The academy under Michael Edwards is basically just a stable of horses, designed to do nothing more than make the club money. Sign every single player up on 5-year pro contracts, loan them out, loan them out, loan them out, loan them out, loan them out, sell them. For me it's treading a very fine ethical/moral line and I'm not sure we're on the right side of that line. And I'm not just talking LFC. Look at Chelsea.
Seen it this last week, 2 more long-term contracts for 2 lads that - bless their cotton socks - will never play a single minute for our club: Fidel O'Rourke and Matteo Ritaccio. God knows I'd love to see a lad with a name like Fidel O'Rourke play for us but he just won't.
The only players in recent years who seem to have seen through the bullshit that Edwards sells these lads are Ryan Kent, Jordan Rossiter and George Johnston who all said "F**k yer 5-year contracts and empty promises about 'pathways', we're off" and fair fucks to them for that.
There's a lot of bullshit attached to Juergen Klopp in terms of people lauding him for being some great nurturer of youth talent. His record as our boss has been one of lads only ever getting their chance if there's some big injury crisis. It's how Trent got in, Curtis has got games, and Phillips and Rhys have got games this season.
Phillips and Rhys aren't ever going to be anywhere near good enough to play for us in the medium term, regardless of the Nat Phillips Fan Cult which I suspect is being run by a still alive Charles Manson and there's a lorra lorra hallucinogenic drugs being taken.
There's a long running thread on another LFC forum which virtually scientifically proves that taking an interest in our academy players is an almost total waste of time as one 'promising' youngster after another fails to come through, over two decades.
LFC under Rafa spent years brainwashing the fanbase into believing Dani Pacheco was a dead cert to be the new Deco or whatever, despite it being clear to me that being 5 foot tall in the Prem wasn't going to work and he didn't actually even stand out at academy level. He has disappeared without trace. To be fair it is hard if you're that small; you tend to just disappear from pro football, not just drop divisions. It's why I expect Clarkson to just disappear in the same way, not even re-appear in the 4th division or whatever. It's why Jay S dropped so far. Managers don't like very small players.
My big problem with the academy at the moment is Vitor Matos and his club of little favourite-wavourites like Billy Koumetio, who has had a godawful season yet still gets on the bench somehow because he's in Vitor's little favourite-wavourite club. It sends completely the wrong message to the other young lads. As long as you're in Vitor's little 'elite' group it doesn't matter how sh*t you are in terms of performances. So Jarell - who has been with us since he was a young kid - has to sit there and watch French import Billy Calamity get a place on the bench.
The system tends to favour foreign players over lads who have been there since birth or whatever. The fawning over Pacheco was quite vomit-inducing, while real local talents like Adam Hammill are fu**ed off out the club because they dared to eat a pack of prawn cocktail crisps or turned up 2 minutes late for training or their parents had a bit of attitude. We tend to favour "nice boys from nice families" when it comes to the local(ish) lads. I don't care if they know where to lay a fish knife on a dining table if they're sh*t at footie.
Matos needs F***ing off. He only got the job cos he's Lijnders' mate from Portugal. And the whole favourite-wavourite club needs binning. Lads should be sent up to train with the firsts on merit and form, not cos they're part of some fast-track stream bollocks.
Kaide Gordon will get special treatment as we paid money for him, but he's at least earning first team training opportunities with his performances. Koumetio isn't. Far from it.
We're wasting time with Clarkson and Cain when we've got a real talent in Tyler Morton we could be bringing into first team training.
I know Klopp likes to delegate but he needs to take more interest or just replace Matos with someone with a genuine eye for a player.
The primary issue though at this time is what the plan is for Curtis. He's a massive talent. We can't just play him 10 games a season and expect him to become the player he can be. We need a proper development plan for Curtis with proper game time at LFC, not loaned out. But still win League #20 and Big Ears #7 at the same time.
That's not an easy task but that's why Klopp's paid a massive amount of money and is LFC manager, to somehow make all the pieces fit.