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Michael Tucker

Billy Gilmour

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After watching Billy Gilmour play and impress in his 2 games so far, it was obvious that he deserved his own thread. Plenty going to be written about this talented lad. 

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paulw66   

What a talent. 

Weight of pass and choice of pass are just astonishing for someone of that age. 

The academy has turned out a handful of "proper" players this year.

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11 minutes ago, paulw66 said:

What a talent. 

Weight of pass and choice of pass are just astonishing for someone of that age. 

The academy has turned out a handful of "proper" players this year.

Quite.  Thoughts on why they failed to do it until very recently?

And is this a Chelsea thing, or a whole PL/English football thing?

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paulw66   
15 minutes ago, Droy was my hero said:

Quite.  Thoughts on why they failed to do it until very recently?

And is this a Chelsea thing, or a whole PL/English football thing?

The recent crop (Gilmour aside) were part of the incredible youth team of 2014-2016......Abraham, Mount, Tomori, James, CHO etc have now simply reached an age (and most have a lot of senior games under their belt on loan) where they are ready. 

The academy was set up in 2004 ish.......Mount joined not that long after, aged 8. I guess the current 15/16 year olds back then had missed out on those formative years of coaching. These things take a long time to yield fruit. If you look at La Maisa (Barca) academy, that was set up in the 70s, and didn't properly yield first team players until the 90s.

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32 minutes ago, Droy was my hero said:

Quite.  Thoughts on why they failed to do it until very recently?

And is this a Chelsea thing, or a whole PL/English football thing?

Just a time thing in my opinion. 

It's a shame Juni doesn't come on here any more, would love to hear his/her thoughts.

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17 minutes ago, paulw66 said:

The academy was set up in 2004 ish.......Mount joined not that long after, aged 8. I guess the current 15/16 year olds back then had missed out on those formative years of coaching. These things take a long time to yield fruit. If you look at La Maisa (Barca) academy, that was set up in the 70s, and didn't properly yield first team players until the 90s.

So the training as young as 8 makes the difference?

So what happens now that a lot of clubs do the same, and started only a couple of years afterwards?

And what about the (mostly) immigrant kids from S London driving the talent?

And did Chelsea just pinch the best kids from all over London and SE, because they offered training for even younger groups, or is there something sustainable that Chelsea have been doing and other clubs have not matched yet with their current 14 year olds?

4 minutes ago, Martin1905 said:

It's a shame Juni doesn't come on here any more, would love to hear his/her thoughts.

He is around - just doesn't post often.  I suspect his contributions to his TheChels blogs about the youth and loan players means he conserves his words on here.

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Jasonb   

I think Billy will keep playing until he has a bad game.

It will be interesting to see how Billy copes with teams like Burnley.

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paulw66   
16 minutes ago, Droy was my hero said:

So the training as young as 8 makes the difference?

So what happens now that a lot of clubs do the same, and started only a couple of years afterwards?

And what about the (mostly) immigrant kids from S London driving the talent?

And did Chelsea just pinch the best kids from all over London and SE, because they offered training for even younger groups, or is there something sustainable that Chelsea have been doing and other clubs have not matched yet with their current 14 year olds?

 

A lot of questions I can't possibly answer.

On the first one though, sure a 15 year old who has had proper coaching from aged 8 is going to be ahead of the 15 year old who hasn't (assuming natural ability on similar levels)

There was a definite shift in recrtuitment too. When RA first took over, we recruited a lot of foreign 16/17 year olds who did absolutely nothing. the youth teams were roughly 50% foreign and were average at best. The last 5-8 years, the youth team has been almost exclusively London kids. 

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34 minutes ago, paulw66 said:

On the first one though, sure a 15 year old who has had proper coaching from aged 8 is going to be ahead of the 15 year old who hasn't (assuming natural ability on similar levels)

Which begs the question - how much does proper coaching make a difference compared to even quite small differences in natural ability?
I recall a lot of players in the past who came through with no proper youth coaching.  Osgood, Hutchinson, Le Saux, Kenny Swain, Mickey Droy!!
I remember Graham Roberts playing for us, who was thought to be a right psycho, but he took all the penalties and most of the free kicks.  Basically because the other players couldn't do it so accurately.  Vinnie Jones was another like that.  Whereas Ron Harris who played at every youth level for England up to but not including full international, couldn't pass the ball more than 20 yards, even at 36.  

Or is it the psychology they teach?

50 minutes ago, paulw66 said:

There was a definite shift in recrtuitment too. When RA first took over, we recruited a lot of foreign 16/17 year olds who did absolutely nothing. the youth teams were roughly 50% foreign and were average at best. The last 5-8 years, the youth team has been almost exclusively London kids. 

And so have the stars of other clubs too.  Sterling, Sancho, Joe Gomez, and others.  There has long been a pattern of hungry working class kids making it in football, and a lot of the have been 2nd generation immigrants - that is not the couch potatoes.

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Absolute baller. He's different from any of the youngsters we've produced, who are all obviously very good, but this kid honestly just looks to have the potential to be a different level altogether. 

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