Jody Morris has provided a startling insight into Chelsea’s academy system and criticised some former managers for overlooking youngsters.
Morris has taken up a new role as Frank Lampard’s assistant manager at Derby County and left his position as Chelsea U18s boss.
Lampard and Morris’ knowledge of the Blues youth system has seen them bring in Fikayo Tomori and Mason Mount on loan to help their Championship promotion challenge this season.
But Morris has been highly critical of “some managers” that would rather sit in their office than watch a youth match involving some of the club’s best youngsters.
“You’ve got to have a manager that, first and foremost, wants to look,” he told Sky Sports.
“We’ve had managers at Chelsea where they’d be 50 yards away, there’d be a Champions League U19s game going on, and the manager’s sat in his office, rather than coming out to watch. It’s very disheartening.
“It’s not my place to go over there and start talking to managers, but some managers aren’t interested – they don’t care about youth. They judge the first team and want to get their own players in.
“The thing about Chelsea is I don’t think there’s an academy in this country that’s better, but it doesn’t look like that on paper because of the amount of players who are not playing in the first team.
“The players are good enough, most definitely, but the managers are not, for one, aware of them. It’s alright someone going in and talking up a player and saying ‘this player’s got European Player of the Year in an U19 tournament, won the World Cup, and is one of the best players at his age group’ – if they don’t see him, physically, that doesn’t get you him.
“You need to see it – Claudio Ranieri’s point of playing John Terry was the fact that he went to watch him. He saw him, said ‘right, he’s playing for me’ – and in. There’s nothing better than seeing players in the flesh. It’s alright people talking them up but you have to see it in the flesh.”
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