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Just now, Tyler Durden said:

Yes naive totally agree.

Harsh not so sure.....as soon as you start making bold statements like that then you quite rightly have to stick your head about the parapet.....which goes back to the first comment. 

I have had my issues with Mel regarding the Academy and the 5 player dictate .

It was a statement he maybe would have been better not making .

It is naive to think the Academy project has all the answers but there is no doubt it has kept the club afloat though recently by us getting big fees for the likes of Bogle,Whitaker and Lowe. 

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21 minutes ago, DarkFruitsRam7 said:

I think the biggest problem with investing so heavily in the academy is that it's so unpredictable. There's no guarantee that the next crop will be any good.

Contrast that with investing heavily in setting up a Brentford-style recruitment system; you know the talent is always going to be out there and it's just a case of making the right decision on who to sign. Obviously that's easier said than done, mind.

Especially when they could pick up any European that they thought would do well for peanuts - if Brentford hadn’t gone up they would have started to struggle with their model with only the UK players to pick up 

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Playing devil's advocate; think of where we'd be right now without the academy. I don't know specifics of how much the academy cost vs made, but if we hadn't sold the trio last season we really would have been in serious trouble financially (as apposed to pretty serious currently lol) and if we hadn't got the academy we wouldn't have had replacements for Lowe in the shape of Buchanan etc. Yes we lurched over the safety line at the last minute, but fear without the youngsters we'd have been way off. 

IMO I think the balance is about right at the moment, it's just the finances mean the youngsters have been relied on instead of given chances at convenience, and not having the kind of dependable experience they need to be playing alongside. They all looked better players in the on the up cocu team.

And whilst the younger age group stars being picked off before the first team is frustrating, it's always going to happen unless we become a big 4, and largely pays for the academy I guess, so means any other players through are almost 'free' and pure profit if sold on.

I've still got very high hopes for our kids, especially Sibley. Just hope we can build a team that they can flourish in, instead of being mismanaged and collectively drowning under pressure.

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I’m not sure it’s that unreasonable with Buchanan, Bird, Knight and Sibley already established in the first-team squad. All four could easily nail down a regular starting spot and then you only need one of the next tranche of Watson, Ebosele, Stretton and McDonald (plus others) to establish themselves and that’s half the outfield players from the Academy.

Of course, that assumes none of them are sold because, if you then sell any of your prized Academy assets, it does make it even harder to achieve.

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I think without the academy players coming through we would be in even bigger trouble. There is nothing wrong the academy model of players coming through and all our problems stem from buying extremely average players for far to much money and paying them far to much money for far to long, resulting in absolutely no sell on return. 
 

The only two players I can think of who we purchased who were good value for playing time with us and selling time were Ince and Vydra. Does anyone agree?

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31 minutes ago, Tyler Durden said:

The issue is that as soon as statements are made like that, whether it be a vision or a misson goal, then they quite rightly are taken literally - why else would you not? Again I think Mel Morris has been guilty of making bold statements with the best intentions which unfortunately ultimately he will and should be measured against. Not as a stick to beat him with but as an indicator of his success in his role - would be the same for any MD of any company coming in whom maps out their three year, five year plan etc. If its not delivered on then quite rightly questions are then asked. Of course Morris doesn't have any shareholders per se to answer to but he does have the club supporters.

I think this is the key difference for me - Morris was never supposed to be in an MD role - He's supposed to be the owner/chairman who sets the overall vision, talks in grand ambitions and sets the roadmap for others to try and deliver against - Not setting the specifics on deliverables

I don't think we can equate this to a commercial organisation - But if we do, you'd still need to compare it to quotes from chairmen of the organisations not the chief execs or the MDs

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4 minutes ago, Stuniverse said:

I’m not sure it’s that unreasonable with Buchanan, Bird, Knight and Sibley already established in the first-team squad. All four could easily nail down a regular starting spot and then you only need one of the next tranche of Watson, Ebosele, Stretton and McDonald (plus others) to establish themselves and that’s half the outfield players from the Academy.

Of course, that assumes none of them are sold because, if you then sell any of your prized Academy assets, it does make it even harder to achieve.

This is very optimistic and I hope you are right. 

But I just dont see all of the academy players mentioned there becoming championship quality, those players did okay in our worst league finish for about 30 years. Are they all going to become championship or better quality players? I doubt it sadly. 

We seem to want to both sell and keep our best academy players. 

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Posted (edited)

Relying on the academy to find and produce players for the first team is a massive gamble and you certainly shouldn't be relying upon 5 or 6 of the first team coming from the grass roots at this level. I think realistically if we produce 1 young player a year who isn't picked up early on by a bigger team and they make the grade we'd be doing very well. Even extremely promising academy products of ours in the past who have made the grade initially have fallen down the league pyramid for all sorts of different reasons.

To make a good championship player is not an easy task, how many have we managed in the last 10 years? Hughes, Hendrik (signed as a youth from Ireland), Bogle and no more immediately spring to mind. I might be missing some obvious ones though so please correct me if I'm wrong. Sibley might turn out to be good although he has that lee Holmes feel to me, but I'm thoroughly unconvinced by Knight and Bird in the longer term to be good players at this level.  Ditto with Buchanan who had a torrid last half of the season. 

Brentford got rid of their academy but in fairness they're in the catchment area of London so they'd be getting the dregs of youth footballers in the area given they have Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham, Crystal Palace, Charlton, and watford basically sitting on their doorstep. The Bilbao example is interesting but precisely because it is different due to their informal rules on who they do or don't sign based on if they are Basque or have learned their football from a Basque club. 

If we want success we need a developed identity of the football we want to play at the club and we need to scout players who fit that identity and ethic of the team. This needs to be consistent and appointments from the academy to the top of the club need to reflect this and be integrated into the same vision. The same with the scouts, a lot of the problem with the scouting isn't that we've brought bad players but oftentimes the players don't fill the gaps in the jigsaw that need to be filled. There needs to be an homogeneity of style, ethic, and attitude across the club to make it work from top to bottom.  The club needs to ditch its fascination with celebrity ex footballers and appoint the manager and coaches who can best fit the ideology of football the club sets out and can prove they've achieved success with it.

If we do all these things then we don't need to take a massive punt on Derby county having its own class of 92 steering us to promotion and success. 

Edited by Leeds Ram
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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, cheron85 said:

 

I think this is the key difference for me - Morris was never supposed to be in an MD role - He's supposed to be the owner/chairman who sets the overall vision, talks in grand ambitions and sets the roadmap for others to try and deliver against - Not setting the specifics on deliverables

I don't think we can equate this to a commercial organisation - But if we do, you'd still need to compare it to quotes from chairmen of the organisations not the chief execs or the MDs

I would agree with this but if the owner sets a specific goal (50% academy players) with a measurable time frame (5 years) and then invests to achieve that, I think we can be forgiven for believing that is what he was going for. 

Mel pays far more attention to how things operate since the Sam Rush fiasco. 

Edited by TheAllestreeRam
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Worth noting that Sheffield United are talking of wanting £15-20 million for one of the best attacking full/wing backs in the premiership last season in Bogle after Norwich showed interest as they will probably sell theirs for £30 million or so they think 

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10 minutes ago, TheAllestreeRam said:

I would agree with this but if the owner sets a specific goal (50% academy players) with a measurable time frame (5 years) and then invests to achieve that, I think we can be forgiven for believing that is what he was going for. 

Mel pays far more attention to how things operate since the Sam Rush fisaco. 

Each to their own - I still think it was more 'vision' than 'target' but I can understand why you might think otherwise

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14 minutes ago, TheAllestreeRam said:

This is very optimistic and I hope you are right. 

But I just dont see all of the academy players mentioned there becoming championship quality, those players did okay in our worst league finish for about 30 years. Are they all going to become championship or better quality players? I doubt it sadly. 

We seem to want to both sell and keep our best academy players. 

It needs 2 per year breaking through to offset the academy expenditure. More would be a bonus.

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Yet another example of the bad luck the club (and Mel) has had is that our national PL2 title winning under 18 squad are coming to maturity at a time when transfer fees are depressed by the pandemic. 

As for philosophy, I think the academy has had a fairly consistent style and identity for some time now. The problem is that the first team style has chopped and changed along with managers and necessity. Will Rooney try a more attacking brand of football next season when he starts from a level playing field? If he doesn't,  our current crop of youngsters who were brought through to play attractive football, will not shine or gain value.

I  actually feel more affinity with our academy than I do with the first team at the moment. 

 

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I think it disrupted player development sticking U23s in the first team squad then either not playing them at all or giving them ten minutes max. 

They lost any rhythm gained at junior level and became part of a losing mentality. 

It would have made more sense picking the best two or three in a starting line-up where they knew each other's game. 

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17 minutes ago, Anag Ram said:

I think it disrupted player development sticking U23s in the first team squad then either not playing them at all or giving them ten minutes max. 

They lost any rhythm gained at junior level and became part of a losing mentality. 

It would have made more sense picking the best two or three in a starting line-up where they knew each other's game. 

To be fair most youngsters get 5-10 mins at a go but the emphasis is on them showing that they are good enough on that pitch at that time to be selected again - not easy but it’s a ruthless sport for a youngster 

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3 minutes ago, Sparkle said:

To be fair most youngsters get 5-10 mins at a go but the emphasis is on them showing that they are good enough on that pitch at that time to be selected again - not easy but it’s a ruthless sport for a youngster 

And I think that is the point. 

It used to be ruthless the message to youngsters was: 'You get a couple of chances to get an established championship player out the team' 

With the heavy reliance on the academy its now more: 'We need you, I hope you're ready?' 

I fear the step up has become too easy. 

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41 minutes ago, Sparkle said:

Worth noting that Sheffield United are talking of wanting £15-20 million for one of the best attacking full/wing backs in the premiership last season in Bogle after Norwich showed interest as they will probably sell theirs for £30 million or so they think 

Do we have a sell on clause ?

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