The Spurs Youth Thread – 2016/2017

Blake Griffin

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whiteman and edwards on the bench for england u19s.

edit: neither came on, suspect edwards is being saved for friday's game against spain.
 
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I suspect this has been done to death over the years, but after seeing the phrase “men against boys” a few times when reading about the u18´s anhiliation at the hands of Chelsea, I thought I´d check the birth dates of the respective squads.

The well known theory is that, the world over, elite level youth teams are packed with boys born in the first few months of the eligible year; those who at the young ages that they are first spotted and recruited have a significant physical advantage. Once “in the system” they receive the best coaching and development opportunities, so their comparative advantage persists even as the initial physical edge becomes less significant over time.

So in most countries, with a cut off date of 1st January, youth teams tend to be biased towards boys born January to April; in England, with a cut off date of 1st September, birth dates from September to December are favoured.

Here is a summary of the results for Chelsea and Spurs U18 squads. Source was soccerway.com squad listings. A few lads did not have a birth date listed so the figures are not 100% complete – but close. It´s a small sample, but the results were interesting.

Chelsea: of 36 players listed, 20 were born in the first 3 months (sept to nov); 30 were born in the first 6 months (sept to feb)

Spurs: of 33 players, 12 were born in sept to nov; 22 in sept to feb.

Also note: the vast majority of players are English. Of the few European players, there was a bias towards the early months of the calender year – i.e. January to april - the favoured months for boys from those countries to hop aboard the fast-track train.

So both squads show the expected bias, but Chelsea´s much more markedly – possibly indicating that Spurs selection is more skewed to technical characteristics than physical attributes. And yes, I suspect it is possible to come back and note that Chelsea´s crop also seem to display more technical skill – no doubt down to a mixture of prime-cut selection and excellent training - but to me the fascinating and unavoidable conclusion has to be that if the FA had a qualification date of 1st jan, Chelsea would probably still be sweeping the board – but with a different set of players!

I must admit I was rather surprised at the results – small sample notwithstanding. This is such a well known phenomenem that I would have thought academies would be taking it into account. So another conclusion is that the various aims of various acadamies do not necessitate a change to current practice. If it ain´t broke don´t fix it.
 

newbie

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I suspect this has been done to death over the years, but after seeing the phrase “men against boys” a few times when reading about the u18´s anhiliation at the hands of Chelsea, I thought I´d check the birth dates of the respective squads.

The well known theory is that, the world over, elite level youth teams are packed with boys born in the first few months of the eligible year; those who at the young ages that they are first spotted and recruited have a significant physical advantage. Once “in the system” they receive the best coaching and development opportunities, so their comparative advantage persists even as the initial physical edge becomes less significant over time.

So in most countries, with a cut off date of 1st January, youth teams tend to be biased towards boys born January to April; in England, with a cut off date of 1st September, birth dates from September to December are favoured.

Here is a summary of the results for Chelsea and Spurs U18 squads. Source was soccerway.com squad listings. A few lads did not have a birth date listed so the figures are not 100% complete – but close. It´s a small sample, but the results were interesting.

Chelsea: of 36 players listed, 20 were born in the first 3 months (sept to nov); 30 were born in the first 6 months (sept to feb)

Spurs: of 33 players, 12 were born in sept to nov; 22 in sept to feb.

Also note: the vast majority of players are English. Of the few European players, there was a bias towards the early months of the calender year – i.e. January to april - the favoured months for boys from those countries to hop aboard the fast-track train.

So both squads show the expected bias, but Chelsea´s much more markedly – possibly indicating that Spurs selection is more skewed to technical characteristics than physical attributes. And yes, I suspect it is possible to come back and note that Chelsea´s crop also seem to display more technical skill – no doubt down to a mixture of prime-cut selection and excellent training - but to me the fascinating and unavoidable conclusion has to be that if the FA had a qualification date of 1st jan, Chelsea would probably still be sweeping the board – but with a different set of players!

I must admit I was rather surprised at the results – small sample notwithstanding. This is such a well known phenomenem that I would have thought academies would be taking it into account. So another conclusion is that the various aims of various acadamies do not necessitate a change to current practice. If it ain´t broke don´t fix it.

Do most academies actually give a fuck about getting players in to the first team( taking Spurs out the equation)? Or do they care about short term results?

The under 8s manager won't be judged on how many players make it, he prob won't be there he will be judged on results, if he does well promotion or head hunted better job, if he has small technical kids, and they loose every game he looks shit, is there an incentive to play small, younger children?
 
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Different aims for different clubs I suspect; a varying blend of producing first team players and schooling enough others well enough to be moved on at a profit. Chelsea may be an exception in that they have little need of the former right now, so are more skewed to the latter - maybe something to do with financial rules, but I'm no expert there.
 

WindyCOYS

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479
I suspect this has been done to death over the years, but after seeing the phrase “men against boys” a few times when reading about the u18´s anhiliation at the hands of Chelsea, I thought I´d check the birth dates of the respective squads.

The well known theory is that, the world over, elite level youth teams are packed with boys born in the first few months of the eligible year; those who at the young ages that they are first spotted and recruited have a significant physical advantage. Once “in the system” they receive the best coaching and development opportunities, so their comparative advantage persists even as the initial physical edge becomes less significant over time.

So in most countries, with a cut off date of 1st January, youth teams tend to be biased towards boys born January to April; in England, with a cut off date of 1st September, birth dates from September to December are favoured.

Here is a summary of the results for Chelsea and Spurs U18 squads. Source was soccerway.com squad listings. A few lads did not have a birth date listed so the figures are not 100% complete – but close. It´s a small sample, but the results were interesting.

Chelsea: of 36 players listed, 20 were born in the first 3 months (sept to nov); 30 were born in the first 6 months (sept to feb)

Spurs: of 33 players, 12 were born in sept to nov; 22 in sept to feb.

Also note: the vast majority of players are English. Of the few European players, there was a bias towards the early months of the calender year – i.e. January to april - the favoured months for boys from those countries to hop aboard the fast-track train.

So both squads show the expected bias, but Chelsea´s much more markedly – possibly indicating that Spurs selection is more skewed to technical characteristics than physical attributes. And yes, I suspect it is possible to come back and note that Chelsea´s crop also seem to display more technical skill – no doubt down to a mixture of prime-cut selection and excellent training - but to me the fascinating and unavoidable conclusion has to be that if the FA had a qualification date of 1st jan, Chelsea would probably still be sweeping the board – but with a different set of players!

I must admit I was rather surprised at the results – small sample notwithstanding. This is such a well known phenomenem that I would have thought academies would be taking it into account. So another conclusion is that the various aims of various acadamies do not necessitate a change to current practice. If it ain´t broke don´t fix it.
Thanks for doing this, I was planning on doing similar myself.

How did the ages in general compare?
 

IGSpur

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I suspect this has been done to death over the years, but after seeing the phrase “men against boys” a few times when reading about the u18´s anhiliation at the hands of Chelsea, I thought I´d check the birth dates of the respective squads.

The well known theory is that, the world over, elite level youth teams are packed with boys born in the first few months of the eligible year; those who at the young ages that they are first spotted and recruited have a significant physical advantage. Once “in the system” they receive the best coaching and development opportunities, so their comparative advantage persists even as the initial physical edge becomes less significant over time.

So in most countries, with a cut off date of 1st January, youth teams tend to be biased towards boys born January to April; in England, with a cut off date of 1st September, birth dates from September to December are favoured.

Here is a summary of the results for Chelsea and Spurs U18 squads. Source was soccerway.com squad listings. A few lads did not have a birth date listed so the figures are not 100% complete – but close. It´s a small sample, but the results were interesting.

Chelsea: of 36 players listed, 20 were born in the first 3 months (sept to nov); 30 were born in the first 6 months (sept to feb)

Spurs: of 33 players, 12 were born in sept to nov; 22 in sept to feb.

Also note: the vast majority of players are English. Of the few European players, there was a bias towards the early months of the calender year – i.e. January to april - the favoured months for boys from those countries to hop aboard the fast-track train.

So both squads show the expected bias, but Chelsea´s much more markedly – possibly indicating that Spurs selection is more skewed to technical characteristics than physical attributes. And yes, I suspect it is possible to come back and note that Chelsea´s crop also seem to display more technical skill – no doubt down to a mixture of prime-cut selection and excellent training - but to me the fascinating and unavoidable conclusion has to be that if the FA had a qualification date of 1st jan, Chelsea would probably still be sweeping the board – but with a different set of players!

I must admit I was rather surprised at the results – small sample notwithstanding. This is such a well known phenomenon that I would have thought academies would be taking it into account. So another conclusion is that the various aims of various acadamies do not necessitate a change to current practice. If it ain´t broke don´t fix it.
I know I've read articles where we have acknowledged that this is the case and so we purposely have measures to counter it. I remember reading it from John McDermott and if you look Kane is actually born in July against the trend, Pritchard is in May etc.

Just researched it and its here, have a read rather than me misquote it https://www.theguardian.com/football/2011/jun/19/fa-plans-age-group-football

It's a regular phenomenon and I wonder how many other academies actually try to counter it. Youth hawk also did a report for last years first year intake and it seems we are still as a nation influenced by it https://twitter.com/youthhawk/status/665138266786676736

Sept, Oct, Nov and January are the highest, influenced by the English system but also January as we play in so many international tournaments that being born in January is still a physical advantage in English academies, so it appears that not take it into account. Though, there could be other reasons. i don't know how much this example may translate across other areas etc but I know my youth club as an age restriction rule not a birth year rule, where you can't join in our activities unless you are 6 for example. Therefore those that turn 6 early, are exposed to football coaching or playing football with more kids more regularly than those who turn 6 later in the year. They therefore have an advantage in developing football skills over those who may only kick a ball around in the front room. As we all know at that age development happens quick. So when they are 7 and scouts are around those players are already 'better' at football relatively speaking, while also being slightly bigger and catching the scouts eyes. To normal grassroots football apply the same rules, e.g. you have to be at least 6 to join rather than taking in a year group
 
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Thanks for doing this, I was planning on doing similar myself.

How did the ages in general compare?
Here is the month information graphically. (Maybe. If can figure out how to attach an image!) Unfortunately I didn't have the foresight to log the full birthdates including year if that´s what you were after.
Screen Shot 2017-03-23 at 21.32.05.png
 
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I know I've read articles where we have acknowledged that this is the case and so we purposely have measures to counter it.........
Thanks for digging those out. Interesting - and encouraging - that we take the relative age effect into account at Spurs - certainly as far as our u18 squad is concerned the squad is relatively evenly distributed. And moving away from facts and figures into the murky world of my own perceptions, it seems to tally with our long-standing habit of turning out good littl'uns. Arguably too little of course, with Tom Carroll being the latest in a line of examples stretching way back. Phil Holder anyone...?
 

IGSpur

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Thanks for digging those out. Interesting - and encouraging - that we take the relative age effect into account at Spurs - certainly as far as our u18 squad is concerned the squad is relatively evenly distributed. And moving away from facts and figures into the murky world of my own perceptions, it seems to tally with our long-standing habit of turning out good littl'uns. Arguably too little of course, with Tom Carroll being the latest in a line of examples stretching way back. Phil Holder anyone...?
Saying that though, looking at the image above seems bout fitment group fit the typical tend moreso than Chelsea with September and January borns appearing to be significantly higher than the other months
 

IGSpur

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Binks has been called up to England u15s. No doubt after impressing for Scotland
Just realised I'm making the assumption he's England u15 as he partners Walcott. Assume he was playing up for Scotland but he could be a late 01 born so club u15 but international u16. Awaiting confirmation
 

beats1

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Hope we had a sell on clause then! (Sociedad wasn't it?)
Yea, er we let him go a free to Real Union(a third division side in Spain) where he stayed at that level for two season before joining Real Sociedad for free

Then he spent 2 years on loan before David Moyes gave him a chance and kick started his career at Real Sociedad


Also Yuri has been linked to Man City in a £26m move
 

Spurzinho

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Strange one is Berchiche. He was a real stand out at U18 level for us, really solid defender. We let him go and I was sure we hadn't heard the last of him. I kept a eye on what he was up to and, to be honest, for three or four years the answer was - not much. He was playing lower league or making sporadic appearances for Sociedad. All of a sudden, with Berchiche in his late twenties, he seems to have finally started to fulfil his potential. Good luck to him.
 
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