The Real Footie Analyst

Liverpool U18 6 Man United U18 0 – Signs that Liverpool youth is bearing fruit

In a previous blog post I mentioned the ‘sibling rivalry’ amongst the Liverpool and Manchester United youth teams. The scoreline suggests that Liverpool must have dominated their fiercest rivals but of course it doesn’t always paint the full picture as reports suggest that United fielded a slightly younger team. I also haven’t seen the game myself (will try and track down highlights if available) so can’t really comment further.  But what I’d like to point out is that we’re finally starting to see and  reap the benefits of the youth system Rafa Benitez put in place which will serve the club very well in the near future.

See match report here of the six-nil drubbing.

Kenny Dalglish is receiving all the plaudits for his approach to the youth policy, and rightfully so. He has the understanding, knowledge and ‘magic’ his predecessors lacked. He has also worked with most of them so he will know how to motivate and get the very best out of them. Dalglish was brave enough to put 17 year-old Jack Robinson into the fray at the Emirates and he did well with Theo Walcott eventually being taken off for having not troubled the young full-back. John Flanagan  playing only his second game after an accomplished debut against a star-studded Man City team,  looked the part again and must be licking his lips knowing he has a place in the future of the first team. Then there is the impressive Martin Kelly who has made sure England’s first-choice right back, Glen Johnson, is stuck out on the left. And Jay Spearing has come on in leaps and bounds since Kenny’s appointment. There seems to be a level of trust between manager and player that instills confidence, which is often the final ingredient any player needs to play at this level.

A lot is being made of other youth stars waiting to stake their claim as the new Kop idols. Raheem Sterling and Conor Coady are not far off from a call-up should the need arise, and as we’ve already seen Kenny won’t bat an eyelid if it means offering a youth prospect a chance. This type of chance can only benefit a club in the long run. Manchester United are fortunate enough to have a  massive squad so they don’t have to tap into their youth resource like Liverpool have been forced to. It does mean that youngsters won’t get that much needed chance for a shot at the big time at Old Trafford.

So, as I finish off this blog post, Liverpool have just beaten a hapless Birmingham 5-0 at Anfield, and both Flanagan and Robinson were in the starting line-up. Is this the future of Liverpool? I hope so.

More than a decade ago Sir Alex Ferguson made the best decision of his career to introduce the likes of David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt, Phil and Gary Neville, and look what he’s achieved since then.

Place trust in the youth and the club will bear the fruits of your labour when ripe.

1 Comment

  1. Ivan Timm says:

    Totally agree that youth must be the future, thanks must go to Rafa for starting the process and Kenny for following through.

%d bloggers like this: