07 Feb 2018 01:51:41
The 1960s was a different footballing era - so comparisons are highly subjective - but our then manager, Harry Catterick, managed to build a very good team that was a mix of youth and experience - players who'd come through the ranks supplemented by key signings.
The 1968 FA Cup Final team - that bar one or two changes went on to win the 1970 League title - comprised home-grown Wright, Labone, Hurst, Harvey, Husband and Royle (and Kenyon as sub) plus quality signings West, Wilson, Kendall, Ball and Morrissey.
For a man not averse to spending the club's money, Catterick certainly gave young players the chance in the first-team and reaped the benefits. Perhaps the fact that we had relatively competitive reserve team football (the Central League) back then - often playing against hardened professionals unlike today's U23 matches - was an important learning-curve for those young home-grown players?
As for the current loan system, that's no good if loanees to lower-tier clubs don't get game-time, but are only there to make up squad numbers.
Until we can find a way in English football to properly give players a better way to progress and develop from youth (U18, U21, U23) football into Premier League players - which is clearly a massive step-up - then I fear very few will come through the ranks and the PL clubs will continuing recruiting "ready made" experienced players to fill their squads.
The question for me is: does this really matter as long as there are funds to spend on transfers and as long as managers are under pressure to (firstly) stay in the PL and (secondly) to satisfy the owners' and fans' expectations for "Hollywood" football and Champions League qualification and trophies?

{Ed001's Note - I think you are spot on about the reserve team situation, it does not work to develop players right now.}

1.) 07 Feb 2018
07 Feb 2018 08:14:21
Completely agree about reserve football but that then leads to the argument of following other countries and incorporating reserve team's in lower leagues.

2.) 07 Feb 2018
07 Feb 2018 14:01:09
Unfortunately Geoff if we did that then eventually we would have six teams in the top of the premier league, United, City. Chelsea and their reserve teams.

3.) 07 Feb 2018
07 Feb 2018 15:09:03
The “B” teams wouldn’t be allowed to get promoted above the 3rd tier (League 1) , but they could be relegated to the lower tiers. I’d also be in favour of the lower tiers being regionalised from League 1 downwards.
Also, the “B” teams wouldn’t be allowed in the FA Cup or League Cup, but they would be allowed in the Checkatrade Trophy.
It’s all academic anyway, as the lower-tier clubs won’t go for it - even if the “B” teams didn’t get any TV money or prize money and put all their gate money into a shared pool for the non-“B” teams. The PL clubs get enough TV money, etc., for their first teams.