Southampton v Chelsea preview: Jack Cork reckons his former side's failure to bring in youth could cost them in the future

 

Chelsea academy graduate Jack Cork can understand his former club's reluctance to blood young talent, but believes it could cost them in the long run.

Like so many others, the midfielder, who joined the Blues aged nine, impressed in the youth and reserve teams but never got a chance in the first team.

Cork was instead farmed out to six different clubs on loan, before permanently leaving Chelsea to link up with Southampton two years ago.

The 23-year-old will tomorrow line up against his boyhood club at the end of a week in which Frank Arnesen, the Blues' former chief scout and director of youth development, accused the west Londoners of failing to give youngsters like Cork a chance.

“We had quite a good team, especially when Frank was there and Brendan Rodgers was doing the youth and reserve teams,” Saints midfielder Cork said.

“We had a good set of young players that have all gone onto play quite a high standard now so it would have been interesting to see where they would be if they had been given a chance.

“But at the same time, that was a time when Chelsea were doing really well in every competition they were involved in so I can understand why nobody was really given a chance.”

That lack of opportunity meant a number of players slipped through the net, with the likes of Fabio Borini, Miroslav Stoch and Nemanja Matic flourishing only after leaving Stamford Bridge.

It has also delayed the development of some players, with Josh McEachran this week admitting his career had stalled before his season-long loan to Middlesbrough.

“You could say Josh is in the same position I was in and is playing his games,” Cork said.

“It is frustrating when you're at a club like that and hope to play for them and you sort of wish you would be there.

“In reality, it is always going to be hard with the managers coming in and changing. There is always a lot of pressure on them so it is always going to be hard to blood in the youngsters.

“I can understand what Josh is saying, but you get some great experiences being around some of the best players in the world.”

While frustrated never to have appeared for Chelsea's first team, Cork has fond memories of his time training alongside the likes of Didier Drogba, John Terry and Frank Lampard.

He swapped shirts with the latter earlier in the season and remains in awe of the man just two goals away from Chelsea's all-time scoring record.

“He is someone when I was coming through at Chelsea was always playing every game and scoring the goals that were winning titles,” Cork said of Lampard.

“Just to be around someone like that and see him work as hard he does every day and as well as he does every game was fantastic.

“I could not help but get his shirt, really. He is just something I had to do. He is someone I look up to.”

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Life and Style
life
News
Melissa and Joan Rivers together at an NBC event in May 2014
peopleDaughter Melissa thanks fans for 'outpouring of support'
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
One in six drivers cannot identify a single one of the main components found under the bonnet of an average car
motoringOne in six drivers can't carry out basic under-bonnet checks
News
i100
Voices
Pupils educated at schools like Eton (pictured) are far more likely to succeed in politics and the judiciary, the report found
voices
News
peopleWrestling veteran drifting in and out of consciousness
Arts and Entertainment
Shady character: Jon Hamm as sports agent JB Bernstein in Million Dollar Arm
filmReview: Jon Hamm finally finds the right role on the big screen in Million Dollar Arm
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone