Let’s see how effective academies really are

NON-LEAGUE teams are full of players who have academy experience. Some might say that there are too many academy products and that the traditional non-league game was a mixture of former pros and youngsters. Today, many teams appear to be very young, genuine former pros (not “experience with the xxxx academy”) are in short number and players move on with even more regularity than in … Continue reading Let’s see how effective academies really are

Young lions – overpriced and underused

BY THE time Diego Armando Maradona was 21 years old, he had played around 200 league games for his employers. Likewise, Pelé, at that tender age, had turned-out around 300 times for Santos. More recently, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, the two totems of the modern age, made more than 100 appearances. George Best, by his 21stbirthday, was heading towards the 150 mark. In short, … Continue reading Young lions – overpriced and underused

Let’s see how effective academies really are

NON-LEAGUE teams are full of players who have academy experience. Some might say that there are too many academy products and that the traditional non-league game was a mixture of former pros and youngsters. Today, many teams appear to be very young, genuine former pros (not “experience with the xxxx academy”) are in short number and players move on with even more regularity than in … Continue reading Let’s see how effective academies really are

English football defies the xenophobes

AS BRITAIN becomes increasingly intolerant of foreigners, football fans might like to be reminded that the nation’s teams are heavily reliant on talent from abroad. In fact, in the Premier League, 61.2% of all appearances this season have been made by expatriate players. Among the “Big five” leagues across Europe, England have the highest percentage of overseas players. Italy has 55.1%, Germany 50.5%, Spain 39.4% … Continue reading English football defies the xenophobes