Didi Hamann made an interesting observation of European football academies that got people talking.
Didi Hamann has been a regular pundit on RTÉ's World Cup coverage, with some interesting observations in the tournament so far. Last night, Argentina took on Mexico, two sides known for their flair.
South American football has produced several players with flair and skill through the years, with Lionel Messi, Antony, Neymar, Vinicius Jr and Hirving Lozano among some of the flair in Qatar.
Over the years, Ronaldinho, Rivaldo, Kaka, Angel Di Maria and James Rodriguez are some of the players who have become superstars for their natural talent and expressing themselves on the pitch, with South American teams always delivering entertainment.
Didi Hamann made the claim that this style and mentality in football academies has encouraged younger players to take up football, compared to the more structured and organised approach in European football.
🇦🇷 v 🇲🇽
Dietmar Hamann believes that kids are overcoached in their development, which leads to a lack of production of flair players.
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— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) November 26, 2022
"There are to nations playing tonight that are football fanatics, it's by far the number one sport in the country.
In Argentina, a lot of these guys would have grown up with Diego Maradona and now Messi. If you've got these guys, it makes a lot more young girls and boys take up football. They see Messi, and they want to be like Messi. Some of the guys playing now, picked it up from Maradona.
We've got European problem. There was huge debate about individual players, things you can't be taught. We've got these academies now where every kid gets the same coaching and training. I get the impression sometimes the talent is coached out of the kids.
When you play for the biggest clubs at 10, 12 years old, you've got a certain talent. You have to let the kids develop there own ability and talent, because if you tell a kid when he's ten- years-old what to do, he won't make a decision when he's 20.
I think in Germany now they realise we've got to do something different, because we haven't got a centre forward now in 10 years, since Klose finished, so why's that.
These kids who have got the ability, the numbers 10s, the most technically gifted, they get kicked out of the academy because they haven't grown or they aren't quick enough."
It was interesting comments by Didi Hamann, with the amount of flair players in the game currently dying out. The reaction by some pundits in the game to players expressing themselves has shown the way the game has gone.
Twitter reacted strongly to thee comments, with many people agreeing with the former Germany midfielder.
Unfortunately I have to agree with Didi Hamann here.
There is a culture of over coaching in grassroots football in Ireland with an endemic habit of micro managing the decision making process of children.
Let them play. Guide them, but don't control their every decision. https://t.co/LeogXiXT5I
— Alan Byrne (@ancoraemparo) November 26, 2022
I always remember my coach shouting the following onto the pitch: “give it to Eamon he is big and strong!!” I am not sure much has changed over the years 😀😀😀 https://t.co/lvBXo1cNG6
— Kevin Kelly (@kkunlimited) November 27, 2022
I have to say I agree with Hamann here. In my opinion players need freedom to express themselves and not have everything micro analysed and told not to do certain things. At the same time, they need to be guided along the way and be provided with a good football education. https://t.co/qctW9jqteR
— Dean Callinan (@CallinanDean) November 27, 2022
— ⚽️ 🇮🇪 Maldini the Hedgehog 🇮🇹 ⚽️ (@MaldinitheH) November 26, 2022
Very well said Didi Hamann. Coaching is very important especially as kids get a bit older and coaches need to teach kids about formations, tactics and game awareness but we should always let our kids natural ability shine and let them develop and learn from playing the game. https://t.co/Geg6t5cyES
— Trevor Russell (@trmanu7) November 27, 2022
The amount of creative players in the game has certainly died off, and Hamann's comments seem to point to the early coaching of a players career. As of now, it's uncertain who the next generation will idolise when it comes to natural talent.