'Proper' group at Leeds United allays Daniel Farke's fears over young stars - who must respect their elders
In happier times such as now, it also possesses inherent dangers in terms of them potentially losing focus and getting a little carried away.
An observant, streetwise manager who rarely misses anything, United chief Daniel Farke is conscious of that fact.
His Leeds side have made a strong start to the Championship campaign, with the tantalising potential to get even stronger.
Third in the league and eight points behind leaders Leicester City and seven adrift of second-placed Ipswich Town, who come to Elland Road on December 23, Leeds are chasing a milestone at home to Middlesbrough this afternoon.
Victory would see them register seven home wins in a row in the top two divisions for the first time in 24 years since December 1999.
Gifted young talents in the shape of October’s Championship player of the month in Crysencio Summerville, 22, Georginio Rutter, 21 and 17-year-old Archie Gray have been at the heart of United’s sterling form.
In the modern-day game, Farke acknowledges - and worries - about the distractions for young footballers.
He is busy building a ‘no egos’ culture at Leeds. It remains a work in progress and while he has something akin to a paternal eye on his young players in particular, he sees reasons to believe.
Farke said: “I don’t think I’d want to swap with the (young) players these days as there’s so many distractions from the pure football and performances. We have got social media and you hear all the praise and criticism. There’s mobiles with all the digital words.
"You can argue they earn more money and lead a more privileged life to 20 years ago, but it’s also quite difficult to stay on ‘your way’ and stick to these values. But I have to say that we have such a proper group and so many good lads that they listen, learn and go in the right direction.
"It’s also hard work to make sure this mentality stays each and every day. Many players are on the right path, but we are not over the finish line - not even half-time during this season.
"The main thing is bringing the players close to the door and creating a set-up of performance culture and winning mentality. But the player needs this fire burning inside when he comes through the door.
"We speak a lot about the soft skills and to be ‘on it’ each day and keep improving. Because when you think: ‘okay, I am the superstar’ this is the moment you start losing your game.”
Farke is helped by the fact that, alongside his own voice and those of his coaching staff, a hardcore of respected senior players such as Liam Cooper and Luke Ayling help to reinforce his messages on a daily basis.
The German is big on young players taking responsibility and leading by example in deeds and not words, but also on respecting their elders.
Recent results and the chemistry among a group who are starting to look as together as last season’s crop were divided suggests that Farke’s dressing-room reconstruction work is on firm foundations.
He continued: “One of our key values is to value experience in our squad. This means when there is a discussion on the pitch between a 32-year-old Luke Ayling and perhaps a 19-year-old guy, Luke is also always right. Even when he is wrong, he is right.
"That’s definitely the rule. We can discuss things after a session or a game. But no discussions on the pitch.”