Paul Tait on Stanley Mills and the path to first-team football

28/10/2022 45comments  |  Jump to last

Paul Tait, head coach for the Under-21s, has been talking to the Liverpool Echo about Stanley Mills and the path to first-team football.

“We need to have that pathway. The boys need to see that and if they do well, I think the club is trying now to create that pathway for our younger players to go into the first-team.

“Frank has got a reputation already of being a manager, in a short amount of time, for blooding young players and he will give them a chance. He will give them opportunities. It is our job to have the boys ready for them when the opportunity comes.

“Apart from being a really good player, he is a really good person and he does things right. He is really professional and diligent in everything he does and the first-team staff saw that.

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“His programme at the moment is playing for us, training with us, but of course going and training with the first-team, which will be a real stretch for him, which is what he needs.”


Reader Comments (45)

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Richard Lyons
1 Posted 28/10/2022 at 14:14:46
Scored a blinder against Hertha Berlin the other day. Fantastic solo effort, almost Maradona-like. What a prospect!
Danny O’Neill
2 Posted 28/10/2022 at 14:20:28
From what I've seen of him, I like this lad. Likewise Lewis Warrington.

I'm not one to get overly carried away as you just never know.

But I like the look of those two and would like them close to the first-team squad sooner rather than later.

There's a lot of genuine promise in both of them.

Michael Kenrick
4 Posted 28/10/2022 at 15:01:57
It's nice, obviously, that we have a really promising player to talk up, but this path to first-team football is a mysterious one.

First off, Tait makes it sound like the path never existed before. Surely it's always existed – just rarely used. And that's down to the managers who have been noticeably reluctant to let fantastic talents like Mills take the next step.

Secondly, how is it that he sits on the subs bench for 5 Premier League games in August without being called upon once – even while Lampard struggled to utilize the five subs he could now use, averaging less than three???

And by next weekend, it will be 2 months since he last even sat on the subs bench. That's 6 games missed... 7 if he's overlooked again for tomorrow's game.

Wouldn't giving him 10 or 15 minutes now and again be a far better way of proving there really is a path to first-team football?

Larry O'Hara
5 Posted 28/10/2022 at 15:23:38
Michael, I agree: in fact doubly agree 😉
Kieran Kinsella
6 Posted 28/10/2022 at 16:07:34

I guess he doesn't have the luxury like Pep of being able to bring on kids as City are up 5-0 by half-time every week. Last week's 3-0 was our biggest win since January. Usually we are clinging on or chasing the game.

But with that having been said, if they are ever going to make it, they are going to have to be given a chance at some point. Mills right now is 18, if he doesn't play this season, he will be 19 going on 20 and people will be saying "Well, if he hasn't made the step up now, he never will," kind of like Kyle John.

Looking at our regular subs, eg, Tom Davies (ironically as he is homegrown) I don't think they are obviously better than other options like the kids. If we take Onana off, I don't think "Wow, Tom is equally as good or better." I think "this is a risk as he is slow and has never made an impact in 5 years."

Ergo, I would like to see us roll the dice on one of these youngsters as a sub versus proven to be useless (Gomes, Gbamin etc) types who've been the "go-to guys" in recent years.

Another thing I found a bit odd was Tait saying "but of course going and training with the first team, which will be a real stretch for him."

This makes it sound like he is way off the level versus Frank's comments on Isaac Price 6 months ago: “Isaac Price I've been really, really impressed with. In terms of him as a midfield player, he's got everything."

Since when Price seems to have slipped out of the picture even among the better Under-21s. It's kind of like a role reversal with now the first team coach offering hyperbole and the Under-21 coach taking on the Dour Davey role.

Phill Thompson
7 Posted 28/10/2022 at 16:42:52
First the slightly pedantic but accurate bit: Mills turned 19 a few days ago.

Undoubtedly the stand-out performer for our U21s this season. For me, he's an ideal option to bring off the bench for our first team. He'd be an unknown quantity to the opposition, his strength, pace and ability to drive at the opposition would cause them problems. From memory, he was put out on the left wing for his minutes against Fleetwood. Ideally, he should be on the right wing, which appears to be his preferred position.

We do have a tendency to get excited about our promising youngsters and often demand they're promoted to the first team too early. Mills has earned it with his performances, and by all accounts performs well in training too.

Hopefully though he won't be just a token bench figure like last time, missing out on games for the U21s and not getting minutes for the first team again would be poor.

I'm hoping he'll go on the tour down-under, and if we're not going to use him in the first-team squad, gets a loan out in January. He's consistently showing he's too good for U21s football.

Mike Gaynes
8 Posted 28/10/2022 at 17:10:28
I'm with ya to a certain extent, Kieran. Obviously we'd all like to see this gifted lad get some first-team playing time, but we've had exactly one league game all season in which Frank could have given him "10 or 15 minutes" without endangering the outcome, and that was last week. The manager didn't even trust some of his established first-team subs in some of those close early games, so expecting an untried rookie to get minutes was clearly unrealistic.

We would likely have seen Mills on the pitch for the Cup tie on the 8th if we had drawn Crawley or Lincoln or Gills, but unfortunately we drew a Premier League opponent and that's an opportunity gone for him.

Best case now is for him to barge into first-team training in time to earn some minutes in spring, when we're comfortably locked into mid-table and Frank can afford to give him his chance.

I don't see the U21 games as Phill and Dave and some others do, so I can't judge how many mistakes the club has made with young players not getting a path to the first team. But I'm aware of only one youngster who was denied that opportunity here and became a top player elsewhere. We'll see him at left-back tomorrow. And next month against England in Qatar. Jedi Robinson. I'm still mourning that one.

Martin Mason
9 Posted 28/10/2022 at 17:22:42
Championship at best (sarc off)
Fran Mitchell
10 Posted 28/10/2022 at 17:48:33
I don't think getting 10-15 minutes off the bench really makes a huge difference in development.

At the start of the season, he was there, but mainly due to lack of options in the squad. At the start of the season, Frank Lampard was one of the favourites in the media's and betting companies' 'sack race'. I think it was quite reasonable for him to be cautious and not just throw someone in for the sake of it, especially as the first team is still adapting and improving after the horror of last season.

He's training regularly with the first team, that is where he'll make an impression.

At just 18, we can't be expecting him to suddenly hit the ground running in first-team football. The fitness required, and one bad mistake could do more harm for his confidence than any good coming from 15 minutes of exposure.

Gordon was 21 when he broke into the team. That's 3 years difference.

Hopefully as the squad gets more comfortable, our place in mid-table more secure, he'll get more exposure to the first team. And also hopefully get a chance in cup games. And then next season, most likely, he'll go out on loan.

When he's 20, then he should hopefully be knocking on the door of the first team.

James Flynn
11 Posted 28/10/2022 at 23:12:52
Since he's just turned 19 a couple days ago, loan him out. Let him start playing against lower league pros.
Ben King
12 Posted 29/10/2022 at 01:27:20
What's the rush? If he's good enough then he'll get a chance… why wouldn't he?

I think we need to all calm down and leave it to the professionals. We've rarely (in recent times) let someone go and been bitten on the backside by the decision.

(Cue Robinson scoring the winner at Fulham…)

Dupont Koo
13 Posted 29/10/2022 at 02:48:20
Never like these type of talks. Tait is now taking up Rhino's overhyping prospects mantra, which we all know goes nowhere.

The likes of Simms, Dobbins AND Warrington should now serve as the "pathway" template to the first team: getting meaningful minutes (ideally 3,000+ for a full season) against real pros weekly in the Football League (at hostile stadiums a lot of the time too) for 2 seasons.

Situations like Seamus Coleman's time with Blackpool a decade ago (winning the promotion playoffs) and Simms's run to the Scottish Cup Final with Hearts last season, can only be provided through loans.

Sitting on the benches and "training with the first team" are not going to allow the youngsters to make their bones.

Kieran Kinsella
14 Posted 29/10/2022 at 03:54:43

Did you read what Tait said? Hardly hyping him up – he said it was a stretch for him even to train with the first team.

In contrast, Unsie said Morgan Feeney was the new Dave Watson, Beningame would be a first-team player and Mampala could be anything he wanted to be.

Frankly, Tait is a Debbie Downer in comparison to Brent and other ToffeeWeb regulars who seem impressed by this lad.

Danny O’Neill
15 Posted 29/10/2022 at 04:20:41
He's saying he has the potential but isn't quite there yet, as I interpret.

Once in a generation do you get a Rooney who is ready-made at 16. But that is a freak of nature and a rarity. The rest have potential but need time to develop, get mentored properly and coached.

Let the coaches develop him and introduce him when he is ready. I'd not like him to be the next Rodwell or Barkely cursed with the burden of over-expectation.

Stanley looks good and full of potential, as does young Warrington. But let's leave it with those who see them every day on the training ground to decide when he's ready.

Tony Abrahams
16 Posted 29/10/2022 at 07:13:41
The revamp of football to try and accommodate and push through younger footballers has changed the pathway for at least 50% of these kids, imo. They outgrow Under-21 football, but are not quite ready for the ultra-physical Premier League, so get them out on loan and let's see if they sink or they swim? Where is the innovation? The Papa John's Trophy, maybe!
Michael Kenrick
17 Posted 29/10/2022 at 10:36:58

I know I shouldn't try to analyse your posts in search of the nugget of truth you may be providing but this one does intrigue me a little, so please indulge me for a moment.

The revamp of football to try and accommodate and push through younger footballers has changed the pathway for at least 50% of these kids, imo.

That assertion seems to restate the conviction that older poorer players retained in the Academy system were somehow blocking progress for good youngsters below them. Yet we are told by wiser heads on this thread to trust the coaches and their judgements of these players and the youngsters behind them.

So I'm curious as to what you think here: did we have really good players coming through from the U18s who found the 'pathway' blocked by poorer older players retained in their positions within the (then) U23 side? Do you believe this is really what was happening before the 'revamp of football'?

They outgrow Under-21 football... so get them out on loan and let's see if they sink or they swim?

I don't see much difference here since the 'revamp of football' – isn't that what they've always done in recent years?

Where is the innovation? The Papa John's Trophy, maybe!

Sounds like you're agreeing that it's essentially the same system as it always was? (I would venture just different people in charge.) The Papa John's (formerly Checkertrade, EFL) Trophy has been open to U21 teams from Category One Academies since the 2016-17 season, so in its 6th season (one lost to Covid).

It's a difficult one, I think, because any type of judgement of the Academy system is ultimately predicated on the quality of the players it has coming through – which is never constant.

Adam Oakensworth
18 Posted 29/10/2022 at 11:12:25
Mike @8,

I think you've summed it up nicely. Giving him minutes at the wrong time could hurt everyone. Hopefully we'll get to a comfortable spot in mid-table and the chances will come.

If we'd lost to Palace, Frank would have been in a bit of a fix so I can't blame him for laying the building blocks before anything else.

Dave Abrahams
19 Posted 29/10/2022 at 11:30:39
I think it's too soon, in Lampard's time as manager of Everton, to see how quick he is to use young players in the first team. He didn't use them last season which was understandable in Everton's circumstances, and we haven't had a good run this season. None of them were on the bench last time out when we were 2-0 and 3-0 up with 15 minutes to go, an ideal time for one of them to be used.

Strangely at Chelsea last season, admittedly when we had a few injuries, the manager who most fans didn't want used Simms, Dobbin, Branthwaite and the relatively young Gordon during the game.

In the past, when the Central League was in operation, most clubs had large squads and players stayed at the club for year after year, most of them on poor wages. Now, the turnover is quicker and clubs buy a lot more players than they did and, as a consequence, they are very reluctant to take a chance on young players and it takes a brave manager to give young lads a chance.

Having said that, with nine substitutes on the bench, it takes a timid manager not to have at least one youngster on the bench, especially one like Stan Mills who had had a very good season up to now, with plenty of goals. Surely there is someone at Finch Farm who is shouting for this lad's inclusion on the bench at least, unless they are all mute as well as blind.

Dave Cashen
20 Posted 29/10/2022 at 11:48:54
Neither Jack Rodwell nor Ross Barkley were burdened by over-expectation. You only have to look back at what they were doing as kids to know they were both incredibly talented.

Colin Harvey believed getting into the first team was the penultimate step. The final step for a professional was staying there and that step could only come from the player himself. He emphasised that it wasn't always the most talented who succeeded.

You usually find out in the first couple of seasons whether the player is the complete package or not. Is he dedicated enough? Does he love the game enough? Can he apply himself, make the necessary sacrifices? Does he burn to win?

Barkley and Rodwell will look back on their careers knowing players with half their talent were far more successful. I doubt either one will be unduly troubled by this. Therein lies the problem.

Clubs can do everything possible to ready a player for the first team, but they can't take the final step for them.

Raymond Fox
21 Posted 29/10/2022 at 12:12:43
The main block to young players breaking into the first team is that managers are very reluctant to take risks with untried players, especially in the Premier League.

They know that a short run of poor results and they are likely to be shown the door pronto.

I think in our situation, the young player needs to be a noticeably better player than the regulars in his position, because he lacks experience at the higher level.

Also our position in the league in recent seasons has not given the manager many opportunities to blood young talents.

In recent times, I think Martinez gave more players a chance than any of our other managers.

Danny O’Neill
22 Posted 29/10/2022 at 12:29:54
I was worried sick at that Chelsea match, Dave Abrahams, stood (yes standing) in the lower Shed End. I can't remember exactly, but I think by the end we had something like 5 players under or around the age of 21. I was worried sick yet it was one of the best matches I attended last season.

Even though the outcome was a draw, the performance by the team and those young players was excellent. The goal summed it up. Gordon's dead ball delivery to Branthwaite right in front of the travelling masses. Brilliant.

In response to Rodwell and Barkley - no doubt we could apply this to many others.

On Rodwell, I think he could have been a centre-back. Dare I say, in a similar mould to Coady and converted at a younger age? A shame as I thought he was a classy player.

Barkley. Attitude did play a part, so I'll agree with that. But I've always suspected he wasn't coached or corrected at a younger age. Maybe because he was that good in the youth system, he got just got left to his own devices and to do his thing.

Only it caught up with him once he hit the senior level. It's linked though, because he didn't seem to think he had to work for it once he got there. It would just happen.

Obviously a personal opinion on both. I don't actually know the detail.

Derek Knox
23 Posted 29/10/2022 at 12:47:27
Like Danny and some others have said, I am very impressed with this lad and Lewis Warrington, they certainly looked a lot better pre-season than their senior counterparts.

We just have to encourage them and give them a run out from the bench every so often, and above all, make sure we hang on to them, once the Big Boys come sniffing!

Robert Tressell
24 Posted 29/10/2022 at 13:40:47
The absolute main block, by a million miles, to our young players making the first team, is lack of quality.

The likeliest to succeed are playing for the England youth set-up and make their first-team debut (or a high-standard loan) around 18 or 19.

This is true of everyone who has made it with us (and pretty much every other Premier League club) in about the past 30 years except maybe Osman.

In terms of England recognition, we currently have:

- Lucjanciks (GK) U16

- Samuels-Smith (LB) U17

- Welch (CB) U20

- Gordon & Garner U21

Samuels-Smith is, by some distance, the most likely to make it below Gordon and Garner.

We have a bunch of good players on loan, too good for the Everton U21s, like Dobbin and Onyango, but neither are pulling up any trees in the third tier. Dobbin has no goals in 12 for Derby (and he has some England youth recognition too).

Sadly, the likeliest situation is that no-one from the current loanees (apart from Branthwaite) and our U21s makes it. But many of them may find their level in the 2nd and 3rd tiers.

As happened with Man City and Chelsea, it takes 10 years and a few false dawns before there is a decent flow of Premier League quality players. The really hard work takes place well before these kids get anywhere near U16 level.

Bill Gall
25 Posted 29/10/2022 at 13:41:57
To me, it is fine to have talented youngsters pushing for a place in the first team, but they should be brought in slowly, as against lower-league opposition in cup ties or as substitutes.

To be brought into the first team for a game, you have to be better than the player you are replacing.

There are exceptions, like a Rooney, but they are few and far between and are just better than what you have and force themselves into selection.

There is a fine balance, as a manager, in ensuring a positive position in the Premier League and cup games and bringing young players in, as some develop quicker or fail when playing against more experienced players.

I am not sure of the exact numbers but I think it would be about 1 or 2 out of 6 promising youngsters that will make it into Everton's first team.

it would be nice to see more but Busby Babes teams don't come around often.

Mark Taylor
26 Posted 29/10/2022 at 13:43:14
I guess we'd all love to see players coming through the Academy and becoming first-team regulars for a sustained period and/or making us big transfer bucks. It would save a lot of money for a start!

But it really hasn't happened over the past couple of decades. You'd have to go back to Osman to find one who truly hits this criterion and that is a long time ago.

It looks like Gordon might be the next. In between, virtually nothing to speak of, I guess you might argue Barkley, just about, but that is moot, so far has he crashed and burned. Perhaps the one most likely in recent years was Beni Baningime but in the end, he came up some way short and now plays in Scotland.

I don't know why it is as bad as this, or even if it is actually all that bad compared to others. The Premier League is now so rich, maybe it doesn't need to take risks and just buy when players have had some experience. But Chelsea for one seem to point to a different solution.

Robert Tressell
27 Posted 29/10/2022 at 13:55:29
Mark #26,

Chelsea use the loan system / feeder club (Vitesse) very well. But they are in a position to do this because of the quality coming through. It's not like they are using loans and feeder clubs to turn sow's ears into silk purses. Their youth prospects are in demand for Championship, Eredivisie etc and even Premier League loans because they are excellent.

Ours are often farmed out to third-tier or lower clubs because they are not in the same league.

We're not unusual. In fact, we do okay compared to many other clubs. But we could most certainly be doing much, much better.

Tony Abrahams
28 Posted 29/10/2022 at 14:33:58
I'm just cynical, Michael, and don't feel the present system has really been, or helped to see any improvement's whatsoever?

I played in the old Central League, sometimes against seasoned professionals, and sometimes against like-minded young kids like myself, who were trying to make their way in the game. Although the kids usually worked harder, I always felt I learned a lot more playing with and against the seasoned professional players.

They play a few matches in this Papa John's or whatever trophy, and although this might be good, I'm just not sure it's enough because I honestly believe that, when a kid reaches 18 years of age, the best way to learn is by playing against the men.

It's possibly like the amateur boxing analogy; I once spoke to a lad who told me he had a lot of fights as an amateur (I'm sure he told me it was over 80 fights) and never got cut, but only had a few professional fights and got cut to ribbons.

Same sport – different rules... How can that be? Some might ask.

Dave Cashen
29 Posted 29/10/2022 at 14:37:10
The comparison between Coady and Rodwell made me laugh Danny. You're comparing the lion and the lamb there.

I saw the pre season games in Which Moyes tried to prove his point about Rodwell being a Centre half. He was completely rag dolled by a Coventry journeyman at the Richo arena. Tellingly Moyes never tried it again

I can't recall how much we got for Rodwell and Barkley, but I suspect we got about 30m for the pair. We wouldn't mind a couple of failures like that coming through every season would we ?

Danny O’Neill
30 Posted 29/10/2022 at 14:49:14
More a comparison of style David had it been developed earlier.

I'll agree, there seemed to be an issue with Jack's desire and I know a lot comes down to the individual, but I'd liked to have seen him coached better too. Trying him once doesn't equate to development for me.

I think we got £12M for Rodwell. I can't recall how much for Barkley.

Tony Abrahams
31 Posted 29/10/2022 at 14:53:01
There could be only one reason why Barkely and Rodwell, don’t look back in anger, and that reason will be that they will have both made millions of pounds out of the game?

I really like watching Charlie Whitaker, but think it might take him the longest to truly develop?

Issac Price needs to get more upper body strength, but he looks gifted and might be suited to playing with better players, because he moves the ball on really quickly, imo?

Stanley Mills looks the most naturally aggressive, and making a mistake doesn’t seem to bother him, which is actually a gift only afforded to a few young footballers, in a very cruel environment?

Lewis Warrington looks like another who’s got a great chance and is the one gaining the most experience right now by being on loan?

So four players from the same group who have all got a chance of becoming premier league players, shows that someone was getting it right (Martin Waldron, ties in with what Robert T said maybe?) and if you’re a good player, your pathway is usually a lot clearer, meaning some things will never change?

Dave Abrahams
32 Posted 29/10/2022 at 14:56:43
I think young players have a better chance of making it if they are introduced, one at a time, into a a decent settled team, we have been a lot less than a decent settled team for a long time and a few youngsters have made their debuts in these teams and mostly suffered for the experience. In the coming months it might be a lot better and easier to impress when a young lad starts for the Blues.

Is there any youngster on the bench today, not likely with the U18’s and U21’s both playing today, maybe at Bournemouth on Tuesday, impressing and playing there again next Saturday!!

Dave Cashen
33 Posted 29/10/2022 at 15:01:59
Central league Tony ? You can / could clearly play.

Good comparison using the Boxer going from Amatuer to professional.


He tried him at center half in several pre season games. He also tried him there in training too.. The game at Coventry merely confirmed to Moyes that he had been barking up the wrong tree.

Let's hope Coady can pick the ball up in his own half today, drive up the field and into the box to finish, just like a young Jack did against Man United.

Then We can raise a Glass to comparrisons.

Dave Abrahams
34 Posted 29/10/2022 at 15:08:09
Tony (32), four young players you’ve named are all midfielders with good chances of making it, Charlie Whittaker looked the most natural footballer, to me, when he first came into the youth team, didn’t progress last season, maybe due to injuries, seems to be picking up this season and scored two today against good opposition,

Price and Warrington also have impressed and hopefully continue to improve but maybe Stan Mills has the best chance, not just with his ability but getting knowledgeable advice off, his ex pro footballer dad, DannyMills, every little helps.

Robert Tressell
35 Posted 29/10/2022 at 15:17:05
On Rodwell, he was absolutely a centre-back in my book – and potentially a very stylish one. He was ruined by believing (and the likes of Moyes believing) it just took a strong shot and athleticism to play midfield.
Tony Abrahams
36 Posted 29/10/2022 at 15:54:04
I think Whitaker plays a bit more forward, Dave, towards the higher end of the pitch, and because he's only slight, this is why I think he might take the longest to develop. He reminds me of Adrian Heath, I just hope he develops the same way.🤞

I've got two winners tankards somewhere, Dave, but the ultimate goal is making the grade, so I've unfortunately got nothing else to speak about, except maybe a tiny bit of experience of what these younger players might be going through.

Dave Abrahams
37 Posted 29/10/2022 at 16:30:11
Tony (36),

I hope you are right about Charlie Whittaker, he looks like he's got a good football brain.

Those two tankards you had, for winning the Central League, have gone. I got a decent price for them and gave the money to “The Church” for good causes, just like you'd want me to!!

Dave Cashen
38 Posted 29/10/2022 at 17:01:32
Fair play, Dave.

Good to see your earnings from Tony's efforts went to a good cause. And at least Tony knows he can stop looking for them now.

You'll be paid back a thousandfold in heaven.

Dave Abrahams
39 Posted 29/10/2022 at 17:26:27
Dave (38),

Thanks, my motto has always been, “If I can help somebody as I pass this way, then my living has not been in vain”!!

Billy Roberts
40 Posted 30/10/2022 at 16:30:39
Thanks again, Dave @ 40, for those two trophies, they look great on my mantelpiece!!

Tony @28, possibly the headguard!!

Tony @31, great point about the player who can shrug off mistakes. An absolute essential string to any professional's bow in any field... football though does give you a chance to level it out within the 90.

I think your point is so strangely under-appreciated when it comes to the attributes needed for a top pro. The thing is, we can all relate to that deflation you get when you cock up, so to point out individuals who can rise above it is a very valid point.

Peter Hodgson
41 Posted 02/11/2022 at 14:56:41
A variety of thoughts and comments here. No common agreement it seems on where we are or where we are going or the advisability of what is being done. A bit confusing I'm afraid.

A short comment from me then. If the system and the age groups are being handled to a common theme with a progression being implemented for those lads that warrant it and everyone is signed up to that system all should be well particularly as Lampard favours that way of doing things and bring youth forward.

All that needs to happen then is for the professionals in the Club to get on with it without interference and we will have a supply chain of young prospective stars to look forward to watching and raving about.

That is the theory anyway.

Seriously it is needed so good luck to them.

Tony Abrahams
42 Posted 02/11/2022 at 15:13:35
This current group looks like it's the best one that Everton have had for years, Peter, until you suddenly realise that we had “five Under-20 World Cup winners” (Incredible imo) plus Tom Davies, who stayed at home to rest because he'd just broke into our first team, only a few years ago.

I definitely expected more coming out of that group, although I'm certain that Everton constantly chopping and changing managers must have really affected the pathway for a few of these kids.

Michael Kenrick
43 Posted 02/11/2022 at 17:31:54
Ahh, Tony.

Young Blues win U20 World Cup for England!

Quiz Question: Who was the fifth Blue?

Kieran Kinsella
44 Posted 02/11/2022 at 18:12:49
Callum Connolly
Kieran Kinsella
45 Posted 02/11/2022 at 18:14:05

If I recall, Liam Walsh was in line to go as well but missed it because of injury.

Brian Wilkinson
46 Posted 03/11/2022 at 22:20:18
This lad is good enough now, especially with 5 subs available. Only for Benitez, I think Gordon would still be playing for the U23s now.

Sometimes you have to give one or two a chance, integrate them into the first team; when the chance comes, give them a run out from the bench. Let them get used to the first-team set-up, experience the match-day atmosphere, but don't just leave them on the bench, give them a cameo appearance.

Mills is one of the best youngsters I have seen for a long time. I really think Mills and Warrington are the two that will kick on. We cannot keep wrapping these players up forever, year after year loaning them out, then letting them fade away or be released; it is time we brought one or two of them through for a change.

I honestly do not know what more he can do, to be given some game time in the first team; that lad's ready, give him a chance.

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