Warren Joyce has admitted he still has frustrations about some young Manchester United players who he feels didn’t work hard enough once they were given opportunities.
Joyce managed Man United’s reserves for eight years and was responsible for so many players breaking through into either the first-team or senior football elsewhere. He was a fantastic manager and one who had a real impact on the careers of lots of youngsters.
Unfortunately, not every young player makes it through and Joyce has opened up about certain players such as Adnan Januzaj that he is angry about because of a lack of work ethic.
Speaking to The Telegraph ahead of Wigan’s game with Man United, Joyce explained: “The frustrating thing is seeing ones like Adnan Januzaj, James Wilson or Federico Macheda get up to that level and stop doing the work they did to get to that level,” said the Oldham-born 52-year-old. “Not play the games, not train as hard, sit in Jacuzzis and not do the same weights and sessions they did to get there. Those are the frustrating ones for me, because that could be avoided.
“If you can get up to that level when you’re young, you need to continue to work hard. You hope they become intelligent enough that they’re self-managing. Look at the Leicester team that won the league last season. There were five players that were in United’s reserves. If you add Jeff Schlupp, who came on trial for three months, trained with us and says openly that it changed him around, that’s a big group.”
It’s not the first time we’ve heard about Januzaj’s poor attitude and I suspect it will be his downfall if he hasn’t sorted it out at Sunderland. We’ve seen it with lots of other players and I am firmly in Joyce’s corner on this one – there is nothing more frustrating than seeing a youngster who, simply put, can’t be arsed to put the work in.
Having the talent is only one piece of the jigsaw for a young player to transition into a Premier League footballer. You only need to look at Gary and Phil Neville for two prime examples of players who made more of their talents through sheer hard work or Cristiano Ronaldo who moulded himself into the best player in the world by harnessing his talent with an unrelenting work ethic. Even Eric Cantona used to train after hours even at his peak – the hard work never stops.
But some players don’t want to put the hours in and they ultimately fail at United because of that. Will Januzaj turn it around? I hope so because he is a wonderfully gifted player but if he doesn’t then he’ll join the pile of players who didn’t make it as a consequence of their own, avoidable actions.