Youngsters – Any Opportunities?
The stated aim of the club is that youngsters from here and abroad need to be progressed into the first team. This is all very laudable but is it realistic. Will the likes of Vuckic, Abeid, Fergusion, Tavernier and Donaldson ever get a proper chance? Who has progressed through the ranks and is not a signing who we have paid money for and therefore just ‘has’ to be played? Tim Krul is one and Taylor another but really over the last 6 or 7 years that is seriously rubbish.
The problems are that each game is just ‘too’ important to risk them. Any league game is important, with the media coverage particularly up here, every league game is absolutely critical and we should never risk a youngster. Pardew has done it once with Vukic who had a poor game at Anfield but so what – the learning he gets from that will stand him in good state going forward. Same with Sammy.
So we are left with cup games and under Pardew we do seem intent on doing well in these (good) so yet again the best team plays and as the players themselves seem disinterested (Stevenage, Brighton, Blackburn come to mind) playing some youngsters mixed with some better players may well help. It did Tim Krul.
Let’s play some youngsters in the next 9 league games – actually the results are not as critical as many would have us believe. For once we are neither in danger of going to be relegated and/or not qualify for the champions league. There is every chance we will finish 6th or 7th and therefore the only game that really matters to our European aspirations is Everton/Sunderland v Liverpool!
Of course the youngsters may all not be good enough but that is another story…
Jonnie runs a walking and guiding company in the north of England. Visit his excellent website at Where2walk to find out more