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07 Dec 2020 14:23:32
Where do people get this idea that Lou Barry is 16 years old? he sighned for Villa at 16.
He is now 17 yrs 6 mths, and Villa have had 8 players make their debuts at a younger age.
So me thinks we are being over protective of a young man who could become a real star.
Let him know he is rated highly, and give him a taste of first team football, especially now as our fickle fans are not on his back.

Agree0 Disagree0

07 Dec 2020 14:32:32
And before the over protective posters have a pop, I am not on about throwing him in, I am saying give him a taste, 10 here, 15 there.
then leave a couple of weeks then give him some more.
We have tried the other way, and that also has its drawbacks.
Its pinions at the end of the day.

07 Dec 2020 15:35:14
Another one doing really well is the young left winger, Philogene Bidace, who’s 18, apparently he’s in line to pick up player of the month. It would appear that him along with Barry and of course Jacob Ramsey are the ones most likely to get opportunities at the moment. Apparently the intention is to keep the bulk of u23’s together and continue their development at Bodymoor Heath in preference to loaning them out Dave. I like the idea of keeping them together as a group and them getting regular competitive playing time, rather than going to lower league clubs where they often get very limited game time and spend most of their time sitting on a bench.
I agree gradual integration into the first team, not literally throwing them to the lions, should be the way to go.
Introduce them gently in relatively easy situations to begin with, like the last 10/ 15 minutes of games where we’re comfortable. The game at Arsenal for instance would have been a perfect situation.

07 Dec 2020 15:46:11
That`s what I call hitting the nail on the head Mark, spot on mate.

07 Dec 2020 15:55:25
Having four or 5 players 17 and under in the U23’s, bodes well for me. It’s easy to see the vision and plan here.

07 Dec 2020 16:53:31
If Deano has no real faith in our bench, with a couple of exceptions, and Taylor and Elmo more than likely leaving when their contracts run out, would it not make more sense to use those 1 or 2 bench spaces for some of our more promising youth? Then if games are going our way and we're comfortable surely bringing them on for 10,15,20 minutes to see what they can do in a full strength side instead of playing them with our reserves in cups. Surely that's better than just wasting a substitution with someone he either doesn't really trust or knows exactly what they can do. Its a bold approach, granted, but the rewards could be worth it.

07 Dec 2020 17:10:34
I’m in total agreement Moose, good post.

07 Dec 2020 17:20:36
Again spot on Moose, its just a matter of trying, testing the water so to speak.
Like Mark suggested, the Arsenal game would have been perfect.
Watching a lot of Continental football, and looking at the methods of development they use, we are missing a trick, no question, and if we are to improve as a whole unit, we need to take note.

07 Dec 2020 17:41:10
I agree re the development of the kids I am particularly keen to see Barry given his head there seems to be so much hype around the lad that I am surprised he hasn’t appeared as yet if you are good enough you are old enough Owen and Rooney were younger than Barry when they were blooded and yet we appear to be waiting I wonder whether or not the hype is warranted the coaches must have some concerns if he is not even worthy of a place on the bench.

07 Dec 2020 18:01:29
I like the fact that this season our u23 team is loaded with underage players 16,17,18 etc, way better for their development against older, more physically developed opponents. I've also noticed that the ones who've gone out on loan aren't getting much game time so surely a wasted opportunity. We have some real talent on our hands and from the little I have seen of them the future looks bright. Gone are the days where our youth just hung around as over age under achievers.
And as the adage goes " if you're good enough, you're old enough " High time we started to produce the stars of tomorrow, today.

07 Dec 2020 18:27:25
I wasn't banging on about him being 16, I just didn't realise when his birthday was. 16/ 17 is still a time where it is a case of need or afford to, neither of which we fall into right now.
The problem with them taking the subs spots is cover for positions. Elmo is there to cover the right side of defence and Taylor the left. Barry can't take those spots because he's not a defender. The biggest requirement of a defender is reading of the game and they probably aren't confident enough of that with Bridge, Swinkels or Chrisene just yet.
El Ghazis spot is the only one you could hand to Barry. Maybe Smith sees enough for him to do a job as sub or maybe it's a case of protecting the squad by not souring the environment with a bad apple because you dropped them completely.
Barry has no expectations to play just yet so will be happy to bide his time. Throw El Ghazi out completely and him and Guilbert become the new Micah Richards slating the club every 5 minutes.

07 Dec 2020 19:04:38
I thought Barry said he sees himself in or around the 1st team by the end of the season when he signed? And our point in general is getting several of the youth involved not just Barry for example Kessler who from what little I've seen of him looks a competent prospect. I'd much rather see that than players who probably won't be here next season and may just save us a few quid looking for replacements to stock the bench again.

07 Dec 2020 19:13:28
Sorry rk I disagree, we have been doing the same thing for years, time for a change, to evolve you have to make changes, other people will and then you get left behind.
Look at the side we two years ago, we had to buy a new squad, and why because we had no youngsters with experience.

07 Dec 2020 19:27:22
How do you actually know he’s got no expectations to play yet rk, do you have contact with him or something, perhaps you’re his father, an over protective one if you are.
To me, judging from what he’s already said, he comes over as a lad who can’t wait to break into the first team, a very ambitious and impressive attitude.

07 Dec 2020 19:31:39
John mate, you mention the coaches, I think they are scared to try them and to experiment, it comes down expectation, and instant success.
To make a mark in football today you have to be brave, take chances, nobody questions Guardiola, Klopp, and the Fergusons of the game.

We have never been renowned for blooding young players, yes we have had them at the club in the past and now, but giving them the break they deserve rarely comes.

07 Dec 2020 19:58:57
Let's put things another way: when you see our bench do you groan? When you see other teams benches do you think "if only "? Well we're never going to be able to do that with the ridiculous fees being commanded.
However let's look at just a few examples Neil Taylor- often criticized for not having enough bottle, replace with Kessler, a hard running player who knows how to tackle.
Conor Hourihane- much maligned and appreciated in equal measure, but extremely lightweight, replace with Jacob Ramsey, mobile, athletic, energetic and can pass a ball.
Anwar El Ghazi-face like a smacked a##e, probably p####d off he's not playing regularly and flatters to deceive-replace with Philogene-Bidace, pacey, direct and offers that unknown X factor.
Obviously a big ask for them to step up but would you rather have fearless, hungry players out to prove that they deserve a chance in a full strength side or people who we know too well, what they can do and leave a lot to be desired?
Its not miraculously going to make our bench any stronger but would seriously suggest that Villa is the club to join if you're a young player looking to make your mark at a big club. Just food for thought.

07 Dec 2020 20:05:34
I agree we have some promising players 10mins or 15 I'll not hurt and age is just a number, and who knows we might have some wonder kids on our hands, I watch quite a lot of our youngsters and there's 4 that stand out too me, bridge, kessler, Barry, cainey chuck ware all could be good, what is the point in having reserves and u23 if we're not goingtoo play any1, our youngsters need too see there is a pathway to the 1st team.

07 Dec 2020 20:07:24
Moose has brought up his quote but has slightly misquoted it.
His representation has said his aim is to do well for the 23s with a view to be in and around the first team towards the end of the season which we're nowhere near.
The clubs aim is to integrate a couple each year. With the amount of young players we already have you'd imagine Elmo and Taylor will be replaced either with youth team or acquisitions at the end of the season.
They'll probably then make a decision over El Ghazi and Trez depending on youth progress and other availability.
I think Barry's biggest opportunity right now is if Davis cannot sort himself out.

07 Dec 2020 20:13:41
Add Aaron Ramsey to that list too JH 👍.

07 Dec 2020 20:33:51
Apologies for the slight misquote but surely Barry himself must of mentioned it to his agent? 🤔.

07 Dec 2020 21:27:43
I really get your point Moose and the option to swap Kessler with Taylor is a no brainier for me, great shout!

But your last statement sure says it all, if they aren’t going to make our bench stronger, then ultimately they won’t give us a better chance of getting a result, and ultimately achieve something.

The top 5 or 6 should be training with the first team regularly and going to games travelling with the first team, get them used to the environment. When they are performing better than their closest rival in training then they should make the bench on game day. If we are comfortable, give them the last 10, if they perform, next time we are comfortable, give them 15. And so on. That would be my method however.

07 Dec 2020 22:16:46
No need to apologise Moose, its the right point just the timing is out. His desire to be there is unquestionable but I'm sure he's realistic and doesn't have expectations of being there right this minute especially as we're doing pretty well.
Some of our subs are not exciting but they are there for game management when required.
We also need to remember that at this level it doesn't work just running around a lot and showing off a few tricks, you need to be efficient and effective. The youngsters get a huge number of goalscoring opportunities per game that they wouldn't get in the prem so cannot take their goals/ assists ratio too literally.
Vassilev for instance was a goal machine for the 23s but was a but of a headless chicken in the first team. Admittedly most of his game time came when we were all out defending but part of the job is to take pressure off the defence which he was never in the right position to do.
Players need the chances but at the right time. Keep getting them in first team training (which we already do) and then when we're in a position that we're pretty much guaranteed safety but also can't push for Europe get one or 2 some meaningful minutes. I'd rather do it that way than 10 minutes where they may be lucky to even have a proper touch of the ball.

08 Dec 2020 08:27:27
You’ve got your opinion rk and that’s great. It’s a good job we don’t all agree on everything on this site, otherwise my God it would be boring.
However, if you want to compare Barry to Vassilev, I don’t think Vassilev was ever described by anybody as being the best 16, 17 or 18 year old in the country.
In the 2018/ 19 season when Vassilev was 17,the same age that Barry is now, he played 8 times ( 417 minutes) for the u23’s and failed to score once. Ok he did better the following season when he was 18. Barry has played 8 games (560 minutes) , so far this season and scored 5 times.
Barry is nothing like the type of player that Vassilev is, he tends to play off the shoulder of defenders, looking for space to run into behind them, is lightening quick over the all important first few mètres and is a lethal finisher. He is you might say, very much in the Jamie Vardy mould.
As for not having the immediate expectations, I would imagine he looks at what Villa have in terms of back up to Watkins, and is thinking I’m better than the other options.
If it’s a goal scorer we want he would be right to think that, let’s face it you could hardly describe Davis as being prolific and as for Wesley, who knows when he’ll be fit and able again.
Watkins does tire towards the end of games, hardly surprising given his constant work rate, wouldn’t it be better to bring Barry on than the other options, at least some of the time anyway, someone who might just get us a goal. I wouldn’t put much money on any of the other options to come up with the goods.

08 Dec 2020 08:41:28
Good post Mark 👍.

08 Dec 2020 09:08:57
Great thread lads, some great opinions - From my perspective I think Barry will we in close contact with Smith, the club is seriously investing in its academy / under age talent and Barry will be at the forefront of that. As a result, I would be amazed if there isn't a clear integration plan developed by Smith and the entire couching staff (Senior and underage) as to how these players will eventually move to the first team squad, and that would have to socialised with the players. I could be wrong, but I'd be very surprised if Barry doesn't know exactly when he will see first team minutes, and what he needs to achieve in the meantime to ensure that happens, the same applies for all our talented players.

08 Dec 2020 14:42:55
Great post Mark, I like the comparisons made, they shine an even brighter light on this subject.



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