The kids are alright Steve, treat them well
One thing that I do know will become a lot clearer after the deadline closes tonight and we know what we have is Steve Cotterill will have to stop playing the 'hard done by' card, which he still does from time to time.
He will also have to utilise the squad fully.
By that I mean he WILL have to make sure that he names as many on the bench as he can, 'word on the street' is that a couple of the kids that 'should' have been on the bench were left out at the weekend, and they wanted to know why.
So, why were they left out?
Well playing that 'we can only name 3 or 4 subs' may be viewed as a 'sympathy vote' way of working, or a cynic might think he might want to use this as a card to cover himself? To be honest I cannot see much of this coming from within football and/or the football league giving us any leniency at all, so just play the hand you have been dealt Stevie and have a little more faith in these kids!
Yep, they are young.
Yep, they are raw.
Yep, they are inexperienced.
Yep, some need to grow physical
Yep, they 'probably' are not ready.
But best of all the majority of these youngsters are local.
You CANNOT underestimate what being local actually means to them and how much of a little something 'extra' that would give them when they pull on the blue shirt, which 'might' in theory give us that little extra too.
They would give everything, and that, for me would mean it gives something back to me too as I would be watching players from the stands that I know want to be with us and are giving everything - speaking for myself, having shelled out all the money that I do, I would rather see this, even if we lost, than lose and perform the way we have the past couple of weeks with 'senior' players...
'Producing our own' is something that is going to be important to us in the future so it is important that we go about this the right way.
The less we treat these kids with respect, and almost 'bully them' as a suggestion has been made with further 'word on the street', most definitely ignore them and prefer having an empty bench as opposed to naming players on it, the less likely it is these guys will gain anything from their time at the club and if anything they will be forced out. Trying to do this to enable us to bring in other, more experienced, players would be a crying shame.
If this happens, or continues to happen, WHY would others want to come to this club as youngsters if they knew that they would have little, or no chance, of getting a look-in! It would be like going back to the old days under a former manager who had no interest in using players we produced - surely we are at a stage where it is vital that we do this?
Journeymen, senior players that basically have no affinity with the club, and most likely never will, coming in and taking the place of a younger player, that does have this affinity, and arguably is only superior in terms of experience are no benefit to us, if anything they are detrimental to our future.
Beware Stevie, use these kids do not 'use' them and then completely discard them. Granted the immediate future is your priority but we have a chance to look at this club with a longer-term vision in mind too, and this was something I hoped that you would bring us, perhaps not...
PLAY UP POMPEY!