De­vel­op­ment mat­ters

GARY TEDDER be­lieves greater ef­forts must be made to give young English star­lets the chance to shine...

Late Tackle Football Magazine - - YOUNG PLAYERS -

THE mus­ings of a football ad­min­is­tra­tor, even a very se­nior one, can nor­mally be taken with the prover­bial pinch of salt, as they are of­ten in­dica­tive of some­one with an agenda tucked away in their back pocket, a rep­u­ta­tion to re­build, or an elec­tion to win.

But with the on­go­ing com­mer­cial suc­cess of the Premier League, ex­ec­u­tive chair­man Richard Scu­d­amore is to­tally se­cure in his po­si­tion, and is ar­guably the most pow­er­ful fig­ure in English football.

So when he talks pub­licly it’s be­cause he wants rather than needs to, and his words – be they con­cise or crass – are there­fore worth study­ing as a small win­dow into the cur­rent think­ing in the up­per ech­e­lons of football within this coun­try.

A cou­ple of weeks be­fore the new sea­son started, Scu­d­amore of­fered his views to the media on, amongst other things, the seem­ingly de­creas­ing se­lec­tion base for the Eng­land na­tional side.

Views which, with­out hav­ing to read too deeply be­tween the lines, rep­re­sented a rather dis­in­ter­ested shrug of the shoul­ders to­wards the fate of Roy Hodg­son’s men, and a re­in­force­ment of the fact that his con­cerns were cen­tred around the con­tin­ued in­crease in the global de­mand for, and fi­nan­cial re­wards to, the Premier League.

Take, for in­stance, his com­ments re­gard­ing the se­lec­tion for Eng­land of play­ers from out­side the top clubs.

“Of course they can be good enough,” he says, “widen your hori­zons.”

The im­pli­ca­tion is that they don’t have to play for, say, a Chelsea or a Manch­ester City to be picked for the na­tional team.

Un­for­tu­nately, the re­al­ity is that, with few ex­cep­tions, English young­sters who show even a small amount of in­ter­na­tional prom­ise are snaf­fled up by the lead­ing clubs, and sub­se­quently find them­selves as pe­riph­eral squad mem­bers, re­stricted to cameo ap­pear­ances be­hind se­nior play­ers, many of whom are from over­seas. Come the high pres­sure matches which are crit­i­cal in the de­vel­op­ment of play­ers, it will be these se­nior play­ers who ben­e­fit, while the young­sters have to glean what­ever they can while ob­serv­ing from the touch­line.

It could be said, there­fore, that not only are the top Premier League clubs re­duc­ing the op­por­tu­ni­ties for English play­ers; they are also as­sist­ing other na­tions by pre­sent­ing their stars with price­less on-field in­volve­ment in high-in­ten­sity matches.

Con­versely, if Mr Scu­d­amore were right and there should be English play­ers of in­ter­na­tional qual­ity in teams in the lower half of the Premier League and the top of the Cham­pi­onship, where will they gain the cru­cial top level ex­pe­ri­ence re­quired?

Scrap­ping away for sur­vival at the bot­tom of the di­vi­sion, or the Satur­day/mid­week grind of the Cham­pi­onship, is highly un­likely to de­velop the match-man­age­ment skills or in­di­vid­ual flair re­quired to suc­ceed at a World Cup.

Let’s look next at the line, “I’d love to see a de­cent sprin­kling of English tal­ent in our top clubs…” Here the use by Scu­d­amore of the noun ‘sprin­kling’ is en­light­en­ing.

Sprin­kling would im­ply a light dust­ing as op­posed to sat­u­ra­tion. But Mr Scu­d­amore clearly knows which side his baguette is but­tered, as he made even more ap­par­ent when adding, “My ob­jec­tive is to put on the best pos­si­ble show and for our clubs to at­tract the best play­ers. If that means they buy some for­eign play­ers, well, they’ve been do­ing that since the league be­gan….”

Hardly the most en­cour­ag­ing line for an English young­ster to hear, and also a lit­tle mis­lead­ing as, yes, clubs have been buy­ing over­seas play­ers for a num­ber of years, but not in such num­bers.

Scott Sin­clair lacked game time at Chelsea and Man City Will James Wil­son get enough chances to progress at Man United?

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.