It’s blogging time of the month and I wasn’t sure what to write this month, but after conversations with some friends this weekend about youngsters coming through the academies, I thought it will be good to share my thoughts with you.
Before getting into the topic I will like to wish Marco van Ginkel all the best with his injury and recovery. Having suffered two cruciate ligament injuries myself, I know how it feels and the hard work that lies ahead of him. He is young so I expect him to come back sooner than expected. All the best Marco.
A few weeks ago there was a debate about English youngsters not coming through the academies and the impact it was having on the English national side. Some commentators blamed it on ‘foreign players’ in the Premier League, calling for quotas, while others blamed it on the talent not being there.
Now, I am not an expert on these things but I do have some thoughts on this debate and wonder whether you the readers agree with me or not.
First of all I think it doesn’t matter how many ‘foreign players’ are in the Premier League, because the best and natural talents will always come through. The cream always rises to the top as they say so it’s all about spotting the true talents and nurturing them. The facilities are superb in England so the good ones will benefit from it.
A few examples spring to mind like our own captain John Terry who had to contend with top players at Chelsea when he was young but still managed to come through. Jack Wilshire at Arsenal is a superb player who will go all the way to the top without doubt and more recently Ross Barkley at Everton is also getting rave reviews.
It doesn’t matter how many foreign players are at Chelsea, Arsenal and Everton, John, Jack and Ross have all made it through to the top which has and will continue to be good for the national team. It’s all about natural talent, ability and working on them.
Looking back to when I was a youngster coming through, I was on the road from the ages of 16 – 17 trialing at European clubs. I had two trials with Sir Alex at Manchester United when I was a kid before settling at Bastia. Hard work ensured I developed the skills I had and I was always looking to improve.
Having played across Europe at a young age, I do believe this helped my development. This is why I think competitions such as last year’s NextGen and the recently launched UEFA Youth League are great for the experience of young players.
I was never a natural talent like Messi or Maradona, but I never had any doubt in my ability, and I knew that to get into a top side I’d have to ensure I was good enough to compete with top players. At our own academy at Cobham, the facilities and training is world class, and with the quality and standard of the first team this should encourage the youngsters to work hard and keep developing their game in order to give themselves the best chance.
What do you think? Please leave a message below or tweet @bison
Please note : the views in many of our blogs are written by fans of Chelsea FC and are not necessarily the views of the club