Manchester United academy has a rule that forbids the youngsters to wear the red boot. Everyone needs to wear the black boot instead and Scott McTominay has admitted that he didn’t like them even a bit. At the same time, he also credits this rule as the most vital one that helps coaches forge the academy players into weapons of mass destruction.
Manchester United have always had at least one academy product in their senior squad since 1937 and when McTominay will grace the field with his teammates on Sunday against Everton, it will add another chapter to the long-standing tradition with it being the 4000th match in a row.
Speaking to the Sun, the Scotsman explained that even though he didn’t like the rule about black boots, sticking to it meant everyone was equal, and everyone had to work hard to earn the red boot. This acts as a great motivation for young players in the academy. He said:
I probably couldn’t tell you one player in the club who likes wearing black boots.
“But it was the rules and something accustomed to every academy player and if someone tried to come out in red boots it’s like ‘you’re no different to any of us so get your black boots back on until you earn the respect and right to wear coloured boots’.
“I didn’t like the black boots. But you had to do it. You had to respect the rules.
“There are no big egos, there are no young kids coming in wearing jewellery and looking a bit flash, that’s not the case at this club.”
Continuing on about how the ‘DNA’ of the system goes through the team he added:
You don’t realise at the time how much little things like that at the time are going to help you.
“You think ‘this is rubbish’ and ‘what’s going on?’ but then you get older, you look back and you think all of those little things have stood you in so much good stead.
“Now I look back and, being one of the older academy players now, those standards have been passed through, so everybody has the idea of what a Manchester United player should look and be like, the DNA that comes with wearing that badge.”
After 4000 matches of youth products it’ll be interesting to see how many more matches United’s run can go on for, McTominay, Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood, James Garner, Brandon Williams et al suggests it won’t be anytime soon.