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Youth is Vital

Youth is Vital

Bowler said 'I think the Academy is more vital than ever,' said the Alex chairman. 'We are seeing a big change in the football industry. It is changing dramatically all the way from the top and going all the way through.'

All very good, but this vision obviously hasn`t filtered through to the manager, Gudjon Thordarson. There must have been shock and horror when the team for the match was read out - no academy players in the starting XI.

This made Bowler`s statement about youth being the way forward looked rather comical, yes it is only one game and a youth product in Byron Moore did get the goal for Crewe after coming off the bench to score a super goal.

I can`t recall the last time that the starting XI didn`t contain a single youth team graduate and it must be a worry to the board and technical director Dario Gradi that Thordarson failed to select one academy graduate to start the game versus Dagenham.

Further more, Thordarson has today elected to sign 22 year old Aman Verma on a 3 month loan deal from Leicester City. He has yet to play a professional game, but will mean fewer chances for some of our own young players.

All very confusing, there seems to be a mixed message being sent out, does Thordarson really care about developing our young players? Add in the long ball tactics being deployed it all looks rather worrying.

I hope this was just a one off and Thordarson will utilize our younger players and play some football. The likes of Luke Murphy, Ashley Westwood and Dan Shelley are good enough for this league and I for one want to see them getting first team games under their belt.

A cup game against Blackpool gives Thordarson the opportunity to perhaps try one or two of the youngsters and if they excel then they must be given the chance to play on a regular basis.

If Thordarson cannot find a way of integrating the young players in to the team and playing attractive football then he isn`t going to be manager of Crewe Alexandra very long. Fans are already sceptical of the Gudjon approach.

Over to you Gudjon, you got it wrong Saturday. If long punts to Zola are your only plan then we are in trouble. It`s early days yet and plenty of time to get it right but on Saturday`s showing it looks very bleak.

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Writer:Matt Owen
Date:Monday August 10 2009
Time: 7:58PM


I've just checked the stats and this was actually the 5th league match that Gudjon has had a starting XI without any homegrown players! Contrast this with Gradi's final game in charge at Hartlepool last December, where we had six... and won 4-1! By the way, the last time we survived in the Championship (2004-05), we typically had as many as eight graduates in the team. If other clubs like Northampton, Macclesfield and MK Dons still believe in our homegrown stars, then why can't GT. We have the talent to take this division in style, but it's all sat on the bench.
11/08/2009 17:34:00
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