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Why Fergie And Hodgson Should Know Better
Footytubeblog (Blog) 4 years ago
Replacing Paul Scholes at Manchester United, has to be one of, if not the most unenviable task in football. Besides being Phil Brown’s assistant, there is not a job out there in the game that could prove more difficult, challenging, and most likely doomed for failure.

After Scholes got the ball rolling with the opener on Saturday, United’s 4-0 rout of Wigan was completed by 18-year-old forward Nick Powell, signed from Crewe in the summer and making his Manchester United debut.
As good as the finish may have been, it prompted Sir Alex Ferguson to make these comments after the game:
“Powell is going to be a really good player who, we hope, will fill Paul Scholes’s boots in terms of he’s got terrific vision, good temperament, two great feet, is quick and is a great striker of the ball.”
No pressure then.

I am not one to question Ferguson’s man management, but his comments were surprising. For an 18-year-old to come on and score on his debut must of been such an incredible high moment, to then have your manager come out and say he is hoping you will be the long term replacement for a club icon and legend, must of taken something of an edge off Powell’s celebrations, which were immediately replaced with a heavy weight upon his young shoulders.

Imagine you are celebrating your wedding, having a wonderful time at the after party and just simply enjoying the moment. Then your new life partner comes over and gives you a detailed plan of your future, and tells of how they expect three children, a large house, and a hefty salary. The pressure of such comments would certainly dampen the celebratory mood.

Raheem Sterling at Liverpool is another young player already having to learn to deal with fans and managers expectations. At just 17 years of age, the winger has appeared from nowhere to start three of Liverpool’s four league games this season, and was even called into Roy Hodgson’s senior England squad for the game against Ukraine.

With Liverpool’s stuttering start to the season, many fans have declared Sterling the clubs pacy teenage saviour, having been one of the few bright sparks for Brendan Rodgers side.

There is no doubting the boy’s talent, but Roy Hodgson’s decision to call him into the England squad in my opinion placed unnecessary pressure on Sterling’s shoulders.

It was a decision that brought him further into the public eye, and has got rival teams, fans, and pundits eager to see what all the fuss is about.

Whereas before an unknown quantity, Sterling is now a marked man as news of his talent continues to leak.
Brendan Rodgers has been keen to let everyone know what a ‘level-headed young man’ Sterling is, but even so he will undoubtedly be feeling the pressure of performing week in week out for one of the country’s biggest clubs at just 17 years of age, particularly with the current problems Liverpool are suffering on the pitch, and the media interest that comes with that.

Whilst Powell and Sterling are both undoubtedly big talents, I believe they could both do without Sir Alex Ferguson and Roy Hodgson piling the pressure on their young shoulders at this stage in their careers.

The benefit of playing young players if often the ‘fearlessness’ they bring to the game. You can now imagine Nick Powell being too nervous to ping a 30-yard diagonal pass for fear of it being misplaced and then hearing fans sarcastically asking one another ‘isn’t he supposed to be the new Paul Scholes?’

Or Raheem Sterling too fearful to take on the opposition full back for fear of being dispossessed and looking across to see fans quizzically ask one another ‘how did he make the England squad?’

Theo Walcott is an example of a young player tainted by the pressure put on him at a young age, following Sven Goran-Erikkson’s farcical decision to select him for the 2006 World Cup squad at 17-years-old.
The pressure and media interest that followed Walcott’s every move, and his subsequent interest from fans in his following seasons has in my opinion at times hampered Walcott’s progress.

He seems to be something of a confidence player, and he may well have struggled to deal with the interest and flurry of people saying he should never have been selected for his country. Others would do well to learn from this example.

I am of the opinion that if you are good enough, you are old enough. It is exciting to see the likes of Powell and Sterling making an impact for top Premier League clubs and long may it continue.

Let us just not expect as much from them as Mr Ferguson and Mr Hodgson at this stage.

Written By Luke Greenwood

This blog does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of footytube or its partners.
Prophet88 (Manchester United) 4 years ago
People say that Fergie shouldn't had compared Powell to Scholes and put pressure on him but Fergie is veteran of man-management, no one even comes close to him in that regard. In the same interview where he praised Powell, he didn't had the same level of kind words for Buttner who in many aspect was the motm with a goal and a assist in his debut as a LB and didn't concede any either.

So Fergie knows what he is talking about. He plays his cards when he thinks its a neccessity not just out of the blue. Every player has different mental strengths and Fergie more than often judges it right in building up a player's game through different means. If he thinks he could use a lil boost to up his game he's gonna' get it even if undeservedly so and if he thinks praising a player would have a negative impact on his game he would keep him grounded. Different philosophies are applied on different players keeping in mind the final output.

I have followed Fergie for most part of my following United and nobody would dare argue that there has been a better man-manager in earthing and developing young talent than him.

Oh and about Hodgson I can't vouch for him being a good man-manager or what not but I would add that the reason Sterling was called on England and included in the squad was because Hodgson wanted him to join England as his National team and not Jamaica. This came after when the Jamaican coach mentioned in an interview that they are trying to contact sterling and persuade him to join the Jamaican national team rather than England. So I think Hodgson's hand was forced into this as he didn't wanted a fine young talent to play for some other team
AnthonysOpinion (Atlético Madrid) 4 years ago
I won't disagree with the Mental argument Too Much. I think the bigger problem stems from physiology. Major League Baseball has been plagued with promising young arms that have flamed out far too young and it isn't the Pressure but the Workload that's the problem.

Asking boys to be men before they are men is poor management. Unless that boy is LeBron James, who as a high schooler was a physical specimen nonpareil, managers should be wary of risking their young talent to help the club. That is what all the men are for.

Ask the veterans to carry the load. Or transfer 'em out and get better ones
Somere (Portmore Utd) 4 years ago
I think Powell can more than handle the pressure. How ever I don't think he should be a midfielder. I could seem him becoming a top class striker. A striker similar to what Drogba was in his prime. Great power, pace, finishing, technique and can score from anywhere with either foot.
I also don't think we should be worried about scholes replacement, in stead we should look for something different. When beckham left we got something different in Ronaldo and when Ronaldo left we got Valencia
Matt (Footytube Staff) 4 years ago
It is interesting how often young players are played out of position. Walcott was a striker at Saints where he excelled then he was taken to Arsenal where Wenger is forcing him down the Henry route of playing out on the wing before bringing him up front

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