Duncan Edwards, Bobby Charlton, Eddie Colman, John Doherty, Harry Gregg, Geoff Bent, Johnny Berry, Jackie Blanchflower, Roger Byrne, Bill Foulkes, Mark Jones, Wilf McGuinness, Kenny Morgans, David Pegg, Albert Scanlon, Tommy Taylor, Dennis Viollet, Liam Whelan, Ray Wood, Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, David Beckham & Nicky Butt amongst others, apart from being famous Manchester United players had one thing in common, they were all introduced and nurtured in the club under a youth policy which worked wonders for Manchester United for many years.
In fact, only tragedy in Munich that took the life of eight Manchester United players prevented the Busby Babes from dominating English and European football in the years preceding the 1950s. At that time, Sir Matt Busby had implemented a youth policy which helped the Red Devils to win the first five editions of the FA Youth Cup plus the1955-56 First League Division. Surprisingly, the average age of the squad was just 22.
Sir Alex Ferguson also followed in Sir Matt Busby’s footsteps and embarked on a youth policy which saw the club from Manchester dominate English football for so many years. In fact, Sir Alex Ferguson argued that building a squad around young players gives you a foundation for the future.
Currently the club is experiencing a moment of transition since results on the pitch have not been as the fans hoped. On the bright side, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is managing a young squad which has so much potential, however it may be time for new blood to be introduced in the first team and this year might be the perfect opportunity to give some playing time on the pitch to players like Tuanzebe, Greenwood, Chong and Gomes.
Without sounding negative, there is the feeling that with the current first team, Manchester United won’t be able to compete with the top clubs in England; hence, introducing youth players from the academy is likely to be a very important step in the right direction since such kids tend to bring a lot of energy and also provide competition for the current first team players.
In an industry which is focused so much on results, one might argue that it is too risky to introduce kids right now but the history of the club shows that a youthful policy might be exactly what Manchester United need.
Article contributed by Echoes Contributor Jude. Comments are appreciated on our Facebook page.
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