The difficulty for kids to break through
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