19 Feb 2013

Why Don't Supporters Give Youth A Chance?

Why are some Manchester United supporters so trigger happy shooting down emerging talent from the youth academy set up? Why are some so quick to dismiss youth, insisting on bringing in overseas players instead?

Expectations have been set high since the influx of the famous class of '92, an extraordinary talented set of players who come through United's famous youth development who, like the Busby Babes, shaped the way our club is today, chapters in the history of Manchester United Football Club.

Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Gary Neville, Phill Neville and Nicky Butt were the six who Sir Alex Ferguson put so much faith in, and it paid off hugely as United dominated the 90s with a backbone of youthful homegrown talent, but are supporters now too quick to judge today's talent because they try to compare them to the the '92 graduates? 

It's something I have been thinking about for a while, supporters who write off young English players when Sir Alex is clearly trying to bed them in to the first team set up, it's something that goes on at clubs all over this country. 

Since the class of '92 the names Wes Brown, John O'Shea, Jonny Evans and Darren Fletcher instantly spring to mind as products of the youth development system who attracted unfair criticism, some supporters wrote them off as 'not being good enough', also comments like 'He's will never make it here, he's not United class' could be heard shouted out from some sections of the terraces, I wonder what their opinions are on them players now?

Recently, Manchester born youngster and lifelong supporter of the club Danny Welbeck has come in for the same fickle taunts and comments that the Old Trafford Kretins love to dish out, but why? 

He's a player who is clearly not the finished article, but you can see that with continued guidance and development he is going to be a class act, he's a player who wears his hear on his sleeve and will give everything for the club that he clearly loves, he's living a supporters dream, playing for the club he supports.

More concerning is that supporters seem to think that because the club has not paid a fee for the player, they should be replaced by an overseas player who they are willing to put more support and encouragement into, I really don't understand that? Why do they lose patience so easily with players that are trying to break into the first team?

For arguments sake, let's just say that Danny Welbeck did not come through the United youth development scheme, he was purchased from a Brazilian team for a fee of £15million, and we change his name to Daniel Welbeckinho, I guarantee that some supporters would view him totally differently because a fee was paid and because of his nationality, those supporters who have already wrote Welbeck off, would now claim that Brazilian Welbeckinho needs 'time to adjust to our style of play' or say that 'he will come good', 'he just needs a run of games', 'it's Fergie's fault for playing him out of position'.

A prime example of a player who gets that type of affection from fans is Anderson. Signed for a fee believed to be around the £30million mark, he's had 5 seasons at Old Trafford now, and after constantly disappointing and showing no signs of improvement season after season, he gets the 'next season will be his season' wild card from those on the terraces, Danny Welbeck or Tom Cleverley would not get the same patience from supporters, why? The two English based players will always give 110% commitment, something I would sadly have to question about Brazilian Anderson.

Anderson's Manchester United  career could be compared to a game of Monopoly, for 5 seasons now he has made his way around the board contributing very little but collecting £200 each time he passes go. This is a metaphor, he obviously collects a lot more than that!

Another English based player who has been plagued by criticism is Michael Carrick, he was not a product of the United youth set  and was purchased for a fee of £18million, but he seems an easy target when things are not going well, although my opinion is that he would be one of the first names on my team sheet. 

Again, like the Welbeck name and nationally change thing, if for arguments sake we had signed Carrick from Spain, and his name was Miguel Xavick, I believe supporters would embrace his performances and say that he 'oozes class', it's wrong but it does seem that some people are highly critical and far too quick when assessing English talent, it's seems there is a strange obsession with overseas players.

You only have to look back to that famous assessment by Alan Hansen in 1995 when he claimed "You can't win anything with kids", Manchester United went on to win the double and dominate English football also achieving success in Europe too.