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[Archived] F A Youth Cup


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  • 4 weeks later...

Okay, here are two selection issues:

- Kevin Pezzoni has recently been capped by Germany U21s - however, because he took an unsanctioned extended holiday (brief), he has not played for the reserves for a long while and may be looking to leave due to lack of chances. There's discipline and there's discipline. Sure, he should not have taken an extra day/or two off but when you consider that Gunning is captain of the U18s (at least deputy) and has played for the reserves despite being involved in a stamping incident and Bryan Hodges drink driving and in the past we've had a players accused of racial abuse - Pezzoni is being dealt with very harshly.

- Juhvel Tsoumou was a young, exciting striker for the U18s. However, his opportunities to play and train for the reserves were limited and hence he chose to return to Germany. Now, despite being 16/17, he is a member of Eintracht Frankfurt's first team squad and has even made the bench.

- Mamadi Keita - by all reports the most talented U18 player has not been given an opportunity to train or play for the reserves. Meanwhile, many of his less talented peers are regularly making the reserve squad.

All this would be OK if we had tremendously talented reserves. But as we know - we don't - and it seems we are allowing genuine talent to slip through our hands.

Obviously, I have heard this from one perspective and the club may have an alternative view, which I'd be very interested to hear (but unlikely to). I am wary of jumping to critical conclusions without hearing both sides, but this stuff doesn't look good.

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I fight the corner because it is, imo, the elephant in the room which the majority are ignoring and this is harming a lot of stakeholders, including clubs and the national team.

I don't hate the set-up - I am critical of it. Just as you may be an England fan who has vilified the FA, Steve McClaren, England players, the selection process, the culture but this does not mean you hate the concept of the England international set up. You are just applying your God-given critical faculties to find fault with people and systems that are not performing.

I never watch the players in action because I live in the South and my obsession does not extend to finding time to watch them. Call me an armchair fan or whatever. Whilst you may cease on this point to hammer me for being a jumped up know-it-all without the facts - can I defend myself?

(a) I do what I can to read as many reports and opinions about the youth team and reserve players (and the first team) from as many sources as possible. So I try to gain an objective judgment. Whilst, ideally, this judgment would be buttressed by physically watching players - it is arguably a much more accurate way of learning about players rather than attending a couple of reserve games and concluding that so-and-so is 'rubbish.' (Better to read a whole oeuvre than attend one lecture. Although, admittedly, best to read the whole oeuvre and attend all the lectures).

(B.) My opinions on the youth set up are general and driven by an underlying view rather than championing specific players based on what I've heard about them . Quite simply, I hold the meritocratic view that experience is overvalued and that if the seniors in the first team are playing badly regularly, and a reserve player doing very well, consistently, in that same position, they should be given a chance. So when I say Treacy should be given a chance, it is not so much because I am an aesthete of the man Keith Treacy - but simply, he is doing very well for the reserves, did very well for Ire U21s, is scoring goals - and meanwhile, Gamst, Bentley, Dunn are doing badly as left wingers. A simple philosophy but I believe, the correct one.

Thus, if Emerton, Ooijer, Zurab were doing atrociously at right back and Tony Kane had been excelling in the reserves, I would call for Kane to get a chance. It'd give a kick up the backside of the seniors and it'd reward a homegrown player for reaching a high standard of performance.

Yet, again, I have let myself blather on about this stuff. I'm bored of it but you did ask the question.

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- Juhvel Tsoumou was a young, exciting striker for the U18s. However, his opportunities to play and train for the reserves were limited and hence he chose to return to Germany. Now, despite being 16/17, he is a member of Eintracht Frankfurt's first team squad and has even made the bench.

To be fair, having seen Eintracht Frankfurt, that isn't much of a thing to crow about...

We've heard Stu's opinions about certain players, but Paul M, why don't you give us your first-hand knowledge of our youth team?

Mr 6 - where do you get a lot of your information? I'm curious because it seems we have a lot of people here who troll the net far and wide looking for Rovers news, but don't post similar information.

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To answer American, I only see the lads Hughes puts out. The point is I keep my comments to the things i know about.

As for Rover6: first things first, don't be stupid, I don't hate you. I do get very annoyed at your verbose, pretentious know-it-all posts. In fact It has crossed my mind that you're some kind of spoof wind-up. That would make sense of phrases like "I hold the meritocratic view that experience is overvalued", which is too daft for words.

Your default position is a critical one, complaining about Hughes and the management team, week in, week out. You have championed a number of players, who have not been good enough, other players you haven't seen. Your catch-all cry of give the youth a chance is misguided and wrong, and if implemented would be a disaster

You are the equivalent of the guy who always see disaster round the corner. One time out of ten you might be right.

As for the McClaren comparison, wrong again: Hughes has been a massive success.

Take some advice, cut out the long winded one sided nonsense and just try to get to Ewood a couple of times a year The tickets are dirt cheap.

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