Reds’ Young Guns Are Having Some Fun
Every ten years or so I start a piece of writing with a lyric penned by George Michael; it’s a strange and infrequent habit to have, but occasionally one will seem strangely appropriate.
(Whilst writing the article I donned some tight shorts, located a shuttlecock, and sprayed a bit of fake suntan. TMI? I won’t mention the later lyrics from other bands and artists, that see me going all trans – albeit too briefly to change my pronouns – as well as donning a big black backcombed goth frightwig and wonky lipstick. This article was a journey.)
This season, the Reds’ young guns have certainly gone for it. It hasn’t all been smooth sailing, but no transition to a far more testing standard ever is. However, overall it has been better than could have been hoped, with results barely suffering. Vital experience has been gained, and players we had only really seen in the U18s have become, at worst, very handy squad players, on the road to becoming important squad players, and then maybe eventually, first-team regulars.
The heart of the Reds’ side in Denmark, against the team whose name I cannot spell (and who shall henceforth be called The Danes) had a 19-year-old holding midfielder starting his first game outside of the League Cup, a 19-year-old centre-back who had never played above non-league level before this season, and a 22-year-old keeper with half a dozen professional games under his belt. On at half-time came a centre-back who was still 17 until a mere month ago, with his only sighting for the first team a brief eye-catching display in preseason; a mere babe in arms for such a position.
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