Every Saturday morning, subscribers to Blueprint for Football Extra, this site's free newsletter, receive an e-mail with the best coaching related articles we've come across during the week. These are the articles included in the e-mail sent on the 24th of January. If you too want to receive the links straight in your in-box, all you have to do is subscribe to the newsletter.
Southampton aren't the only Saints in British football who are focusing on the development of players. The bulk of the St Mirren regular starting eleven is routinely made up of players that have come through their ranks. Most have represented Scotland at youth levels and, whilst they may be struggling a bit in the Scottish Premier League this is hardly surprising given the young age of most of those players. In the long term they will be better for the experience.
The man who has masterminded their youth system is David Longwell and in this exclusive interview with Blueprint for Football he explains both his philosophy as well as the set up that he has in place at St. Mirren. If you read just one thing this week, the this article is probably it.
John Bostock happy rebuilding career in Belgium after time at Tottenham
Having toured half of Europe in his quest to determine which club he should sign for, Martin Odegaard has opted for Real Madrid. It is a strange choice given their attitude to signing players rather than developing their own but it is still an understandable one. After all, when Real Madrid want to sign you it is extremely difficult to say no.
What happens from now on is partly in Odegaard's own hands but largely depend on destiny. After all, there have been numerous players who apparently had it all but saw their career fizzle out. John Bostock, sadly, is on that list. Having made his debut for Crystal Palace when he was still fifteen years old, Bostock moved to Tottenham in a highly controversial transfer in 2008. It turned out to be a bad move for him, despite becoming their youngest ever player, and his career went into free-fall after that.
Would it have been any better if he had stayed at Palace? Such questions are impossible to answer but, even so, it is hard to hide the suspicion that the move did him more harm than good.
A Day in the Life of Mark Warburton
Some weeks back, one of the chosen articles featured a day in the life of Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe. That proved to be quite popular so this one, which features a day in the life of Brentford manager Mark Warburton.
Warburton’s story is particularly interesting because he was in a highly successful (and financially rewarding) job as a banker but what really motivated him was football coaching. It is a feeling that, I feel, will be a familiar one with most readers of this digest.
Argentina’s Obsession With The Number Five Holding Midfielder
Think of Argentinian football and thoughts immediately turn to Diego Armando Maradona and Lionel Messi; the creative players with the ability to win games on their own. Yet Argentina has also been the home to some of the most rugged defenders - and, of late, defensive midfielders - in the history of the game.
Indeed, that of the holding midfielder is as much part of the country's footballing cultural fabric as the number 10. This piece by Sam McGuire explains why that it and why that role remains such a pivotal one in the game even though it appeared to be on its way out up till a couple of years back.
Am I a Pushy Parent?
The latest recommendation isn’t really an article about coaching but rather the musings of a father wondering if he is pushing his children too hard and, if not, how to avoid becoming one. It is a dilemma that, as a parent myself, I have faced and there never is a ‘complete’ answer to it. Then again, I guess that if you are asking yourself whether you are pushing your kids too hard is in itself evidence of your awareness of the possibility which makes it less likely that you will fall into that trap.