Get involved: send your pictures, video, news & views by texting TIMES NEWS to 80360, or email us
Edgar Davids believes 'training and maturing' young players is the way forward for Barnet
The pedigree of Edgar Davids as a top-flight international footballer has given him an invaluable insight into what makes the best European clubs not only tick – but also what makes them consistently succeed at the highest level.
He shares a simple, no-nonsense philosophy. For a start, educate the players that you don’t smash the ball forward in a fingers-crossed hit and hope approach. Secondly, produce a team which think likewise.
But, then again, so does fellow head coach at Barnet Mark Robson.
He can’t claim to have played for Ajax, Juventus, Barcelona and both Milan clubs, but he can claim to have been bloodied by the perilous, thankless grind of facing a relegation battle.
The two of them will now have to merge their widely divergent football careers into a winning partnership that confronts the future – while exploiting the lessons of the past.
Davids said: “My philosophy is playing passing football and to develop young players. I have played for Barcelona and Ajax where it is important to integrate young talents into the sides.
“You can’t just put a young player straight into the team. You need to train and mature young talented players. Arsene Wenger is very good at deciding when a young player is ready. He has mastered it.”
The Dutchman admitted Barnet will always face the cruel unfairness that when burgeoning players get noticed, they are snapped up with clubs with bigger wallets.
“We have to be realistic. If we have talented players at Barnet who are doing well they are unlikely to stay,” the former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder explained.
“But you can still contribute to their development as a player. I think in this country they need to think more about that.
“More investment is needed in youth academies. I started playing street football and you only have to look at South America at the technical players that are there because of the way they learn.”