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The 'I should have been scouted' myth Watch

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    I find it really annoying the amount of men who go on about how good they were when they were younger and really should have been picked up by a scout. The usual excuses for not being spotted and scouts failing to pick up they were the next Maradona are:

    'I was amazing technically but was small/lacked strength, if I was born in Spain I'd have been picked up'. Now don't get wrong the English game does often overlook technical ability in favour of more physical players but not to the extent these people make out. Also being able to do 20 keeps up in a row isn't 'amazing technical ability'. To say clubs only

    There were no big clubs around me growing up This is an actual excuse I've heard from a friend who grew up in the South East of England. This means he was less than 100 miles from all the London clubs and also in proximity of clubs like Southampton, Portsmouth and Reading. This excuse also paints the picture that clubs don't travel outside of their area to scout players. If kids from remote parts of Africa and Asia can be scouted by European clubs than anyone can.

    I got a bad injury Now serious injuries obviously do ruin the chances of promising youngsters, however it's the ultimate go to excuse for these ********ters. Someone I know from Uni said he was a really good keeper when he was younger and would probably have been scouted if it weren't for his injury. That would be a legitimate excuse if it hadn't been revealed his injury was when he was 17, and he hadn't been anywhere close to getting scouted and not even played for county. Obviously keepers develop later but most players are scouted and in academies by this age, or as I say, at least playing county.

    At the end of the day if these people were as good as they say they were they'd have been scouted by their County team at the very least. Academies actually scout and sign-up a lot more youngsters than people think, as the conversion rate of academy to first team is very low and youngsters aren't that expensive to train. So all this 'I should/could have been scouted' stuff is nonsense. Maybe there's a few people out there who were actually incredible talents and slipped through the net but 99.9% of the time, if you were good enough you'd have made it.
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    i seriously should have been scouted- I just didn't get notice because I was small.
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    My problem with academies is that they take in vast amounts of players and spit them out without having a good idea of how good they truly are. Countless players I've played with and against at normal club level were far better than those who I played with in academies, but like with a lot of sports it's about who you know and what club you play for. But overall the football academy system is far better than the cricket equivalent, don't get me started on that!
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    To be honest, the only time I ever heard a guy said this was in GCSE.
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    That's not nearly as bad as the "I'm really smart, I just didn't get good grades because exams don't test intelligence" brigade.
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    I know a few people who have been scouted but rejected it. They rue the day.
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    (Original post by ralphieinker90)
    I find it really annoying the amount of men who go on about how good they were when they were younger and really should have been picked up by a scout. The usual excuses for not being spotted and scouts failing to pick up they were the next Maradona are:

    'I was amazing technically but was small/lacked strength, if I was born in Spain I'd have been picked up'. Now don't get wrong the English game does often overlook technical ability in favour of more physical players but not to the extent these people make out. Also being able to do 20 keeps up in a row isn't 'amazing technical ability'.
    The bottom line with these kind of guys is they weren't effective enough. If they were really good they would dominate at whatever level they played until people took notice, like Vardy has done.

    If you are a talent who gets missed and are playing at a level below your true ability then you will outplay your peers and stand out. Now their excuse will probably be "well lower down the leagues it's all about power and strength so small technical players don't have a chance". Well when England next get knocked out of a major tournament ask these geniuses their diagnosis of the problems in English football and they will say its because all we have is big fit guys who can run and they can't match technical teams like Spain. So which is it, does size and power dominate technical skill or does technical skill come out on top? Because if technical skill comes out on top surely they could have skinned their amateur/lower league opponents. If Barcelona played an English conference side do you think Xavi, Iniesta and Messi would get overwhelmed by the physicality, lol.
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    (Original post by MagicNMedicine)
    The bottom line with these kind of guys is they weren't effective enough. If they were really good they would dominate at whatever level they played until people took notice, like Vardy has done.

    If you are a talent who gets missed and are playing at a level below your true ability then you will outplay your peers and stand out. Now their excuse will probably be "well lower down the leagues it's all about power and strength so small technical players don't have a chance". Well when England next get knocked out of a major tournament ask these geniuses their diagnosis of the problems in English football and they will say its because all we have is big fit guys who can run and they can't match technical teams like Spain. So which is it, does size and power dominate technical skill or does technical skill come out on top? Because if technical skill comes out on top surely they could have skinned their amateur/lower league opponents. If Barcelona played an English conference side do you think Xavi, Iniesta and Messi would get overwhelmed by the physicality, lol.
    Precisely. If the best player in the world is 5ft6, this after having to take growth hormones because he was so short for his age, the whole 'I was too short myth goes out the window'. And these people will always say 'but Messi was scouted by a Spanish club, he'd never have been picked in England', to that I'd say Dennis Wise was even shorter. All this 'but could Messi do it on a cold Wednesday in Stoke', well yes, easily, because he's so technically gifted the bigger defenders couldn't get near him and he'd skin them. Like you say if you're good enough technically you'll shine no matter how rough the game is, like when you see kids that are really good playing down the park with kids 5 years older and half a foot bigger but still managing to embarrass them with superior technique.
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    (Original post by baah)
    i seriously should have been scouted- I just didn't get notice because I was small.
    Is that a sarcastic response or you genuinely believe that?
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    (Original post by llys)
    That's not nearly as bad as the "I'm really smart, I just didn't get good grades because exams don't test intelligence" brigade.
    That's annoying too. Although there's different kinds of intelligence and some people may be smart just not academic. But to say 'exams don't test intelligence' is obviously ********.
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    (Original post by ralphieinker90)
    And these people will always say 'but Messi was scouted by a Spanish club, he'd never have been picked in England', to that I'd say Dennis Wise was even shorter. All this 'but could Messi do it on a cold Wednesday in Stoke', well yes, easily, because he's so technically gifted the bigger defenders couldn't get near him and he'd skin them.
    Yeah it always makes me laugh when people talk about Stoke City like the Britannia is some unbreachable fortress. Many teams beat Stoke when its cold. If Barca played Stoke they would have 90% possession and probably win 4-0.

    If all you had to do was be physical and play long balls to nullify Spain and Barcelona then teams would have done this long ago.

    You get a lot of small and technically talented players coming out of South America and people try and claim its because their scouts value technical ability not just people being big. If any 5ft 6 skinny kid emerges through the Argentinian or Brazilian leagues he will have been playing against some real hard nuts who would knock the crap out of the hardened English lower league pros, with referees that will turn a blind eye to a lot of fouls.

    Now this isn't to say that physical attributes are irrelevant. The "Inverting the Pyramid" book talks about this and shows how the physical, direct approach in the English game became overtaken by the superiority of the technical approach in other countries as generally a superior technical approach is always going to win. But the question then comes to what happens when you get players of high technical ability and lesser physical attributes coming up against players of high technical ability and better physical attributes. There the physical attributes do matter. So a few years ago it looked like Spain and Barcelona were going to monopolise football but then emerged challengers like Athletico and Real in Spain and the rise of the Germans on the domestic and international scene. The Germans played a more physical direct game but they are technically in a different universe to the old style British one. Look at players like CR7 or Bale, when they came through they were technically brilliant but lightweights but now they are terrific athletes and this is the direction the modern game is going. As that happens, then no longer will technically average players be able to use their athleticism or size to compensate in any way.

    A similar thing has happened in tennis. In the 1980s Ivan Lendl dominated and was ahead of the game because of how far he was ahead of his rivals in terms of diet, training, fitness, when he was in a tight game he knew that the longer it went on the more he would have the advantage as his rival fatigued. But now all the top players, Djokovic, Federer, Nadal, Murray are all training like that AND are amazing technical talents.
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    (Original post by MagicNMedicine)
    Yeah it always makes me laugh when people talk about Stoke City like the Britannia is some unbreachable fortress. Many teams beat Stoke when its cold. If Barca played Stoke they would have 90% possession and probably win 4-0.

    If all you had to do was be physical and play long balls to nullify Spain and Barcelona then teams would have done this long ago.

    You get a lot of small and technically talented players coming out of South America and people try and claim its because their scouts value technical ability not just people being big. If any 5ft 6 skinny kid emerges through the Argentinian or Brazilian leagues he will have been playing against some real hard nuts who would knock the crap out of the hardened English lower league pros, with referees that will turn a blind eye to a lot of fouls.

    Now this isn't to say that physical attributes are irrelevant. The "Inverting the Pyramid" book talks about this and shows how the physical, direct approach in the English game became overtaken by the superiority of the technical approach in other countries as generally a superior technical approach is always going to win. But the question then comes to what happens when you get players of high technical ability and lesser physical attributes coming up against players of high technical ability and better physical attributes. There the physical attributes do matter. So a few years ago it looked like Spain and Barcelona were going to monopolise football but then emerged challengers like Athletico and Real in Spain and the rise of the Germans on the domestic and international scene. The Germans played a more physical direct game but they are technically in a different universe to the old style British one. Look at players like CR7 or Bale, when they came through they were technically brilliant but lightweights but now they are terrific athletes and this is the direction the modern game is going. As that happens, then no longer will technically average players be able to use their athleticism or size to compensate in any way.

    A similar thing has happened in tennis. In the 1980s Ivan Lendl dominated and was ahead of the game because of how far he was ahead of his rivals in terms of diet, training, fitness, when he was in a tight game he knew that the longer it went on the more he would have the advantage as his rival fatigued. But now all the top players, Djokovic, Federer, Nadal, Murray are all training like that AND are amazing technical talents.
    Yeah it's like British people think Continentals and South Americans play non-contact football and you get booked for looking at a player the wrong way, when in actual fact as you the Brazilian league is known for being pretty thuggish as displayed when Brazilian teams play European teams in the World Club Championship. There's videos of Neymar playing for Santos where defenders are just hacking away at him and committing fouls that would be at least a booking in England but the referee just plays on and Neymar is so technically gifted he slaloms through them.

    Granted there are some aspects of the continental game that I think British football should adapt if we want to match Spanish and German technique. For example not using full sized pitches until players are 16 and playing futsol based games played with heavier balls forcing players to keep it on the ground. It's ridiculous when you see 11 year olds running up and down full-length pitches on a Saturday, and it does create a more hoof it and run mentality. However it's nonsense to say this means technical players will not get their chance because of this. If a players good enough they'd still dominate even with tactics that don't suit their style of play.

    And the CR7 and Bale examples are both spot on. Both lanky youngsters but were still picked up because of their technical brilliance. If a scout has to chose between two 12 year olds, one technical brilliant but a skinny midget and one whose the perfect athlete but an average technique, any scout worth their salt will chose the former as you can train anyone to be fit and stron but you can only slightly improve technique through training.
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    (Original post by MagicNMedicine)
    The bottom line with these kind of guys is they weren't effective enough. If they were really good they would dominate at whatever level they played until people took notice ,like Vardy has done.
    The problem of "being too small" does exist though, Vardy said so himself that at 16 years old he was deemed too small at Sheffield Wednesday, if he got noticed earlier than maybe he would have risen up to the PL in his early 20's rather than his late 20's. Hence why he set up an academy.
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    (Original post by ralphieinker90)
    Granted there are some aspects of the continental game that I think British football should adapt if we want to match Spanish and German technique. For example not using full sized pitches until players are 16 and playing futsol based games played with heavier balls forcing players to keep it on the ground. It's ridiculous when you see 11 year olds running up and down full-length pitches on a Saturday, and it does create a more hoof it and run mentality. However it's nonsense to say this means technical players will not get their chance because of this. If a players good enough they'd still dominate even with tactics that don't suit their style of play.
    I think there's something in what you say...BUT we need to be cautious because various models from other countries are "in vogue" and then they don't get sustained success.

    In the mid 1990s, when Van Gaal's Ajax won the Champions League having spent peanuts and pretty much brought everybody through their academy, everyone was talking about the "Ajax model" which was that kids had to focus on their education and if they didn't study hard they didn't play, it was all about building complete citizens, players didn't have 'positions' in junior football they all played in every position and this was all supposed to be revolutionary model. But Ajax faded away after that and Holland were up and down and never won anything either. What we saw was that there had been a lucky generation of greats that all came through at the same time - good for Ajax, but it was no different to what was happening at Man Utd.

    Then France dominated and everybody spoke about how great the French national academy was that it produced so many great young players, and how England needed an equivalent. And then every Premier League club was getting on the bandwagon signing up these guys like Jeremie Aladiere "the next Henry" and Bruno Cheyrou "the next Zidane" and it turned out most of these were flops compared to the generation that came through earlier.

    Then there was the thing about Belgium and how they made every junior amateur club play 4-3-3 and supposedly this meant by the time they got to first team club level they all knew the system and Belgium were going to dominate and so on. But Belgian clubs are still lightweights in Europe, they produced a lot of good players that came to the Premier League but when playing together for Belgium they have been good but not THAT good.

    People often look for a major flaw in English football but I'll put a simple hypothesis forward. We are no good at penalty shoot outs. If England could win penalty shoot outs then our international record would look quite different. We would have been in finals of Italia 1990 and Euro 96 against teams who we were stronger than at the time, so it could have been us and not Germany collecting those trophies. Then World Cup 2002 and 2006; Euro 2004 and 2012 we lost quarter finals on penalties. Win those and we would have had four more major tournament semi finals at least. So our record over two decades would have been right up there with Italy, Holland, France, Germany, Spain. Just because we lost penalty shoot outs!
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    As long as you don't think the same if they mention race. While they might've been crap, scouting is unfortunately very racist, particularly with Middle-East or South Asians, to very unsubtle degrees.

    If John Barnes is saying something about race, then yes ignore him. If it's an Asian kid, there might be something to it.
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    Best I've heard is from a guy who plays for the same club as me in Bristol.

    He's a goalkeeper, was on the books with Bristol City when he was a kid but was released at 12. He claims that he chose to leave because he wanted to focus on his education, and if he hadn't have made that choice he'd be a professional without a doubt.

    Well I'm friends with Joe Bryan, who was in the same Academy year as this guy at Bristol City (and incidentally is now a pretty solid performer for them in League 1) who when I gave him the name remembered him instantly.

    Turns out he didn't choose to leave, he got let go because he was a mouthy little oik who seemed to think he knew better than all of the coaches, never listened to what he was told, and was incapable of even getting the basics of goalkeeping right consistently.
 
 
 
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