Portsmouth - The kids are alright Steve, treat them well
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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...


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  • The Journalist

    Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

    Date:Tuesday August 31 2010

    Time: 3:20PM

    Your Comments (oldest first)

    Change to most recent first
    Take your point, Axe wants out, as do Slaka and Nugent. None of the players seem to like Cot, I still think yet again perhaps the most important signing the club could make is an assistant manager.
    Report Abuse
    31/08/2010 15:35:00

    russellm you are dead right, make SC assistant manager!!! That way he won't turn into a squinny like Twitchy was. Squad to small, not enough quality, it's a long season, loads of injuries, blah, blah, blah............!
    Report Abuse
    31/08/2010 16:44:00

    Great piece, such a shame that the young players attributes are seemingly being disgarded, by a manager who gives off a breath of fresh air demeanour, yet in reality is beginning to smell a bit stale.
    Report Abuse
    31/08/2010 16:45:00

    Too late this article... Pack already gone, Wilson to be sold... to be honest it's a case of what kids - we got rid of the more experienced ones much much earlier on int he transfer window... unless you mean by kids the young blues
    Report Abuse
    31/08/2010 18:16:00

    Agree it's a shame Wilson has gone, but disagree to the rest. To stabilise and stay in the Championship we need players who are ready to play now, maybe some of our kids will come good in the future and some might even be able to do a job now, but from what i've seen so far this season (when they have been played) they dont have the consistency we need to turn it on every saturday in the 30+ games we need them. I think SC has given them all fair chance, what choice has he had afterall! I'm more worried that we've sold Tommy Smith and were even touting Nugent round. These are players we should be keeping hold of, but it seems we did need the cash from Smithy in the end? Whether they're local or not shouldnt make a difference, it's up to SC to get that extra bit out of them. Here's looking forward to the loan window...
    Report Abuse
    31/08/2010 19:29:00

    The trick is to blend these home grown youngsters with a few, wise old heads to guide them through sticky patches when things aren't going well. Also there's no doubt that to survive and emerge from this League there is always a need for a Robbie Savage type of player to try and get a grip of midfield and deny the opposition time and space. O.K. I accept he is a no-frills type of player, but necessary all the same. It's not rocket science. Mark Wislon will become a very good player one day, but not at this club at this time. It's all too frenetic and does not suit this cultured player. We need to scrap to earn the right to play our way out of this division!
    Report Abuse
    31/08/2010 19:36:00

    I guess that we have to trust SC's judgement. Whatever his decision, I hope that he does treat them with respect and doesn't do anything to alienate future youth players. They are the future.
    Report Abuse
    31/08/2010 19:45:00

    Given our predicament, its so desperately important that the players we do have are prepared to play for the shirt and scrap for every ball because they are proud to play for Pompey. I don't know whether Kitson and Lawrence will do this, but local youngsters certainly will. I don't think they should play 90 minutes week in week out, not if their not ready, but if we can't fill the bench, then why not put them on it? At least they get to experience being in the first team squad. And if they get 5 or 10 minutes here or there, it can only help them. A Pompey crowd won't get on the case of a local youngster who is playing his heart out, whatever mistakes he makes.
    Report Abuse
    31/08/2010 19:49:00

    Mike1954 there is one big difference between Twitchy and SC. Twitchy's bare bones was twice as many players as we have now. For years I've wanted to see Pompey bring some young players through and hopefully if used correctly the current crop will become better for the experience but over use them, put too much pressure on them and we may well ruin their careers rather than enhance them. Throwing people in the deep end to see if they learn to swim is all well and good but a lot will drown.
    Steve C
    Report Abuse
    01/09/2010 05:13:00


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