CFCnet Main Site

Following Chelsea's Loans

Recommended Posts

14 minutes ago, SabCFC said:

With all due respect to this clearly effort piece, I don't really get his point. It seems to be all: board is bad, success is unsustainable.

I put all the  Juni/chelseayouth pieces I find up on here and he sometimes drops in here.
This wasn't my favourite piece.  Some are very informing - he really keeps a close eye on the Academy.  And his reviews of each team seasons and players and preview of each team's new players is always very insightful.
 

9 minutes ago, SabCFC said:

I think the sustainability at Chelsea is clear: the top management knows what this game is about, it's about winning when you can, never delaying success because this sport is very much about cycles similar to "winning windows" in the NBA or the NFL. When you're ready to win, you go and win. 

I call it being a yoyo club.  Periods of heavy investment to make the most of the upswings, and rebuilding in between.  Chelsea and Liverpool do it well.  Man U and Man City with bigger profits / bigger dodgy income go for being a top club every year.  Nowadays one fails one succeeds.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, SabCFC said:

Tuchel played a 17 years old Kouassi at PSG against Dortmund in the Champions League round of 16, a crucial game too. And he had all of Thiago Silva, Kimpembe and Marquinhos that season. I think if there's an incredible talent currently at Cobham, he will spot him.

I agree with most of your post.
The claim that XX will never play kids story is often misleading.  It usually just meant they were concentrating on winning stuff.  The guy that would never play kids at Chelsea had played a 19 yo as CF in his previous game (a CL final).  And stuck Robben and Mikel in the team at very early ages.
And I especially agree that the guys out on loan are the favoured ones, like Gallagher even though he has never had a minute with the first team.  Nowadays the ones kept behind are one of:  uninteresting enough to be held back as say GK3 or CB6; have refused contracts and are in their last year; have personal issues that make a distant loan problematic; injured when the window closed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ham   
6 hours ago, SabCFC said:

With all due respect to this clearly effort piece, I don't really get his point. It seems to be all: board is bad, success is unsustainable.

I don't understand how Chelsea's model is supposedly unsustainable. Sustainability in football seems awfully misunderstood - stability of coaching doesn't really guarantee much. If anything, the state that both Ferguson and Wenger left their clubs in, doesn't inspire me to trust that kind of stability that is simply one-man or one-idea over-reliance. 

I feel like the stability at Chelsea is pretty clear: a really strong stable top management structure that's been here for so long it has outlasted any other structure at the superclubs in Europe. Barça changes presidents and boards every few years and they're either at the top of Europe or in complete turmoil, lots of clubs changed ownerships, Utd has changed Glazer's lackey men over the years, Arsenal changed CEOs more than I can keep up with, even Bayern has had some turbulent changes at the top. These are clubs with "identities" and traditions and style and DNA and whatever marketing terms they like to use for their brands.

I think the sustainability at Chelsea is clear: the top management knows what this game is about, it's about winning when you can, never delaying success because this sport is very much about cycles similar to "winning windows" in the NBA or the NFL. When you're ready to win, you go and win. 

I don't understand what he wants in regards to academy products. Does the club need a defined identity for the academy? I doubt it. Why limit youth players to one style of football? To be a top footballer, you need to be extremely well rounded, that's what it takes to be at a top club. Foden was always amazing on the ball at City, he only started playing when he developed physically. That should be and was the lesson of the McEachran days - good players on the ball because of trying to be La Masia II simply doesn't cut it, physicality, workrate, tactical understanding of the game and even pro football minutes are needed to play for a top PL side. The most exciting thing about the recent academy graduates in our current squad is how well rounded they are. They can play for any manager we bring in.

Did he just praise Lampard for playing players who were obviously not good enough? Yeah, James is better than keeping Zappacosta, think we all knew that in the summer of 2019. The only player good enough on that list was David Luiz. But we went on to concede 54 goals in the league that season so hard to say that was particularly a good decision when articles were pouring that season about how we lacked leadership and experience at the back.

Is buying top talent from the market more unsustainable than academy youth players? I find that hard to believe. A club like Dortmund doesn't rely on its own academy products, they go and buy the best young talents around Europe because their academy can't produce top talent constantly. Heck, Ajax doest that as well.

Barcelona was saved from the early 00s crisis by a once-in-a-lifetime generation of Xavi, Iniesta, Messi, Busquets - they hit the lottery cause otherwise they could have been in trouble. And guess what? They are trying to rely on La Masia to save them again, and they do have good players but they're nowhere near that category of talent. It just doesn't happen that often. In the same way, as good as Livramento is right now, or Harvey Vale or Soonsup-Bell, the reality is that, the odds that they're as good as Reece James and Mason Mount - as in, CL winning quality - are slim. Top talent is rare. Top talent from your academy is extremely rare. It's not sustainable to just say, hey we're going to build the squad around the 2020 PL 2 winning squad. When they're very good, it's a welcome bonus - but you can't just bet on that if you're a serious ambitious team. 

To fight for trophies, especially in a league as competitive as the PL, you build around top talent, more likely than not, that's from the outside. It's just a game of probability.

And Barcelona's fall isn't because they stopped trusting La Masia, that's the political easy answer to why they've been completely mismanaged. Their wage bill exploded when their homegrown players became superstars and used their power to ask for outrageous wages which they've accepted. Busquets, Pique, Sergio Roberto, Jordi Alba were all on +250k per week wages, with Messi of course. So it's not really just going after Griezmann or Dembele - their La Masia core was just as expensive.

And his quip about Sarr or Barkley is unnecessary. Sarr started 3 games, 2 were meaningless. Barkley started 1 game. If they weren't proven players with many seasons at top flight divisions, Tuchel wouldn't have picked youth players. He'd have played RLC v Burnley, and would have played Chalobah/AC/Azpilicueta at Brentford. I don't understand his point. Vale is doing well with the Dev Squad, but he's not utterly dominating either. Certainly there's no capable CB in the Dev Squad at the moment, including the young guy from Barcelona they got. The good players are all on loan and that's how it should be. If they're so good, they're already playing pro minutes on loan on a fast track to the first team. Levi Colwill on loan in the Championship at 18 shows how much he's rated. That's how it should be in my opinion. 

It's funny he quotes United's youth record. Greenwood is clearly a top, top talent - but he's a striker playing at winger because he doesn't know yet how to play striker. Rashford was brought on by Van Gaal when United were hit by an injury crisis, McTominay was the same under Mourinho - and effectively under OGS, only Greenwood (who would have made it pretty much at any club with his above average finishing quality) is a full contributor to the Utd team in the last few years. That's the guy claiming "Youth, courage, success" as his mantra.

 

Tuchel played a 17 years old Kouassi at PSG against Dortmund in the Champions League round of 16, a crucial game too. And he had all of Thiago Silva, Kimpembe and Marquinhos that season. I think if there's an incredible talent currently at Cobham, he will spot him.

Brilliant post 👏👏👏

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
paulw66   
22 hours ago, SabCFC said:

With all due respect to this clearly effort piece, I don't really get his point. It seems to be all: board is bad, success is unsustainable.

I don't understand how Chelsea's model is supposedly unsustainable. Sustainability in football seems awfully misunderstood - stability of coaching doesn't really guarantee much. If anything, the state that both Ferguson and Wenger left their clubs in, doesn't inspire me to trust that kind of stability that is simply one-man or one-idea over-reliance. 

I feel like the stability at Chelsea is pretty clear: a really strong stable top management structure that's been here for so long it has outlasted any other structure at the superclubs in Europe. Barça changes presidents and boards every few years and they're either at the top of Europe or in complete turmoil, lots of clubs changed ownerships, Utd has changed Glazer's lackey men over the years, Arsenal changed CEOs more than I can keep up with, even Bayern has had some turbulent changes at the top. These are clubs with "identities" and traditions and style and DNA and whatever marketing terms they like to use for their brands.

I think the sustainability at Chelsea is clear: the top management knows what this game is about, it's about winning when you can, never delaying success because this sport is very much about cycles similar to "winning windows" in the NBA or the NFL. When you're ready to win, you go and win. 

I don't understand what he wants in regards to academy products. Does the club need a defined identity for the academy? I doubt it. Why limit youth players to one style of football? To be a top footballer, you need to be extremely well rounded, that's what it takes to be at a top club. Foden was always amazing on the ball at City, he only started playing when he developed physically. That should be and was the lesson of the McEachran days - good players on the ball because of trying to be La Masia II simply doesn't cut it, physicality, workrate, tactical understanding of the game and even pro football minutes are needed to play for a top PL side. The most exciting thing about the recent academy graduates in our current squad is how well rounded they are. They can play for any manager we bring in.

Did he just praise Lampard for playing players who were obviously not good enough? Yeah, James is better than keeping Zappacosta, think we all knew that in the summer of 2019. The only player good enough on that list was David Luiz. But we went on to concede 54 goals in the league that season so hard to say that was particularly a good decision when articles were pouring that season about how we lacked leadership and experience at the back.

Is buying top talent from the market more unsustainable than academy youth players? I find that hard to believe. A club like Dortmund doesn't rely on its own academy products, they go and buy the best young talents around Europe because their academy can't produce top talent constantly. Heck, Ajax doest that as well.

Barcelona was saved from the early 00s crisis by a once-in-a-lifetime generation of Xavi, Iniesta, Messi, Busquets - they hit the lottery cause otherwise they could have been in trouble. And guess what? They are trying to rely on La Masia to save them again, and they do have good players but they're nowhere near that category of talent. It just doesn't happen that often. In the same way, as good as Livramento is right now, or Harvey Vale or Soonsup-Bell, the reality is that, the odds that they're as good as Reece James and Mason Mount - as in, CL winning quality - are slim. Top talent is rare. Top talent from your academy is extremely rare. It's not sustainable to just say, hey we're going to build the squad around the 2020 PL 2 winning squad. When they're very good, it's a welcome bonus - but you can't just bet on that if you're a serious ambitious team. 

To fight for trophies, especially in a league as competitive as the PL, you build around top talent, more likely than not, that's from the outside. It's just a game of probability.

And Barcelona's fall isn't because they stopped trusting La Masia, that's the political easy answer to why they've been completely mismanaged. Their wage bill exploded when their homegrown players became superstars and used their power to ask for outrageous wages which they've accepted. Busquets, Pique, Sergio Roberto, Jordi Alba were all on +250k per week wages, with Messi of course. So it's not really just going after Griezmann or Dembele - their La Masia core was just as expensive.

And his quip about Sarr or Barkley is unnecessary. Sarr started 3 games, 2 were meaningless. Barkley started 1 game. If they weren't proven players with many seasons at top flight divisions, Tuchel wouldn't have picked youth players. He'd have played RLC v Burnley, and would have played Chalobah/AC/Azpilicueta at Brentford. I don't understand his point. Vale is doing well with the Dev Squad, but he's not utterly dominating either. Certainly there's no capable CB in the Dev Squad at the moment, including the young guy from Barcelona they got. The good players are all on loan and that's how it should be. If they're so good, they're already playing pro minutes on loan on a fast track to the first team. Levi Colwill on loan in the Championship at 18 shows how much he's rated. That's how it should be in my opinion. 

It's funny he quotes United's youth record. Greenwood is clearly a top, top talent - but he's a striker playing at winger because he doesn't know yet how to play striker. Rashford was brought on by Van Gaal when United were hit by an injury crisis, McTominay was the same under Mourinho - and effectively under OGS, only Greenwood (who would have made it pretty much at any club with his above average finishing quality) is a full contributor to the Utd team in the last few years. That's the guy claiming "Youth, courage, success" as his mantra.

 

Tuchel played a 17 years old Kouassi at PSG against Dortmund in the Champions League round of 16, a crucial game too. And he had all of Thiago Silva, Kimpembe and Marquinhos that season. I think if there's an incredible talent currently at Cobham, he will spot him.

This.

Great read.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/11/2021 at 11:37 AM, SabCFC said:

With all due respect to this clearly effort piece, I don't really get his point. It seems to be all: board is bad, success is unsustainable.

I don't understand how Chelsea's model is supposedly unsustainable. Sustainability in football seems awfully misunderstood - stability of coaching doesn't really guarantee much. If anything, the state that both Ferguson and Wenger left their clubs in, doesn't inspire me to trust that kind of stability that is simply one-man or one-idea over-reliance. 

I feel like the stability at Chelsea is pretty clear: a really strong stable top management structure that's been here for so long it has outlasted any other structure at the superclubs in Europe. Barça changes presidents and boards every few years and they're either at the top of Europe or in complete turmoil, lots of clubs changed ownerships, Utd has changed Glazer's lackey men over the years, Arsenal changed CEOs more than I can keep up with, even Bayern has had some turbulent changes at the top. These are clubs with "identities" and traditions and style and DNA and whatever marketing terms they like to use for their brands.

I think the sustainability at Chelsea is clear: the top management knows what this game is about, it's about winning when you can, never delaying success because this sport is very much about cycles similar to "winning windows" in the NBA or the NFL. When you're ready to win, you go and win. 

I don't understand what he wants in regards to academy products. Does the club need a defined identity for the academy? I doubt it. Why limit youth players to one style of football? To be a top footballer, you need to be extremely well rounded, that's what it takes to be at a top club. Foden was always amazing on the ball at City, he only started playing when he developed physically. That should be and was the lesson of the McEachran days - good players on the ball because of trying to be La Masia II simply doesn't cut it, physicality, workrate, tactical understanding of the game and even pro football minutes are needed to play for a top PL side. The most exciting thing about the recent academy graduates in our current squad is how well rounded they are. They can play for any manager we bring in.

Did he just praise Lampard for playing players who were obviously not good enough? Yeah, James is better than keeping Zappacosta, think we all knew that in the summer of 2019. The only player good enough on that list was David Luiz. But we went on to concede 54 goals in the league that season so hard to say that was particularly a good decision when articles were pouring that season about how we lacked leadership and experience at the back.

Is buying top talent from the market more unsustainable than academy youth players? I find that hard to believe. A club like Dortmund doesn't rely on its own academy products, they go and buy the best young talents around Europe because their academy can't produce top talent constantly. Heck, Ajax doest that as well.

Barcelona was saved from the early 00s crisis by a once-in-a-lifetime generation of Xavi, Iniesta, Messi, Busquets - they hit the lottery cause otherwise they could have been in trouble. And guess what? They are trying to rely on La Masia to save them again, and they do have good players but they're nowhere near that category of talent. It just doesn't happen that often. In the same way, as good as Livramento is right now, or Harvey Vale or Soonsup-Bell, the reality is that, the odds that they're as good as Reece James and Mason Mount - as in, CL winning quality - are slim. Top talent is rare. Top talent from your academy is extremely rare. It's not sustainable to just say, hey we're going to build the squad around the 2020 PL 2 winning squad. When they're very good, it's a welcome bonus - but you can't just bet on that if you're a serious ambitious team. 

To fight for trophies, especially in a league as competitive as the PL, you build around top talent, more likely than not, that's from the outside. It's just a game of probability.

And Barcelona's fall isn't because they stopped trusting La Masia, that's the political easy answer to why they've been completely mismanaged. Their wage bill exploded when their homegrown players became superstars and used their power to ask for outrageous wages which they've accepted. Busquets, Pique, Sergio Roberto, Jordi Alba were all on +250k per week wages, with Messi of course. So it's not really just going after Griezmann or Dembele - their La Masia core was just as expensive.

And his quip about Sarr or Barkley is unnecessary. Sarr started 3 games, 2 were meaningless. Barkley started 1 game. If they weren't proven players with many seasons at top flight divisions, Tuchel wouldn't have picked youth players. He'd have played RLC v Burnley, and would have played Chalobah/AC/Azpilicueta at Brentford. I don't understand his point. Vale is doing well with the Dev Squad, but he's not utterly dominating either. Certainly there's no capable CB in the Dev Squad at the moment, including the young guy from Barcelona they got. The good players are all on loan and that's how it should be. If they're so good, they're already playing pro minutes on loan on a fast track to the first team. Levi Colwill on loan in the Championship at 18 shows how much he's rated. That's how it should be in my opinion. 

It's funny he quotes United's youth record. Greenwood is clearly a top, top talent - but he's a striker playing at winger because he doesn't know yet how to play striker. Rashford was brought on by Van Gaal when United were hit by an injury crisis, McTominay was the same under Mourinho - and effectively under OGS, only Greenwood (who would have made it pretty much at any club with his above average finishing quality) is a full contributor to the Utd team in the last few years. That's the guy claiming "Youth, courage, success" as his mantra.

 

Tuchel played a 17 years old Kouassi at PSG against Dortmund in the Champions League round of 16, a crucial game too. And he had all of Thiago Silva, Kimpembe and Marquinhos that season. I think if there's an incredible talent currently at Cobham, he will spot him.

You make loads of great points I totally agree with. But to answer your opening point wondering what the point of the original article was: he noted how successful the academy has been at both bringing through a group of high quality players for the first team squad, and at developing talent that has been sold to fund the recruitment of expensive players deemed necessary for continued success, at a time when (like all clubs) our income streams have been clobbered by Covid. He also notes how this summer has seen the exodus of several young players we were keen to hold onto, for a fraction of the money we got for selling Tammy, Guehi, Tomori and others. His point is that, if that trend continues, we will lose the vital source of income that has allowed us to bring on £100 million players.

That is why he is concerned about sustainability. 

We've been brilliant at identifying top talent from a young age, but as other clubs start to do the same that will get harder. Young players and parents may see the pathway to a first team place is not so blocked by brilliant players as at Chelsea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SabCFC   

But you simply cannot predict how many talented youth team players will make it at the top. They are kids, with different levels of motivation, ambition, skill and entourage. We had the best coaches and the best infrastructure in England in 2009, 2010, 2011 - and the youth teams were already winning, yet very few players of the era went on to have careers at a top level. 

So I'd reckon betting everything on the academy producing year after year is what's unsustainable. The academy has produced 3 or 4 RBs recently, but the academy might produce players at positions that are locked, or not produce in positions where we're in need. It's anyone's guess. Youth systems are by definition unsustainable in their ability to produce players with the right timing. La Masia is the perfect example, for a few years it produced world cup and Ballon d'Or winners, then it produced the likes of Munir, Bojan & so on for many years, these guys were killing it at U18, Barca B level, yet failed to make the step up.

Remember that's what Arsenal did around the early 2010s under Wenger. They made the academy the core project of the football club, literally counting on it to continue to produce the players it provided a few years earlier (of course, that was only successful because they still had great players in the team, Cesc burst out into the scene with Vieira besides him ... the latter young guys had Coquelin). The result is that Arsenal passed on the opportunity to win a few more trophies right before City became what it is today. This is what I mean when I say the priority is winning when you can. The window can be even smaller than you thought.

In 3 or 4 years Newcastle might become City II and we'll kick ourselves for not taking advantage of that small window of having a good enough team that can win the CL and take it to the level to win a few more major trophies. A youth project when your expectations are lower works*, but context is important. If you can win now, you go and try and win. IMO it's arrogant to think that success will come no matter what/when. This league is the NBA of football, you build your ready-to-win superteams once you have the 2-3 star players, with veterans to play role players and one or two rookies will get game time during garbage time - meanwhile if you get high draft picks, you know you're going to suck for a few years to develop the young players.

What I think Chelsea do better than most is the loan system that allows the players to develop either to integrate back into the team or sell them at a premium before even making an appearance into the team. That's a sustainable model because 1) the brand of the academy itself will make it easy to sell both good and average prospects for above market value 2) kids will flock to the academy knowing that having Chelsea on their CV means a fast track to the PL. Being a Chelsea Academy Player of the Year is a guarantee of getting a big move at this point - similar to how managers know having Chelsea on their CV is a guarantee of a future good job - whether they fail or get sacked.

The latest development of including buy-back options (by leveraging the interest of multiple clubs in a player with a year left on their contract like for Livramento) shows precisely that the board know what they're doing.

A good academy will always get poached. You look at La Liga and there are dozens and dozens of players who came through La Masia. In fact, Barcelona got poached by Arsenal a few times and they got Cesc Fabregas at 16. It's inevitable, PSG lost out on Coman, Kouassi, Barcelona lost out on Dani Olmo. It's a wild game where agents and families hold all the cards, the clubs are handicapped by the short contracts (in France, PSG is lobbying to get the first pro contract length upped from 3 to 5 years). I imagine CHO's agents enjoyed that season he was out of contract. It is what it is. We've used to our advantage and we've been victims of it.

The loan system and buy-back options are the best way to make the most of the situation - it's clear the club is very aware of both the reality of the title winning window and the make-the-best out of the academy system.

(*it's no surprise Mount, James emerged right in the rebuild years of the post-Mourinho/Conte core squad, and United had a few more talents emerge during post SAF crisis years under LVG and Mourinho - less so under the stable Top 4 years of OGS, or that Arsenal have finally a new crop of youth team players like Saka & Smith-Rowe with an 8th place team).

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have been ruthless in raiding other clubs' academies over the past 20 years, so we shouldn't be shocked when other teams do it to us. 

Off the top of my head:

Forssell 

Woods

Mikel 

Bruma 

Di Santo

Ake 

Sinclair

Kakuta 

Bertrand 

Christensen 

Gilmour 

Ampadu 

Musonda

Clubs owe it to their supporters to assemble all the talent they can, to be able to compete for the biggest prizes. You can never rely on your own youth system to be a constant conveyor belt to keep the first team truly competitive ( as Arsenal and Barca have found). 

Likewise, you cannot assume that the academy will always be the amazing source of income it's been for us in recent years.

I'm confident that the people running Chelsea fully understand this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Backbiter said:

We have been ruthless in raiding other clubs' academies over the past 20 years, so we shouldn't be shocked when other teams do it to us. 

 

Off the top of your head that is a great list.. And yet I'm certain there is even more, probably a lot more.  Kalas and Huth for example.

It highlights the problems and real costs of Academies
1.  Setting the level for the first professional contracts - not too high because most of them will play for the first team, not too low to be sure to keep most that we really want.
2.  Setting the level for the next contract when they are perhaps 19/20.  These players may still be not contributing to the first team yet but may be expecting wages of £10k-25k for 4 years.
That is a big investment in one player, never mind 4 or 5 a year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, SabCFC said:

But you simply cannot predict how many talented youth team players will make it at the top. They are kids, with different levels of motivation, ambition, skill and entourage. We had the best coaches and the best infrastructure in England in 2009, 2010, 2011 - and the youth teams were already winning, yet very few players of the era went on to have careers at a top level. 

Quite.  I recall the 70s and 80s when Chelsea used to have many England age group players but never any England players (Wilkins aside and he was sold early).

Something does seem to have happened with the Chelsea age groups born 1998-2002 though.
And indeed something seems to have happened with coaching/development in England across the country.  
Chelsea is not the only club currently bringing through higher numbers of PL ability players (and I don't think the standard of the PL has gone down, or other leagues are keeping talent from it).

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like Gallagher is getting a call up to the full squad.

Which is the better game for him to play?  Georgia U21s   (pop 3.7m)
                                                                          Or San Marino   (pop 34,000)

Stay with the U21s if you can, Connor.  Better still stay at home with Palace.

 

Imagine, San Marino's finest turn up to the Bridge with a full crowd and the tannoy announces - sorry our team haven't turned up.  Can we have some volunteers from the crowd to take them on please.  Who'd win?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now