Academy Corner – Sampdoria
The last time Cesc Fabregas gave Academy Corner an update on his Primavera team he was refusing to get too carried away despite his youngsters winning at Inter Milan as they warmed up for the new season.
The campaign is now under way and although Cesc watched his team kick things off with a defeat by Cremonese, he was picking the positives and looking ahead.
He said: “It was the first game of the season and we lost 4-2. It was an intense game. They came with players who had played in their first team. They were older than us, 2004s, but the boys competed very well.”
Yassin Sabili, our Moroccan forward, scored a goal in each half, the first after falling 2-0 behind and his second coming late on as we refused to give up.
Cesc added: “What I liked the most was the reactions after Cremonese scored. We came back into the game and at the end we had chances to get a draw. The spirit was good.
“We still need to improve a lot. There are many things to get better at but the attitude of the boys was great.
“We were hurting on long balls because they were much more physical than us. At this age, when players are one or two years older it makes a big difference physically.
“But overall, for the progression of the team it was a decent challenge and I am sure we will get better.”
Coach Marc Bircham is in charge of player development at the Sinigaglia and while he was disappointed with the result, like Cesc, he was quick to look on the bright side.
He said: “Cremonese had some good players, they were a more dynamic team. They were a bit quicker and stronger but it was another good lesson and good for the development of our team.
“We conceded a goal by making a mistake playing out from the back. But that’s what we want to do so they did learn from it. Hopefully they will be better next time and they can correct it before then.”