Wenger unfair to the youth, how can that be?

June 29, 2010

Now let’s get this clear. I am not attempting to disrespect Arsene Wenger’s brilliance as a manager, in this article! What I am trying to do, is to understand the logic of how he sees certain youth players, and the way he treats them from a first team perspective.
Arsene has long held a justified reputation for his careful, studied treatment of young players and for allowing them to develop their careers in what is recognised as one of the best club structures in the world. But what is the actualite?

Well, over the past number of years, Le Prof has successfully put out “youthful” teams in the Carling Cup and to a lesser extent in the early rounds of the FA Cup. So, what do we define as “successful”? Well from 2003/4 to 2009/10 these youthful teams have, in the League Cup, reached 3 quarter-final rounds; 3 semi-final rounds and 1 final. Many clubs putting out their first team squads would be proud of this achievement.

So far, so good for the youth development system, it seems. But what has happened to the kids who have played in these teams, as regards their first team opportunities? Go on, tell me, how many have gone on to be included regularly in the first team squad, let alone play in the first team? Their names do not exactly flow off the tongue, do they?

Well, you could say that the youthful Cesc, Song and Denilson could fall into the successful category, but they were really “bought in” players, recruited from other teams’ youth development systems. There have also been many others included in the “bought in” category, including Merida, Barazite etc, who haven’t made it, as of today.

O.K. so, what of the British kids who have successfully come thru the Arsenal youth system and, via the League Cup, made it as first team regulars? How about Hoyte, Lansbury, Randall, Bentley, Sanchez-Watt to mention a few? Well none of these!
We have high hopes for the future success of young Jack Wilshire and perhaps Kyle Bartley, but so many others look doomed to make a living with lower league clubs.

There is undoubtedly a great new crop of youngster coming thru the system such as Zak Ansah, Chuks Aneke, Beni Afobe and Jay Emmanuelle-Thomas. I wish all of them a successful future for themselves and Arsenal.
But is Arsene, on the strength of the current situation, deserving of his reputation as a great developer of youthful talent for the Arsenal first team?

Well what do you think?

Written by Red Arse

The future of England 🙂


Rix and Brady = Gibbs and Wilshere??

April 30, 2010


A couple of days ago Arsene Wenger had this to say on afc.com

“I have definite transfer targets and I have been talking to people but I will not tell you to who,”  he told the Arsenal Matchday Programme.

The Frenchman then revealed there was a desire to bring in players ahead the summer tournament. He went on: “I believe the earlier you settle your team the better it is and the less anxiety you have.”

Wenger added that he would not sign a player on their strength of their performance in South Africa “unless there is an exception there that nobody knew before. Also post-World Cup the prices are always artificial.

“Overall I feel it is very dangerous to buy on the strength of the tournament because sometimes there are players who are fresh and have not played the whole season. Everyone can have three weeks of glory as a football player. Ten years is a bit different.”

Being realistic, of course Arsene isn’t going to tell the world who he ‘is talking’ to, I wouldn’t either, no shrewd business person would.

If you read NewsNow and believed every story about who is top on list of transfers for our club, we would have to sell most of the team to make way those players we are meant to be buying… Mme, would that be such a bad thing, ok I am joking!!

Here’s a list of some of those we have been linked to:-

Jack Rodwell

Philippe Mexes

Sebastien Frey (after going on a diet)

David Villa



Lassana Diarra

Phil Jones

Steven N’Zonzi

Felipe Melo

Stephen Ireland

Hugo Lloris

Arda Turan

Nevan Subotic

There are more, and the transfer window hasn’t even opened yet. I think Subotic is the only real possibility from that list, I’m assuming the Chamakh deal is all but sorted out.

As Wenger said, he wants a player who can play to best for ten years, not just three weeks! Blimey, shock horror, who was the last player he kept for ten years?

Yesterday, our boss then added this, and it’s from afc.com – He said, 

“Certainly, we will announce one player before the World Cup. After that we will see.”

I think that player will be Chamakh.

Later on the website he added this,

What is for sure if Gallas doesn’t extend his contract we have to go out and strengthen this position,” “For the rest we will see.

“There is a cut off point for Gallas. It doesn’t depend only on me. Gallas can come and say ‘Boss we will stop the talks because I signed somewhere and that’s it’.

“I could set a deadline for us and that will certainly be before the end of May because we then have to look for someone else. We have more talks planned.

The World Cup kicks off on the 11th June 2010 – so I now expect us to see Chamakh, Torres, Villa and Subotic all signed up by then and paraded  in their new red and white Arsenal Shirts – then Arshavin might shut up, he will have great players around him, sadly though he’ll be watching from the bench as he won’t get in the side – careful what you wish for Mr Arshavin – its seems you have now peed off your boss and we all know what happens when you do that!

Being serious we should see one if not two new players signed by the time the little tournament gets going and reading between the lines maybe another one later on. I honestly think Gallas will go as will Silvestre but as long as Wenger keeps his promise and strengthens the defence, I’m not bothered about either of them leaving, just a shame we won’t get any money for them!

Kenny Sansom made reference to Kieran Gibbs yesterday, he said he is like Graham Rix, in footballing terms I mean, not someone who ends up in prison for being naughty!! Sansom thinks that Gibbs should be played as a winger.

Rix was a good player for us,originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, he joined Arsenal as an apprentice in 1974 and turned professional the year after. His first game was against Leicester City on 2 April 1977, and made his mark by scoring the opening goal. He instantly became a regular on the left-wing, replacing George Armstrong – he and Liam Brady formed a very impressive attacking midfield pairing.

Possibly his worst game for us was against Valencia, the game finished 0-0 and Rix missed his penalty, we lost!!

But during a week when we have talked about the kind of player we need, Rix is another – we have the next Brady in Wilshere, all we need now is the perfect out-and-out winger to form the same kind of impressive attacking midfield – could that be Gibbs, or maybe even Traore….

It sure as heck is not Diaby!!

He says he believes in youth, as I’ve said before, start playing the ones who are good enough and stop playing those who clearly are not…

Finally, if you didn’t support the mighty Arsenal, would you rather be a Liverpool fan or a Fulham fan this morning. I know my answer and I’m still smiling after last nights results.

Have a good day all, not long until kick off 🙂

The enigma that is Theo Walcott and the reasons why it proves signing ready made players is a better option..

December 12, 2009

Before I start – this is not a rant, nor is it a critical analysis of our youth system or our manager. I think we have the best manager in the world and also the best youth set-up in the world, but – and it is a big but, as in everything in life there are flaws, and this post is about a certain flaw- AKA Theo Walcott..

When Theo first burst onto the scene there was a huge buzz around the club. People were saying we had signed the next TH14. A player who could run so fast that you could smell his studs burning as he ran. A player who was going to cause defences world-wide problems with his pace and he was labelled a wonderkid.

A few years back when Theo would get the ball the whole crowd would stand up in awe, there was a huge expectation and a huge buzz surrounding what he would do. As he set off running everyone in the ground would shout ‘go on theo’ and off he went.. ‘look at the speed of the kid, he’s going to be a superstar’ they would cry..

That doesn’t happen anymore. The reasons why are quite simple – techincally he is inept. He has no skill, no composure, he can’t dribble, pass, cross, head or take set pieces. Bottom line is he can’t play Wengerball..Hes just fast, which isn’t really good enough-i don’t see clubs worldwide queuing up to fight over Usain Bolts signature do you?  Just because your fast doesn’t make you a footballer and the more Theo plays I don’t see a footballer..not one bit..

Now this is just my opinion, we all know that players like Theo will divide arsenal fans opinions…well thats mine

The first thing Pro Theo fans will say is that he’s always injured so its unfair to judge him. I have two counter arguments to this statement.

1- If he’s always injured then hes obviously injury prone..thats what injury prone means.

2- He’s been at arsenal 4 years!! I would argue that in that time he hasn’t improved one bit..Theos two main highlights are his CL lung-busting dribble against liverpool and his hat-trick for England where Croatia’s tactics where a shambles and they played a high line..Capello instructed Theo to hang off the last man and England hit long ball baby..these two ‘highlights’ doesn’t make Theo a top player…I once hit a 50-yarder and an over-head kick for my sunday league team but that doesn’t mean im David Beckham or Pele does it? Neither does it warrant me a 60k a week contract!!! So why fans focus on them points i’ll never know

Another excuse that I hear Pro Theo fans say is that we should stop knocking him, he’s only young and we need to be patient. He will mature and he will come good. He will prove to everyone Wenger was right to stick by him and that we don’t need to ‘waste money’ and sign quality players..which in fairness is a good point, we have a lot of young players in our team like Ramsey,  Jack,  Song and Gibbs – who will no doubt become very good players. I don’t buy this idea in regards to Theo..the reasons why are quite simple..

Firstly, in all the players I have mentioned above, you can actually see the improvement year by year, you can actually see the potential..with Theo I just dont..I’d say if anything he’s still the same player he was 4 years ago..

Secondly, and this is my main gripe and main focus of the post, is that strikers usually peak between the ages 25-30…we signed Theo when he was 16 for 12 million..hes now on 60k a week, which over the next 5 years works out at around 15.5million!!! Add the transfer fee and the wages Theo received before his bumper contract and we are looking at around 30million..

So logic tells me that we’ve invested 30million in cash and almost 10 years of time just to see if Theo comes good or not..my fellow Gooners – surely thats just as much as a risk as going out and buying a ready-made player like a Torres or an Arshavin or a Drogba for 30million???

The whole concept of Wenger not buying ready-made players and wasting money is a myth..especially in Theo’s case. We are wasting money aren’t we? We would be no worse of financially in buying a superstar than what we would in ‘waiting’ for Theo to maybe become one after 10 years.

A Standard Performance.. and the Sales of Aerial Boosters to Increase on Merseyside..

November 25, 2009

There seems to be two types of match report to do these days. We played well but we lacked concentration and we let in a late equalizer or we simply just played well.
Last nights game was an example of just what a fine line it is between the two.
We started really brightly full of training ground flicks culminating in an unbelievable passage of play on fifteen minutes when the Standard goal was comparable to an Iraqi stronghold with a Cobra gunship peppering it with shots on the first day of the Gulf war. Thanks AA (your forgiven)..

But as the half wore on Liege managed a shot that cannoned of Almunia’s bar.. Then we went into sadism mode.. Gallas nutting Arshavin meant we went down to nine men at one stage.
Then when Gallas came back  on he looked as if he had a session with Paul McKenna and looked well out of it, “When I click my fingers give a penalty away” luckily the ref wasn’t a Lilly Livered Pansy and you had to get a death certificate to get a penalty.

Somehow in all the melee Nasri broke through and put us one up. It won’t be this easy against the Chavs.

Just before half time Denilson must have remembered what country it states on his birth certificate (I know two certificates) and tried a Jairzinho type shot that swerved back and forth and totally lost the keeper.. 2-0 to the Arsenal..

The second half was similar except we created a few chances and they just crept the wrong side of the woodwork.
The highlight was when after getting his shirt half removed and falling to a tackle from behind Captain Cesc went to have a quiet word with Carcela-Gonzalez.  Cesc didn’t turn into Ole Gunnar Solskjar and stayed on his feet. The opposing player got sent off. But Cesc got booked, why??

Anyway 2-0 was the result.. but the funniest thing of the night was, the cash strapped Bindippers crash out of the Champions League.. The press’s darlings.. But we didn’t have Torres.. we didn’t have Alonso… haha good.. Their wasn’t much to watch on a Thursday night, now we can watch you lot get beaten.

Almunia.. 6.5 Strange night for him, sort of just watched any decent shots fly by and hit the woodwork.

Eboue.. 6.5.. I suppose he did okay, never had much defending to do, the diving and sprawling on the deck is getting boring and embarrassing now.

Gallas.. 7.5 Was leading by example, didn’t look well when he came back on after the head injury. Hope he is okay for Sunday.. I like a man who wants revenge.

Vermaelen .. 7.. Done as good as he needed to, he worries me slightly when we was two on two and he didn’t mark the spare man.

Gibbs.. 7.5 .. Nice one Gibbsy.. you are going to make the left back position yours soon.
But as I am writing I have read that he has fractured his foot and will have a operation today (Wednesday)..  2 months out ffs.

Song.. .. 9.. WOW!

Denilson. 7.. Looked okay for his first game back.. Super goal, dare I say a bit like that ex Man U cheating scum bag.. more of please.

Fabregas.. 7 .. Yeah not bad, bit wayward on some of his passes but that could be the new guys coming in, perhaps they need to read Cesc better.

Nasri..7.5 . He did okay, I would like to see him step up a gear soon,  hopefully he has settled into the way of life in England. Good finish for his goal, very cool.

Arshavin.. 7.. A pretty good performance, but a lot of his tricks were not going his way. Had a great chance whistle past the post.

Vela.. 6..very similar to Eduardo, lacks that physical presence that we need to lead the line.. Went missing a bit during periods of the game that Nikki B  doesn’t seem to do.

Silvestre.. 7.. There is hope, isn’t there??

Walcott.. 6.. Failed to shine, he should be running the show.

Rosicky.. Came on a bit late to judge him..

I don’t feel that great after a night when we qualify for the knockout stages  top of our CL group, Sunday will be the decider for me. if we win then I will be ecstatic or ..  well we will win..

Have a good day Roadsters..

Moving On………………..

November 23, 2009

I am not going to mention our blip at the weekend, what’s the point? Let’s do what the team should do and move on – I hope they all take it as a kick in the doo daa’s and use it to our advantage.

We have another game tomorrow night, win that one and I am sure we will not only qualify, but also secure top spot in our group.

Only when we have done that can we start thinking about our biggest game of the season so far. The Chavs come to The Emirates, and we don’t to give them anything.

Little bit of sad news in the press this morning, this relates to Cheryl Cole. Apparently her husband is a bit of a k**b and a split is on the cards. I don’t dislike Cheryl Cole, she seemed really sincere on Children in Need and she is always good for a laugh on X Factor. Shame for the girl!

Old King Kolo, now referred to as Toure the T****r has followed in the footsteps of his over paid team mate. Having realised that life is not so good up north and has decided to speak out about his previous employer.
He has suggested that our own Little Willy used to tell tales on him behind his back, encouraging Arson to leave him out of the team!!

Why is it that some players can’t just accept they are past it and that’s why they don’t get in the first team?
Move on Toure, go and cheque your bank balance and stop looking back!!

Back to our team and poor old Robin’s doctor has allegedly done a bunk, so I don’t know where that leaves him with his treatment and recovery; it’s all about tax evasion and dodgy credentials according to the papers.

Hopefully we will know more later!

Arson has started talking about contracts with William Gallas, Tomas Rosicky and Carlos Vela..

Gallas and Rosicky will both be out of contract at the end of the season and Arson wants Vela to sign a long-term deal with the Gunners.

He told The People: “I am optimistic to find a solution for both of them. We’ve had no offers for Carlos, and we are extending his contract at the moment.”

What are you doing talking to The People Arson; you should have had those boys in for a good talking to after the weekend!

Gallas wants a two year contract and the suggestion is that the typical over 30 rule will apply and he will only be offered a one year extension.

Why? Gallas is playing the best he possibly ever has done for us why can’t we just break the rules and give him the two years? Add another top class CH to the squad then we have three great defenders. Oh, and we still have Djourou to come back!

I just have a sneaky feeling that a club in France will come calling and he will be off!

That’s about it folks apart from another player from Barca expressing his desire to play alongside Cesc. Well Mr Messi, have a word with Arson….

I am sure he could fit you into the Arsenal team, somewhere!!!


SenderBramble to be the next to leave/Traore to be put in the shop window/Flamini unhappy/Robin loves us!

July 12, 2009

In whats been a slow news week there has been a flood of stories surrounding our club over the weekend.

Big Phil, Swiss Tony or Senderlump, whatever you want to call him has now become a target for Steve Bruce’s Sunderland. Senderslug has never really made the CB spot his own in his time at Arsenal and Wenger’s decision to let him leave to join Milan on loan with a view to make the deal permanent,  gave the impression Sir Arsene didn’t really see a future for him at the Emirates. But has that decision now changed? The fact that the Sendersaurous is still with us and the fact that we will lose 3 defenders for the frustratingly inconvienient ACN, suggests to me Wenger wont let Senderslow leave. Not this year anyway.

A player he may let leave on the other hand is our young, French explosive Fullback/Left Winger, Armand Traore. Birmingham has reportedly looked into the possibility of signing Traore on loan for next season. Troare his highly regarded at the Emirates, but with left backs at the club seemingly to be growing on trees recently, its hard to see how he fits in. With Clichy, Gibbs and now Thomas “The Verminator” Vera Lynne at the club, young Armand looks like he wont see the LB position his own for the entire duration of his career. Especially given the ages of Clichy and Gibbs,  Traore could be waiting for the next 10 years. So that leaves the LW position. Yet Wenger doesn’t do out and out wingers. Wenger likes that position to be filled by mobile, attacking, creative midfielders. With Rosicky, AK47, Nasri, Jacky, Merida, Vela, and Walcott all fighting for those positions where does that leave Troare. Plus, lets not forget what happened the last time Wenger tried to turn a decent Full Back into a winger???

I beleive Wenger is putting Traore in the shop window by repeatedly sending him out on loan. The youth academy is set up not only to provide us with our own talent who play the Arsenal way from a young age, but its also designed to make the club a profit.

Arsenal have much talent ranging from the 1st team all the way down towards the under 16’s. Yet the age difference between all the squads is less than 4 years in some positions. They all wont make it. They all cant make the spot their own. So what do we do? We pick the best ones, the cream of the crop and we sell the others on for profit. It’s the perfect business model and its what the system was designed to do.

Troare will have a few seasons on loan to gain experience obviously, but if he cant break his way into the 1st team, he will be sold. He’s in the shop window.

Fromer Arsenal dynamo Matty Flamini has reportedly spoke of his unhappiness at Milan. Flamini was on the bench for long spells last season and when was called upon, spent much of his time playing FB. He doesnt want to be in the same situation this season.  He’s on record as saying:

“I don’t want to play as a full-back, I am a midfielder. This year Milan will be strong in defence.”

We all know that Flamini misses us, and we miss Flamini. So maybe, just maybe, there’s a huge opportunity here for us to take him back.

Our very own chocolate-legged Boy Wonder has finally spoken about his decision to stay with Arsenal after a long and much protracted contract saga. According to some sections of the media, Robin turned down the chance to join clubs such as Juventus, Inter Milan, Chelsea and Man Shitty City. Turning down offers well over 100k a week to stay with us. Robin talked about his decision to stay with us and turn down the chance of more money.

“I made a list. I wrote on one side what I had. And I wrote down what was lacking. At Arsenal, Arsene Wenger values my contribution to the team, my fellow players show the same appreciation and everyone who works in the club is wonderful and so warm to me. Apart from all that I have a great connection with the supporters. I find it fascinating how they show their love for me as a player. My heart says that I cannot play in the shirt of another club for the next four years. Money has never been an issue in my career. When I signed my first contract at Arsenal, I was not on big money at all. Now the club have shown their appreciation. But it is not the money-side why I signed a new deal. All I want to feel is a bit of respect and a good relationship with everyone at the club. And that’s what I have here.”

Well played Robin. There is no doubt you are talented and you still have a long way to go , but I for one will support you in the hope you achieve your dream of the best player in the world. In a day in age where football is all about the money and loyalty is hard to come by, you have proved to me that you are Arsenal through and through. Unlike your dozy, lazy, greedy ,big mouth, whore, strike partner.

Have a good day Ave’s and Avette’s. Fingers crossed for some important announcements.

The summer rebuild…A fans perspective..Defence.

June 5, 2009

Now then boys and girls, today we get to put our Tony Adams thinking caps on!!

The Arsenal defence at the minute seems to be a bit of a weak spot in our team..and Sir Wenger Obe Cbe AFC would seem to agree…

The Arsenal defence conceeded 37 goals in 38 PL games….breaking that down further to 16 at home and 21 away…For a top four side challenging for the PL title that is simply not good enough..as the PL table suggests…

Manutd conceeded 24, Liverpool 27 and Chelsea 24…

A successful team not only has to be good with the ball, but without the ball too…If we want to catch our rivals next season these figures have to improve in our favour…in simple terms..we need to tighten up…

Personally…i cant understand why…if we break our 1st choice back four down..we have two fullbacks who were both in the PL team of the year 2007-08… we have an experienced French international whos won many trophies with Chelsea and on his day is probably one of the best CB’s in the world…and we have Kolo…Arsenal through and through and was part of the invincible defence….

On paper we have probably one of the best defences in the world…even Carlsberg would do well to better that defence…

My opinion is that we have too main problems with our defence….

1…No quality arial presence..

2…No quality backup for injuries…

So what do we do???

If we look at our defence next season and break it down we have…

LB…Clichy, Gibbs, Troare.

RB…Sagna, Eboue

CB..Gallas, Kolo, JD, Song, Senderbramble, Fishhead.

Gallas and fishead can play LB and Kolo can play RB (not very well)…Its fair to say Gallas is the only one who can adapt to the FB position…

We have too many average CB’s, we have too many players that cover the LB position and not enough quality at RB

We dont need Troare..Clichy is the first choice and Gibbs has impressed as an able deputy..Troare is surplus to requirements…Senderos has proved that he isnt quick enough to handle the PL..and he is mentally weak and has moments of madness so hes out of the door too…Fishead is over the hill..he isnt of top 4 quality anymore..either 1st choice or backup…thats why Fergie got rid and thats why we should too…Eboue has pushed the fans to the limit this season…time and again we have been subjected to some woeful performances and he should be sold…

So thats Troare, Senderos, Fishead and Eboue….That looks like an awful lot of players but we are still left with the first choice defence…

So who do we bring in???

Sagna will need cover at RB…so how about Glen Johnson??? Or Micah Richards…with Richards we get a gooner and a RB/CB all in one go so maybe hes the best option??? Or both..we could use Troare as a makeweight for Johnson????

The CB positions are still pretty strong with Gallas, Kolo, JD and Song…but we still need a ball winner and my shout is Lescott…strong, quick and good in the air and the mainstay of Evertons impressive defence in recent seasons…then Wenger gets his wish of last season of a dominant CB who’s left footed!!!!!!

That leaves us with a defence of

RB…Sagna, Johnson, Richards

LB..Clichy, Gibbs, Lescott

CB..Gallas, Lescott, Kolo, Song, JD, Richards

Now we have a more balanced stronger, quicker defence with arial presence and quality backup for places…

Over to you Roadsters…or Roasters…Or Roosters…depending on what part of the country your from!!!!