Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Butt urges patience over ‘exciting’ Man Utd youngsters

 

 

Manchester United development chief Nicky Butt has urged fans to remain patient with the club’s young talent as they attempt to establish themselves during a rocky period for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.

United are 14th in the Premier League table after a miserable start to the season, although Sunday’s 1-1 draw against Champions League holders Liverpool hinted at a change in fortunes.

One positive from the opening months of the season has been opportunities for academy graduates.

Brandon Williams recently made his debut and James Garner has been around the squad, while fellow teenagers Tahith Chong, Angel Gomes and Mason Greenwood have played a number of times.

Greenwood last week signed improved and extended terms with United having netted in two of his three starts this season but Butt has pleaded for fans to remain patient.

“They’re very exciting players,” Butt, United’s head of first team development, told the PA news agency.

“We’re all excited about these young boys and there’s probably another four or five in the background that are slowly going to come up behind them.

“Hopefully more behind that and more behind that, but they’re only babies and young at the minute.”

The former United and England midfielder said it was difficult to bring a lot of young players into a team that was not firing on all cylinders.

Butt, 44, was part of the “Class of 92” group of home-grown youngsters, along with David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and the Neville brothers, who went on to help United enjoy a remarkable period of success under Alex Ferguson.

“We were just good players, we were playing with world-class players who were superstars, who were men, who were leaders, who were winning trophies, winning leagues, getting to FA Cup finals every single year.”

He warned against expecting too much, too soon, from young players.

“I genuinely do believe that we have some really, really top talent but my concern would be putting too much weight on their shoulders at this moment in time, which might have to happen because of injuries or suspensions or whatever goes on in the squad dynamic,” he said.

Butt said his former team-mate Solskjaer was approachable and “knows the club inside out”.

“He’s coached in the academy, he did his coaching badges with academy players, with academy coaches, so he knows pretty much everybody right down to the Under-12s in the club,” he said.

“And that can only be beneficial. We’re very, very lucky to have someone like Ole in charge. It makes our job certainly a lot easier.”

© Agence France-Presse

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Agency
External source

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

DA’s egregious sexual harassment case finally begins

The party is accused of protecting a councillor, who’s also implicated in R1.2m graft

The ANC, DA and EFF ‘oblivious’ to climate crisis —...

The Climate Justice Charter Movement has critiqued the manifestos of the main parties contesting the local government elections and found them ‘shallow’

More top stories

Countries bear cross-border responsibility for harmful effects of climate change,...

The UN committee has been accused of ‘turning its back’ on the children who filed a groundbreaking legal complaint with it against five countries

Magashule files notice to have corruption charges dropped

Counsel for the suspended ANC secretary general tells court the former Free State premier falls outside category of who can be charged for corrupt activities

R1.5-billion in funding approved for riot-hit businesses

Agencies emphasise that speed is crucial to rescuing firms affected by July’s unrest

DA’s egregious sexual harassment case finally begins

The party is accused of protecting a councillor, who’s also implicated in R1.2m graft
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×