A revolution (of sorts) is beginning to take shape in football. Something that is sensible, viable, heart-warming, money saving and forward thinking. I have not gone off track, I am still talking about football.
The phenomenon of the home-grown, yes, home-grown player for their home teams is among us.
Sensible due to its promotion of high achievers into the first-team, viable as it is easy to do, heart-warming as young players know their efforts will be rewarded, money saving as it saves money on paying a player of equal ability minus the signing on fees, endorsements and his neighbour's mate's plumber who was part of the 'agency team, so we feel we have to pay him, its only fair'. Forward thinking for all of these reasons combined.
The lack of homegrown talent at the top of English football is truly alarming. Champions Chelsea fielded just four youth graduates throughout the season, and one was John Terry. Runners up Manchester City fielded none at all.
Meanwhile, third placed Arsenal fielded a handful. Fourth placed Manchester United fielded the most with half a dozen. Ok, these facts may not make a strong case for homegrown talent, but this would be a very short sighted view.
We need clubs to spend more resources on their academies so that the game on these here shores can truly thrive. We must take the responsibility of teaching our passionate players that hard work will be rewarded. We need to stop spending millions on players who 'might be good' and instead spend it at home, improving what we have.
Fergie's fledglings were not accidentally dominant in the mid to late 90s; it was no coincidence that Celtic's 1967 European Cup winning team consisted mainly of academy players.
There are great examples of English clubs producing extraordinary talent. Southampton can rightly be proud of producing legends including the one and only Matt Le Tissier, Alan Shearer the Premier League's all time top scorer, Gareth Bale the most expensive player ever.
Liverpool with Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard, Spurs with Ryan Mason and Harry Kane, West Ham with Rio Ferdinand and Frank Lampard; the list goes on.
The young revolution has begun, and it will never end.....
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