I've been a Manchester United fan for a very long time and one of the reasons why I love this club (besides the fact that we don't know how to lose!) is Sir Alex Ferguson's youth policy.
It's very heartening to follow the club's youths and see some of them eventually come through the ranks and break into the first team. That is the spirit of SAF's "give youth a chance policy", that even at such a big club, young talents are given the opportunity to rise through the ranks.
Since the rise of Fergie's Fledglings in '95, we have seen many others rise through the ranks although never since in such bulk. We've seen John O'Shea, Wes Brown, Darren Fletcher, Johnny Evans all come through and now the emergence of a new class offers alot of hope for the future.
We've got Welbeck, Cleverly breaking through this season and the newest Youth FA Cup winners, Ravel Morrison, Ezekial Fryers, Ryan Tunnicliffe, Paul Pogba, Will Keane, Oliver Gill, Larnell Cole all spoiling for a breakthrough. Have a look here to see what's in store for the future.
But it is also because of this policy that we have come to forgive errors and inexperience from these youngsters. Which brings me to the case of Johnny Evans.
I really liked him when he first broke through the ranks in 2008, deputizing really well for either Vidic or Ferdinand. But after one good year, he has slipped downhill somewhat and now it's like everytime he is in the starting lineup or comes on as a substitute, I get the jitters knowing our defence isn't watertight anymore. He is abit too errorprone and makes alot of bad decisions when pressured.
It's a similar case for David de Gea but I'll leave that rant for another day.
Still, I have a softspot for these academy graduates and I really wish the best for them. This season Evans has had an indifferent start but with Vidic out for the rest of the season, he's really got to step it up. It was an encouraging performance from him yesterday during our 4-1 win over Wolves and hopefully it's something he can keep up.