When I signed as a 15 year-old amateur for local club Newcastle United many many moons ago, I met with the Newcastle official who signed me, and he was aware I was doing quite well in school, and I always thought it was a bit of a stretch when he said - “well you need to be intelligent to be a good player” - and it’s something I never forgot (for whatever reason), but you don’t have to be educated to be a great football player
Alan Pardew - looking in the wrong place?
But today. lo and behold, Alan Pardew has contrasted the Southampton and Newcastle Youth Academies and pointed out there are more middle class kids in the Southampton area,who tend to have better educations, and maybe that explains why the south coast club keeps bringing great youngsters through the club – and we don’t – not yet anyway.
This is what Alan said about the Southampton Youth Academy:
“They’ve had Walcott, Bale, Shaw, Lalllana and it makes a huge difference. I know we will get players through here, but will we get an exceptional player?”
“Southampton have a different type of catchment area. There is a big working class community, but there are a lot of middle-class kids who have good education.”
“The players who come out of Southampton are quite intelligent and there might be something in that.” “We have to put more intelligence into our players here.”
“It’s very important to not just look after the football side of it, but to also bring the right personalities through. We want them to be level-headed.”
Remember that line in Raiders of the last Ark – when Harrison Ford – whose character Indianan Jones was looking for the Ark of the Covenant and wanted to find it before the Nazis got it – had suddenly realized – we are digging in the wrong place.
Maybe that’s something Alan should look at, we don’t our current inability to bring through some top youngsters is anything to do with Newcastle being more working class than down south – in fact the will to succeed should be even stronger because of that.
Maybe what we should be doing is improving our scouting system of how we get youngsters to the club, and improving the coaching of them and also our facilities on Tyneside.
That would help.
Adam Armstrong is currently our best young local hope – go and show them Adam!
Note: Andrew Todd is a passionate Geordie first, and a final year student at De Montfort University second, and he’s busy working on his dissertation. His questionnaire is only for people in the UK Retail Sector, and takes only a few minutes to complete here it is.
Note: Sean Borland is a student in Newcastle and will not be at either the Man United (5 April) or Swansea (19 April) games – and he has tickets – £30 for the ManU game and £20 for the Swansea game – you can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or sean4eva09 on twitter.