Who made you more stoic about hot prospects?

appleman

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Someone posting the video on the Pogba thread made me realize one thing about what he meant for me.

For years and years I thought he could still have his break, or perhaps in his case the break would be realizing a higher consistency and composure during games.
Even before the summer he left I still noticed some parts of me hoping he'd still make it, that talents of his level would be unleashed to the level it should have.
What if he just needed the right playing style? The mental touch to click just right once? Whatever, if you've been on this forum, you've seen plenty of theories behind his potential staying locked.

But the move to Juventus came, the injuries grew, now the doping ban. He practically disappeared off the podium entirely.

Of course, there have been plenty who came before. We have Cassano, who couldn't hold an attitude for more than 2 games. Rossi at Villarreal.
Oliver Torres before his big injury was a big one for me at Atlético, and I still feel sad when I see him being a decent midfielder for Sevilla. (Perhaps he was my pre-Pogba now that I think of it – hadn't been this convinced about a worldbeater before as I thought he would be)

More recently we have the Greenwood and Sancho issues. They were ready to be stars. Sancho's hype wasn't far behind Bellingham's, we all know how we felt about Greenwood before the news came out.

But, with those two it already became much easier to let go of their career prospects. No one is meant to be a star, nor is any of that written in the stars (to be fair, I'm far from fluent in star).
Perhaps it could be better for players too. Before the social media/extremely consistent marketing presence and presentation seemed to be easier, based on how trainers who used to be players themselves talk about how players have to be way more perfect than they used to be in their free time. The rugs just aren't that wide anymore. Sadly, the hype and the eternal comments online will probably never cease (still not fluent) – so that theory is useless either way, at least from a falsifiability standpoint.

However, I cannot be the only one who was Pogba'd into not expecting players to shine more than they've shone.

Who is a player who helped you realize a career is not set in stone, and any talent could just fade like that into apparent obscurity?
Maybe subquestion if you feel like typing a lot: is there also a reverse? A never-would-be who proved you wrong big time?
 

Salt Bailly

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In all my years supporting Manchester United, this is the most stoic I've ever felt, not gonna lie.
 

ayushreddevil9

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Ravel Morrison? Purely based on whatever I read about him. Don't remember watching him a lot.
 

Fortitude

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I always have the provisos of “injury permitting” and “player not going off the rails” factored into any assessment I make, and even then, players like Sancho still shock and disappoint.
 

Patchbeard

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This. Thought he looked incredible in the youth team and then hit the ground running for the first team. Then seemed to just became bang average overnight.

Struggling to think of any on the flipside...a lower profile one would be Josh King, who I thought was one of the worst youth teamers to ever get a first team appearance for us and that he'd amount to very little despite being capped internationally at a young age. And he was then bang average in the Championship for a number of years after leaving us, and I thought Bournemouth were off their rocker for signing him when they got promoted.

But fair play to him as he somehow became a decent Premier League player for a few years and also did well internationally at that time. Absolute tosh again though once he left Bournemouth.
 

Trequarista10

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Ravel Morrison?
This. The kid was an immense talent.

Also Macheda. Banged them in at youth level and then made an immediate impact for the first team. It seemed inevitable he'd become a Ruud like striker.

Januzaj, Rafael, Evans and Welbeck in a different sense. Players who did somewhat make it - they were impactful for the first team for a while, and have had decent careers in top leagues since. But they made it hit home that young players don't automatically have seamless, continued progression. Some peak and drop off early, others get distractions off the field, or injuries which hamper their progress, or a new manager who just doesn't rate them. To be considered an unquestioned success it takes a number of things to fall into place, and it's the exception rather than the norm.

Not sure Pogba fits in any sense though. He was undoubtedly one of the most talented players in the world for a while, he's a World Cup winner, he was fantastic for France and Juve when utilised in a system that suited him. He wasn't a prospect or youth player when he returned, he was a fully fledged professional who was at or near his peak. Even for United he was a frequent match winner. Sure he had some defects but he just wasn't suited to the role United managers gave him.
 
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Pexbo

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Martial. Think back to the Liverpool debut and the pace, dribbling and finishing ability he had, flashes of talent throughout his career like his purple patch with Rashford about 5 years ago. We all know how it turned out but the talent was there.
 

didz

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I don't think anyone has the power to give me the internal strength to stop complaining about footballers when they annoy me. That must come from within.
 

Zehner

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Götze for me. Talentwise he was up there with Hazard and Neymar and while they were still playing in second tier leagues, Götze was playing a UCL final as the best player of his team.
 

Skills

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Januzaj was massively overrated IMO. He didn't have anywhere enough in his arsenal to ever become a great player. It was a case of a young player who had the game intelligence of a pro which made him stood out, but not enough talent or potential to maximise.

He's had exactly the career a player of his talent should've had. A comfortable top level footballer, not good enough for the best teams.
 

NZT-One

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Januzaj was massively overrated IMO. He didn't have anywhere enough in his arsenal to ever become a great player. It was a case of a young player who had the game intelligence of a pro which made him stood out, but not enough talent or potential to maximise.

He's had exactly the career a player of his talent should've had. A comfortable top level footballer, not good enough for the best teams.
Yeah, that is my take as well. I think, for young players their breakout season should be seen in a certain way. Because when they come into the team, them being an unknown quantity, maybe underestimated, certainly opponents not being prepared to deal with them, plays a huge factor in their early success. And this is not me wanting to take something away from for example Januzaj, Greenwood or now Garnacho - it requires a certain level of talent and the right attitude to have a great breakout. But there comes a time, when opponents will be prepared for their tendencies, for their strength and weaknesses. They setup their teams to kill strength, emphasize weaknesses. Also some youth players gain their reputation due to being superior to their U21 counterparts due to their physicality, this also fades as soon as the highest level is reached. It requires a lot for a young player to stay in the game, reinvent to a degree. It is really rare for a reason.

I think, Götze is a great shout. He really faded away... From a United perspective, I think it were Tosic, Powells, Will Keanes and Ravels stories, that made me realise, that standing out in the youth leagues is a nice thing to have but it means very little... Latest example being Ethan Laird.
 

appleman

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That's not what stoic means.
Do we want to send OP down that rabbit hole though? They'll be quoting Marcus Aurelius and daydreaming about being a Roman legionary in no time!
:lol:
Maybe stoic wasn't the right word to make my point, as I didn't mean it in the philosophical sense. Maybe it's more of a dutch thing to use it as a synonym for 'unbothered' to some degree.

As in, not get overly excited/ahead of yourself when seeing a prospect (new young talent or even something like Hazard>Madrid)
Do not you worry, I shalt Meditate on other philosophies for now

Götze for me. Talentwise he was up there with Hazard and Neymar and while they were still playing in second tier leagues, Götze was playing a UCL final as the best player of his team.
Yeah, this is another one. It even baffles me a little how people (and even himself) say the drop came after the World Cup final goal, even though the season before that he already couldn't get things running. His recent relative resurgence (be it wildly inconsistent, and not a beater anymore) was nice to see though.
 

Lay

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Götze for me. Talentwise he was up there with Hazard and Neymar and while they were still playing in second tier leagues, Götze was playing a UCL final as the best player of his team.
He didn't play in the final :p Something about injury or something about him being announced as a Bayern Munich player a few days before the final
 

Snow

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Gylfi Sigurðsson was signed to Reading at the same time as another Icelandic player who was considered the biggest talent in the country. Gylfi became possibly the greatest ever player in Iceland's history but the other player went back home a couple of years later and became a mediocre Icelandic league level player who retired before 30.

Got two cases of players whom I know personally. One broke through the first team at age 15 and broke all the goal records for the youth national teams. Got signed pro before the age of 20. Retired at 26. Not because of injuries but because of mental problems.

Another had an offer from Rangers at 15. One of the biggest talents in his age group, really smart midfielder who since he was a kid knew his next move before receiving the ball. Best player I played with or against (that includes many current international players). He declined the offer, wanted to finish school first and then leave at 18. Amireable but a test of character that football is brutal and leaving your home, your friends and family to another country before you're even 18 is sort of a mental test if you can become a footballer or not.
At 18 he did his ACL and he sort of lost confidence. Never saw the same player again. He also retired before 30.

So the reason why I don't hype talents particularly is because there are just so many players with exceptional talent but at the end of the day the head is what matters the most and no one can predict or judge that aspect of a player too well.
 

kaiser1

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Martial. Think back to the Liverpool debut and the pace, dribbling and finishing ability he had, flashes of talent throughout his career like his purple patch with Rashford about 5 years ago. We all know how it turned out but the talent was there.
Same here. I legit thought he was going to be a Thierry Henry. I wanted Bayern to get him to replace Ribery so bad
 

Zehner

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He didn't play in the final :p Something about injury or something about him being announced as a Bayern Munich player a few days before the final
Of course! Must have repressed that memory, to this date I've never been as disappointed when a transfer was announced :(
 

Mwooyo

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I still think this discussion should be split into players who self sabotaged and those who were not really supported to deliver their best consistently. Ravel Morrison, greenwood and even Januzaj self sabotaged. They did things to prevent their own success at the club. Some players like Januzaj were heavily overated.

To be honest, Even martial is heavily overated...but he falls more in the second bucket, the no support bucket. Its actually very clear that all strikers at manutd are struggling because we dont really create so many chances for them. The last striker for whom we created sooo many chances game after game and used to miss them over and over again is Zlatan ibrahimovic. As hojlund is showing, he goes through many games with only one chance or none. He often has to create his own chances.

On the other hand, Lets be fully honest, Pogba was never supported to deliver his best...he sat in the midfield alone for most of his time here. People wanted him to drag the team out of a bad result game after game...all alone. Even we brought bruno, Pogba was still left in that midfield alone. Pogba is actually proof that we were a badly run club because he delivered for his other teams including france at the world cup. France gave him support in that midfield and he was allowed to showcase his full ability on the ball without fear.

We only signed a proper DM (casemiro) when he left. Casemiro too is suffering the consequences of being left in the midfield alone this season. Now some fans are suggesting that casemiro isnt that good. Of course he is not that good when left in the midfield alone. Even the casemiro replacement will suffer as long as we ditch him in that midfield alone.

I actually think that its crazy that people think pogba flopped for us but someone like rashford has not been a flop. Rashford, mctominay should be discussed as flops more often than even someone like Pogba because its pretty clear that they are soooo overrated by the club. These are very very average players and if it was Fergusons time, they would be comparable to wes brown or silvestre. Okay players but nothing special.

Even if we consider the price of pogba, he should be last in the line of hate. Lukaku, Maguire, sancho and Anthony should be at the top of that discussion.
 

Hugh Jass

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I remember when Ben Pearson was the next Scholes. Macheda another one - his fame lasted 15 minutes. Im very grateful for that goal though.
 

HTG

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Ousmane Dembele. I was convinced he'd become a candidate for the balon d'or. Ever since he did not improve one bit. He might actually be worse.
 

Hernandez - BFA

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I was young when Possebon was in the academy, but he was the first player I thought naively that he would make it in the first team. Him and Magnus Wolfe Eikrem.
 

HTG

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The beautiful thing about this is, that at one point you realize that for any player you were sure he'd make it, is another one coming out of nowhere surprising everyone. Guys like Thomas Müller for example.
 

MackRobinson

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I break it up into two camps. Injury and non-injury related.

Jack Wilshire for the former. I remember telling a friend he would be playing for Barcelona in a few years.

Dele Alli for the latter because it seemed to come out of nowhere. Granted his unfortunate rough upbringing contributed to it, but at the time his decline seemed to come out of nowhere.

Never in a million years would I think these two are where they're at now. Sancho's decline is also quick shocking
 

Valencia Shin Crosses

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I always have the provisos of “injury permitting” and “player not going off the rails” factored into any assessment I make, and even then, players like Sancho still shock and disappoint.
The Sancho one 100% shocked me. At least with players like Pogba/Martial etc we've seen flashes of form and instances of them dominating matches throughout the years with us but Sancho has legit been awful since day 1 and apart from a couple "decent" games has shown nothing from his Dortmund days with us.

You can't even call it a terrible transfer decision either, any club would have loved to have him at that time.
 

Valencia Shin Crosses

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I break it up into two camps. Injury and non-injury related.

Jack Wilshire for the former. I remember telling a friend he would be playing for Barcelona in a few years.

Dele Alli for the latter because it seemed to come out of nowhere. Granted his unfortunate rough upbringing contributed to it, but at the time his decline seemed to come out of nowhere.

Never in a million years would I think these two are where they're at now. Sancho's decline is also quick shocking
Wilshere is tragic, guy bossed Barca as an 18 year old.
 

Trequarista10

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Januzaj was massively overrated IMO. He didn't have anywhere enough in his arsenal to ever become a great player. It was a case of a young player who had the game intelligence of a pro which made him stood out, but not enough talent or potential to maximise.

He's had exactly the career a player of his talent should've had. A comfortable top level footballer, not good enough for the best teams.
Januzaj is an unusual case but I'm not sure i agree. He looked very good under Moyes, he had good technique, he was direct, fearless, could dribble, create and shoot. I think he has spoken about getting carried away and not putting in the effort at that point. Players with less talent have made it at top sides. I think attitude/mentality held him back mostly. Which is probably the decisive factor more often than talent.
 

Trequarista10

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Wilshere is tragic, guy bossed Barca as an 18 year old.
Agreed. He gets mocked on here because he had a couple hot headed moments, played for a rival and because he was heralded by the press as England's midfield saviour, but he was a genuinely phenomenal talent. Without the injuries he would likely have been in the very top tier. A real shame.
 

Lee565

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For me it was the big combination of havertz, Werner and sancho coming to the epl within a short time of each other and all flopping that leave me with a wait and see approach now instead a typical overly excited and boastful football fan when their club signs a hot prospect.

They were 3 of the hottest prospects in Bundesliga and also tied into seeing us getting our fingers burnt 3 times in a row no by buying highly rated players with stats to back it up from dortmund and all 3 being huge money wasted.
 

Golden Nugget

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Few that cross my mind instantly; not counting Greenwood as that’s not football related.

Morrison - looked a cert to make it and run our midfield for years.

Wilson - incredible finisher in his youth, and looked the part in his early days here. Then completely fell off.

Rossi - another that was scoring for fun at youth levels - did okay but injuries really ruined him
 

Massive Spanner

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Anderson for me. Came here as a golden boy. Amazing YouTube highlights. Expected to be the next big thing. turned out to be a lazy fat feck who couldn’t really do much other than run around a bit before getting tired and needing to go off.
 

Patchbeard

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Few that cross my mind instantly; not counting Greenwood as that’s not football related.

Morrison - looked a cert to make it and run our midfield for years.

Wilson - incredible finisher in his youth, and looked the part in his early days here. Then completely fell off.

Rossi - another that was scoring for fun at youth levels - did okay but injuries really ruined him
Wilson is a good shout. Saw his debut after following him through the youth team and he looked quality at the time but then didnt get a look in under Van Gaal and then suffered a bad injury at Derby which seemed to set him back massively. Can't believe he's still only 27, but looks a bit out of shape now with the physique of a semi-retired mid 30s striker.. could probably have been better without the bad injuries, but also with a better diet and physical trainer!