Manchester United Youngsters Will Wear Black Boots and Like It

"Mattingly…shave those sideburns." ↵

↵I suppose in this case, it's not an edict from George Steinbrenner (or Mr. Burns) for his players to fall in line with their appearances, but with news that Sir Alex Ferguson has banned all Manchester United youth-team players from sporting colored boots, it's basically the international soccer equivalent. ↵

↵

↵Much like the NBA, what shoe you wear is a big deal in soccer. Not only are companies constantly lobbying for top players to wear their shoe, but the design of the boots themselves come with a certain status. Top stars can wear whatever they want, in whatever color they want. As one would expect, this trend has an impact on the youth players. But at Manchester United, Sir Alex has seen enough: black boots or no boots at all. From Off the Post: ↵

↵
↵⇥Once again the Manchester United manager has laid down the law, and while this could be seen as an overzealous power trip from the Reds’ boss he claims he has youngsters’ best interests at heart as he attempts to keep their feet both on the ground and monochrome. ↵⇥

↵⇥Defender John O’Shea revealed: “The restrictions are on the youth team. They are told they have to stick to wearing black. Once in the reserve or first-team squad there are no restrictions, but if you are wearing flashy colours and don’t play too well you’re likely to get singled out.” ↵⇥

↵
↵Even just a few years ago, only the top international players dared to wear something other than the traditional black soccer cleats. You'd see one, maybe two, players on a club team try to stand out from the rest with a color other than black. When I went to see the U.S. National team play a few months back, it was amazing how out of place the handful of players wearing black actually looked. Everyone had red or blue or white that black became the color that stood out the most. ↵

↵A source inside Manchester United told the Daily Mail that, "Sir Alex doesn't like young players to get ahead of themselves. He thinks their feet should be on the ground." ↵

↵

↵In other words, he wants the kids to do something to stand out before they try to stand out. ↵

↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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