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 🙂


A Sad Reality…..

June 28, 2010


mikeB left this comment on Avenell Road last night, it was later in the evening and most of us had gone. The comment deserves more than to be lost on a days before post,  it deserves debate, so here it is today…….

It is a sad reality of our media dominated game that we will never function as a successful national team until we take away the fear.
We see it with the players. Household names that are revered the world over fail to live up to club form… why? Because they play with fear.

A manager with the noblest record starts his England career with freedom and verve. Two years later he is so frightened that he leaves behind his most gifted impact player, and instead plays the same tried and tested format that his failed predecessor used… why? Because he was scared to do anything else.

Success for England is sadly unattainable in our current frenetic, Z-list celebrity crazed, and media dominated game. This has been true since the 1970 World Cup, when a media feeding-frenzy took the England Captain, one of the finest and most decent men ever to grace the game, and accused him of being a shoplifter.

Ever since then the media has been digging up dirt, besmirching reputations, and generally interfering in the psychological well-being of our national team and its many coaches.

I am not asking our trusted guardians of the ‘fourth estate’ not to do their jobs. What I am asking for is that they do their jobs responsibly. Until we take away the fickle interference of the British tabloid press, and the capricious and vested interests of other media outlets (Sky Sports take a bow) England will continue to fail, because they are too terrified to do anything else.

The inconsistency of a venomous media is quite shocking. England’s hero, from the qualifiers, suddenly became an untalented spoilt brat; unable to run with the ball, unable to cross a ball, unable to create space, and without an iota of ‘footballing brain’. According to the suddenly hate-filled tabloids, he was a man doing nothing for our great England cause; and why…? Because certain vacuous individuals, with axes to grind, and vested interests in their own self-promotion, were given platforms in the tabloid press, and told us it was so. For an already fragile England team it was cancerous, mendacious, and debilitating.

Great players don’t become bad players overnight. A great manager doesn’t become a poor manager overnight. Not unless they are hounded by the press until they are afraid to function.

That is what we saw against Germany… A team of fine individual players, led by a great manager, unable to pass, unable to shoot, unable to cross a ball, unable to express themselves, unable to make decisions, unable to function, unable to win… and why…? Because they were too terrified of failure.

This isn’t just about Theo Walcott; he is merely a symptom of a greater and more malignant disease, but if he and Jack Wilshere and co. go on to play for the national team they will fail too… The so-called pundits, and the rest of the rabid media in this country, with their vacuous opinions and feast and famine approach to football, won’t allow them to do anything else… Not if there’s a headline to write, and a quick buck to be made.

Written by mikeB

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 Eve of Destruction..

August 12, 2009

I was not going to put this post on just yet but as it was topical  I have gone ahead and done it..

I have always had a small piece of admiration for Manchester City’s fans, they have to live in the shadow of their glorious neighbours since Man U got promoted to the old first division in the mid seventies. The only high point I can remember from City was reaching the FA cup final in 82’ish.

They was getting 25,000 supporters at home games in the second and third Leagues, but now they have gone down in my estimation. They have turned into the Northern Chavs..  Talking like thay deserve this influx of money.

These players that go to Man City are signing their career death warrant.. Okay they will be rich and  I am jealous,  but the empty feeling when they look back on their career and know they never won the medals, just 10 mins here and there as a sub.

The way I see it I am proud of the way Arsenal are running things.. we could do it 3 ways. Get a Sugar Daddy, keep heading further and further in debt and hope winning the League helps bail you out .. Or the Arsenal way.. I see this backing as a form of cheating from a sporting perspective

I think it will go back their are only so many silly cups to win.. When the richest has won them all year after year the other teams will go skint because of the lack of interest from their fans. Also some clubs are trying to keep up with the ‘Jones’s’ by borrowing, this is something that I don’t think Arsene or Arsenal are prepared to do, this has got to be a better way in the long term but it is also a dangerous game as we need to stay competitive, some fans are also not very understanding when it comes to this policy.. I can foresee the day when the big teams will have no competition so football at the top level will have gone playing to empty stadiums.
To me it’s like playing monopoly with 3 friends and one is being fed the finance under the table to buy the hotels in Mayfair. I know it’s business at the end of the day, but it is a business that prays on fans loyalty and morals.
If you have the morals of a cuckoo you would be prepared to win at all costs. Not for me I am afraid I like football, sport and sport should always be played on an even playing field. Or winning is shallow and meaningless. Like hiring a Ferarri and pretending It’s yours for the night to impress the girls. You are shallow and you are not living in the real world, you are cheating yourself in the end.

I want to see City fall on their asses and every player that signs for them to fail, I believe that the only reason John Terry never went there was because someone sat him down and said long term you could be the future manager of Chelsea (like that other tosser Alan Shearer was a messiah at Newcastle) long term you would be better off staying, but he kept his gob shut for ten days though.. and his image is tarnished.
It’s okay saying Man City are alright, no threat to us,  but wait until they steal Jack Wilshere off of us, Don’t say it won’t happen, If he is offered £250,000 a week most people would think about it. .Okay it may not be Jack.. but it will be one of our favourites.. Man City’s owners can afford to pay all their players a million pounds a week and not bat an eyelid, just put the price of oil up half a cent..
In fact Man City owners can probably afford to pay every player in La liga, The Premiership and Serie A  a million pounds a week but where does that leave the game of football?

As I said last night the day we get taken over is the day I stop supporting Arsenal in the way I do now, I support the solidarity amongst the fans the fact that the club need our money to survive,
What some are really supporting in a lot of cases now is a gangsters plaything and to be honest that is not something I want to be a part of.

The very heart of football has been slowly eroded as far as I am concerned, bit by bit, the game I loved as a child has been ruined by money and the day is drawing nearer that it knocks on our door..