Does the U23 System Work ?

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Eggsyblueskin

Player Valuation: £40m
Personally I am coming to the conclusion that it is a deeply unsatisfactory method of producing or developing players capable of transitioning to first team football.
I have long believed that the system prior to the U23 leagues when clubs considered the Reserve team as the testing ground for any young players considered to be close to the first team, to be far superior. Reserve team football was not without its own criticism but it allowed young players the chance to experience and prove their worth among grizzled pro's and recovering and out of favour stars. It gave a far better indication of a players progression than the arbitrarily restricted and artificial U23 league which only bears a passing resemblance to the strictures and rigours of first 11 football.
It is noticeable that clubs frequently recruit young players from other clubs who have already broken into their own first team.and have that experience rather than from their from their own . Players in lower leagues break into their first team earlier and when they progress to the higher leagues often display more determination and have a better attitude than their more privileged peers.
In truth a footballers career is relatively short and is generally adjudged to last from around 20 to 30. In that context , if your not considered good enough at 21 say, you probably won't be good enough at 24. Yet our U23 teams contain players earning good money playing in an ultimately meaningless competition who are never going to be good enough ,it's a complete waste of money and resources.
What are the alternatives though.? Well,in this country we have sought to involve them in lower league cup competitions, to the chagrin it has to be said of the other competitors. It is an imperfect solution and as well as the resentment it also exposes how poorly the so called elite U23s perform in open age football.
In Spain the larger clubs enter reserve teams in the lower leagues. It's a system that seems to work but it is resented by the smaller clubs and clearly can't be replicated by all so is inherently unfair. It would never be allowed here.
Another system that seems to be gaining ground is for clubs to purchase an interest in lesser clubs in foreign leagues and allow their promising youngsters to gain experience whilst maintaining control over their development and future. But this route is only open to the wealthiest clubs and is again palpably unfair to others.
We obviously have the loan system but this is imperfect and unsatisfactory as players leave may be exposed to less than ideal coaching and can even fail to find sufficient game time. Possibly even worse , if successful, they become unsettled and move on.
Personally I would abolish the U23 system altogether and replace it with an open age reserve league.
 

Frang

Banned
Suspended
our under 23's are all held in high regard.

it hasn't really translated on the pitch for them, alltho it is a massive step up to first team squad.
 

Eggs

Player Valuation: £70m
..it’s a very good question. I have my doubts. There are lots of advantages in having ‘open age’ reserve team football as used to operate in the old Central League because it’s competitive and gets youngsters out of their comfort zone. I think it also aids development for youngsters to play with and against seasoned professionals.

We learn more about them and they get found out if they’re lacking.
 

TheBigIguana

Player Valuation: £70m
The best way to develop players is to play them in actual games. With the stakes so high a lot of managers aren't willing to do that and the u23s or loans become the only option. Loans are certainly better but the best thing would be just playing young players more
 

Sona

Player Valuation: £2.5m
Potential to go half and half: change the U23 league to a U21 league, whilst also introducing an open-age Reserve league.

That way, there is almost a bridge between youth football and first team football.

Thoughts?
 

orly

Please check with me for Blammo criteria
Suspended
a lot of our youth players are hyped up especially by the fans but stick them in a competitive league or cup match and most of them look average and probably championship level

truth hurts

ask tom davies

Good call that Spuddy.

The commentator on EvertonTV was bemoaning zonal marking in a very tedious bore-at-the-pub manner the other day but the main reason it failed was that Pennington and Kenny were so utterly hopeless. Their learning in the junior leagues is so poor that they have no clue whatsoever how to adapt to a 'new' system or instruction.
 

Simon Buttle

Player Valuation: £35m
our under 23's are all held in high regard.

it hasn't really translated on the pitch for them, alltho it is a massive step up to first team squad.
By who though? i agree with @orly i think unsworth has made a bit of a mess of the under23's none of them seem to be up to scratch, look around the league and others seem to be able to get their youngsters into their first teams ie Alexander-Arnold, Gomez,Woodburn, Rashford, a few kids coming through at Arsenal that look decent. Im just not sure if Unsworth is the right guy to aid their development, you only need to see how out of his depth he was when he stepped in as caretaker for those few games.
 

Frang

Banned
Suspended
By who though? i agree with @orly i think unsworth has made a bit of a mess of the under23's none of them seem to be up to scratch, look around the league and others seem to be able to get their youngsters into their first teams ie Alexander-Arnold, Gomez,Woodburn, Rashford, a few kids coming through at Arsenal that look decent. Im just not sure if Unsworth is the right guy to aid their development, you only need to see how out of his depth he was when he stepped in as caretaker for those few games.

5 of them won the youth world cup. plenty hold them in high regard
 

Eggsyblueskin

Player Valuation: £40m
The best way to develop players is to play them in actual games. With the stakes so high a lot of managers aren't willing to do that and the u23s or loans become the only option. Loans are certainly better but the best thing would be just playing young players more
I agree. But while some players are capable of making the transition to first team football most need some form of exposure to open age football first otherwise you are operating a brutal 'sink or swim' system.
With hindsight the abolition of the Reserve team and its replacement with the entirely arbitrary U23 group was a myopic decision and removed an important tier of a young players progression from within the club.
When we loan a young player out we are effectively sub- contracting that players progression out. That is not an ideal solution for me.
 

Simon Buttle

Player Valuation: £35m
5 of them won the youth world cup. plenty hold them in high regard
That is the same team that got torn a new one by France the other day and looked a shambles, so i think the world cup might be a one off, although they did play well at the time no doubt about it.
 

TheBigIguana

Player Valuation: £70m
I agree. But while some players are capable of making the transition to first team football most need some form of exposure to open age football first otherwise you are operating a brutal 'sink or swim' system.
With hindsight the abolition of the Reserve team and its replacement with the entirely arbitrary U23 group was a myopic decision and removed an important tier of a young players progression from within the club.
When we loan a young player out we are effectively sub- contracting that players progression out. That is not an ideal solution for me.
Ultimately the best system is probably the Spain system of reserve teams being allowed as high as the second division but I personally think that's awful for lower league football and in England would open a whole new way for the money teams to separate themselves. But for youth development it's perfect. Open age, reasonably high level and parent clubs have total control
 

mightymoyes

Player Valuation: £70m
By who though? i agree with @orly i think unsworth has made a bit of a mess of the under23's none of them seem to be up to scratch, look around the league and others seem to be able to get their youngsters into their first teams ie Alexander-Arnold, Gomez,Woodburn, Rashford, a few kids coming through at Arsenal that look decent. Im just not sure if Unsworth is the right guy to aid their development, you only need to see how out of his depth he was when he stepped in as caretaker for those few games.

Haha you blame unsworth for the way the u23 system is set up.
And then have the cheek to name 2 players from a whole 20 other clubs that play fairly regularly for their 1st time. Wise up
 
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