do players improve anymore or do they just work (in a system, or for a manager) or not

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youngfellas used start out raw and incomplete, both physically and experiencewise

they needed nurturing into a team, youd read about them in the club magazine or theyd be included in a cup squad and get a few minutes then over a few months theyd have a run at covering an injury or lack of form for some benson & hedges hack mullet who was en route to the knackers

theyd be too skinny for the jersey and the ball would be too heavy for them and youd fear for them the first few games that a mortally declining sounessian would make one last mark on the battlefield but at some stage hed start to fill out and shave and thered be a jawline there and a bit of sinew where once was only milkfat and you had a squad player who'd be a fixture with a chance at stardom

now its just one already-millionaire already-built already-finished article after another. if he's shit at 20 get him gone, there's ten years academy nutritional medical technical tactical resources gone into the cunt and he he cant cross the fuckin thing by now he's never going to make it

or so, right now, it seems to me.

is this a fair description of events? if so, is it a fair summation of the cause, or are there other reasons why a youngster is now a weighed-and-known quantity with no significant development due upon contact with the seniors these days?

loans idk seems like they should come into it but imo thats received wisdom, clubs dont loan players they think are destined for the top. nah i havent thought that through and won't be defending it itt, this thread is to discuss why its accepted that eg AWB cannot learn to cross a ball or w/e

Catherine, Boner of JP Sweeney & Co (darraghmac), Tuesday, 28 January 2020 00:31 (four years ago) link

think i noted before that once a lad gets his england cap forget imlroving him, there's exceptions but theyre rarer by far than those who look to genuinely benchmark against professional excellence after the exposure hits.

Catherine, Boner of JP Sweeney & Co (darraghmac), Tuesday, 28 January 2020 00:38 (four years ago) link

the other strand in the title is the second part to a player "just working" or not- a tweak in a tactic that enhances a strength or negates a weakness and all of a sudden kyle walker is worth 55m or an unpopular manager leaves and for a few games after youve a team of superstars.

am i imagining that a fella picked at right back used to try to do all of his right back job, and was rated generally thus accordingly.

now im watching serge aurier earn millions to ignore arguably the main thrust of his role, with a manager also earning millions to find a way to accommodate him in this, and again maybe ive got sepia vision but dont i recall a glorious time when a right back was just a right back and picking him there gave you a reasonable assurance that all aspects would be at least to some level delivered?

has that changed? is there now just players who do what they do and the coach who gets them to sing together as a unit gets all kudos and the poor sod they decided they were sick of is functionally deceased. is this the inevitable result of bosman or is it something else?

Catherine, Boner of JP Sweeney & Co (darraghmac), Tuesday, 28 January 2020 00:47 (four years ago) link

I can name at least two in our team that have developed in the time they've been with us.

GK Chessington's World of Adventure (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 28 January 2020 01:07 (four years ago) link

So my short initial one in the morning answer is it very much depends on the means and aspirations of the club and the coaching and development staff they employ. And it stands to reason that the less money you've got coming in the more incentive there is to make something of the lads you do get hold of, at the least until you can sell them on.

GK Chessington's World of Adventure (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 28 January 2020 01:11 (four years ago) link

have they improved nor are they just doing different things

if you see the nebulous difference

Catherine, Boner of JP Sweeney & Co (darraghmac), Tuesday, 28 January 2020 07:46 (four years ago) link

Traore is the most obvious I think. By the end of last season a lot of us thought he was never going to make the grade - physical attributes obviously awesome but couldn't cross, made the wrong decision more often than not, didn't contribute enough to the team. I don't think Nuno's adjusted the tactic to suit him, I think they've taught him to slow down, to get his head up and look before he crosses and passes, to know when to accelerate and when not. It's still entirely possible that this is as much improvement as he'll ever make but I think it's undeniable that he's a better player now than he was when he joined us.

GK Chessington's World of Adventure (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 28 January 2020 10:20 (four years ago) link

ok, clear and good example of tactical/experience improvement there

has he gotten and better at crossing, or is he just getting it drilled into him to do it more often?

when was the last time a player made epl level then improved something in this manner, as opposed to the tweaking of decisions/role instanced above

Catherine, Boner of JP Sweeney & Co (darraghmac), Tuesday, 28 January 2020 10:57 (four years ago) link

I think he's got a lot better with his technique as far as crossing's concerned. I accept he may be an exception that proves the rule - a very expensive punt for a newly promoted team with a small squad. The incentive was very strong that we needed to improve him. Coady has clearly improved under Nuno too but might be much more of a tactical thing on reflection.

Like I said last night, this feels a very Prem-centric thread idea tho.

GK Chessington's World of Adventure (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 28 January 2020 11:52 (four years ago) link

well i do you worse again, its rly based on fuckall more than the usual pondering on how fullbacks can be so bad at their jobs and how difficult it could be to even drill them into better habits

tinged with the oft-repeated criticism of AWB being limited in attack as if it were a stone fact unchangeable at 22 that he's stuck that way, when once pon a time at 22 it was taken for granted that you had lots to learn and the space and time to do it, maybe?

Catherine, Boner of JP Sweeney & Co (darraghmac), Tuesday, 28 January 2020 11:58 (four years ago) link

Jordan Ayew is the first player I thought of who appears to have radically improved in the last season under Woy but I haven't watched Palace closely enough to know if that's a system tweak or just better coaching or attitude. Or a combination of all three.

Matt DC, Tuesday, 28 January 2020 12:48 (four years ago) link

i think jordan henderson has improved since back when lfc were trying to offload him to fulham in exchange for clint dempsey. even under rodgers he became vital in the final suarez season.

post klopp he firstly improved by playing in a role where the p limited things he could do were fine for the way lfc played but latterly he definitely has expanded the number of things he can do, range of forward passing, reading of game, positional discipline, defensive angles, to name a few.( seen no evidence of this when playing for england however so not sure if that goes to supporting darragh's theory or not)

also thought alex ox-ch. made a significant jump towards the end of the 2018-19 season until his bad injury, not returned to that level as yet.

oscar bravo, Wednesday, 29 January 2020 15:00 (four years ago) link


i think we can accept a case for shall we call em mental/process learning and development

unless ob you are saying AOC improved technically as opposed to just his decisions, consistency, conditioning (all of which id agreed with btw) i still think that there's very little evidence of players improving in any of this aspects in games once they make their top level bow (bar nvs assertion that traore is now crossing better)

for instance, jhendo is on a soccer am skills segment from years back as a youth and he has all the silks, so while his game has developed in terms of using his arsenal of ability in-game, i dont think we can say he has worked on the technical aspects themselves in that same timeframe

(darraghpc) vs (darraghmac), Wednesday, 29 January 2020 17:56 (four years ago) link

ok well finishing is technical and raheem sterling has improved his finishing imo, okay he gets a lot of tap ins at city which is a function of playing in that team but he also scores chances that there was no possibility he'd even attempt when he was at lfc let alone execute.

the obvious one is ronaldo who famously worked on his technique relentlessly, or are you talking post-ronaldo era?

oscar bravo, Wednesday, 29 January 2020 20:01 (four years ago) link

ideally yeah post ronaldo

sterling is a good shout

(darraghpc) vs (darraghmac), Wednesday, 29 January 2020 20:25 (four years ago) link

I kinda think it's too restrictive to exclude any kind of learning/positioning from development, like you want to isolate psychomotor skills as a unique set?

GK Chessington's World of Adventure (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 29 January 2020 21:22 (four years ago) link

not exclude, yes differentiate

(darraghpc) vs (darraghmac), Wednesday, 29 January 2020 21:57 (four years ago) link

Nah I get it but tomatoes tomahtos, like you said this is mainly just Yr own cry into the void about a peculiarity of Spurs's recent history

GK Chessington's World of Adventure (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 29 January 2020 22:11 (four years ago) link

also a pondering of the freezing of these abilities in different circumstances maybe

(darraghpc) vs (darraghmac), Wednesday, 29 January 2020 22:14 (four years ago) link

Andy Robertson seems an obvious example - clearly the LFC stattos saw something in his form while he was being slowly relegated at Hull, but throughout his first season mostly playing back-up to Moreno, there was nothing to suggest he was capable of eg the cross to Salah vs Man City this season.

Stevie T, Wednesday, 29 January 2020 22:25 (four years ago) link

But living in Hull Robertson and Maguire were both recognised and adored at the time, hard to distinguish personal development from playing in a better team at a better standard

GK Chessington's World of Adventure (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 29 January 2020 22:32 (four years ago) link

hmm i think its not tho.

then ofc you have the phenomenon of the career clogger who pulls out a piece of world-class skill/delivery/striking once or twice in a career against spurs and is that a related thing

like, and im rambling now but are there, for instance, players at epl clubs who can genuinely not trap a ball or shoot straight under any circumstances but have physical, positional, game intelligence, whatever abilities that make up for that, or if the worst epl player on a technical basis was dropped into a five a side game would he have silks beyond what we could dream of etc etc

i think about the performance of technique in contact sports a lot btw

(darraghpc) vs (darraghmac), Wednesday, 29 January 2020 23:50 (four years ago) link

as a fantasy sports player robertson and maguire were more profitable at Hull ha

nxd, Thursday, 30 January 2020 11:14 (four years ago) link

Henderson is one of those players who has improved through hard work and focus but appears to have near boundless reserves of energy and the discipline and footballing intelligence to play pretty much any role he's asked to. Most players lack that last bit.

Milner is another in that vein but he never possessed the motor that Henderson has.

Matt DC, Thursday, 30 January 2020 12:37 (four years ago) link

Dembele was 24 or so before being recast as a central midfielder and improved in the role throughout his 20s. The entire system was built around his physical attributes though and Poch never managed to adequately replace him.

Recasting big, fast forwards as central midfielders appears to work pretty well in general, give or take the odd Alan Smith.

Matt DC, Thursday, 30 January 2020 12:41 (four years ago) link

aw poor alan smith, always felt he was undervalued in any of his many roles tbh

(darraghpc) vs (darraghmac), Thursday, 30 January 2020 12:43 (four years ago) link

It was a result of Fergie only managing to buy one competent central midfielder in the last decade of his tenure.

Matt DC, Thursday, 30 January 2020 12:47 (four years ago) link

rooney was a rb fyi

(darraghpc) vs (darraghmac), Thursday, 30 January 2020 12:51 (four years ago) link

tanganga was an epl level defender in any position at the moment of conception i dunno if this is relevant

BSC Joan Baez (darraghmac), Monday, 3 February 2020 17:21 (four years ago) link

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