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About Olibeak

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  1. Jos blaming Clare for a goal should not even be an issue for debate on here. It should all have been handled in-house. End of story. Instead, he doesn't just simply make the "shock horror" statement that Clare (aged 21) still has a lot to learn (the same would also appear to apply to players a lot older than him) and leave it at that, but goes on unnecessarily, and at considerable length and in training-ground detail, about what he should have done to prevent the goal. Looking at Clare in interviews and at his general intelligent play on the pitch, he seems like a bright, grounded lad who would know full well and be angry that he'd been cleverly blindsided -- by a highly experienced player (aged 34) with 500-plus games (mostly in the Prem) and 80-plus international caps for Eire. Yes, he's undoubtedly got a lot to learn (who hasn't?), and i'm sure he'd recognise that, but he doesn't need to be given lessons in public. (We've all dropped round uns at work -- imagine what our reactions would be if the boss decided to tell the media about them!). Any sportsperson would tell you that one of the keys to high performance is confidence. This will have done nothing for Clare's confidence -- especially the gibberish bit about "sometimes when you are too positive as a player you miss how you can improve". Hope there's not a contract-related hidden agenda in Jos's extravagant public criticism -- and that it doesn't lead to us losing a promising talent. Looks to me like Jos (aged 54) also still has a lot to learn.
  2. I tried and miserably failed (I'm crap at this techie stuff, which is why i rarely post or comment) to start a new post yesterday called No "kidding", please! I was prompted by Sean Clare's recent performances v Derby and Villa, and the old adage that if they're good enough they're old enough. As a club and a nation, we should get away from "one size fits all" labelling of promising young uns as "academy kids" who it's risky to play as they might make mistakes. Of course, young players will make mistakes. But so do old uns. (Who was supposed to pick up Referee Terry for the first goal? Boyd -- who i thought had a good game -- should have been alive to blocking Hourihane for the third and should never have got skinned by Snotgrass in such a tight space leading up to the pen.) Klopp plays "kids" like Gomez and Alexander-Arnold in much bigger games than we're involved in. And sticks by them when they make costly mistakes (nowhere near as many major blunders as a seasoned international like Lovren) and doesn't highight their mistakes publicly. He generally leaves that counter-productive crap to mouthy Mourinho. I was also prompted to do a bit of googling malarkey to find out a bit more about Clare's background. For a start, he's now played 40-plus first team games (mostly League One); he played for five years at a top academy team (including players such as Gomez and Kasey Palmer) when Charlton were playing against Prem clubs before the academy system was restructured; left of his own accord to pursue his education (see interview at Gillingham below -- comes across as a pleasant, intelligent young man, rather than a cocky Billy Big Boots), before being picked up by the now-defunct Nike Academy, playing Barcelona u-19s home (scoring at Wembley) and away (hits the post with back-header and involved in setting up two goals) and at PSG, AC Milan, Prem club u-23s and first teams such as Walsall and Burton. Not a bad CV -- and probably explains why he didn't look fazed at all stepping out at Hillsborough against top Championship teams. I've also had the chance to visit the Nike set-up at St George's Park, and it was light years ahead of most league club academies in terms of facilities, coaching, sports science, diet, fitness and speed training, video analysis etc. Anyway, have a gander at some stuff my google trawl threw up, and let's hope the club treats every one of our excellent crop of young prospects on individual merit, not age, and helps give them the confidence and contracts that will see them flourish -- hopefully, in the blue and white stripes of Wednesday! https://www.gillinghamfootballclub.com/ifollow/video-archive/?&player=Sean Clare
  3. Sean Clare

    ĢSorry, Kivo, but it's nothing to do with injury. Clare apparently was due to be on the bench today, but was made to sit on the naughty step instead as he won't sign the crap one-year contract extension he's been offered. (The club seems to have more leaks at the moment than a colander -- a sure sign of discontent behind the scenes). The irony/hypocrisy/stupidity of the club's stance (or, more accurately, the clueless chairman's stance) in the current dire injury circumstances is that Thorniley is in the same contract situation -- but is presumably being played because we're so short of defenders. Or maybe Clare just isn't rated by the club? If so, why bring him back from a successful loan spell (where his value to the club would only increase with every game played, while being paid by the other club) and turn down transfer bids from Gillingham and a Championship club during the transfer window? It will be very interesting to see next week whether Clare gets the full Hirst treatment and is frozen out of the u23s as well. Wouldn't be surprised as the club (chairman) seems intent on vindictively blocking the progress of talented youngsters who refuse to be bullied into signing contract extensions that suit the club but not them. Meanwhile, the club can look forward to collecting a bit of loose change from an FA tribunal when promising young players (who, incidentally, are still under contract and I'm sure would love to be playing games) move on to clubs that really want them, rate them, value them, and are prepared to gamble that they will become excellent investments. This is such frustrating, short-sighted madness on the part of the club -- and is sure to impact on youth recruitment in the future.
  4. SWFC Loan Watch Returns! (part one)

    I posted something along these lines a couple of weeks ago, based on reliable info I'd been given. If players who've had relatively successful loan spells at league clubs are only being offered one-year extensions at "development squad" pay rates, it doesn't exactly suggest that the club rates them very highly. And if we don't rate them, why not cash in on them, rather than "punish" them by hampering their development? Why wouldn't they look to move to a club that must rate them, and would pay at least twice what we are offering? Absolute no-brainer. Every one of us would do the same. As Ethel points out, the Thorniley situation could also apply to Clare. (I hear that Gillingham have already made one bid to sign him permanently, and that there are also a few Championship clubs keen on nicking him off us). My only hope is that a new manager and CEO will rapidly address the club's hopelessly myopic and bullying approach to the development of our young players. (Btw, I'm sure that Penney -- who is younger than Thorniley and Clare -- has just signed a one-year extension because, if he didn't, he wouldn't get the loan he desperately needs to progress his career.)
  5. Apologies. I should have made that clear. Yes, the issue of a transfer fee/compensation fee only kicks in if the players under 24 have been offered a contract and the offer has been lodged with the FA -- whether or not the player has signed it. The contract offer would only need to be marginally better than the existing one. And Thorniley and Clare will definitely not have been offered anything on the scale of Hirst-like hikes in pay. So here's the moral (immoral) issue: if CC rated the players' potential (hardly likely as he seems blissfully unaware of the quality of some of our young uns), they would certainly be offered much better and longer contracts (which they'd almost certainly snap up). If he doesn't rate them, get them out on loan as early as possible and playing as many first-team games as possible to push up their value when they get sold on. The "sign or no loan" threat seems mindless. How is a player's value going to increase if he's just running round Middlewood instead of playing games? (Certainly didn't work with the likes of McGugan.) Of course, they may be trying to tie them down for another year in case a new manager comes in with different attitudes to the development of young players!
  6. Sorry, but that's not how football finances work in the case of players under 24. Even if Thorniley and Clare aren't deemed good enough for our first team (No idea what evidence you base that on. How many times have you seen them play?), they can't leave for free when their contracts are up. A new club would have to pay an agreed transfer fee, or a fee would be settled by an FA tribunal. Either way, the club's financial interests are protected. And they're guaranteed to make a profit. Both of these players arrived for free (Thorniley released by Everton, Clare from Nike Academy), and particularly in the case of Clare, his wages for most of the time he's been here have been paid by loan clubs (Bury, Accy, Gills). But the most ludicrous aspect of all this (apart from sabotaging the development of our young lads) is that a player's value to us increases the more League games they play out on loan. Why can't the club understand this? Particularly DC. He must have business nouse as he's clearly made shedloads of dosh, but it seemingly deserts him in matters related to football.
  7. Well, if the info that's just been passed on to me is true, the way the club treats our promising young players really has become nothing short of scandalous. Try this for size: Jordan Thorniley (Accy) and Sean Clare (Gills) are both doing well and gaining valuable League experience (and added value to the club) out on loan. So how does the club reward them? I've been reliably informed that they've now been offered one-year extensions to their contracts (which were due to end this season), with a paltry "development squad" pay rise. And if they don't accept? They'll be refused permission to extend their loans and be brought back to S6 to kick their heels on the training -- without even u23s games -- until the end of the season. Sound familiar? It certainly would to young George (although at least he'll have the consolation of a couple of mates to have a kickaround with at Middlewood, because CC certainly won't be picking any of them). Seriously though, what is the club playing at ffs? In any other industry, this sort of mindlessly vindictive behaviour would be classed as restraint of trade, constructive dismal -- or even blackmail.
  8. PS: Cup draw couldn't have been worse for Clare. If Wednesday do allow him to extend his loan at Gillingham, they wouldn't allow him to play against us (even though he's not even rated highly enough to train with our first team, let alone play for it). And if we do bring him back, he'd be cup-tied anyway (not that he'd be picked). Like the rest of us, he's probably thinking: "Just one ball away from getting Chelsea!"
  9. My family connections on the Kent coast keep me up to date with the progress and versatility of Sean Clare, and it seems he's become a real fans' favourite. More or less summed up by this post on the Blues Rock Cafe fans' forum: Team Selection 26 November 2017 10:52Post ID: #69780 daveycrocket Established first-teamer Posts: 480 A recurring theme on this forum recently has been that Sean Clare is wasted at right back, and should be played further up the pitch. I think all of us agree with this as he is such a talented and creative footballer. That being the case, I can't understand why we play him out of position at right back, when Luke O'Neil, who is a natural right back is played out of position at left back. Surely playing O'Neil at right back, Ogilvie at left back, Ehmer alongside Zakuani in central defence (which is our best balanced pairing at the moment), would release Clare to express himself in midfield, which is what we all want to see. They're hoping they can keep him to the end of the season, which would be much better for his long-term development rather than coasting along in our U23s, but that's Wednesday's call. Can't see the point in him being brought back, though, as Carlos doesn't even have our promising youngsters training regularly with the first team (like, for example, Klopp and Pochetino do -- albeit with higher quality players), let alone offer a path to the first team. Can't remember where I saw it on OT, but someone referred to the fact that Southampton say the secret to their success in bringing through so many top-class youngsters is that they get them training regularly with the first teamers as early as possible. You don't need coaching badges or a PhD in rocket science to understand that that's a no-brainer. Particularly for technical, creative players such as Clare and Penney, it's so much easier playing with better players -- although a stint in lower-league hoofball will certainly teach them how to handle the game's physicality!
  10. SWFC Loan Watch Returns! (part one)

    Fear not, Ethel. Football for the Brave is no academic tome. It's short, pithy and accessible. Cartwright says his footballing philosophy is based on the great Liverpool teams of the 70s and 80s, and he argues that we started to lose our way in this country when we lost street football, and the instinctive, innovative skills that that bred in youngsters. But it's not dinosaur stuff -- his "practice play" methods show that good coaching can still replicate the days when streets weren't full of cars, and academies weren't snapping up kids barely out of nappies and drilling them into becoming joyless robots -- rather than fun-loving, two-footed magicians like Chrissie Waddle (see below -- and I defy you not to smile when you watch the video). The book is not a whinge -- it's a football lover's lament for what was, and what still could be with the right people in charge of developing talented young 'uns such as Penney, Clare and the rest. It was published in 2008, I think, but is still available on Amazon (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Football-Brave-John-Cartwright/dp/0955591783), and this review on there sums it up pretty well: "As it says on the blurb, it's not a coaching manual. But that's exactly why coaches should read this.Put down your neatly drawn square grids and your endless number of 'drills' for a minute. Cartwright will help you take a step back and think about your coaching philosophy in general. For him it's not about teaching 'technique', a player simply being capable of doing something, it's about 'skill', which is having the intelligence to know how to use it in a game.It's a very good book full of straightforward (and in many instances common sense) points on how and what we should be coaching our youth. Don't expect to come out of it with more drills for your file, expect a better awareness of the direction you're taking your players in - which should really be the emphasis. Too many academies are concentrating on producing robotic, technically proficient players. What we need to be teaching is the production of free-thinking players who have creativity, flair, game intelligence - that's what this book is about.Just one small criticism, the examples he gives of players in the book are a tiny bit dated now, but still don't detract enough from the overall message."
  11. SWFC Loan Watch Returns! (part one)

    In football, they always talk about taking one game at a time. In Sean Clare's case, it's more like case of taking one manager at a time! Just been sent this link: http://www.kentonline.co.uk/medway/sport/peter-taylor-gillingham-133557/ That's two down since he joined them on loan. Hopefully, the third will continue to give him game time. It also illustrates how luck can play a huge part in a young player's development (Clare was going well at Accy last season until injury cut short his season). On the wider issue of why we no longer develop enough genuine top-class players in this country, I highly recommend the posts by brilliant veteran coach John Cartwright on keeptheball.com I've twice had the pleasure of watching Cartwright (former technical director at Lilleshall, Arsenal first team coach, Crystal Palace academy director) coach young players -- one group of 7-8 year olds, and also one of 17-18 year olds. His blindingly common sense approach to producing "real" players with real technique, game intelligence and individual flair was a revelation and an absolute joy to watch. It's why he has been totally shunned by the FA dead-heads and by the old boys' network of "coaching-by-numbers" time-servers at many of our academies -- and why the England team has been overshadowed by the likes of Iceland, a country with a population slightly less than Bradford. His philosophy is explained in his book Football for the Brave, but try this for starters: https://keeptheball.wordpress.com/2017/07/02/individualism-a-playing-priority/
  12. SWFC Loan Watch Returns! (part one)

    PS: Forgot to add that, in my Ethel-led exploration, I came across these Colchester v Gillingham EFL Trophy highlights, with a couple of examples of what Sean Clare (No 28) is capable of (good burst of pace and left-footed shot, and putting a sitter on a plate). https://youtu.be/xj6DwF6x-Mw
  13. SWFC Loan Watch Returns! (part one)

    Thanks very much for this continuing great post, Ethel. It's expanded my interest into footballing "outposts" I'd rarely given much thought to. (Did you know, for example, that Accrington's heavy clay produced the "iron bricks" used in building Blackpool Tower and the Empire State Building?) In fact, to the extent that it led me to Priestfield yesterday as I was visiting relatives in north Kent. First thing that crossed my mind was, are the clubs our youngsters go out to being carefully vetted first for suitability for the player's skillset? (Matt Penney at Bradford last season and Jack Stobbs at Port Vale this season spring to mind). I've seen quite a lot of Sean Clare with the U23s over the last couple of years and rate him highly. Tall, strong (definitely not lightweight in the tackle, Not Jon), athletic, pacey, driving runs from midfield, football intelligence, and above all comfortable and composed on the ball. In short, wasted on a dire hoofball team like Gillingham that couldn't pass water! And that seems to be the general consensus among fans around me at the ground yesterday and on the Gillingham fans forums -- that he's highly rated, but wasted in this team. And if you think Carlos gets pelters on this site, have a gander at what Gills fans think about caretaker manager Peter Taylor's grimly negative team set-up (effectively, five at the back, and clog it aimlessly forward) and baffling substitutions during games. Hard to believe he was once so highly rated as England Under-21s manager. Of course, it's compounded by players low on quality, and even lower on confidence, getting shut of the ball as far away as possible, as though it's a pinless hand grenade. Back to Clare, being able to see the whole pitch yesterday rather than a TV screen, it was evident that he was constantly looking for space and showing to get the ball to feet, but he might as well have been the net on Centre Court. One of the few times he was able to get on the ball and run at the defence he had a good shout for a pen turned down. (http://www.skysports.com/watch/video/sports/football/competitions/league-one). Must be very frustrating. But, having said all that, it's still a valuable learning experience for our youngsters dealing with the physicality of "men's football", in front of passionate crowds not slow to tell them what they think of them, and with blokes playing to pay their mortgages (it's not big dosh and flash cars at this level). Far cry from the more sedate world of the U23s -- and something the club should do far more to facilitate if it's serious about trying to progress our talented youngsters into first team reckoning. If nothing else, League experience increases their value to the club if they do move on and a fee is set by a tribunal. In the meantime, can anyone help me to get back the two hours of my life I lost at Priestfield yesterday?
  14. U23s: Heroes to Zeroes?

    George who? Re-set your satnav, Pulsar. Think you've turned onto the wrong thread -- or misinterpreted the intention of this one. Anyone who's done an apprenticeship (do they still exist?) will know the benefit of working with and learning from older and more experienced people on a regular basis. It's an essential part of any long-term strategy. Unfortunately, the low level of U23s involvement in first-team training applies to Middlewood, not just Albufeira. If one of these promising young uns should ever need to be called up into the first team (injuries, suspensions, whatever), it's important that they know -- and are known and trusted by -- their team mates. That would be built up on the training ground and by mixing together at Middlewood.