ACADEMY BLUES

The dif­fi­culty for kids to break through

Late Tackle Football Magazine - - CONTENTS -

FOOT­BALL fans of­ten moan nowa­days that they don’t see many home-grown play­ers in their team. There are cer­tainly not as many English play­ers play­ing for the top clubs, or lower divi­sion ones for that mat­ter, as there used to be.

It is no co­in­ci­dence that the Eng­land foot­ball team seem to be miles be­hind the other top na­tions of the world when it comes to ma­jor tour­na­ments.

Manch­ester City are of­ten tar­geted more than other Premier League clubs when it comes to the lack of play­ers who have come through their academy.

With the amaz­ing academy fa­cil­i­ties which they boast and the suc­cess which their academy teams have, why do th­ese tal­ented teenagers not make it into the first-team?

The lack of op­por­tu­ni­ties given to City’s young­sters has been one of the main crit­i­cisms of Manuel Pel­le­grini dur­ing his al­most three sea­sons in charge.

City fans are ex­pect­ing suc­cess un­der Pep Guardi­ola next sea­son, but they also want to see suc­cess achieved by lo­cal lads, pro­duced from the academy.

Un­for­tu­nately, I’m not con­vinced this will hap­pen de­spite the ap­point­ment of Guardi­ola.

City’s new academy base cost over £150m and erad­i­cated any fears the Sheik Man­sour wasn’t in this pro­ject for the long-term.

The academy train­ing base con­tains 16.5 foot­ball pitches (the half pitch is where goal­keep­ers Joe Hart and Willy Ca­ballero train) and 75 per cent of the play­ers who play for the academy teams are from the Greater Manch­ester area, yet we are see­ing no ev­i­dence of this in the first-team.

The academy is bril­liant for the youth play­ers in terms of fa­cil­i­ties. But the play­ers need to be highly tal­ented to even be con­sid­ered when you think they’re com­pet­ing with the likes of Ser­gio Aguero, David Silva and Kevin de Bruyne for places.

It leads me to ques­tion the point of the City foot­ball academy. Is it there sim­ply to feed play­ers into the first team? I don’t think so.

I reckon it’s also there to make money.You may raise your eye­brows at that, but it’s sim­ple re­ally.

City bosses know that th­ese young­sters

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