ESPN Soccernet - Correspondents - Chelsea
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Posted by David Kyle on 09/02/2010

Many of you will have read reports in the press today that, shock & horror, Chelsea only have 19 players in their squad.

Well.... 19 players over the age of 21.

How the devil will we cope?

What do you mean I have nobody to pass to!?!
©AP Photo

After all we have only notched 9 points out of 9. And conceded none. And scored 14.

Poor old Chelsea!

Seriously though, I gather you today to tell you all not to worry - we don't have a problem with our youth system - even if the press are hell bent on maiming us for our inclusion of only 4 homegrown players.

4 homegrown players over the age of 21.

We are in transition after all. Of course questions will be asked about why on earth aren't youth team players making it to the first team, but it takes time. It is a project.

If you look at the Man United squad the seasons they started including their phenomenal youth product, they were a Man United in transition. Their players were ageing and on their way out the first team.

Man United also bled players into the team, Beckham came long after Giggs, via a loan spell at Preston. It is natural that we will produce more youth product in the future, but you seriously cannot expect a competitive team who has just won their first double to include a mass of inexperienced players.

The major factor is that a whole school of talent suddenly became surplus to requirements with the emergence of the Abramovich era.

Players like Mancienne who had grown up through the youth system all of a sudden had to go from being good enough to a team challenging for the Champions' League to a player good enough to win Championships. Hence why season in, season out he is shipped off on loan.

The youth system has had to be much more cut throat. Di Santo had a chance to impress and quite obviously didn't as he was shipped off to Wigan for a loss. Whereas Sturridge has been signed and is on the cusp of breaking through.

As many have quite rightly commented, Obi Mikel is a good example of this. He has been in the first team since his teens and has been given a good chance to prove himself. It will be somebody else's turn soon, maybe Bruma after his 4-year extension yesterday.

I think it is quite clear that in seasons to come, once we have had a chance to give the youth a chance we will have an exceptional squad full of homegrown talent.

Take one look at the official Chelsea Chat page and you will see that the youth team is spoken about on a daily basis. Evidence enough that they are good enough to get the fans speaking about them and knowing about them - I'm sure the same fans weren't overly aware of homegrown talents like Eddie Newton and Andy Myers before they broke into the team.

So let us look on the bright side and think about the future. We are in transition, and players like Bruma, Van Aanholt, Kakuta, Chalaboah and McEachran are all homegrown talents we will be writing about in years to come.

Keep The Blue Flag Flying High. (For the youth!)

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Posted by ekz on 09/02/2010


Posted by Jason on 09/02/2010

Good post. What's happened to Mancienne. Is he still out on loan or have Chelsea sold him? It would be good to see him play for the first team.

Posted by julius omwega on 09/03/2010


Posted by Kosta on 09/03/2010

Rubbish... as long as Roman is in charge the squad will always be replenished with expensive, proven, quality players. The Russian will not accept trophy-less periods... and fair enough too. If I had wads of cash to throw around I'd want to be challenging every year too. Funnily enough, a transition period is right around the corner for Chelski... lets see how good the youth system is then as I fear it will be needed to some extent.

Posted by kunu on 09/03/2010

hopefully in doing so we'll get a few more terrys though the ranks in the comming years.

Posted by ejspencer on 09/03/2010

19 senior players including 3 keepers. Meaning 16 senior outfield players. Of the 6 youngsters with squad numbers(Bruma, Sturridge, van Aanholt, Borini, Kakuta and McEachran) only one (Sturridge) has ever started a PL game, and even he only 7 ever. McEachran has never played above Reserve team level for Chelsea. These guys while clearly talented are not exactly reliable or proven, and it will be a brave manager who relies on them.

Every season, it is reasonable to expect that a couple players will lose form (Shevchenko, Veron), be not good enough(Boulharouz, Del Horno), or be injured for lengthy spells (Essien, Bosingwa). In addition, every season since 03/04 Chelsea needed between 15 and 18 outfield players to be heavily involved 10+ starts in the league. The 10/11 squad has 17 outfield players who have ever started a game in the top flight anywhere. If anyone turns out to be rubbish, or gets a lengthy injury someone who's never started a league game will be into the main rotation.

Posted by Austino on 09/03/2010

Mencienne is on loan brother.He is not sold.So,fear not.

Posted by AMUCHIE UCHENNA aka UCHE-BLUES on 09/03/2010

i'm not really happy the way we are treating our young players--by not giving them chance to prove themsalves.players like mancienne,Do-stanto should be in the main team by now(not on loan or to Wigan).Again Kakuta,Borini,Sturridge should see more action this season so as to build their confidence

Posted by Rauf4real on 09/03/2010

The club is doing very well now and pray you keep it up. On the youth, Kakuta has been a good player even before he was finally brought back to chelsea even in the last france campaign, but have not yet seen much of him in the club campaign. It is high time we start annexing their talents.

Posted by olasunkanmi shobowale on 09/03/2010

before i read your post i was hugely disappointed coz our youth program is not producing those kind of youth that can break into the first team even the possible ones we have we constantly ship them away. till this time i still believe Ben Sahar, scot Sinclair shouldn't have left. At a time solomon Kalou was on the verge of leaving to Arsenal.

pls help appeal to the management of Chelsea to look inward and let those kids exhibit their skill. i was impressed when i saw them against in the pre-season but we are always a point of derision from teams life Spurs and gooners coz our youth are not good enough.

the most important thing is also the issue of Gael, if that boy is not given enough playing time this season, he might feel frustrated seeing his age mate like chicharito and others makig waves in the first teams in the premiership. thanks and Chelsea till eternity

Posted by samai on 09/03/2010

I love the inclusion of young blood.but i will love to see kakuta in acton more then it does now.that guy is fire if he bleen well with the teem.

Posted by Idris on 09/03/2010

Chelsea are foolsssssssssssssss

Posted by Nsikan Johnny on 09/04/2010

Should Chelsea not start now to build the confidence in our youth team players?

What on eart is a player like kakuta doing on the bench every week?

Posted by mario on 09/04/2010

Chelsea are the best team in the league. No other team has a player like Essien, which is key to a championship. Yaya toure comes close but will need time to adjust. Chelsea having been together for so long will be strong for at least another 3 years with this squad, before we need to worry about blooding youth. They should give as many opportunities as possible when they are 3-0 up which looks like will happen alot if the first 3 games anything to go by. Chelsea for the title!!

Posted by redstormfan777 on 09/04/2010

Great post, mate. So many critics want instant gratification. Anyone who knows anything about football knows, as you say, that it takes time to build a team. We have a lot of talent coming through the system (i.e. Kakuta, Bruma, Van Aanholt, McEachren, Chalaboah), and I truly believe we will see them in the first team in the years to come.

Abramovich has given Arnesen a lot of money to develop a quality youth system, and I think we will reap the benefits sooner or later. As supporters, I think we need to have faith and enjoy the success the current first team has brought back to the Bridge.

Come On You Blues!!!!

Posted by Asondgreat on 09/04/2010

I thank you for your wonderful insight into our youth system. Please,we still want to urge Chelsea to give our youths chance to show-case their talents. I love chelsea fc. Long live chelsea fc ! Long live premiership !! Long live football !!!

Posted by Benjamin Anene on 09/05/2010

I am happy with the form of chelsea this season but also seek for inclution of youths, people like Kakuka, Va anholt, Borini and co..
Hope this matter will be well noted and treated.

Posted by Emma on 09/05/2010

I have not read a post as good and convincing as this, for a long time now. Regarding the perceived shortage in the team squad, i think we are on track. As per the young lads that already have a squad jersey number, i am convinced these guys are good enough for the premiership. However, like most supporters have mentioned, these guys need to be given every little opportunity that presents itself, and i must add here that they should also seize such to prove themselves. The Carlng Cup and even FA Cup is a good platform to try them out in more numbers and then slowly introduce, blend and integrate them with the harsher and more stringent qualities & demands of the premiership. i believe Ancelotti is the man, to have a few established players, and still have the balls to loan, sell and ofcourse place ones trust on other young home grown talents, i think he is the man. Obviously, we will see more action from these young talents this season. Wish us the best there is. UP CHELSEA!

Posted by femi on 09/06/2010

how on earth did chelsea sell miroslav stoch? would have wanted nemanja matic to get more playing time, but he is on loan. kakuta,sturidge and borini must absoultely get playing time this season cos they are the future and the future is now

Posted by Alex on 09/07/2010

I still think it was a massive mistake to let Joe Cole go though.

Posted by Jared Rioba on 09/07/2010

Chelsea have always shown agreat maturity,Kalou,Mikel,Lampard,Remires and among others joined chelsea at their mid age,team like arsenal which of course is agood team with many upcoming youth has never won any trophy since 2004,no need of blending aplayer then at his pick joins another club,its of no use.Kudos goes to Fergie,players like Giggs,Scholes,Vandersa,they are all great players thanks to their coach

Posted by fred daka kamwada on 09/07/2010

yes , chelsea needs to start playing ther young lads especially in the cupm games ( calring and FA cup).

it doesnt hurt anyone if you field four or even six of them. manciene is a wonderful player , he could ahev played in jose bosingwa's postion but i dont know why he has been leftout. remember he earned himself an elgnald call-up when he was on loan at wolves. it shows the class he can be,..

Posted by Bill Andrew on 09/08/2010

In this sport, it is about one question. What are you doing for me NOW????

I know the club must look for the future but with this past summer around the EPL, our team could have diffrent numbers on the pitch by December.

Posted by isaiah odiba on 09/08/2010

I dont think that bothers me like not having a reliable safe hands whenever mighty Cech is out,lets them do something cosd that goal bt Eto last season broke my heart ! Carlo to the rescue.....

Posted by benjamin quata on 09/09/2010

Chelsea as always been at their best since the arrival of Ambromovich , and has been a titled winning team since morinho arrived.Ever since morinho arrived he never believed in young players ,he never gave them their chances like he did at fc.Porto. with money he brought success to Stamford bridge. i think Hinndick gave little chance but anccelotti his releishing more on that, is good giving the likes of sturridge, bruma, and the rest of them chances to prove them selves, so as to limit our spending spree.

Posted by yaw essuman on 09/11/2010

too bad the transfer window is closed.

Posted by sai jesz on 10/25/2010

chelsea rules!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!there are young talents who will keep the blueflag high

Posted by yaw essuman on 10/30/2010

idris you do not support chelsea

Posted by Jeff on 12/01/2010

Chelsea's ma love. Live long Chelsea.

Posted by Udoh Akan on 12/07/2010

All i could say for now is that the chelsea squard is somehow old, i think chelsea need a new formdable and many young and experience players in its club if its must bounce back to face the challenge on the spot light. From lagos. Chelsea 4 life. I luv chelsea

Posted by layeliolbosot on 12/11/2010

this is very good for you, ybg :)

Posted by pharmacy tech on 10/06/2011

Great site. A lot of useful information here. I’m sending it to some friends!

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Phil Lythell Phil Lythell is a Chelsea season ticket holder and lifelong Blues supporter stretching back to the sepia-tinted days of Kerry Dixon and Pat Nevin. Author of Chelsea-centric blog, Phil has spent his entire life living within a 20 minute walk of Stamford Bridge which has cost him a fortune but has also kept him from those interminable queues outside Fulham Broadway Station giving him more time in the pub to discuss the latest glorious/calamitous/insipid match.

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