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Darren Hind
1 Posted 06/08/2020 at 19:15:30
Every single point you make had gone under my radar Phil.

I would be lying if I said you had made this grumpy arl fucker smile. but you have injected some semblance of a silver lining into this piece.

Mike Gaynes
2 Posted 06/08/2020 at 20:33:16
Phil, yes, and the lineup gets even a tad younger if you go 4-3-3 and insert Calvert-Lewin in place of Iwobi or Gbamin (whose future inclusion is wildly optimistic in my opinion).

Great article.

Derek Taylor
3 Posted 07/08/2020 at 18:40:21
So what, who cares about age if the team is next to hopeless? Too many on here see any player near or at 30 as over the top. The fans queue up to piss off the likes of Baines and Coleman when their prospective replacements are not in the same class!
Tony Everan
4 Posted 08/08/2020 at 12:19:10
It is a trend I think Brands wants to follow and nurture.

I think most great teams have a balance that works,

Two or three older, wiser players with guile and intelligence 29-33. A core of approx. 5-7 Prime players 24-28, and a compliment of 2 or 3 younger players 19-23.

All very loosely applied, it all depends on resources of course.

Jerome Shields
5 Posted 08/08/2020 at 14:39:28
Phil, you describe a subtle change that has been going on for a while. The academy is now developing players up to 17 and the Under 23 are closer to being a Under-18 side. Players like Branthwaite are being brought in at 19. Gone are the days of the oldest Under-23 side in the PL2.

Brands on his appointment took on all levels of acquiring and letting go players and implemented the above policy Also players will be loaned out for experience at 18, not in their 20s. Those who are loaned out in their twenties are in the shop window. Kenny will be loaned out next season again.

I do not have a special insight, but by questioning the current youth policy I got an insight of the above changes from ToffeeWebbers who have been watching the youth teams play over recent years and noticed changes.

The same is happening in the first team squad, Delph being the unexplainable exception, as you have outlined. You have spotted a trend of the development a young team that will be together when they hit their prime. Transfers in will be in line with this policy, with the continuous develop of replacements at youth development level.

Whilst up to now we have not seen the benefits, because of the poor coaching of Silva, the training and coaching of Ancelotti should push this younger team on.

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