Tuesday Team Talk: The 2022 winter World Cup will be a gift in disguise for English youth

Manchester MP John Leech said last week that, if Qatar could not deliver the summer World Cup, Fifa should go through the bidding process again.

Fear not Premier League fans, there is a way for the top flight to make the best of this unpopular situation.

It was a fishy bidding process and the majority of us are in agreement that Qatar should never have been awarded the World Cup, but it is more than likely that the idea of a winter tournament in 2022 will be ratified by officials next month and it could actually be a gift in disguise.



We do not see the Aviva Premiership or Pro12 rugby come to a halt while the Six Nations is going on, when huge clubs such as Saracens, Northampton Saints, Bath and Glasgow Warriors lose a decent portion of their strongest and most expensive players.

Instead, it becomes an opportunity for younger, less experienced players to get a run out and prove their worth at the same time as creating an exciting period in the league where results are often less predictable and hark back to rugby’s more amateur days.

There is no reason that the Premier League should need to have a break while the World Cup in Qatar goes on for it is a chance for the academy players of rich clubs such as Manchester United and Manchester City to step up and shine.

City’s multi-million pound academy complex can finally move away from being essentially a separate establishment rather than a pathway to first team football.

The sky blues and Manchester United, rather than scouting abroad for talent, will be able to flaunt their prestigious youth systems and managers will hopefully realise the quality that is right under their nose.

People call the Premier League the most exciting league in the world but the bigger picture suggests that is hardly true when every year whoever has the most expensive players usually finishes in the top six.

It doesn’t take a genius to see why the FA Cup provides the most memorable and jaw-dropping scenes year after year; youth and inexperience spices up sport and gives it authenticity.

Having the World Cup in the winter is what will rock the boat a little and make the league even more exciting and unpredictable while it will likely be predictable how far our home nation will progress in the tournament in 2022 that is causing so much opposition and worry.



It is the kind of circumstance that could finally throw some life into English football, giving young home-grown players a chance they are not going to get while a first team like City is so star-studded.

Fiorentina defender Micah Richards said he ‘felt sorry’ for the City youth players after their academy was opened as the reason he moved was because he felt hopeless behind Pablo Zabaleta.

England fans often complain about bad team cohesion and a lack of inspiring football, but what do you expect when none of them play together most of the year and are surrounded by players who have come from abroad?

Having a Winter World Cup could provide the perfect disturbance to change this trend and we could see more heroes like Harry Kane explode out of development squads and actually develop into leading players.

Every athlete, whatever sport they are in, has a dream of getting to the top and football as it currently works is destroying such dreams.

May bitterness about the Qatar World Cup subside and may a sense of tremendous opportunity for the boundless energy of youthful players make its way into the beautiful game in the winter of 2022. 

Main image courtesy of BBC via YouTube, with thanks.

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