Should a winning mentality be encouraged through youth academies?

Former Manchester City youth coach Steve Eyre has bemoaned the lack of “winners” in football and laid the blame squarely at the door of Premier League youth academies.

Speaking to Jim Salveson on the Football Stories podcast about the changes he’s seen in the way Premier League development squads are managed, Eyre said that the importance of winning matches is no longer emphasised at the development level.

“Now the game is riddled by coaches who take the pressure off themselves by suggesting that winning isn’t important and it’s not about results. What we said to our players at Manchester City was “Win with style and if you can’t win with style just win”.”

He also said that this approach at youth level is having a big impact on the players now coming through at senior level:

“What you see now is a senior dressing room that’s full of soft characters. The number of managers and head coaches who say to me “There aren’t any winners anyone, there aren’t any captains.” Well, if the academy system is breeding players where they are told from nine to nineteen winning isn’t important, then how are they expected to think it’s important when he gets to 21.”

The former Huddersfield and Rochdale boss also spoke on the podcast about his role in bringing through such talent as Daniel Sturridge, Phil Foden and Kieran Trippier whilst with Man City’s development team and about working with Joey Barton at Fleetwood Town.

Listen and subscribe to “Football Stories” wherever you listen to podcasts.

Listen to “The Coach: Steve Eyre”.

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