Kids Team

The Spoiler’s Premier League Youngsters XI

Did this young man make the cut? (yes he did)

Aaron Ramsey

It’s already been quite a season for youngsters, so coming up with a team of the things was a trickier-than-expected process. The rule was – keeper aside – to only use players who are 20-years-old or younger. That immediately brought the axe down on the likes of Jonny Evans, Seamus Coleman, and Micah Richards. And those unlucky to miss the final cut included Vladimir Weiss David N’Gog, and Danny Welbeck. 

Hence, The Spoiler’s younglings XI ended up looking like this… Leave your thoughts in the form of a comment.

Goalkeeper, Vito Mannone, 21 – Arsenal

Of course, goalkeepers don’t tend to reach their prime until they’re in their late-30s, so Mannone is a foetus in keeping terms. Hence why he makes the team, even though he’s a shade over 20.

Right Back, Rafael da Silva, 19 – Man United

After years of watching Gary Neville pounding up and down the flank like a shire horse, what joy for the Man United faithful to see this zippy Brazilian adding a bit of skill to the right hand side. One with a long future at United, along with his mirror-image, Fabio.

Centre Back, Jack Rodwell, 18 – Everton

Primarily used as a midfielder at Everton, the word on the street is that Rodwell might one day take a step back, and become yet another one in a long list of great ball-playing centre backs.

Centre Back, Jeffrey Bruma, 18 – Chelsea

Already a member of the Chelsea Champions League squad, this young Dutchman is rumoured to be very fast and strong. John Terry only really has one of those attributes.

Left Back, Kieran Gibbs, 20 – Arsenal

It’s such a bummer that Gibbs’ metatarsal has been causing him so much jip, because, with Wayne Bridge on a massive downward curve, there could be a spot for him as Ashely Cole’s understudy in the England World Cup squad. Still time.

Right Midfield, Theo Walcott, 20 – Arsenal

It’s amazing that Theo Walcott is still only 20. He’s superfast, he put three past Croatia for England, and should his body be up to it, he could force his way back into the England starting line up. A hunch suggests that he might yet become a brilliant centre forward.

Centre Midfield, Jack Wilshere, 17 – Arsenal

The youngest player in the team, and quite possibly the brightest prospect. Something about him reminds The Spoiler of Joe Cole at a similar age, only Wilshere looks even better. Could become an England great.

Centre Midfield, Aaron Ramsey, 18 – Arsenal

It must surely have been one of Wenger’s shrewdest business deals when he managed to snaffle Ramsey for around £4.8 million from Cardiff City. Already a Wales international, he’s making a strong case for a regular spot in the Arsenal first team. No mean feat.

Left Midfield, Gabriel Obertan, 20 – Man United

Similar to Arjen Robben, in that they both look as though they should be working in telesales, France’s Under-21 might just be the man to solve Ferguson’s post-Giggs Man United nightmare. He’s starting to look better with each game.

Forward, Gael Kakuta, 18 – Chelsea

A controversial little chap, Gael Kakuta has caused the Chelsea suits all manner of problems off the pitch. On it, however, he looks like a very exciting prospect indeed. Fast, tricky, confident. That said, he did bugger up an important penalty against Blackburn.

Forward, Federico Macheda, 18 – Man United

After his wonderful cameo roles at the end of last season, there has been less exciting Macheda action this time around. Even still, when he plays, he looks like a great player for the future. Still only 18, he has the face of a much older man.


22 responses so far
  • Kristján Atli // December 10, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    This is just silly. Sorry, but Macheda and Kakuta up front? How many 1st team goals do they have between them? Or minutes, even? How about David Ngog, a 20 year old who’s scored five times for Liverpool?

    Also, if you’re gonna include Jeffrey Bruma in central defence, you might as well include Martin Kelly, who was MOM for Liverpool against Lyon in October and already has both Premiership and Champions League experience, despite being 18 years old.

    There’s also a number of young players you missed, such as West Ham midfielder Junior Stanislas (English, 20 years old, regular starter), Birmingham’s Joe Hart (capped for England, 22 year old goalkeeper, already very experienced w/ Man City and Brum) or Tottenham’s Gareth Bale (20 years old, very experienced already).

    Oh, and Kieran Gibbs, who’s played a handful of Carling Cup games for Arsenal over Emiliano Insúa, who’s a regular first team starter for Liverpool and capped for Argentina’s national side (both are 20 years old)? Please. Why not just fill every position with Arsenal’s kids, if Mannone and Gibbs can be selected over others?

    This myth that only Arsenal have promising youngsters baffles and infuriates me. You should’ve done more research, this reads like something you threw up over a cup of coffee, or less time than that even.

  • Jamie // December 10, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    You sound like a Liverpool fan. And you are. What a surprise.

    David Ngog is not exactly setting the league alight with his performances, mate.

    The only young player I’ll give you is Insua as he does look very good.

    Putting forward Gareth Bale nullifies all your other suggestiosn though.

  • JoshBurt // December 10, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    Hi Kristjan
    Great comment, very good detail. Joe Hart missed mainly because he was just too old. Whilst Stanislas and Bale both came into contention, but who would I get rid of to put them in? Insua also nearly made it, but didn’t. (whisper it) I think Gibbs might be better…

  • Shei Moin // December 10, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    Absoloutely agree with the above comment! This is just an Arsenal team with a couple of others thrown in. It’s like you didn’t even bother looking at anyone who’se not been praised by Sky Sports!

  • Kristján Atli // December 10, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    Jamie, you cannot exclude Ngog for not playing as well as Drogba and Torres when the ones you selected, Kakuta and Macheda, have hardly even featured.

    As for Bale, et al, I was just trying to diversify the selection. As a Liverpool-fan I’d absolutely put Ngog and Insua in my own team but I’d try to make sure more than four teams were featured. It’s like you chose Arsenal players to fill in the gaps where you couldn’t think of obvious candidates.

    FYI, I’d put forth the following team:

    GK: Joe Hart – RB: Rafael da Silva – DC: Jack Rodwell and Martin Kelly – LB: Emiliano Insua – RM: Theo Walcott, CM: Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey, LM: Gabriel Obertan, CF: David Ngog and Danny Welbeck (featured far more often than Macheda for Utd).

    That’s eleven players from five teams, most coming from Arsenal, Man Utd and Liverpool (3 each) plus 1 from Everton and 1 from Birmingham (Man City).

    JoshBurt – how is a 22 year old keeper too old? And you saying Gibbs, who Arsene Wenger clearly doesn’t trust for big games, might be better than an Argentinean international, shows your bias. In fact, without Insua I’d select both Fabio da Silva and Gareth Bale over Gibbs as both have featured more often for their big clubs.

    Yes, I’m a Liverpool-fan but this has nothing to do with that. Rather, I’m tired of the whole sanctimonious brigade of Arsenal-hypers who’d like to tell you they’re the youngest and most talented side in the world when both their squad’s average age and performances since 2005 clearly suggest otherwise.

  • Shei Moin // December 10, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    I meant the 1st comment that is

  • JoshBurt // December 10, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    All really great comments folks. The point was to come up with the BEST team of youngsters playing at the moment, based both on performance and potential. Not to compile a team that represents everyone. That the team is Arsenal-heavy should not really be a surprise…

  • Kristján Atli // December 10, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    …given the ceaseless media fawning over their youth team.

    Really, give it some scrutiny. Walcott, Wilshere and Ramsey are no-brainers but other than that you’re stretching the truth more than a little bit to say they’ve got the biggest group of talented youngsters in England.

    In fact, I’d say United’s collection of youngsters – da Silva twins, de Laet, Obertan, Gibson, Obertan, Valencia, Tosic, Macheda and Nani – far outstrips anything Arsenal has to offer. Take it from a Liverpool-fan. :)

  • bl4d3 // December 10, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    kristjan are you serius???…wenger doesnt trust gibbs to play in big games haha what are you talking about shows how much you know about other teams or football even….who played against manchester united in champions league? and who started most of the games this season? when clichy was injured, if gibbs wasnt injured still he would be playing in the arsenal team and soon will be in england team!!

    and good article btw!

  • bl4d3 // December 10, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    kristjan please dont talk no more i just read ur comment about man u kids hahaha dont embarrass yourself anymore u waste ma!!

  • Callum // December 10, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    No reason to disagree with Kristjan, especially when you look at the even-younger ones, like Ravel Morrison. Really though, Walcott is absolutely atrocious. He’s fast but other than that he has no skill whatsoever.

  • another randomer // December 11, 2009 at 12:34 am

    ryan giggs? anyone? i seen this giggs lad playing for man united and he couldn’t be much older than 19/20.
    looked a great player, surprised he isn’t on this list

  • Part-time Púndit // December 11, 2009 at 6:58 am

    Kristjan… granted Emiliano Insúa played for Argentina, but didn’t Maradona call up 70 others in their WC qualifying campaign too… the most of any manager?
    Seriously, if you had a squiggly line or accent above a letter in your name, chances are you’d be in the squad, heck I reckon even I’d have a chance of getting a call up!… Australia, comes just under Argentina in most dropdown boxes.

    My convoluted point is take a chill pill buddy, the list is based on youngsters playing at the moment… not youngsters that were called up by their loco national team manager.

  • Mish // December 11, 2009 at 7:10 am

    What about Daniel Pacheco at Liverpool?! He’s a real hot prospect for the future. This list has been compiled by the usual hobby Manyoo and Chelski fan chumps.

  • ignatz // December 11, 2009 at 8:43 am

    I’d take Gibbs over Insua. Not by much though. And I am a Gooner, so take it with a pinch of salt. But I’m pretty sure Gibbs will be better than Clichy in a fairly short time frame, and I can’t say the same for Insua.

    Never heard of this Bruma bloke and I like Kelly, so that’s one I’d change.

    Sure it’s dominated by the top 4 but that’s only to be expected. Maybe Spoiler could do an alternative list from all the rest of the clubs?

  • MwepuLlunga // December 11, 2009 at 11:24 am

    Insua is vastly over rated and has looked pretty poor this season. Gibbs is potentially world class. Debate over. Is Rodwell really being primed for CB!? Seeing as Everton’s defensive crisis recently saw Hibbert being picked there and not JR its not as much of a certainty as people seem to think. If he’s playing so well at CM why change it?

  • anonymous // December 11, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    Vela and N’Gog are both far ahead of Kakuta and Macheda

    Also who is Jeffrey Bruma? How can he be in the team when he is ‘rumoured to be very fast and strong’.

  • Arthur Rowe // December 11, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    I see you are happy to perpetuate the myth that is Walcott.

    Yep hes lightning fast and er, er, er hes injury prone.

    Hes easy to knock of the ball if you can get in front of him and the rest is average.

    A great enter forward in the making yep for a championship side.

    The most overated player in the last 10 years

  • Kev // December 11, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    Here is what would be my squad of best premiership youngsters (20 or younger) outside the top 4
    GK – Joe Hart
    RB – Dan Gosling
    LB – Gareth Bale
    CB – James Tomkins
    CB – Jack Rodwell
    RW – Danny Rose
    LW – Junior Stanislas
    CM – Jordan Henderson
    CM – Fabian Delph
    FC – Zavon Hines
    FC – Jose Baxter

    Wouldn’t actually be too bad a team

  • lee dixon fan club // December 11, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    there are only four players in the arsenal squad that other teams fear: they are van persie, arshavin, fabregas and… walcott. he’s injury prone alright but when he has a free run in the team he is sensational – just ask milan, liverpool and croatia. he’s a big game player

  • lee dixon fan club // December 11, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    oh and kev… Walcott more overrated than Bentley, you think?

  • ray // December 15, 2009 at 2:00 am

    gk monnae
    rb rafel
    cb rodwell and bruma
    lb gibbs
    lm wallcott
    cm wilshire and ramsay
    rm delph
    st vela
    st macheda

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