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Thread: 2023 UEFA Under-21 Championships

  1. #341
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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    Oh they can be technically quite efficient, for sure, but their development is still hindered by playing a key developmental phase in a largely part-time environment. This is looking at U19s up, starting with guys who maybe aren't necessarily getting regular first-team LoI football and certainly aren't fully pro. The comparison between a fairly modest club like Molde and any LoI side (even Rovers) is quite stark.

    I think your latter point is the same point I made though. Yes, other 21s players are often playing first-team football at home. We're an outlier in Europe in that we export players at 16 to a foreign academy. If they were able to stay at home and come through the ranks here - like in almost every other European country - then they'd be getting first-team LoI ball at 19-22 or so, and then moving to England for decent fees if good enough. I think our approach to those key developmental years is very lacking (and that's before you look at players going to England who come back three years later without having made it - which is the majority of them)
    Tell that to Gavin Bazunu.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ifk101 View Post
    I don't disagree with that you are saying but see if from a different angle. While not necessarily currently or with the last batch of U21s, I've generally felt the U21 LOI players have been more effective than their (technically better) UK based counterparts simply because they are playing first-team football (would point to the UCD chap Kerrigan who played against Luxembourg - thought he made quite a strong impact (on his debut?)). The UK based players selected at U21 are not always first team footballers and if they are, they are on the radar of a senior call-up. If we are wondering why there is a drop in ranking from U17/U19 to U21 level, it is as much down to our technically better players not getting first team football in the UK, when our peers playing in other leagues are, as domestic structure failings.
    There is a drop at u21 level are down to the fact that you had Noel King incharge for so long…

  3. #343
    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CSAD View Post
    Tell that to Gavin Bazunu.
    Yeah, taking one datum point doesn't really prove or disprove the macro-level point.

  4. #344
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    Quote Originally Posted by elatedscum View Post
    Campaigns are longer, so results turn around slower. We've only had one campaign since Noel King left and it went a little pear shaped at the end. If you look at the current eligible squad, you could have a team of:

    Bazunu

    O'Connor
    Omobamidele
    Collins
    Bagan

    Coventry
    Kilkenny

    Knight
    Parrott
    Connolly

    Idah

    That's a team that would win the group.

    Compared to other teams in our u21 group, total eligible players in the senior squad in this window:

    Ireland 7
    Luxembourg 6
    Italy 2
    Bosnia 1
    Montenegro 0
    Sweden 0

    For a wider sample, let's also look at our Senior group:

    Ireland 7
    Luxembourg 6
    Azerbaijan 2
    Serbia 2
    Portugal 1
    That's a useful analysis. Answers my question about us cannibalising (for want of a better term) our U21s more than others due to lack of current depth. It'll be interesting to see if there's a greater convergence of performances and coefficients going forward once the senior squad stabilises.

  5. #345
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poor Student View Post
    That's a useful analysis. Answers my question about us cannibalising (for want of a better term) our U21s more than others due to lack of current depth. It'll be interesting to see if there's a greater convergence of performances and coefficients going forward once the senior squad stabilises.
    Yeah I can't see the 2002 crop of U21s being affected like the 2000 crop. The lads who'll be overage after this campaign will hopefully start replacing lads who'll be phased out of the seniors over the next couple of years and we've already got the three best 2002 age group players in the seniors already with Bazunu, Omobamidele, and Parrott.

  6. #346
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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    Oh they can be technically quite efficient, for sure, but their development is still hindered by playing a key developmental phase in a largely part-time environment. This is looking at U19s up, starting with guys who maybe aren't necessarily getting regular first-team LoI football and certainly aren't fully pro. The comparison between a fairly modest club like Molde and any LoI side (even Rovers) is quite stark.

    I think your latter point is the same point I made though. Yes, other 21s players are often playing first-team football at home. We're an outlier in Europe in that we export players at 16 to a foreign academy. If they were able to stay at home and come through the ranks here - like in almost every other European country - then they'd be getting first-team LoI ball at 19-22 or so, and then moving to England for decent fees if good enough. I think our approach to those key developmental years is very lacking (and that's before you look at players going to England who come back three years later without having made it - which is the majority of them)
    I'd more go with this post and your earlier one on the matter, you do have the potential to make good points on occasion. The promotion of the best underage talent to the senior squad this term just exposes other shortcomings.
    The Iceland senior squad in transition contains 8 u21 players (when fit), yet the u21 team have maintained a similar level of competitiveness in this campaign. Whilst the most talented Icelandic youngsters are most always cherrypicked mid teens, the majority don't go abroad until aged 19/20/21, after they've played a season or two at senior level, finished their 2nd level education and have already been capped at all underage levels. From the players perspective, a competent level of maturity, attitude and football ability has been learned, so if things don't work out with their first club they'll find another club readily who can use them.
    However, the Faroese senior squad has no u21 eligible player, they currently have a policy of using the best youngsters for the u21 squad. This has had the effect of maintaining a good level of competitiveness against vastly bigger federations at the u21 grade and probably develops a better 'mentalitee'. Different strokes for different folk.
    The smaller federations who have invested wisely in home grown professional standard coaches and coaching infrastucture have gained the most benefit from that UEFA/FIFA TV income/grants etc which is distributed equally to each federation. The FAI is about 15 years (or more) behind.

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