Gary Neville rues short-term culture
Gary Neville feels the desire for instant success is preventing young English players breaking through in the Barclays Premier League.
The former England defender, now part of Roy Hodgson's coaching staff as well as a respected television pundit, emerged as part of a famed Manchester United academy class also featuring his brother Phil, David Beckham, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt. But he believes times have changed since then, as rich club owners scour the world for stars.
"You can't be definite on this, no one can, but my gut feeling is we've maybe reached a tipping point where the pathways are now being blocked," Neville told the Guardian.
"I always felt the cream would rise to the top. I've always believed that, if you are good enough, you will get the opportunities. We were always told that as kids. But I'm not quite so sure any more.
"I just think, at this moment, we are in danger of everything becoming too immediate, too fast, too instant. You can't blame the owners for wanting instant success because they have spent a lot of money and want to make sure they get as much success as they can.
"And it's not the managers' fault: everyone I speak to on coaching courses wants to work for the long term, to build something over a period of years as Sir Alex Ferguson did at Manchester United. But 63 of the 92 league clubs changed their manager last season, so they're not getting enough time."
Neville believes local identity is important to a club and cited examples from the highest level of European football.
He said: "As an Englishman, every time you suggest you want more English or British players you are accused of being xenophobic. Well, why? It is nice to see local people coming through and playing for the club they have grown up supporting. Barcelona have seven or eight players who have come through their academy. It is a great story.
"I always look at the very best teams and they have a core of players who believe in that club and who have grown up with that club: the great Milan sides; Ajax if you look back; the Barcelona team we see now; the current Bayern Munich team have got three or four homegrown players; and of course United who, over the years, have been the most dominant club in the Premier League."
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