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Ghost of Clough

Youth Opportunities

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8 hours ago, Millenniumram said:

It’s about how much game time is given to the young players rather than how many you actually involve. You can have plenty of youngsters somewhere involved in the first team squad like Rowett did, but when they’re only cover it really doesn’t mean anything. It’s not really “giving youth a chance” when they’re just getting the odd game here and there off the bench like they did under Rowett, that won’t do much for their development. What Lampard did was actually give academy graduates an active proper role in the team, like bogle became first choice right back, Bennett competition for places up front etc.

Thats what really matters in giving youth a chance. Couldn’t really care less how many are involved in some way, it’s about to what extent the players given a chance become involved in the first team for me. That’s what I look for. And I would imagine that’s what Mel means when he wants youth involved. He doesn’t nessercerily mean he wants huge numbers of them involved in minor roles like we’ve had before (it’s risky relying on too many youngsters anyway), and that doesn’t always amount to really benefitting their development like we saw with Rowett. What he means I suspect is we want a few youngsters taking active roles in the first team, be that first choice, competition for places, off the bench etc, rather than signing new players for those roles. That’ll be the task continuing on from Lampard for the next manager.

I was actually going to say the opposite... going into the season banking/relying on academy players to step up adds pressure and creates a risk of burn out.

I’d like to see a ‘core’ of 16-18 senior pros including 1 for each first team position and at least a couple of utility/versatile players. The reality is a lot of the time ‘break throughs’ happen either in pre season or as a result of an injury to the first choice/lack of form.

I would expect currently it would be something like this:

Gk- Carson/someone, roos

Rb- wisdom/someone, Boyle/someone bought with the money brought in

lb- malone, forsyth

Cb- Davies, keogh, someone,

cm- shinnie, Evans, Huddlestone, Johnson, someone

wg/st- Zoon, Bennett, marriott, waghorn, lawrence, holmes

 Looking at players with potential to break through I agree it would either be lb (McDonald/Lowe) cm (sibley/bird/knight) or wg/St (Wilson/JML) where the break through happens. Ironically lb and wing are areas we have the most first teamers! 

I can see only 1 cb coming in and Buchanan being kept as a back up in the event of an injury crisis like this season, whether he’d play there ahead of Evans as 4th choice is a different matter. 

Not sure fozzy can be relied upon for fitness which gives opportunity at lb for Lowe and/or McDonald 

Would like to see us go a little risky and invest in a really great creative attacking cm (the mount role) and try shinnie, them and Evans in the middle (I am putting Holmes best position wide). Would suggest getting rid of huddlestone and Johnson as we have 3 youngsters all pushing and close to being ready (assuming from their roles last season and sibleys plaudits). Be sad to see the back of both hudd and Johnson but huddlestone has looked off the pace for a while and Johnson although he has some great games I don’t see him being consistent.

Biggest question mark for me is what we do going forward, 2 up top would limit opportunities for wingers to break through unless we went to 442. I can see a youngster making an impact here because it is a role where exuberance is more valuable at times than experience but I’m not sure who would make way. Assuming 1 up top being marriott that leaves 4 of the remainder for 2 positions and only that is assuming Holmes is deployed through the middle. Think someone should make way to create a reasonable opportunity and the obvious one for me is zoon but we’ve never seen the best of him yet.

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1 hour ago, DontTrustTheDevilInside said:

I was actually going to say the opposite... going into the season banking/relying on academy players to step up adds pressure and creates a risk of burn out.

I’d like to see a ‘core’ of 16-18 senior pros including 1 for each first team position and at least a couple of utility/versatile players. The reality is a lot of the time ‘break throughs’ happen either in pre season or as a result of an injury to the first choice/lack of form.

I would expect currently it would be something like this:

Gk- Carson/someone, roos

Rb- wisdom/someone, Boyle/someone bought with the money brought in

lb- malone, forsyth

Cb- Davies, keogh, someone,

cm- shinnie, Evans, Huddlestone, Johnson, someone

wg/st- Zoon, Bennett, marriott, waghorn, lawrence, holmes

 Looking at players with potential to break through I agree it would either be lb (McDonald/Lowe) cm (sibley/bird/knight) or wg/St (Wilson/JML) where the break through happens. Ironically lb and wing are areas we have the most first teamers! 

I can see only 1 cb coming in and Buchanan being kept as a back up in the event of an injury crisis like this season, whether he’d play there ahead of Evans as 4th choice is a different matter. 

Not sure fozzy can be relied upon for fitness which gives opportunity at lb for Lowe and/or McDonald 

Would like to see us go a little risky and invest in a really great creative attacking cm (the mount role) and try shinnie, them and Evans in the middle (I am putting Holmes best position wide). Would suggest getting rid of huddlestone and Johnson as we have 3 youngsters all pushing and close to being ready (assuming from their roles last season and sibleys plaudits). Be sad to see the back of both hudd and Johnson but huddlestone has looked off the pace for a while and Johnson although he has some great games I don’t see him being consistent.

Biggest question mark for me is what we do going forward, 2 up top would limit opportunities for wingers to break through unless we went to 442. I can see a youngster making an impact here because it is a role where exuberance is more valuable at times than experience but I’m not sure who would make way. Assuming 1 up top being marriott that leaves 4 of the remainder for 2 positions and only that is assuming Holmes is deployed through the middle. Think someone should make way to create a reasonable opportunity and the obvious one for me is zoon but we’ve never seen the best of him yet.

Pretty good summary but a few points...

GK - I imagine it’ll be a case of Roos OR Carson. Lampard would have Roos, someone like Hughton would choose Carson. What do we do with Mitchell? Another loan or will he be this season’s #2?

LB - I have doubts about Fozzy being considered a LB when he returns from another serious injury - CB backup. That’ll make Lowe/MacDonald LB backup/squadie

CM - should be split between ‘DM’ and ‘AM’. All you listed as CM are what I’d class as DMs. Holmes being the only AM. We seem a bit overloaded with DMs, even if we want to play with two DMs (if we want to promote Bird). 1 DM and we must get rid of at least 2.

AM - Holmes is the only option currently. Sibley and Knight in pole position to break through here. Depending on formation (diamond?) Lawrence could be another option. 

W/ST - plenty of options for a wide range of formations. I disagree on having too many options to provide opportunities for youth. Basically 5 options for 3 positions. I feel our youths aren’t quite ready to fill in these areas (maybe for the odd game) McAllister, Wilson, Whittaker JML, Cresswell being the options. Wilson and Whittaker spending most of the season in the U18s, McAllister on loan with JML and Cresswell in the U23s should suggest who has the best chance of getting match time. Especially with Cresswell being an ever present and top scorer. They may currently be furthest from getting a game, but I also feel Wilson and Whittaker have the highest ceiling from the five options mentioned.

 

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21 hours ago, Ghost of Clough said:

Pretty good summary but a few points...

GK - I imagine it’ll be a case of Roos OR Carson. Lampard would have Roos, someone like Hughton would choose Carson. What do we do with Mitchell? Another loan or will he be this season’s #2?

LB - I have doubts about Fozzy being considered a LB when he returns from another serious injury - CB backup. That’ll make Lowe/MacDonald LB backup/squadie

CM - should be split between ‘DM’ and ‘AM’. All you listed as CM are what I’d class as DMs. Holmes being the only AM. We seem a bit overloaded with DMs, even if we want to play with two DMs (if we want to promote Bird). 1 DM and we must get rid of at least 2.

AM - Holmes is the only option currently. Sibley and Knight in pole position to break through here. Depending on formation (diamond?) Lawrence could be another option. 

W/ST - plenty of options for a wide range of formations. I disagree on having too many options to provide opportunities for youth. Basically 5 options for 3 positions. I feel our youths aren’t quite ready to fill in these areas (maybe for the odd game) McAllister, Wilson, Whittaker JML, Cresswell being the options. Wilson and Whittaker spending most of the season in the U18s, McAllister on loan with JML and Cresswell in the U23s should suggest who has the best chance of getting match time. Especially with Cresswell being an ever present and top scorer. They may currently be furthest from getting a game, but I also feel Wilson and Whittaker have the highest ceiling from the five options mentioned.

 

Agreed on gk- but will need another option somewhere because I think one will go (probably Carson), not totally convinced either will be first choice.

Lb- can’t see him being a cb for anything other than an emergency, if he isn’t back strong enough for lb he isn’t strong enough for this team at all.

cm- probably 3 in my opinion (dm, cm and am). I agree but there’s a big debate about most players of which most crossover one or 2. I’m not sure bird is a Dm in a 41221. Not sure bj plays that role convincingly either. Not sure huddlestone has the mobility to pay in his own either. If we have 2 ‘dms’ it traditionally becomes cms and I think Evans is probably too defensive but last season mount who everyone accepted as an am played that role.

Am- not sure anyone is convincing for that role, need a key player if we play with this role. Without seeing sibley and knight step up to the senior game, a huge role to step up into straight from the academy/23s as it’s essentially the focal point of the whole team.

wg/st- 6 options for 3 positions, not 5. Unless you are discounting Holmes but he’d still be in contention in the event of injuries letting academy players in. Agree re Cresswell but although I’d love to see it, can’t see playing 2 up front so he’s behind waghorn, Bennett and marriott for one position. I think it’s anyones guess who will break through but I’d tip Wilson as I think he could also sneak on as a more attacking option being able to play up top. For me JML is the most exciting for this season.

I don’t see mcallister making it with his injury record so young and Whittaker for me I would say he needs another year before being right up with those.

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4 minutes ago, DontTrustTheDevilInside said:

Lb- can’t see him being a cb for anything other than an emergency, if he isn’t back strong enough for lb he isn’t strong enough for this team at all.

Forsyth’s situation is similar to Mings who now plays predominantly as a CB instead of LB.

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2 hours ago, Ghost of Clough said:

Forsyth’s situation is similar to Mings who now plays predominantly as a CB instead of LB.

Love the optimism... big differences:

1. Mings was signed for 8 mill and hotly rated pre injury... Forsyth was a free transfer

2. Mings is 26 and Forsyth is now pushing 30 where injuries take their toll on pros 

3. Mings was always noted as a cb/lb... Forsyth was a winger when we signed him and has only played the odd game in that position

4. Mings took a step down from Bournemouth in the prem to villa in the championship (and it worked out with a good run of form), unlikely Forsyth being 4th choice is likely to see the same boost in form

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On 29/06/2019 at 17:41, angieram said:

I think that if anyone can look after himself, it's Louie Sibley. It's those playing against him I fear for! 😉

I did wonder whether he got no first team action because he spent most of last season doubling up for both the under 18s and under 23s? 

Good point. 24 appearances for the U23s and 12 for the U18s.

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