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Monday, 18 January 2016

Hearing the answers

I read an article earlier from Jon Townsend about youth development and how it can not be rushed. I rather liked his phrase when referring to success coming from the struggle that it's achieved by taking the stairs, not the elevator.

We live in a world of 'I want it now' and football is not immune to that, fans want it now, every season, then complain when the manager isn't given any time to make it happen. Do you judge development on results or performance?

The two are linked of course, but if you base it on results then you are less likely to take a chance on a youngster so you'll be hindering youth development. This has been the case for many a year in the Premier League and why we have seen a dwindling number of English players playing regularly for the national manager to choose from.

If you choose the performance option you are building for the future. As performance improves so should results, it's a by-product. Mauricio Pochettino has been brave enough to throw youngsters in and trust them. They have certainly repaid that faith and he could have changed the football landscape for many a top flight club. It still takes a manager with the bottle to put them in but the formula we have shows what can be achieved.

If you take someone like Dele Alli or Tom Carroll they come on to the field with instructions from the coaching staff, they have roles to perform, functions to perform within that role. They not only listen but they take on board the answers and apply them. ITK suggests Andros Townsend listens but doesn't hear, so doesn't apply what he is given, instead doing his own thing. He is now training and playing with the Under-21 side.

I don't mention this to knock Andros Townsend but to show a point. People ask questions all the time, yet few actually listen to and take on board the answers. This is a problem with youth and why some talents develop while other equal talents do not. If a player can ask questions and hear the answers, not just listen to them, then he'll develop quicker and be ready for greater challenges.

Part of developing a player is developing them as a person and have them take on board things the man in the street doesn't get involved in, like remaining focused and motivated. I look forward to seeing more come off the conveyor belt we are trying to build.



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