Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Academy players

One of disappointing things about post-takeover City is the diminished role of the Academy players. This has been highlighted by Nedum Onuoha's recent comments of dissatisfaction with Roberto Mancini over his lack of playing time. On top of the unclear futures of Stephen Ireland, Micah Richards and Shaun Wright-Phillips this could make for a summer where we lose all of those players with whom we enjoy that special bond.

It's a relief to read, then, that we might keep those players to satisfy a UEFA minimum of home grown players. Of course, I'd rather keep them because they were important members of the team. But any situation in which they stay is better than every situation in which they don't.

And don't forget Michael Johnson, who provides one of his monthly fitness updates on the official site today. Back in September, apparently.


thomas said...

credit where it's due... Nedum played more under mancini than under hughes this season. Boyata, Ibrahim, Cunningham and Nimley all given 1st team experience this season. That's surely a good sign.

But obviously there is an obvious problem, these established academy players are perhaps not good enough to hold down a regular position.

Blue Phoenix - Moving on up! said...

It begs consideration as to their quality.

I think they are players that can be but most of which are on the fringes of greatness just tend to toy with the idea only to be sold of later through either lack of effort or self belief.

Surely the academy has done its job well but the player themselves have to stick their neck out and boldly go forward and challenge the worlds best?

I think it most likely boils down to the winning culture we all hear so much about and I think that is what Mancini was getting at when he spoke about Stevie.

World class players can adapt and play in many positions, formats and with different team members and I think most of our academy players are falling a little bit short of that goal.

I do think however that they needed fall short and that they should take up the mantle....

Mike said...

I think Stevie Ireland is a great player....but no-one seems to mention the fact that when Hughes bought tevez the formation of the teaqm had to change and that Ireland would be competing with him for the same space on the field. We need Ireland, the lack of creativity in midfield and having someone who can see a great pass and make the runs is missing and he should get his chmance. It would be very sad indeed to see him playing for someone else.

JPB said...

Mike - that is an important point re: Ireland/Tévez incompatibility that I've been making all season.

Rick said...

Your assertion that'any situation in which they stay is better than all in which they leave' smacks of over-sentimentality.

Any player who falls short in terms of ability or temperament, or both, needs to be got rid of, regardless of whether or not he came through the academy.

Anonymous said...

BBC reported both Real and Barca had dropped interest in Ribery and the pursuit is now only between Utd and City. I found the answer at www.as.com, a spanish newspaper. I translated using babelfish as follows:
"The race to take control of the French seemed to have stopped after the scandal of prostitution with a minor"
It seems similar to the Rooney scandal except with the "old lady" being replaced with a "minor". It will be interesting to see if this effects our UK teams going for him?

Blue Moon said...

Ireland has two problems: one of them JPB has already alluded to in the comments - Ireland and Tevez are essentially fighting for the same place on the pitch when they are on together. Second, and most damning: Ireland is a head case. When things are good, he's good. Throw in a little adversity, change tactics and he falls apart.

Like I have said before, for me the biggest decision to be made this summer is the choice of playing style. Are we going to (a) counter-attack using pace, or (b) are we going to try to unlock you with passing and movement. We have the players for (a), but not for (b) apart from Ireland. But changing to (b) requires a change in mentality and tactics and at least two new midfielders. (b) requires you to sit down with Tevez and Ade and tell them not to drop deep looking for the ball, and probably forces SWP and AJ to play more narrow. It also requires Ade to become more of an old school CF looking to score from crosses. And since we have very poor crossing fullbacks... Oh dear!

pjdemers said...

Some really thoughtful assesments from Mike and Bluemoon. I would simply add that not only are Ireland and Tevez competing for the same space but also the inability of Tevez to play the early ball negates Ireland's strongest assest: his ability to make penetrating off the ball runs behind the defence. In fact it is the one flatal flaw of Tevez game that not only hinders Ireland's assets, but Adebayor's and Bellamy's as well.

Don't get me wrong. Tevez is very much a Talisman for City and his ability to hold the ball up under pressure is invaluable at times, but it can also be a hinderance. I've lost count of times this season when players like Bellamy, Adebayor, Ireland, and even Barry and Bridge would be making runs at speed behind the defence only for Tevez to put an extra touch on the ball and allow the oppostion to funnel back. If Tevez could improve this aspect of his game then I'd think his partnership with Ade could really begin to flourish and there would be other beneficiaries, a certain Stevie Ireland comes to mind.