United’s golden future



There is an infectious air of belief sweeping around Old Trafford this season that has been created by a new generation of young players. Phil Jones, Tom Cleverley and Chris Smalling, among many others, have shown nothing but promise in a positive start to the new campaign. The pair will be followed up by an even younger generation, featuring elegant Frenchman Paul Pogba and the unruly, yet talented Ravel Morrison. The future, it seems, is bright.

The big question, however, remains whether this side will ever be good enough to challenge Barcelona, a club that possesses some of the best players in a generation, and seems able to create more at will. There is, for the moment, no answer to this question. Not until Manchester United’s new crop enjoys success in the face of Barça’s sustained excellence.

On the face of it Sir Alex Ferguson is trying to emulate Barcelona in his approach by bringing young players through, together, and allowing them to develop as a unit. Only a team that has been reared in this way, it seems, can have the shared understanding required for the phenomenal teamwork displayed by the Catalan giants, which can boast ten home-grown players in the first team squad.

Barcelona’s youth system has produced not only outstanding attacking players, such as Lionel Messi and Pedro Rodríguez, but also many creative midfielders in the mould of Andrés Iniesta and commanding defenders, including Gerard Piqué. Even the goalkeeper, Víctor Valdés, is Barcelona born and bred. This success in youth production is largely attributed to La Masia, the centre of excellence that imbues its graduates with such a strong foundation.

Happily for United, however, new developments in the Premier League – the Elite Player Performance Plan, which was agreed last February and will come into force from next season – should allow the club to create just such an establishment in Salford: a private footballing boarding school for children. This will provide the kind of close contact that is needed to develop the attitude and ability that so many of Barcelona’s youngsters possess.

More crucially still, the current restrictions on training hours are to be scrapped. Under Premier League rules young English players between the ages of 9 and 16 can only be trained for less than five hours a week by their clubs. Dutch, French and Spanish youngsters can hope for ten to twelve hours a week. The perrenial failure of the English national team means that five hours is patently nowhere near enough a player’s formative years.

Under the new system, English players will receive three times more training before the age of 16, which will go a long way to redressing the balance between English youngsters and their European counterparts. United’s outstanding facilities and top coaching team, together with the new rules, means that the club will produce ever more gems from the academy, just as Barcelona does.

Another boost comes in the form of a new academy grading system that is sure to place United in the top band. This system will allow United to enlist any top youngster in the country from a young age, and not just those who live locally. Numerous youngsters from all over the country will, inevitably, join United due to the club’s reputation. The academy will, once again, have access to some of the top talent in the country.

These changes are sure to benefit United in the long-term and fans can hold genuine hope that a new wave of home-grown talent will lift the club perhaps beyond the Catalans and to European domination. There will, of course, be a long wait for the changes to deliver genuine results. In the meantime fans will have to make do with imports such as Jones and Smalling, who are beating the academy youngsters to Ferguson’s first team.

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Comments

  1. Violent Banana says:

    Can anyone put the finger on why we’re performing far better than last season? Is it simply the player changes, new tactics or training, or new boots??

  2. They’re just ‘aving it. The energy and committment from young players playing with something to prove is owning. And of course Rooney’s in his best position, Clev and Ando play quick one touch-two touch football, and we’ve got deadly finishers
    So long as they don’t bottom out in January we’ll be reet
    And so long as we don’t hit a massive rut when we eventually draw/lose like Chelsea did last season after a brilliant start
    Hopefully the squad is too big for that to happen

  3. fat maradona says:

    Commenter said:
    Can anyone put the finger on why we’re performing far better than last season? Is it simply the player changes, new tactics or training, or new boots??

    I’d like to think it’s because Carrick hasn’t been anywhere near the first 11. Saying that, he did play 85 mins on Saturday but he is still a cunt.

    Bottom line is, this team of youngsters are just hungrier. As Sid said, just hope they don’t burn out by January.

  4. Commenter said:
    Can anyone put the finger on why we’re performing far better than last season? Is it simply the player changes, new tactics or training, or new boots??

    we are fitter. rooney has lost weight and been rested – and so has ando.

    massive difference – a fat rooney is good, a thin rooney is a FUCKING NUCLEAR SUBMARINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    what you have now is a rooney that has the energy level of the guy who game on an ruined arsenal on his first game for Neverton plus the intelligence of a man who has worked five years with the likes of giggs, scholes and ronaldo.

    jones and cleverly are fearless and full of energy but if Jones starts dancing in the box like he did against bolton against a proper side we are gonna get bummed.

    enjoy it in the EPL but you will see a different united in the knock phases of the UCL which is when the grandmasters enter the arena.

    also, we have not played a clever cunt yet. arsenal had 8 players out – even Taggard admitted that it was unfair.

    game against chelsea will be key. Villa Boas is a clever cunt. watch him play 7 behind the ball and stop the counter attack – compress the space – same as when Jose raped us in the FA cup final when rooney was left on his own up front playing with his ginger cock. wankers on here will still have a hard on about Lampard though – and twn vindaloos Terry. ffs.

  5. wait, Rooney has a ginger cock?

    Chelsea won’t be able to cope with our speed of play and movement this year, even without Clevs. They couldn’t even cope last year.

  6. I have enjoyed the start to the season United have produced, but I have also tried not to get carried away; I wanted to see how this young team dealt with Cheatski and Stoke before proclaiming that number 20 was in the bag. Tottenham, Arsenal, and Bolton all tried to play with United, but the London sides were under-strength, and Bolton just aren’t good enough. I don’t expect Cheatski or Stoke to make the same mistake; they will probably attempt to absorb the pressure and hit back on the counter. We would have learned a lot about the youngsters ability to unlock a well organized defense in these matches, but, unfortunately, with both Welbeck and Cleverley out injured, those two encounters will not be as revealing as I had hoped.

  7. captainhormone captainhormone says:

    TBF, SAF WOULD HAVE BOUGHT MORE EXPERIENCE IN ANYWAY AGAINST THOSE 2

    And will every fucker stop bleating on about arse etc being weakened…ffs, we had loads out too and lots of inexperience as well.

    ffs

    • In your opinion, would he have done that by swapping Cleverley for Carrick or Fletcher, or by switching to a 4-3-3 formation?

      As for attempting to compare United’s injuries and inexperience to those of the Arsenal side that lost 8-2, it is the most asinine assertion not made by a Blue Moonie I can remember reading on Rant. I won’t even bother enumerating the many reasons why there is no comparison. I believe that if you reread what you wrote when you are sober, you will blush.

    • What this cunt said!

      We were without Rio and Vidic against the Arae, with a brand new young keeper, and no genuine rightback.

      • I did not say that United had no injuries; I indicated that there is simply no comparison between United’s situation on the day and Arsenal’s. To claim that both sides were equally short-handed is beyond ludicrous. Yes, we were missing three of the back four, but two of the replacements are already so good that they are pushing Rio and Vidic – the best centre-half pairing in the EPL – for places. Your position on this subject (if you have decided to agree with Cap) is indefensible. Give it up.

  8. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    triggs said:
    wait, Rooney has a ginger cock?

    how can you have a ginger cock?

  9. captainhormone said:
    TBF, SAF WOULD HAVE BOUGHT MORE EXPERIENCE IN ANYWAY AGAINST THOSE 2

    And will every fucker stop bleating on about arse etc being weakened…ffs, we had loads out too and lots of inexperience as well.

    ffs

    yeah we had just sold one of the best midfielders in the world, a guy whose left bollock is worth two of Andershites, big wobbling arse cheeks, and one of the most exciting young players in world football to citeh.

    on shit I remember, yes, we sold John O Shea and Wes Brown. Fucking hell, aren’t we going down the shitter.

  10. Danni,
    to be fair Anderson always had a good game agaist Fabregas and Arsenal. Every time. As long as the manager did not pair him alongside Scholes!

    I have no time for Nasri. I think he is vastly overrated and his praise in England was founded on that match against a washed up Gary Neville. He will start well as usual but when it comes to crunch time he will disappear as usual.

  11. Things that make us better so far this season:

    1. Rooney back in the form of the season before last, perhaps even better
    2. Two good center-forward partners for Rooney with great movement and pace – Welbeck and Hernandez
    3. An attacking threat on both wings simultaneously with the arrival of Young — this makes our central midfield perform better too, because now they have outlets and creative opportunities on both flanks
    4. Ando is fit and hungry
    5. Backup center-backs are excellent, good enough to give Rio and Vida a real fight on their hands to maintain starting places

    Things that make us worse so far:

    1. Loss of VDS
    2. Evra is not looking like regaining his old form yet — should have flogged him to Madreeed and bought Coentrao with the proceeds

  12. Are any of Barcelona’s youngsters better than Jones.

  13. Commenter said:
    Are any of Barcelona’s youngsters better than Jones.

    no they are all shitter than Jones. TWAT.

  14. Commenter said:
    Are any of Barcelona’s youngsters better than Jones.

    Probably Tiago, but I love Jones and wouldn’t swap him for anyone.

  15. Shouldn’t we bring Jones in NOW to partner Anderson in midfield before Carrick starts to infect the team with his slowness? When Cleverley returns this gives will give us the option of a flexible 4-4-2 (with Rooney playing behind Hernandez) or 4-3-3 (with Rooney upfront and Young and Nani playing more assistant striker roles than pure wingers, or Hernandez up front and Rooney (nominally) as one of the 3 midfielders (with 2 from Anderson, Cleverley and Jones).

  16. Commenter said:
    Shouldn’t we bring Jones in NOW to partner Anderson in midfield before Carrick starts to infect the team with his slowness? When Cleverley returns this gives will give us the option of a flexible 4-4-2 (with Rooney playing behind Hernandez) or 4-3-3 (with Rooney upfront and Young and Nani playing more assistant striker roles than pure wingers, or Hernandez up front and Rooney (nominally) as one of the 3 midfielders (with 2 from Anderson, Cleverley and Jones).

    I agree with trying Jones in midfield to provide us another option, especially as we don’t have a true defensive midfielder. I don’t necessarily want us to turn Jones into a full-time midfielder (he’s too talented a defender to risk him losing form) but he could definitely offer something different for us in the middle of the park. We have a lot of centre-backs at the moment so it would also give us a way of factoring him in when Ferdinand & Vidic are fit.

  17. bman said:

    Things that make us worse so far:

    1. Loss of VDS
    2. Evra is not looking like regaining his old form yet — should have flogged him to Madreeed and bought Coentrao with the proceeds

    hmmmm
    not sure if monkey wants evra even if he is going on the cheap

  18. captainhormone captainhormone says:

    tbf, that’s even shitter than what our homosexual deserter Spike could even muster.

  19. I am surprised at all this stuff about emulating Barcelona, building slowly in order to replace them sometime in the future when all the time, there is a huge threat much closer to home, a team that seems to be (at the present moment) nearly as good as we are at our very best.

    And they have just so much desire to win something, anything, everything to make up for the thirty odd years of lost history.

    What was it David Dein said about waking up to the sudden, new, Abramovitch/Mourinho Chelsea: like finding they had parked a battalion of blue tanks of his front lawn.

    And suddenly, Arsenal were gone.

    No matter how much City spend no mater how well they do we have to try our utmost to stay ahead of them.

    If City win the Premiership or CL this season: will Sir Alex be able to live with it? It will be a situation that no United fan has ever expereinced (when City won the league in 1968, pipping us to it on the last day, we won bragging rights back a very short while later).

    Ominous that they bought Aguero (did we not know he was so devastatingly good: if we did, then couldn’t we have tried to get him?): he is speaking of doing for City what his father-in-law did for Napoli, and of showing this season that he is right up there with Messi, if not even better.

    That someone has writen a piece that doesn’t take City’s power into consideration at all, means that it is just, well… junk.

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