Lost a little amongst yesterday's news was an interview in The Independent with Nedum Onouha, which covered a number of interesting topics - most notably around the difficulties Academy players (himself included) face in breaking through into the side given the changes the club has gone through:
"Three or four years ago at this point he [Weiss] might have played 50 games for the club already," Onuoha says. "In training you see he's a really good player and in my opinion has much more technical ability than any of the [first team] academy [graduates] - certainly more than Micah [Richards] and me. But he has not been able to break into the side because of the people ahead of him and the pressure that comes with the shirt these days."As noteworthy and honest as Stephen Ireland can be, Onouha comes across as the most engaging interviewee. Measured and articulate, his answers are often thought and a departure from the usual cliched ones trotted out by most players.
He is of course right in that the prospects of regular first team football at an early age that the likes of himself, Richards, Ireland and Wright-Phillips enjoyed (out of necessity more than anything) are not necesaarily as available now - although I think it is stretching it to suggest Weiss would be pushing fifty appearances. That is not to say that those good enough won't break through; more that the bar has been raised and only the very elite will ultimately make it.
This is not only affecting Academy players though. Last nights introduction of Vincent Kompany highlighted the quality and competition within the squad now, and as we progress this will only intensify further.
Despite the prospects of limited opportunities, it is clear Onouha still sees his future at the club - perhaps as a result of him having never really been a nailed on regular - with this interesting last comment which outlines what could lie ahead for the club:
"It's the people who really want to be here who'll be here the longest and when it matters."