The recent postponement of this year’s Durban International U19 Tournament raised a few questions about the seriousness with which we take football development. Strangely, however, rather than thinking about development in South Africa I found myself taking a global outlook and asking questions that I could not answer. Here are my questions:
The constant criticism of Chelsea and it’s youth team is that they produce the best teams but not necessarily the best individual players. How do you find a balance between producing the best individual players and the best functional teams at youth level? Do you place more emphasis on one over the other? Is it possible to promote the individual characteristics of youngsters without making them think and look like they are better, while still maintaining harmony between the kids? Is it advisable to promote individualism?
The game moving to an era that favours one forward supported by other attackers who are expected to also be the first line of defence, is that an example of the game requiring youth teams to place more emphasis on team ethics? If yes, how does that help because at the end of the day it’s an individual player who will be promoted based on how good he/she is, not the whole team who function as a unit?