Congratulations to Sheffield United’s Youth Cup Final team - what a display despite the scoreline.
As fans we can be proud. I was so disappointed that I couldn’t attend, I was on Sky Sports News at 6am the following morning and would have had to have driven from the match back to London and straight into the studios with no sleep, which I didn’t think would impress the boss very much!
However, I got to report on the highlights and hear all the plaudits from the Sky Sports production team on how impressive it was that so many Blades fans turned out.
If that team is a sign of our future then we can look forward confidently. That’s how Manchester United have done it, built along a steady but consistent production line of players. More importantly they held onto their youth players and we must hold on to the talent we are investing so much time and expertise into.
Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, Gary Neville, Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes and Phil Neville all came up from the Red Devils youth team and have all stayed at the club for a significant amount of time. Paul Scholes has a 20-year badge under his belt with Giggs going one better with 21.
The only downfall of that morning was not that the youth team lost but that I was co-presenting with a Wednesday fan so yet again the whole conversation was about the up and coming return of Sheffield derbies.
I reminded him that overall United come out on top in head to head league matches won, 45 to 41. Despite the rivalry, I would love it if both Sheffield teams won back their Championship status next season. I mean what exactly are both Sheffield clubs doing in the third tier of English football?
So, when are we going to get a new manager so we can start actually building our team? Interestingly I was filming with Terry Venables this week and I asked him about the summer transfer window and he used Manchester United as an example that to have a successful team you must buy players in the middle tier. This is the 19/20-year-old range, players that haven’t quite shown their stuff yet but have the potential to grow. Examples are Javier Hernandez, and previously Nani and Anderson.
I agree. However I don’t think he realised I was talking about Sheffield United when I asked him about summer transfers. But maybe he is right though, in addition to our up and coming youths moving into the Blades senior squad our scouts should get to work and start targeting unknown young players with bags of flair and potential.
Who needs money?