The Football Association Commission lifted the lid on proposals to help the state of the national game, in particular, the development of home-grown players earlier this week. It's believed that there is a lack of young English talent coming through the ranks of the Premier League clubs, who sign foreign players instead.
The FA has identified "inadequate and insufficient playing opportunities for 18-20-year-old elite players at top clubs". In the Premier League, teams regularly compete on four different fronts, and are stretched by the fixture list and the expectations of the boardroom, yet fail to give young players too many chances.
Take Chelsea, for instance. The Blues are constantly fighting for silverware and the bar for success has never been higher. So why not turn to youth? Can young players not be trusted? Or are the owners looking for a quick fix?
The FA’s proposals will require an increase from 32% to 45% of English players in the Premier League by 2022 – this is an achievable target. The proposals also include the idea of a ‘League 3’ in 2016-17. The division would be made up of 10 Premier League B and 10 Championship B sides, with 20 out of the 25 man-squad qualifying for the home-grown rule. Teams would also need 19 players under the age of 21.
Playing time would increase confidence. Look at Spain. Barcelona have a B and a C team. Lionel Messi played for both sides. The Spanish national team? In the last six years, they have won the World Cup, then Confederations Cup and two European Championships. Xavi and Andres Iniesta have both spent time at B teams.
The ideas have been made public by the FA, but it remains to be seen whether they will be embraced by everyone involved in English football.