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Thread: Talent is just not enough.

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    Talent is just not enough.

    We constantly seem to rate young players based on talent or potential. But that means very little in football, or in any sport for that matter. At this level, talent is almost a given - its what you do with it that is important.

    Parameters of Evaluation:

    I think we (and Inter) should focus on 4 parameters (with equal importance) when judging a young player:

    1. Talent: This is not just about ball skills, bit also presence of mind and vision.

    2. Work Ethic: This is not just about working hard during the game, but also a lot of do with discipline in life and in training. This is evaluated by things like does a player ALWAYS arrive early for training, professionalism in contracts, how well he listens to to coach's directions, etc.

    3. Attitude: Not just someone who isn't a spoilt brat, but also someone who is a team player, has a winning attitude and willingness to learn. This is partly the easiest thing to evaluate - at least the spoilt bit. Behaviour in training is usually a good indicator of the rest - does the player listen to the coach is another good indicator.

    4. Passion to perform: Someone who strives to improve everyday, wants to be the best, has a big desire to win every game and break records. Plays every game like a final, and wants to make his mark in each game. This can be evaluated by things like high intensity during games and training, etc.

    When you look at any great player, he would most likely score highly in at least 3 of these 4. That is what is needed in modern football.

    Balotelli is a perfect example. Great talent, average to shite in other 3 parameters. On the other end of the spectrum, we had Zanetti - not the most talented player on the planet, but he was so good in the other 3 parameters that he became a legend.

    In fact, sports scientists argue that talent can limit the development of a player. Balotelli is again a perfect example. He never had to work hard to be the best at youth level, his immense talent was good enough to make things easy for him and open doors for him. He stopped developing and never learnt to work hard... so when at the top level he was found wanting, he just didn't know what to do. At Liverpool now he looks clueless - his stunted growth and skill-set as a player are no longer enough, and he is finding it hard to deal with that.

    We must evaluate young players on all 4 parameters, or at least the first 3. The order above also indicates the level a player is going to achieve. Talent at this level is almost a given - there are so many talented young players these days. But talent alone will only open a few doors for you at best. Combined with work ethic, you got yourself a decent career. With the right attitude as well, you can become a key player for a top club. But if you want to be the best in the world, you also must have a passion to perform and continuously strive for improvement - very few players have that kind of drive.

    Sorry for the lecture, but I think sometimes people here seem to think talent is the only thing that matters. That couldn't be further from the truth. Next time you evaluate a player, think of all 4 parameters.
    Last edited by Bluenine; 17 Dec 14 at 11:03.


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    How are we supposed to evaluate attitude and passion to perform in youngsters/targets?

    I disagree with the premiss of this post. And Balotelli is an easy target/whipping boy.

    Naga, Jonathan, and Medel all have high work ethic, attitude, and "passion to perform" yet are not very good footballers. Talent rues above all else along with discipline.

    Give me a talented, disciplined player any day over the other 3 criteria you listed.
    Quote Originally Posted by Arlen View Post
    The problem with this kind of site in english is the international brand of supporters from non-footballers or non-top-footballer countries..
    You see people from Colombia, Oceania, Ireland(i think) pretending that at least ONCE in their life they saw a young wc talent arriving and becoming a world star.

    Just a idea: if you want a serious debate about football, you should block everybody from countries that NEVER will win nothing and NEVER will have a balon d'or, for example.
    Whats the point about those guys opinions??? Can i go to some New Zealand chat and start to teach them how to recognize the better wc prospects among young Rugby players?
    Again, if you NEVER saw a young wc prospect struggling in his first years, like Kaka or Ronaldinho who were booed by they local supporters here, how could you judge????

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    Do it with some of our boys, for example: Mateo Kovacic.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ADRossi View Post
    Naga, Jonathan, and Medel all have high work ethic, attitude, and "passion to perform" yet are not very good footballers.
    I disagree, I think those are pretty good footballers.

    Another example is Schelotto, perfect work ethic and passion, such class.
    Wallace

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    Quote Originally Posted by ADRossi View Post

    Naga, Jonathan, and Medel all have high work ethic, attitude, and "passion to perform" yet are not very good footballers. Talent rues above all else along with discipline.
    see, this is why i dont take you seriously. the guy came from the other side of the world, from a different competition and still stood out in the little time he has been here. not to mention the horrible state of our midfield. and you compare him to two idiots who have been here for years and who have consistently failed after getting chance after chance.


    ---


    on topic: I feel like there is still something missing. insight, you can have all the talent in the world and work ethic, professionalism but without a certain football iq you will still fail, or flop later on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hansolo View Post
    see, this is why i dont take you seriously. the guy came from the other side of the world, from a different competition and still stood out in the little time he has been here. not to mention the horrible state of our midfield. and you compare him to two idiots who have been here for years and who have consistently failed after getting chance after chance.


    ---


    on topic: I feel like there is still something missing. insight, you can have all the talent in the world and work ethic, professionalism but without a certain football iq you will still fail, or flop later on.
    Falcao's law

    I also didn't know England was the other side of the world

    I don't think Medel is very good. Just because he's one of the best of a pathetic group of midfielders doesn't mean any differently. Sure, he tries hard. Terrific.
    Quote Originally Posted by Arlen View Post
    The problem with this kind of site in english is the international brand of supporters from non-footballers or non-top-footballer countries..
    You see people from Colombia, Oceania, Ireland(i think) pretending that at least ONCE in their life they saw a young wc talent arriving and becoming a world star.

    Just a idea: if you want a serious debate about football, you should block everybody from countries that NEVER will win nothing and NEVER will have a balon d'or, for example.
    Whats the point about those guys opinions??? Can i go to some New Zealand chat and start to teach them how to recognize the better wc prospects among young Rugby players?
    Again, if you NEVER saw a young wc prospect struggling in his first years, like Kaka or Ronaldinho who were booed by they local supporters here, how could you judge????

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    You remind me of a lot of political theory classes I've been taking. They look at historical examples, evaluate reasons why those examples occurred – and then saying that every time those reasons are present, the same circumstances will always unfold.

    Yes, we see some ridiculously talented players fail. But to weigh talent equally with those other three things (which, imo, are just three different ways of saying the same thing) ignores the fact that there is still a prerequisite amount of talent required. (And I highly disagree that talent is a given – you see plenty of well-meaning players who don't make it to the next level because they are too limited). Although this is not to say that those other three things don't matter.

    Also, on another level, I think what you've written is just an obvious thing to say in general. Of course someone is going to fail if they have a poor attitude. But more so than talent, work ethic/attitude/passion is something that is not easy to evaluate at a young age but can be instilled by a good professional coach.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ADRossi View Post
    How are we supposed to evaluate attitude and passion to perform in youngsters/targets?

    I disagree with the premiss of this post. And Balotelli is an easy target/whipping boy.

    Naga, Jonathan, and Medel all have high work ethic, attitude, and "passion to perform" yet are not very good footballers. Talent rues above all else along with discipline.

    Give me a talented, disciplined player any day over the other 3 criteria you listed.
    Perhaps I did not explain properly what I meant by each parameter.

    1. Talent: This is not just about ball skills, bit also presence of mind and vision.

    2. Work Ethic: This is not just about working hard during the game, but also a lot of do with discipline in life and in training. This is evaluated by things like does a player ALWAYS arrive early for training, professionalism in contracts, how well he listens to to coach's directions, etc.

    3. Attitude: Not just someone who isn't a spoilt brat, but also someone who is a team player, has a winning attitude. This is partly the easiest thing to evaluate - at least the spoilt bit. Behaviour in training is usually a good indicator of the rest.

    4. Passion to perform: Someone who strives to improve everyday, wants to be the best, has a big desire to win every game and break records. Plays every game like a final, and wants to make his mark in each game. This can be evaluated by things like high intensity during games and training, etc.

    So no, Jonathan doesn't really score very highly in passion to perform. And while it is harder for us fans to evaluate some of these things, coaches and sporting directors can manage to do that. In fact, talent is the hardest to evaluate.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Andysam View Post
    Do it with some of our boys, for example: Mateo Kovacic.
    I am sure Mancini can already evaluate Kova on all 4 parameters, because how and what Kova does in training will be a good indicator. But if I have to take a shot at it, with my limited knowledge:

    1. Talent: 8 or 9 /10 - he clearly got it.
    2. Work Ethic: 6 or maybe 7 /10 - seems like he trains hard, not sure about how much he listens to his manager's instructions. I wonder whether he spends free time practicing shooting after every training session - that would tell a lot.
    3. Attitude: 7 or 8 /10 - he seems professional and seems to behave like a team player. At least from what we can see.
    4. Passion to perform: 4/10. This part is the most worrying IMO. Or at least was till last season. His game lacked the intensity of someone who has a great passion to be the best in the world. Its improved a bit this season, but has a long way to go if he wants to be world class.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by hansolo View Post
    on topic: I feel like there is still something missing. insight, you can have all the talent in the world and work ethic, professionalism but without a certain football iq you will still fail, or flop later on.
    Absolutely. For me, insight and football IQ are very much the key elements of talent.

    I wrote the article late at night, so probably did not do a good job of explaining. Now I have explained a bit more on what I mean by each parameter.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Wings View Post
    Yes, we see some ridiculously talented players fail. But to weigh talent equally with those other three things (which, imo, are just three different ways of saying the same thing) ignores the fact that there is still a prerequisite amount of talent required. (And I highly disagree that talent is a given – you see plenty of well-meaning players who don't make it to the next level because they are too limited). Although this is not to say that those other three things don't matter.

    Also, on another level, I think what you've written is just an obvious thing to say in general. Of course someone is going to fail if they have a poor attitude. But more so than talent, work ethic/attitude/passion is something that is not easy to evaluate at a young age but can be instilled by a good professional coach.
    I have just expanded my argument above and explained what I meant by each criteria, so:

    1. I do agree that a pre-requisite amount of talent is required - actually that is what I meant by "talent is a given" for a top club - a top club is unlikely to recruit a young player unless they believe he has the talent. They can get it wrong, but that is different.

    2. IMO its the opposite, Talent is the hardest to evaluate of the 4 criteria. But yes, a good coach can help on some aspects of the other criteria, but if a player has poor work ethic or a poor attitude, it won't be easy.

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    Physical attributes is something people can work on to compensate for a lack of talent. Endurance training, improving strength, working on ways to improvise acceleration off the mark.
    quality midguueiitsers

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluenine View Post
    1. I do agree that a pre-requisite amount of talent is required - actually that is what I meant by "talent is a given" for a top club - a top club is unlikely to recruit a young player unless they believe he has the talent. They can get it wrong, but that is different.

    2. IMO its the opposite, Talent is the hardest to evaluate of the 4 criteria. But yes, a good coach can help on some aspects of the other criteria, but if a player has poor work ethic or a poor attitude, it won't be easy.
    I meant hardest to evaluate as in I think the mental aspects are much more malleable and subject to change depending on the environment. So the work ethic you see when a player is 19 will not necessarily be the same. (And I firmly believe that with proper coaching, you can help a player change in this aspect, whereas you can't create talent when it's not present).

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