After reports on an all-time low amount of u21 players in the Premier League, there clearly needs to be some sort of action taken towards not only generating more, but making sure they get games in.
OK, ranting on a blog about our nation’s footballing problems won’t do too good. Especially if you’ve done it before – recently. But anyway, we saw our u21 side crash out of the European Championships following their 3-1 loss to Norway. Now before we (or I) start blaming the quality of the squad that we fielded or anything like that, let me just explain something real quick: most of those players have barely experienced top flight football in their own country, and then you put them out on the international stage and expect them to win every game?
These lads deserve a lot, not only just for qualifying but for being able to compete against other top players when they haven’t even tasted it in their own nation. Our nation’s current “Golden Generation of Players” won’t stay golden forever which means that we have to start bringing in new youngsters, fast. But it’s no use smacking Jack Rodwell into the mix who’s had about 6 full games at Manchester City and expect him to compete with top Brazilian players (although we did draw that game, he was only on for seven odd minutes). Look at Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. At only 19, he scored a beautiful finish against Brazil the other night. He’s an example of a homegrown player who’s had some good practice in the country’s top division, getting some playing time at Arsenal. And it’s payed off. He can compete against top defenders in the Premier League.
Like I said on my last post, our country is fortunate to have a quality league with quality players. Let’s get the youngsters into the mix of it. Get them experienced. Put them on the bloody pitch regularly for Premier League clubs! The only question is…how?
Well, really, it should be quite simple. For starters, have every club in the Premier League have at least 7 homegrown players. And by homegrown, I MEAN HOMEGROWN. Not that disastrous “homegrown rule” introduced at the start of the 2010-11 season, which saw players like Cesc Fabregas and Mikel Arteta classed as homegrown (smh). FIFA released a new definition of eligible players for our national side, stating they need at least 5 educational years in this country (basically they needed to live here as a kid).
The problem with this is that you could leave these homegrown players dormant in your club without bringing them on. Well, there could be a certain requirement for appearances, saying that they need to come on this many times a season. Just to make it less hectic, have the appearances vary, like 5 for one set of players and 7 for another set. This should help in the experience department, and would make a bigger impact at bigger clubs (or clubs with more things kicking off, like relegation etc.).
So…errr, yeah. That’s looking pretty good at the moment. Nothing to, err. To chang-WAIT!!!!! What if a club tried to boycott the system and brought on their players with a couple minutes remaining!? Well, there could be a certain amount of minutes required on the pitch. Let’s say 10. Yeah, 10 minutes sound about alright.
Whatever the FA tries to conjure up, it won;’t be anywhere near as good as this!
No seriously, it’s a serious matter for English football. English football needs saving. If we can get more youngsters involved in top flight action as well as generating them, we could see some improvements in our nation’s favourite game in the very, very near future…
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