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51 comments on “Any point of an Academy

  1. Goodness me. What’s the point you ask? Well the fact that we had 8 academy graduates in the squad last game is a pretty big one. This is the best crop we’ve had come through as a collective unit, and the group below might be even better.

    You fail to mention players like Herd, Gardner, Clark, Bannan, Weimann etc who could easily be first team regulars for years to come. In fact I see Clark as a potential captain of the future. We also have numerous others on the verge.

    We have one of the best academies in Europe, we should be celebrating the fact. It’s one of the few things to be positive about at the moment.

    • Gardner Will be captain Clarke is a defender not midfielder herd sorry i dont see him as midfielder. makoun delph technically gifted but not work ethic as other two bannan is by far our best passer of ball does not start.weimann looks like Gus chance has come to see what he has got at top level. but seeing all these forwards linked i think you wont see bent in villa top again sold to balance books. our reserves and first than play different football its shame the youngsters ate taught and play in right manner in reserves

    • thats all well and good if the best stay but if they become really good man utd comes knockin and whips them away so its a long term view point which is basically sayin they come through the academy and our first team is a stepping stone to the top 6 mr lerners got 640 million quid or 1 bill dollars hes on the rich list check it out where is lerners ambition

    • herd albrighton clarke and bannan were there under mon mate they have been at club a while so nearly two years and is one a starting 11 week in week out at min.. in fact did martin not say once bannan was not big enough.. these players are not much better forward as first team 11 as last year apart from herd but i dont see him as central midfield player

  2. You can be all doom and gloom if you like or you can try and view it as a step towards the Barcelona model, come on lets at least be positive, some prem matches don’t have a single british player on the pitch.

    • Jps your right Barcelona French to all use there academies. but here it is they are coached to play the same way from every level and age group right to first team. our reserves play different style to first team more passing and expansive football our first team is rigid in style. hence why i mention herd and Clarke in midfield over naturally gifted players makoun delph and especially bannan. its not a go at eck but he does not want expansive football he prefers work rate first. Hence you see Stephen Ireland get frustrated at lack of movement and passing around him. with a Gus poyet rodgers Lambert i feel there style of fiitbalk is what our youth structure would reap in first team.you can not play one way in reserves midweek then different on weekend in first team. thus is what lets our national and clubs down. we are years behind some European countries already just read what Barcelona do every team is instructed to play same way from kids to what we see..

      • upthevillla76 – You are correct in what you say, but it has taken a generation for Barcelona to be where they are now and it will take the English game the same amount of time to replicate that also. I am aware of premier team’s academy set-up’s in the midlands area, the theory, philosophy and practice now is to emphasize on the technical aspects of the game and to work on them as individuals, having looked at the boys that these clubs now take it is all about skill and technical ability and not about the biggest and strongest for their age. Clubs in this country are now becoming more aware that the academy is there lifeline in the future and they need to get it right in order for the club to prosper and that means teaching these kids to play the right way from a very young age so that in the future the club has a football brand like the Barcelona’s of this world, I think we can see at Villa that we are getting it right and we have been working that way for a while but what we need to do now it to transfer that brand to the first team. That will come but it will take time and i for one can’t wait.

        • jps bang on button but you have answerd the point we are a generation behind as a country but barcelona now are adding there youngsters to the first team squad this season….so we are evn further behind the europeans mind set..And football evolves it moves forward so say it take six years to repricate the european way where will they be at then.. As regards the villa getting it right are they to an extent we currently have cieran clarke when fit drops into midfield when he is defender i like chris herd is her better than makoun delph bannan gardner in the middle whom every one of them its natural position.. I think we have with out doubt have one of the best youth set ups in country look at average age… my main point is what i was trying to make was that as a club our first team and reserves play totally diffrent style that does not develop these players from passing expansive moving football to so rigid dimension in first team.. avfc under alex mcleish will never have a pass and move expansive football like we desire. I cant wait for the future it looks good we have had so mnay prospects but signing guthrie if we do over gardner makoun delph bannan well i no which ones i prefer in villa colours.. BUt i do stress this is a massive problem with english game… it was such a shame that mcdonald for what ever reason did not want job because i am sure that from resrve level to first team and youth level would all be playing same way

    • whats the point havin a really good academy if the chairman has no ambition but to balance the books they come through become great use the 1st team as a stepping stone and are sold move on to the man utds of this world when they come knockin bannan already been linked with arsenal gardner is good prospect he will be sold man utd, spurs i reckon for albrighton, wiemann have to wait an see they will all do a milner or ashley young i can go back as far as dwight yorke who jumped ship to utd years ago lerner needs to put is balls on the table and splash the cash or lose these great young talent

  3. Like any Buisness you need apprentices to focus on the future. Don’t train any young people in the culture of your Buisness then you have to buy people on astronomical wages with a different culture. Additional don’t train anyone then expect your work force to age rapidly. What happens when you’ve not trained anyone and all your work force has retired? You either go out of Buisness or have to buy in a new one. The academy is the only way to be sustainable. You then need to give the younger players the right oppertunities to develop.

  4. Ian , Think the first 4 replies gives you the answer to why, as in food home grown is better. You have agents on a band wagon making money from blackmailing clubs. Good players in a academy that you bring through having that same position as others, can make clubs financially better off in time , I think that’s now the road clubs are going.. The only thing that bothers me is selling players to prop up clubs mistakes in internal miss management.

  5. this post is a wind up right?
    in many games we have 5 or more academy players either starting or coming on from the bench during the game. That’s a lot of transfer fees and high wages saved.

    You ask what’s the point if all this if we then sell academy players on to other clubs?
    Well that is the point!
    The academy making a profit? is that a bad thing?

  6. Of course we need an academy. Just look at where our youth teams and reserves sit in the national pecking order and you;ll see why. I know it does not always equate at first team level and this is because all of the young players mature and peak at different times (Cahill for example). However, sometimes it will happen and our current crop are a fairly good good example with a number of them having first team experience, Also, think back to when it happened with Man U, ie Beckam, Scholes Giggs and the Neville brothers. An academy is essential and Aston Villa’s is one of the best. We should be proud rather than knock it!

  7. I remember marc albrighton tearing Evra to shreds when we drew two all hoillier was bringing him along nicely he seems one who has taken backwards step. with change of regime he was on form under houiller but different responsibilities this season sometimes looks so nervous

    • It is called “Sophomore Jinx” in sport jargon – second year slump and not reaching the heights of first year display. It is very common in professional sphere, esp. sport. imho it is mainly mental problem and it is a cutting edge for sportsmen – if someone overcome it, he will be very good else fading.

      Typical examples of not overcoming it imho are: Luke Moore, Pet Whittingham.
      My fears for current crop of players who WILL NOT overcome it is Fabian Delph (good year in Leeds, fading after this).

      Bannan, Albrighton, Clark are all able and mentally strong to overcome it imho. I will be very surprised if not.

      • we have turned out some very decent players but we have not created top class stars and that is the problem we face. IMHO Gardner has a very very good chance to be that but he has to be playing NOW in his favoured position.

        why delay ?

    • and then the stupid idiots in charge said he could play on the left and he is simply not a Downing or Young who can do this. SHe showed glimpses of what he can do from the RIGHT and would Fergie ever have played wingers on the wriong side, BEckham to my memory NEVER played on the left nor Giggs on the right.

  8. The author forgot to mention Steven Davis, Craig Gardner and Liam Ridgewell as well as all of them are our Academy graduates too and the last two also a PL standards. The Academy is the only solution after FIFA financial rules will be applied. It should not be hard to count how much savings came from using the Academy instead of transfer fees and wages of similar level bought players. You can bet the Academy would be better in terms of much less costs needed do bring up players. And one thing is often underestimated – the loyality to the club which brings you up. Yes, there are few exceptions like C. Gardner or Cahill, but they left due to not playing often enough. It is better to have loyal player instead of mercenary if they are similar quality level.

  9. The only frustration I have is that the Academy and Reserves ( top of their league- again!) play expansive, attractive and effective footy.

    The first team, sadly and in the main, does not.

    We should be playing the same style throughout the Club as Barcelona do.

    • A very perceptive observation, Simba. I don’t know how much this clash of approaches between the academy/reserves and the first team actually hinders the development of our young players, but you’ve got to think that it’s an additional hurdle for them to overcome in terms of making the breakthrough.

  10. The question should not be “do we need an Academy,” but why do we sign players such as Holman who hasn’t exactly set the world on fire in Holland.

    • which is why I posted this because the point is surely Holman has to be good or block the kids. My guess is that as finally veryone has said he is a ‘second forward’ is that we will lose at least one of Ireland, Bent or Gabby or otherwise Weimann will be fourth or even fifth choice.

      • Please let it be gabby.six years around the first team and all people talk about is his pace.Look at his game,put the ball beyond the defender and he looks good.But when the balls at his feet he’s lost he hasn’t a trick (as big Ron would say) in his locker.Yes he holds the ball up well but,he should be scoring more than he does.

    • very good point nothing agaisnt holman but what message does it send out. we have seen in recent months gabby on wing after being told he wont play there heskey into midfield bannan on wing ireland on wing the players cirean clarke midfiled hutton right midfield.. guthrie if he signs is currently a reserve team player at newcastle and signing him stops some playes actually making the breakthrough..

  11. Ha ha:-)

    In all honesty, I didn’t expect the article to be printed because, well, basically it’s crap:-)

    The aim of it though was to give us something to talk about until Ian gets back on a roll.
    In that sense, maybe it’s worked.

    Yes it is a stupid question in a way and of course academies are a good thing in that they give you a source of income and possibly some top drawer talent in the future.

    I was just thinking about West Ham though and if you think about it my point there was correct. Theirs hasn’t really done them much good over the years has it?

    Perhaps a better question might have been “Is it wise to rely on the academy as much as it seems we’re going to?”.
    To which my answer would probably be “No”.
    It’s certainly not going to be enough to compete at the top if you’re only going to mix the graduates with journeymen.
    Which is what I think is going to happen for the foreseeable future.
    That’s a depressing thought😦

  12. All the above sum up my own feelings, we are in profit over costs, and we are producing some very good youngsters that will make it through to the first team. I read once that if you can produce one first team player every two years from your own resources this is excellent. Over a 12 year period then you will have on average 5/6 home grown product in your first team.

    What worries me is paper talk that the likes of Guthrie are being looked at. He played in the reserves match along with 3 other “first team” Newcastle players, and they were humiliated by our reserves and I dont use that term loosely! We dont need him, he is not as good as our own!

  13. Much as none of us would want it to be so, you can’t help but fear that this post hits the nail right on the head!

  14. The real point here is not do we need an academy but like upthevilla76 and simba have said why have we got an academy that doesn’t seem to be part of the whole ethos of the club from bottom to top. Maybe that’s because managers come and managers go but if we went for a model where we predominantly expected to rely on our academy players coming through playing exciting, attacking, passing football and added a bit of experience where needed then we could save a few bob, watch a bit of decent football and feel connected to the club again. For that to happen someone has to have a bit of vision and want to see that project through. I wonder if the present lot are the people to do it?

    • This post has got me thinking since randy brought the club and martin was manager we had a five year plan and was a club in transition now we all no for whatever reasons it went sour.. We then signed houiller who at first i was not keen on but i seen that he wanted to move avfc forward in more ways european way of thinking and at end i was excited I am sure he would have cleard out whole back four and started again we would have a midfiled of cabye and makoun this season and the likes of gardner and delph in there albrighton was playing well under him we had bent scoring for fun and yes ash would have gone but im not quite so sure of downing would have if he was in charge. But mr h had health problems and we was linked with manager after manager.We ended up with eck and once again the word transition word was used again. Now monetary terms like we are the clubs financial side is in a mess.. But for how long can a club be in transition there has to be a clear vision for club from top to bottom we need a director of football to work within youth up to first team.. Because as i see it we are always a club in transition we need consistency a vision a plan to look at under 17 level up towards first team but i feel under current leadership it wont happen.. sometimes you need to stall and step back to move forward and i dont think eck is man the likes of guthrie will hinder some prospects and ireland and bannan on wings its not natural bannan is by far the best passer of the ball we have and ireland shown staurday he is two passes ahead of most in his head and it shows..

  15. Well me thinks that Aston Villa is a academy anyway ? if Lerner will not spend,or has he now realised there might be more money being a major club to the big 6 but just keep ourselves in the premier league, by selling off good players to all clubs?, l would not trust them Yanks in a business at all , But then again fans would walk away if that was the case, So what is he up to? he must know by now that things are not all what Aston Villa should be. What will the future be for the club?.

  16. Oohah, a little off topic but have you read this piece on vital villa?
    Then Dunne got injured late in the game against Man City. Villa had conceded 10 goals in the previous 5 games (including 3-2 in the FA cup). This gave Villa a chance to try out Cuellar and Collins.
    So far this partnership has played in 3 games and conceded only a solitary goal. Not bad considering the lack of times they’ve played together

    So fella it looks like the stats are proving us right, Dunne is shite.

    • but of course the fixtures are an easier run of them … Wigan, Blackburn and Fulham but more to do with cuellar, criminal he has not started games.

    • Lol yeah I did read it BWS hate to say I told u so but…lol. We ought to be the new managerial team couldnt do much worse thou im sure irishvilla wouldnt agree lol Even warnock looks to have improved a bit. I no they have been easyish games but fulham have been scoring for fun recently and Wev been conceding stupid goals even v lower teams with Dunne virtually giving them a goal start. Think the king has done well as well and he seems to have inspired a bit of confidence in the rest of defence now they no Dunnes not playing as a striker for the opposition.

  17. It is criminal the guys horrible, I should imagine an absolute nightmare to play against, strong, quick and all overs players like a rash. Reminds me a bit of martin keown, just hope we offer him a new contract.

    • Me to not only has he played well but he’s conducted himself with great dignity whilst he was dropped to make way for the clown. Dunne shud be ashamed of himself and look and learn how the king has reacted to being left out of team by NOT throwing his rattle out the plan and acting like a true gent. The king is a class act both on and off the pitch… Dunne take note.

  18. For our youngsters to work we need a manager with a footballing brain eck has to go or we end up with shit players like holmen, johnston etc holding our youngsters back

  19. Memo to Ian Robothan – If your creative juices are not flowing don’t bother posting pointless negative tripe articles such as this.

  20. Ha ha here is a debateing point how crap has the premier leauge gone? Both manchester teams been out classed in europe league, so spending loads of money to achive sucess is not working, sky top 2 get spank brings a smile to my face, europe teams follow a great youth set up which works instead of spend spend which is sky top 6 way, so villa havin a great acadmey is the right way we need it

    • I think ul find that neither team gives a shit theyv been knocked out theyv got bigger fish to fry. I don’t see y CL failures shud get a chance anyway wot a joke. Every other competion once ur out ur out no safety net. It’s like being knocked out of the fa cup third round and being automatically put into carling cup semi final wtf. Shows how overhyped the prem league is manure outclassed home and away by a Spanish team 7th in their league and yet they cud still win the title. Rubbish quality in prem league if man u win league with a very average team by their standards.

      • I disagree Oohah, I think they did care (United would have made some history had they won it and they both fielded strong sides) granted both would want to win the Prem more.

        Linking this to the post I have to say how impressed I was with Bilbao over both legs, so committed, full of running and a complete team in every sense (interesting stat on last weeks game that apparently they covered more ground at Old Trafford than any other side in the past 10 years!!)………and look at the limitations they have to work with, can only use players of a Basque heritage so, essentially limited to what they produce from their academy.

        It made me think of the advantages of their situation.

        They will only ever be fielding players that are totally committed to the club

        They will always have a strong team bond, even when they have a weaker side

        Supporters will always have a sense of pride for their club and team

        I’d imagine (this is a total assumption btw) that their finances must generally be in fairly reasonable order considering there are very few players they can actually buy.

        A lot of clubs would do a lot worse than taking notice of Bilbao and using them as a model to follow in order to be sustainable…….and I would definitely include us in that category.

        • well I know Barca spend but look at the players through theirs and remember I posted about that a while back. However you need a football philsophy as well.

          • Yeah and I agree with the principal, always have done and have noted that you (amongst others) have mentioned it numerous times before.

            Both sides have their principals, and it is needed, but far easier to instil in your players when they all come through the ranks together and play for one another.

            I just saw Bilbao as the topical choice for this evening

        • Good points McGrath. The opinion of some utd mates of mine (brummie reds of course grrr) is that they did want to win cup but in the grand scheme of things winning Prem league takes priority and they were worried it could interfere with that injuries, tiredness etc. To them it is like being knocked out the carling cup. Thou agreed the utd team and SAF themselves wanted to win but can’t see them losing much sleep over this. The CL exit would hurt them much more.

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