March 12, 2014 by bluenosebible
They say money talks in football.
Queens Park Rangers and their owner’s substantial wallet proved that on Saturday during their trip to St. Andrews running out comfortable 2-0 winners, thanks to an exceptional performance from former Blues loanee, Ravel Morrison.
Just taking a minute to read the visitors’ team sheet before kick-off wouldn’t have helped with any pre-match nerves for the Blues’ players.
Jermaine Jenas, Robert Green, Joey Barton, Richard Dunne with the likes of Gary O’Neill and Andy Hughes on the bench.
It’s a side that screams out experience and, arguably, quality too good for the Championship (as well as making Nikola Zigic’s wage look pretty average!)
But despite a David versus Goliath financial comparison on paper, one young man for Birmingham stood up to the giant and still managed to show why he is so highly rated by the Bluenoses and by many famous faces at the height of English football.
Since arriving at St. Andrews at the end of January on loan from Manchester City, Emyr Huws has been made a massive impact.
Even in his debut just two days after signing against Derby County, the defensive midfielder walked away with the man of the match trophy before making it three weeks in a row against Charlton Athletic and Watford.
Many young players could have let the nerves get the better of them in the a debut against Derby, even more so with the Rams starting Will Hughes, Craig Bryson and John Eustace in central midfield, a trio that have formed a good partnership since Steve McLaren took charge.
But the Welshman again stood up and performed admirably in the draw and rarely making a mistake.
Huws’ form has been that impressive since joining that Wales boss Chris Coleman handed the 20-year-old his international debut last week against Iceland, saying Huws; “deserved the chance and he took it.”
Stepping up to the national side will aid the youngster’s progress massively playing with likes of Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey, but it is at Manchester City where Huws can receive the best mentoring with two fantastic midfields, one in the current squad and one who was one of the Premiership’s greatest central midfielders of all time.
Power house Yaya Toure is a key member of the first team at City, but in an interview with the Manchester Evening News, Huws said he offers good advice and is a role model.
“Yaya is one of the best players in the world; he’s a good guy and tries to help me out with advice. He gives me tips in training if you ask.
“It can be intimidating, but you just get used to it. I’m used to it by now.”
While playing in the Citizens’ Elite Development Squad, the 20-year-old was able to work on a day to day basis with former Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira, who is the coach of the U21s side, and the Frenchman has challenged Huws to become one of the best holding midfielder players in the world.
“Patrick has been great with me. He’s been a mentor and improved my game a lot. He wants me to play like Sergio Busquets and believes I can do that.
“I went to the Man City- Barcelona game and his awareness of the pitch was class. He’s probably the best defensive midfielder in the world.”
In many ways there are similarities between the two players and carry out their role on the field.
Over the last few years, teams have looked for holding midfielders who retain possession rather than being able to stop the opposition.
But Huws is also managing to get stuck into a tackle and is a great reader of the game, meaning he is able to win the ball back as well as retain possession with his great range of passing.
Although there are similar traits between the two, Busquests was shown faith when making his way into the Barca team, whereas Huws is at a club where younger player haven’t got the chances they may have deserved in the last couple of seasons
The most important thing for the youngster’s future is that once this season is over, he can either get some game time at the Etihad or at least join a Premiership side on loan.
It’s vital that a player at this age not only progresses with first team experience, but also with progress up the league ladders to keep pushing them and ensure they aren’t thrown into the deep end when they get their chance.
Whether you rate them or not at England level, Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley are perfect examples of this.
They were given their chance and impressed in the Championship at Preston NE and Watford, respectively, before exceling with the step up to Premiership loan moves with Sunderland and Wigan Athletic.
This project is Man City’s aim of bringing something back to the community by given the surrounding area a football complex like no other around the stadium.
There would also be an emphasis on grassroots football and so much so it has been stated the club want a whole home- grown squad by 2027.
The timing couldn’t be more perfect for the Welshman as he’d be an experienced 33-year-old by this time.
With this in mind, could this young boy from the Welsh valleys become the figure head of the Manchester City project?
Given the opportunity and keeping his private life in order, I wouldn’t bet against it.
By Oliver Osborn (The Bluenose Bible)