Scott Parker claims the current crop of English youngsters are technically well ahead of those from his generation, but Tottenham’s Under-18 coach says they are unaware of what it takes to be a top player at an elite Premier League club.
The 37-year-old Parker retired in the summer after two decades as a player, before taking up a coaching career in north London.
He won 18 caps for England and played against and alongside the likes of Paul Scholes, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard.
Arsenal vs Tottenham
November 18, 2017, 11:30am
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But Parker says today’s young footballers are more advanced than his generation, telling the Daily Mail: “They are miles ahead of anything. Miles ahead of us.
“Technically they are superb. We can still improve their understanding of the game but in terms of pure ability it’s unrecognisable.
“When I was growing up, the keeper just put the ball down and booted it. Same with the defenders.
“Now they all play out from the back like that Spain team we all fell in love with. We have caught up.”
But Parker, whose former clubs include Charlton, Fulham, Chelsea, Newcastle, West Ham as well as Tottenham, says there is a downside too.
He added: “Do all the boys really understand what it takes to be a player at a really big club?
“Talent alone will 100 per-cent get you a career. But where? Here? No way. There are massive sacrifices and I wonder these days – living in an age where everything is instant – if they get that yet or when they do whether they can cope.”