speak out against the alleged destruction of the club's tradition by new manager Louis van Gaal.

Queiroz has hit out at the Dutchman's lavish spending and the lack of home-grown youth from the Carrington conveyor-belt in the first-team. 

Many fans have supported the views of their former coach, whilst ignoring the revisionism evident in his words. He implies that United have always been about `creating players´, rather than big-spending. The Iran coach decries the fact that their are no stars at the club in the mould of Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs.

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He conveniently overlooks the fact that his old club broke the transfer-record for a teenager twice inside twelve months to secure the signings of Cristiano Ronaldo (£12 million) and Wayne Rooney (£27 million). In Queiroz´ first season at the club they made Rio Ferdinand (£30 million) the most expensive defender in football.

The idea that Sir Alex Ferguson was adverse to splashing-out of big-money signings is frankly preposterous. Indeed two of the names the Portuguese mentions when he bemoans the lack of stars are Roy Keane and Ruud Van Nistelrooy, two signings that broke the British transfer-record of the time.

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Queiroz is right to question expensive flops like Angel di Maria and Radamal Falcao. But to suggest that United´s current woes are a direct result of not promoting young players from with-in is inaccurate.

People point to `Fergie´s Fledgings´ and Pep Guardiola´s glorious Barcelona side as recent examples, as to why teams should be promoting home-grown talent over expensive recruits. Van Gaal´s Ajax team of 2005 are also mentioned.

There is only one problem with this view and that is that such teams are rarities in football. United had to wait almost half a century between the `Busby babes´ and Ferguson´s mid-90´s version.

Where are the new stars from Barcelona´s famed La Maisa academy? Where is the new Xavier Hernandez, or Lionel Messi? Why have Los Blaugrana´s splurged on Neymar and Ivan Rakitic when their academy is the envy of the world? The answer is superstars like the former pair only come around but once, every other decade.

In the past fifteen years only two home-grown stars have come through the youth system to enjoy long careers the United first-team; Wes Brown and John O´Shea. Players like Tom Cleverly and Johnny Evans were given adequate chance to impress, but ultimately proved unable to demonstrate the required quality to succeed at the club.

Have Carrington and La Maisa forgotten how to produce a star? No. Most of their graduates will still go on to have fine careers at lesser teams.

One man who will be bemused by all of this criticism is Arsene Wenger. The Frenchman is being widely criticised for trying to bring youth through the ranks and refusing to pay astronomical fees on new signings.

The only answer to critics is success. Fans have little interest in how success is achieved. Only that it is achieved.

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Topics:
Football
Louis van Gaal
Premier League
Manchester United

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