World Football: Is It Fair to Heap Pressure on a Kid?

Tony WhiteContributor IIJune 4, 2011

running out of time, but is it his fault?
running out of time, but is it his fault?Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

After doing my daily catch-up on BR to ensure that any articles I write are not unintentional duplicates, (I mean those :D), I came across a slideshow detailing x amount of players who never lived up to their hype. This got me thinking, how does this happen so often?

There are many plausible reasons for why this may occur, alcoholism, a bigger emphasis on buying talent, injuries, etc. At the start of every season, the next Messi's, Pele's and Ronaldo's roll off the production line and are subjected to instant opinion.

For me, personally, this is the wrong way to go about this. The media have columns to fill and T.V. minutes to waste, so they fill a slow news day by singing the praises of the first kid that they see perform a step over on a training field.

The problem with "mercurial" talents, as has been ascribed to Adel Taraabt, is that they have not been tested at the highest level when they are being hailed.

The Rooney's, Xavi's and Cristiano Ronaldo's of this world had been bled through the youth system of their clubs, progressing beyond each level, before showing that they are capable of performing over a whole season with the right backing.

Let's take Cristiano Ronaldo, CR from here out, as an example. CR began his career at Andorinha before moving to to Nacional, and then to Sporting, before being signed by Manchester United.

CR had been given time by his original Portuguese clubs to develop into his body before being signed by a larger team. This meant that, at Manchester United, he only had to bulk up and learn team play, having already gathered the skill to survive a decent league.

Now, compare this development to Freddy Adu, a talent who was meant to be the face of American Football for the next few decades. Adu was signed by D.C. at the age of 14 in the draft and made his debut in 2004.

Fast forward to the present day, and Adu has just finished his fourth consecutive loan spell from Benfica, a team who recognised that Adu was lacking the fundamentals due to his meteoric rise.

Adu is young enough to recover from this, he may even blossom into the player he has been made out to be. This mistake of picking a kid at random and thrusting him into the limelight is still being repeated.

In England, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is being courted by all the big teams, despite having an O.K. season down in League One, the English third tier.

He has not been tested at a high level, save for an FA Cup appearance against Manchester United, in which he was made to look like an 18-year-old, i.e. exactly what he is.

Chamberlain has time on his side, much like Jose Baxter and the other, forgotten stars of yesteryear.

Due to the "results, results" aspect of the modern game, these bright talents, and many more may not ever reach their peak unless they can perform from the get-go.

It is very hard not to feel sorry for these youngsters, can't we just give them a chance?