How big is the jump between youth football and the first team?

With Chelsea’s youth team winning their respective FA Cup and Champions League this year and multiple trophies over the last few years, it has baffled the footballing world as to why none of them come through to play for the first time. Ruben Loftus Cheek has come closest to becoming a first team regular making 16 appearances in all competitions this season scoring 2 goals, the 20-year-old certainly has the potential so what’s stopping him? Dominic Solanke and Tammy Abraham scored 71 goals between them in 2015. This season Dominic Solanke was sent to Vitesse on loan where he’s scored 7 goals in 25 appearances while Tammy Abraham spend another season in the Chelsea youth teams and made 3 appearances in the final 3 Chelsea premier league matches… is that it? But maybe it’s just a Chelsea thing, let’s talk a look at a few other players. Continue reading “How big is the jump between youth football and the first team?”

What the Euros have taught us

The biggest lesson which doesn’t just apply to the Euros but the Premier League and football in general is to 1. Never underestimate your opponent and 2. Hard work and tactical discipline will always shine regardless of how good the players are.

Wales, Italy and Iceland are the 3 teams that stand out. I understand that some nations put more pressure on their teams than others but those 3 nations have some of the proudest people to perform for and I don’t think those Welsh or Italian supporters would have been satisfied to do what was ‘expected’ and make it to the knockout stages and go home. They would have understood but they would not have been okay with it.

The Euros hasn’t had the expected stand out players previous competitions have had, the so called star players have heavily under performed and even with Wales in the semi finals Gareth Bale has not set the stage alight with his performances thus far. Same goes for Cristiano Ronaldo , Sergio Ramos, David Alaba, Wayne Rooney and Robert Lewandowski to name a few.

This could be the beginning of a huge shift in football, of course the brilliance of the likes or Ronaldo, Hazard and Bale can win GAMES but to win a COMPETITION, you’ll need football fundamentals, tactics, team work, coaching and fun.

Whoever wins Euro 2016 will certainly deserve it but the emergence of the underdogs will be what this years Euros will be remembered for.