Michael Farrow's sports blog

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…on Devann Yao

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West Ham trialist Devann Yao

It’s bizarre how my mind works but I’ve become ever so slightly obsessed with Devann Yao, who is trialling with West Ham. Devann is from Harlem, New York and is one of those Americans who set off to make it in European football at an early age, in his case 12. He was the subject of an excellent article last year about how his career had stalled after being in Metz’s youth academy and then trying to make a go of it in Italy and in Scotland, where he played for St Mirren. It follows his attempts to get into MLS and his three-day trial with the New York Red Bulls. He is painted as somebody undoubted talent and technique, somewhat let down by a US soccer system that isn’t fit for the purpose, something which I will revisit in the future.

Reading the comments section, Devann defends himself against accusations of a poor attitude. For me and for others, the article contains a few red flags. He gets a three-day trial with the Red Bulls and goes out with friends one night, which just makes you wonder a little if his priorities were right. After the article, he ended up getting a trial with Ipswich and Roy Keane signed him up until the end of last season, whereupon he was released without a first team game. Now West Ham are looking at him, having played him in two trialist games and talking about his impressive technical ability. It would seem this is a kid you’d need to take it slowly with. He’s 20 but hasn’t had a decent period of time at any professional club. He doesn’t have the big mouth, he’s more quiet and considered, giving some the impression he doesn’t care. He’d need a two-year contract with the plan that he starts to make it in the last six months. Try and find the right loan move to get him some games this year and then start to bring him through slowly next.

However, all these pictures show him with a shaggy afro. Nobody will take you seriously if you have a shaggy afro. Get a serious haircut and you’ll be serious. When you’ve cracked the first team and nobody doubts your abilities, you can grow your hair out and all the girls will call you adorable. Until then, it just makes you a clown.


Written by Michael Farrow

July 28, 2010 at 1:10 pm

Posted in Football

Tagged with , ,

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