The former England defender, 42, told The Sun: "With lots of young players, you don't know if they're going to be good enough until they're given the chance to play.
"It seems that this year at Villa and one or two other clubs, they're being given that chance.
"I remember when I was a young player coming through at Crystal Palace, there were quite a few players who came through.
"That was great for us as individuals but we weren't really ready, and the club suffered.
"Later on, the likes of John Salako, myself, Chris Coleman, Chris Powell, we all got to play international football.
"It was a great experience for us, but unfortunately when we were all in the same team at once, we weren't quite ready for the Premier League."