I remember a season or two ago when the EOTK community asked, begged and implored that Krisztian Nemeth be given a chance to prove his worth in the first team. Did he get his chance? No! If everyone slams Arsene Wenger for his antics or constant criticism of anything that goes against him, there is one thing no one can doubt him for: the ability to turn potential talents into top football stars. Do I need to list examples? No, I don’t think I need or have to, because you all know whom I am referring too.
Whenever Rafa Benitez fielded a player from the reserve team, it was generally a case of force majeure more than an audacious and sincere attempt to break them into first team football. Roy Hodgson never got the chance to show us his policy in this regard as the team was so abysmal during his reign that there was no real time to experiment.
Since Kenny took over we have seen the successful deployment of Martin Kelly on the right flank on a regular basis. Some will argue that this too was a case of force majeure, as a disastrous stint from Konchesky and the relative unreliability of injury-prone Aurelio, forced Kenny to field Glen Johnson on the left which automatically opened the door to Kelly on the right! So the question is, if Johnson stays and the Reds buy a real-deal left back, will Kelly still be a first choice pick? Again some will argue: why not promote Johnson to right wing and leave Kelly to guard the right back position. Certainly doable but we are not the Manager!
Now back to Dani Pacheco! Is he talented? Yes! Is he mature enough to be a first team regular? We will never know unless we give him a run of games and let him work his magic. Ultimately there is nothing wrong with either Pacheco or any of the up and coming stars we have waiting in the wings. At this moment in time, Kenny is more concerned at placing the team as high up the table as possible to try and salvage whatever he can from what was nothing short of doomsday!
Kenny knows what talent we have brewing, more than anyone else perhaps. If he is confirmed Manager (as is everyone’s hope but is not yet confirmed by the ownership), we will see who will be elected to break into the first team to promote our own or whether yet again it will be a case of fielding our hidden talent only when there is no other alternative. It’s a case of a balancing act between policy and trying to achieve results as soon as possible.