Should Liverpool and Manchester United reserves play in lower leagues?

Wembley England

A piece from the BBC offered an insight and a few ideas into youth development at a football club.

Ongoing developments at Liverpool’s academy are causing national interest in the media as the club try and invest time and resources into developing the future of the club, as per a piece from the BBC this morning. 

The shrewd move of bringing Rob Jones, Steve McManaman and Robbie Fowler back to the club to act as coaches for their younger players is one that could reap rewards. To have mentors who, themselves, have come through the system at Liverpool, could provide younger players with the belief that they can make it at Anfield.

Robbie Fowler described the game now as a ‘money orientated business’ when referring to the demands for success in the game, and when they want it. Steven Gerrard added to that point saying that managers are only ever eight to ten games away from the sack, meaning that the chances for some young players could be few and far between.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers had this to say: 'You might have a player who is too strong for your youth team and your reserves, is not quite at the level to play in the first team. Ideally we would have a B team that plays in League Two or League One that could serve us that.'

Similar practices go on in Spain and Germany, who have produced the most exciting teams and players in Europe of late, so to not take their practices seriously would be foolish.

The solution at the moment for players in the situation that Rodgers outlined is to send them out on loan – meaning that some players are uprooted from familiar surroundings to go and play their football elsewhere, and could possibly end up at different clubs every year.

Greg Dyke has had his say, as have plenty of others into looking to improve the future of English football. Coaching is high on the agenda, yet nothing as radical as what the Liverpool manager hinted at.

It would be a brave step for the FA to take if they were to follow through the plan operated in Spain and Germany given the inevitable confusion it would cause amongst some in footballing circles. 

Rodgers, incidentally hasn’t been alone in talking about Premier League reserve teams operating in the football league. Uwe Rosler suggests that the young players will taste ‘real competition’ if Premier League teams had their reserve team operating in the third tier of English football.

The incentive for some clubs in Leagues One and Two to play against sides representing the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool, and claiming big scalps would definitely assure the younger players they wouldn’t be taking part in any easy games.

Maybe it is something to ponder?

You can watch the BBC piece by clicking this link

Would reserve teams of the big sides from the Premier League provide ample competition in the lower leagues while affording their younger players with the necessary experience of top competition? Or is it unfair to the clubs who would effectively lose out on a vital league position? Should Premier League reserve sides start from the bottom of the league pyramid to work their way up? Let us know in the comment section below…

image: © geetarchurchy

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