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Quick to judge

"Whenever any young players, not just United's, get a chance to represent their country, they are instantly judged as successes or failures with little regard for the fact that it must take time to become accustomed to the international game."

- Adam Marshall, ManUtd.com

19/10/2012 09:48, Report by Adam Marshall
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Blog: England expects

During the fall-out from England's far-from-disastrous 1-1 draw in Poland, it struck me that a common theme suggested by the media and supporters in phone-ins relates to promoting youngsters into the team.

Yet this seems at odds with the lack of patience in football circles which rears its head time and time again when the international teams take to the field.

Tom Cleverley, a 23-year-old midfielder with real potential, was lauded as a world-beater in some sections of the media after his performance in Moldova recently. The Guardian ran an article entitled: 'Tom Cleverley fits the bill in England's search for classic No10'.

Only a few days later, as England drew with Ukraine, one newspaper carried a feature asking if he had 'Cesc appeal' and compared him to Spain's World Cup winner Fabregas. For all three sub-sections: passing, teamwork and goal threat, their answer was 'No'. The response to the final category, puzzingly and ridiculously, was: 'Theirs or ours?'

Whenever any young players, not just United's, get a chance to represent their country, they are instantly judged as successes or failures with little regard for the fact that it must take time to become accustomed to the international game. One phone-in caller urged the current Under-21 side to simply be elevated into the senior team, even though Welbeck, Cleverley, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and the like have already graduated from that level with honours. Phil Jones and Chris Smalling also shone for Stuart Pearce's side and remain fantastic prospects who are waiting in the wings to seize their next chance. It's part of a squad's natural evolution.

There are not too many truly exceptional talents who instantly make an impression as teenagers. Wayne Rooney is one but even he bore the brunt of much of the criticism this week despite scoring his third goal inside a week and being deployed in what was effectively a defensive left-sided role in midfield for a large chunk of his performance.

It happens domestically too. Even Jonny Evans and Darren Fletcher, both mainstays for their home nations, had to endure criticism from some quarters after breaking into the United

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