Problem Facing Every Young Superstar in Football - Lamine Yamal
| |

The Problem Facing Every Young Superstar in Football Right Now

The 2023–24 season has been defined by a trident of young footballers who have effortlessly broken into and dominated their first team and national team set-ups. Their names are Lamine Yamal, Kobbie Mainoo and Florian Wirtz. While their rise to superstardom seems unstoppable, there is a problem facing every young superstar in football. They are faced with an issue that is relentlessly threatening to end the careers of these blossoming superstars before they have even begun.

This piece will seek to evaluate and critique the technical, physical and mental profiles of Yamal, Mainoo and Wirtz. This is done in the hopes of identifying and potentially solving the problem that plagues their football futures.

Identifying the Problem Facing Every Young Superstar

In short, Lamine Yamal is a football freak. In summary, Yamal is a Magna Cum Laude graduate from La Masia whilst also possessing generational athleticism. Kobbie Mainoo may also be blessed with a superior physical profile, but the nineteen-year-old’s standout quality is his “footballing IQ.” His ability to progress the ball whilst withstanding even the most suffocating opposition press has allowed him to operate flawlessly in the first phase of play.

With both Yamal and Mainoo seemingly destined to fashion a fairytale career with their boyhood clubs, Florian Wirtz, the boy who has already achieved his own fairytale ending, is the player demanding attention from Europe’s biggest clubs. Although Wirtz lacks the freak athleticism that his peers possess, his immense ball-striking capabilities and goal-scoring instincts lead us to believe that he is the natural heir to Bruno Fernandes.

See also  Bradford City Fire: Britain's Forgotten Football Tragedy

Wirtz can also produce elegant yet powerful drives from midfield, which purports to argue that Wirtz is equipped with an attacking arsenal that even Manchester United’s No. 8 is envious of. In fact, we would even go so far as to say that all professional footballers are, to some extent, envious of the near-complete profiles of Yamal, Mainoo, and Wirtz. This claim reveals the opinion that none of these players harbour any significant technical, mental, or physical flaws.

This will without doubt confuse you, as we are seemingly saying that there is no problem that is threatening to extinguish their careers, which contradicts everything we set out to do in this piece. However, this is because we believe that the problem—the fatal flaw—that faces these superstars-to-be lies not within the players themselves. Nor do we believe that this problem resides in the coaching staff that moulds them or the club that governs them.

The problem is the football fan.

Analysing the Problem

‘Pressure Makes Diamonds’ is an expression that presents the idea that an underachieving individual’s potential can be reached by placing them under immense stress and expectation. However, what happens when this pressure is imposed upon a shining diamond instead of a lump of coal?

Our answer to this question lies in the story of Bojan Krkic – the first ‘New Messi’. Surpassing all of his namesake’s achievements at the youth level, Bojan was truly a ‘diamond’. Yet Bojan bore the colossal weight of Culers’ hopes and dreams, which led to him experiencing a series of anxiety attacks; and it squeezed the life out of him and his career. The weight of a club’s crest is immeasurable, as it represents the livelihoods of millions of souls around the world.

See also  Jürgen Klopp's Liverpool Reign HAS Been Hugely Successful

‘Pressure Makes Diamonds—but apply too much, and it might just crack right back to coal.’

Since social media has provided a platform for football discourse, this diamond shattering ‘fan pressure’ has grown vastly. Whilst the majority of the conversations on platforms such as ‘X’ and ‘TikTok’ remain positive or merely inoffensive, it is the personal, cruel and often anonymous abuse which is heard the loudest by the players. There is a great irony in some fans’ desire to dehumanise and degrade a footballer when they conduct said abuse while wearing a deformed, faceless mask of anonymity.

Problem Solving

While this may be an issue that concerns footballers of all ages, we fixate on the next generation coming through due to their intimate relationship with social media. This relationship has led players to be hyper-aware of fan-consensus online, as evidenced by Garnacho and Hojlund having recently interacted with a prominent, agenda-driven fan channel. This awareness will only widen over time and could eventually result in young players collapsing mentally as a result of overdosing on the unrelenting, fanatic opinions of social media.

The burden of facing this problem rests not with players such as Yamal, Mainoo and Wirtz but instead with us: the supporters. Note that I use the word ‘supporters’ to describe us, not fans. ‘Supporters’ is derived from the Old French term supporten, which translates to ‘to hold up, prop up, and bear the weight of’. This is the solution for the football fan.

We can have a one-on-one coaching session with every informative article, video, or podcast we produce. We can be a “pat on the back” to every player who collapses into their place in the dressing room, head in their hands, after a poor performance, by simply leaving a supportive comment. We can be chanting their name and have it echo around the ground with every like we leave.

See also  The meteoric rise of record-breaking Arsenal schoolboy, Chido Obi-Martin

Supporters, we are the Twelfth Man. We are the solution to the problem facing every young superstar.

About The Author

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply