Discussion in 'The Football Forum' started by refugee, Aug 28, 2019.
*partridge shrug gif*
The following story is not designed to make a young man look bad. Far from it. What you are about to read is an account to show where Bobby Duncan sat in Liverpool's natural order.
It was Thursday, July 18 and Liverpool, as part of their summer tour to the United States, had opened their gates and allowed access to watch a training session at Notre Dame University; it was no gentle workout for the cameras but a proper, intense hour of work on tactics.
Jurgen Klopp was in the zone but he was not so consumed that he ignored his young players.
He kept beckoning Duncan – along with Ryan Kent, Yasser Larouchi and Harry Wilson – over during the match with which the session concluded, to explain how his team played and offer education.
The rules to this game were complicated. The forward players could only move from their designated part of the pitch once a set amount of passes had been made – it required great concentration and demanded the forwards to be on their toes at all times.
Duncan got three opportunities to score. The first was in the first half, when Fabinho played him in. With only Andrew Lonergan to beat, Duncan shot straight at the veteran goalkeeper.
Another chance arrived in the second half, to shouts of 'Bobby! Finish it!' Again he missed.
On the far side of the pitch, Andrew Robertson waved his arm in the air to Duncan in frustration. The points was clear: this is men's football, a session with the new European champions; every touch, every second counts at this level.
The most significant moment, however, came at the end. The ball was moved to Duncan and he had one last sight: his touch was good, as was his body shape but, as he pulled back his leg to shoot, James Milner came thundering in; he took the ball cleanly and flattened Duncan in the process.
There was nothing malicious in Milner's actions but it served to teach a lesson. For all the hype and progress he had made, this hour showed how far he was away from breaking into the first team.
But there was no need to panic. As an 18-year-old, how could you fail to learn in such an environment?
To be part of the first team set up for six weeks must have been invaluable for a young man who had played a key role in the Under-18's FA Youth Cup triumph last season and should have served to whet his appetite. He loved it, too, signing autographs at Tranmere after he scored in a 6-0 win.
What has followed in the last four weeks, then, has been a horribly unsatisfactory affair and has ended with Duncan on the brink of a move to Fiorentina.
Liverpool thought the Italian club's first offer was derisory, a loan without any commitment to buy and no penalties if they didn't give him game time.
The new offer of £2million plus a 20 per cent sell-on clause makes financial sense. It suits all parties and it is hoped Duncan fulfils his potential in Italy. The claims that were made about his mental health last week were extremely serious and Liverpool, certainly, didn't treat them lightly.
One wonders what Saif Rubie – the PR man who issued the inflammatory statement on Twitter about Duncan – and the agent who have brokered this deal feel about the situation that has led a young man to leave his boyhood club?
The best agents are the ones who tell their clients the truth: the ones who spell out clearly what they need to do reach new levels, what they should be doing to maximise their talents and how they need to improve.
It should be noted Duncan is not with any of England's youth teams just now.
You don't, however, need to be brain of Britain to work out that people around Duncan have been telling him he should be at a higher level than Liverpool's Under 23s and that the club have handled him badly, standing in the way of his dreams.
We can only hope that Duncan develops in Florence and – most importantly – he is happy and healthy. But what we also know is that he still has a distance to go scale the peaks.
He isn't ready for the biggest stage. An afternoon in the Indiana sunshine made that crystal clear.
There is some truth to some of that but the idea that a pre season training session proves anything is stupid.
Well it certainly did not prove he's ready.
I have a feeling that Klopp is going to give the German kid Glatzel a chance when he comes back
I don’t know how to post Instagram so I’ll paste the sky sports story
looks like he's signing the contract at McDonalds
Is that him in the photo? His thumbnail makes him look like a some suave Emre Can lookalike not a big flump that got dressed in tk maxx in the dark.
I shouldn't laugh...he's not in the list.
I'm sure his agent did the required due diligence on the quality of the italian version of an U23s league.... lol
Oh dear. He will disappear into the ether just like Jerome Sinclair. All the kids now are like well Jadon Sancho did it and look where he is now.
Its because of idiots like these two
Italian agent supporting Duncan's UK one quoted in the Fail
Why is out relationship with Lazio so bad?
Are they that pissed off we sold them Lucas?! I can't rmemeber selling or buying anyone else from them.
I find it odd, cos the fans are actually good with our fans, or have been in the past, which is an aberration for Italian teams fans.
We reported them to fifa in the summer over tapping up Bobby Adekanye