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How Wenger has changed football once again

by Tony Attwood

For years there has been a general assumption that there are only three ways of developing a club and two ways of making money out of football.

You can make your club grow (so it was always said) by

Development Method 1) Buying in those who are already acknowledged to be the best players.  True you have to pay lots of dosh, but it is obvious, the best players play best, and so you win stuff.  This is the traditional English system.  Chelsea and Man C still practice it.

Development Method 2) Develop great young talent by running an academy system.  This is a lot cheaper than 1) even when it takes eight years to develop a player, but the problem is that it takes a long time to get going.  Arsenal are only now seeing the benefits of a youth system set up 8 years ago.

In the past some clubs have hit on a bright group of kiddies by chance (Man U are an example with the Giggs generation, as was Arsenal under Graham when Adams and the rest came through) but doing it year after year was thought impossible – and besides since the average lifespan of a manager at a club is two years or less no one really wants to put his faith in something that won’t mature for eight years.

Development Method 3) Find players who are playing at lesser clubs or in lesser leagues, who you know are great, but whom the rest of the world have not quite recognised.  Think Gilberto Silva, bought to Arsenal for £2m, who went on to be captain of Brazil.

This is of course the famous world-wide scouting, and since Wenger’s early triumphs many clubs have sought to use this as a method of recruitment.  The problem is that you need a brilliant scouting system and (at the very top) someone who can see the difference between a 16 year old who is knocking them in and who will go on to do the same at the top level, and someone who just looks better than the average kids around him.

So those are the three ways of developing a club – and as we all know Arsène Wenger was the first to make a youth system work (three trophies in the last two years, and the first ever retention of the league by a youth team) and he was the man who invented world-wide scouting.

As for the two ways of making money out of football, these were quite simply

Money Making Method 1) Building up the club, taking on a few debts en route and selling the club on to someone with a load of money.  We might think of K. Bates selling to R. Abramovich as an example, although I believe the Chelsea debts at the time of the sale were more than “a few”.

Money Making Method 2) Become a “selling club”.   For years clubs in the old 3rd and 4th division never harboured any thoughts of coming up into the first division.    Clubs like Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic were in the 3rd division, had a ground that had not been upgraded for years, and existed on crowds of maybe 6,000 if they were lucky.  They survived on the odd cup clash with a big team, and by selling players on.

Occasionally a team did break out of the lower leagues – Southampton left the old third division and made it to the top without changing their ground, and had a long run in the first division – but this was rare.  Now it is just on impossible.

But even in the 1960s clubs knew their chances of rising up the ladder were small, so they existed by finding and grooming youngsters, who could be sold on.  The old rule was, find a player every three or four years, get a transfer, and the club was secure, and could carry on making a loss.

But now once again everything has changed – and clubs are finding themselves left behind.

In terms of the Development Method, the transfer window is very quiet indeed (remember the days when Man IOU would spend £35m on July 1 and then keep everyone guessing as to who else they would grab in the next two months), the youth project remains a long-term dream which can’t be launched if you are struggling to make ends meet.

So world-wide scouting it is – and as has been often said, ten years ago if you went to a second division match in France the only scout there would be from Arsenal.  Today you can’t move for scouts.

In terms of the Money Making methods, selling a club is a great idea, if you can find a buyer.  Liverpool are struggling, Portsmouth became a laughing stock as they found four, none of whom had any money, Everton have been for sale for years, Notts County were actually given away by the fans who owned them to a bunch of jolly nice people with (unfortunately) no money, and so it goes on.  So the list goes on.

True Man City have been sold – along with QPR, but the number of buyers is always going to be small, not least because when you get to that level it is hard to sell the club on again.  Maybe Ahsan Ali Syed will buy Blackburn – but that’s about it for new sales I suspect.

So where does football go now?

The transfer window is grinding along doing very little save the purchases by Man City.  Appy Arry Headcase would love to buy his usual twenty odd players but so far has just bought one.  And when Arry is not dealing, you know the system is in trouble.

O’Neill at Villa resigned because he couldn’t count on a continuing open cheque book financing his failure to get into the Champs League.  Even Chelsea are holding back with one eye on the financial doping regulations.

In effect football economics are grinding to a halt.

But three things are changing.

First, Arsenal’s youth system uniquely is in position and should be producing brilliant youngsters year after year from now on.  While Tottenham have headed in the opposite direction and removed themselves from reserve team football, Arsenal have established the new progression system for young players.  We know about players like JET and Wilshere coming through this year (and Frimpong until his tragic injury) – but just wait til you see what we have next year!

What’s more, kids and their agents across the world know that Arsenal are doing this, and they are queuing up to come to us.  Watch out for Wellington Silva.

Second, although world-wide scouting is now overcrowded, Arsenal’s system is still in position, and is mostly simply looking for younger players who can be matured, rather than ready made players (although as this season’s transfer window shows, we can still pick up some of the established players, with two already signed and one more on the doorstep).

Third, Arsenal are making a profit, and so have the money to buy anyone if they want to.

And that leads to a final point.  Some of the kids that Arsenal bring through don’t make it.  Jay Simpson for example has just gone to Hull.  It’s sad, but it happens.   But that is not money wasted.   Many of these players go on to make it in football, although not at the very top of the tree, and in every Arsenal sale there is a sell-on clause.  Arsenal get their development money back even if the player ends up playing for the Tiny Totts (see Bentley for example).

So Arsène Wenger can spend £10m on Laurent Koscielny and pay high wages to Chamakh and still be looking to buy while others have the bank managers knocking on the door.

Thus once again Wenger has changed the world, and left the other clubs trailing behind him.    We make money out of the actual game of football, in that the club makes a profit on each match.  We make money in the transfer market by selling on players like Jay Simpson.  We have a youth system in place and now producing the goods.  We can buy in the transfer market.

And the new world looks like this

Development Method 1) – The Youth System bringing through new players

Development Method 2) – World Wide Scouting with younger players at the fore

Development Method 3) – The reputation of Arsenal as the place to come and learn how to be a brilliant player

Money Making Method 1) – Sell out at every match, top earning club from match day revenue in the world

Money Making Method 2) – Sell on of youngsters who don’t quite make it with extra sell-on clauses

Other clubs are now scratching their collective heads and wondering how to catch up, once again.  Liverpool and Man U. are long since gone.   But think of clubs like Tottenham, who rely on wheeling and dealing when there is no longer anyone to wheel and deal for, and you have financial doping regs plus the 25 rule are looking over your shoulder.

Think of Man City who have no idea what to do with all these players they have bought, and certainly would not get into the Champs League even if they qualified.  And think of Chelsea who have tried and tried to put some sort of youth system in place, and still not done it.

Once more Wenger has changed the world.

Untold Arsenal

Remember the first time you saw Arsenal live

100 years ago, what was Arsenal like?

38 comments to How Wenger has changed football once again

  • walter

    It really makes me feel proud that I am (a very small) part of this club. Being a supporter is not just about being proud of the things we have and will win. It also has (for me anyway) a lot to do with the fact of being proud of who we are and where we stand for.
    And for those who only can be proud of the trophies I think it is kind of sad to just focus on them. You miss a lot in live to feel happy with other things.
    Another great article. And hey it’s almost match day. 🙂

  • Another great post there, I will be a regular from now on, keep going

  • Hadley

    Good article. The last game at Chelsea before the Abramovic era was against liverpool, basically a play off for who would get to the champions league, and chelsea needed to win. At half time they werent winning and the then director of chelsea went into the dressing room at half time and told the team that the club were 90 million in debt and that if they didnt win and get into the CL all of the team would be out on their ears and the club in major financial difficulty. They won the match 2-1 and then came Abramovic. I remember the week before he took over a young Terry was being heavily linked with Arsenal and when asked about this at a press conference he grinned and said ‘I cant talk about that’… they were in big trouble at the time, even with CL qualification and would have become another Leeds if Abramovic hadn’t stepped in

  • Dark Prince

    Nice Article. 🙂

    Though still feel bad when our youngsters join other clubs. I still feel that Fran Merida would hav been a brilliant midfielder. But we lost him. Also now Armand Traore seems to be heading out too. And he too would have been a brilliant player. Jay simpson too seems a huge loss. Thats why having future world class youngsters is very nervy. Hoping that Wellington Silva or Afobe dont depart.

  • Menace

    This is one of the most positive and sensible articles on Arsenal this year. Your summary of what Wenger has done needs publising amongst the morons who call for his head.

    The secure future of Arsenal has its foundation. It is the present and immediate future that needs some good fortune and addressing.

    I believe Arsenal can win silverware this season with fair consistent officiating. What Arsenal needs is additional improvement to win in spite of unfair inconsistent officiating.

  • kiwigooner

    I wonder how many young players we will sell each year as the system beds in and starts to flourish…

    Development System 4…… stand outside Arsenals youth traning facility with cheque book…

    Buy a man a fish and feed him for a day, buy a man a net and feed him for life

    keep up the good work

  • Mohamed Zubairu

    I believe that Roman Abrahamovic would gladly swap Chelsea for Arsenal if he had the opportunity – except he lacks foresight. My greatest frustration is with respect to the AAA’s who cannot see afar. They are not bothered about the future prospects of the club and are just painting pictures of gloom and doom for the club. I want an Arsenal club that would be there and at the top ten years from now when many clubs (like Barca) would have sunk. Make no mistake about it, I want us to win something this season and I think that we can. However, in case it does not happen for whatever reason, I know that with what we have on ground now, the trophies will come in a few years’ time and onward.

  • Robbie

    Arsenal will be making history when they win the next trophy. I don’t remember the last time a financial sound club from England, Spain och Italy won a major title. It almost seems impossible. But I’m sure we’ll see some silverware before Wenger’s contract expires, and it’s gonna taste so sweet.

  • Giddy

    you are genius men. I really like your articles since you always take your time in analyzing the issues at hand and offering the problem solution. Keep it up.

  • A Casual Observer

    These views, which some of the more forward thinking fans have been ‘spouting’ for the last few years are finally entering the mainstream.

    I run a few sites on these subjects (one specifically Arsenal related) and this [navigating the stupidity] has been the significant minority consensus – one of the sites set up was a ‘breakaway’ site from the moronic spouting of the short term armchair dwelling self harmers who claim to be fans.

    Anyway – I stumbled across this as an example of the more mainstream struggle to media enlightenment growing from the slurry of male-bovine manure that has been written about Arsenal and Wenger over the last few years:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/davidbond/2010/08/arsenals_prudent_approach_a_te.html

    Note the comments… these guys (sane fans who can see the bigger picture) have been growing in force over the years and becoming more vocal; and right about now they absolutely know that they were right all along.

    I smell a paradigm shift of perception teetering on the brink here – so prepare to bask in its rosy glow when the ‘penny’ finally drops so to speak.

    Keep up the good work of the lord and ask yourself in times of trouble… What Would Wenger Do?

    🙂

  • gooner80

    Gilberto silva was bought after winning the world cup in japan 2002 and he played every game he was hardly unknown and he was bought for £4.5 million

  • jeeryy

    Tony it seems you are only looking at this from one angle. For me Nothing new here, but has Wenger ever been absolutely top drawer through his own making, or was it largely due to luck. I say luck in a number of situations. His record in the transfer market is no better than any other good manager. Bar a few admittedly good buys, we have seen some of the worst dross at Arsenal in living memory Please hear me out:Situation inherited:- Seaman (has never picked as good a ‘keeper since. Even Lehmann was a loony.)- The famous back four.- Bergkamp (An absolute genius with un-rivalled loyalty. If you’d continued to offer any other player one-year only deals for the length of time we did, they would have been off like a shot. The way Wenger treated him was nothing short of a disgrace.)- Parlour (under–rated and a vital driving force when under the cosh.)- Since the last of these players left, what have we won? Wenger talks about our mental strength. We have no mental strength. Our players are athletes, not footballers. They don’t know how to win things and never will do. They’ve got no-one to teach them how to win.Success by chance:- Ashley Cole (would have been sold to Palace if Sylvinho’s passport issue hadn’t blow up. He’s not brought through a wholly home-grown player, to consistently play in the firsty team since.)- Sol Campbelll (Free transfer. We would never have signed him otherwise.)Arsenal – a graveyard for young English talent.- Richard Wright (went backwards)- Mattt Upson (is he any worse than some of the shit Wenger persisted with, such as Cygan and Stepanovs?)- Francis Jeffers (was never going to be up to the job – poor judgement to buy him)- Walcott – has gone backwards since we bought him. What has Wenger actually taught him…? Answers on a post-card)- Stuart Taylor (was he any worse than Fabianski, Almunia, Warmuz, Shaabaan?)- Jay Simpson (another one of the dozen or so groomed for The Championship. Wenger runs our youth team like you would a fish farm.)The Success Stories- Vieira (hands–up – ttop buy. A winner and a leader.)- Anelka (sold before he developed. We didn’t develop him. He was only at the Club 5 minutes. Wenger took a punt and it came off).- Pires (great signing)- Overmars (great signing)- Henry (great signing)- Fabregas (a raw talent, which was obvious to all. Barca couldn’t sign him as he was too young to sign a pro contract in Spain. We turned his head by buying off his parents and promising him first-team football. Has Wenger actually taught him anything? He is a natural talent.)- Toure (A natural athlete, but a headless chicken, and got progressively worse while he was with us. Campbell carried him in most games.)The Great Transfer Failures (too many to mention)- Caballero, Diawara, Warmuz, Shaaban, Jeffers, Inamoto, Cygan, Stepanovs, Tavlaridis, Reyes, Almunia, Fabianski, Silvestre, Bischoff, plus the likes of Diaby, Denilson, Walcott, Vela etc. (The Invisibles)The Present Failures- Has a Manager in the modern era played more players out of position? (Arshavin on the wing, Eboue as a winger, Song as a centre-back, Walcott on the wing, Bendnter on the wing – just buy a fucking winger and a fucking centre back)- Keepers (no more to be said)- 3 centre backs.. (no more to be said)- The rise of the diddy men (is it any wonder we get the injuries we get? – don’t remember Vieira, Petit, Adams, Keown, Pires and Henry out every week when they were in their prine. Yes they were injured in their later years, but that is to be expected after a long hard career.)- The hyposcrisy of signing 30+ shit players on 2+ year contracts.- The dross in our squad on big money to match their big egos (Denilson, Diaby, Bendtner, Walcott et al.)- Unfulfilled potential (see above point for explanation for lack of ambition)- Continued failure to build a ‘squad’ that will see out the season. We resemble a family on the bread–line living hand-to-mouth, whilst in the Bank we’ve got millions. Players playing out of position (Song, Eboue etc) because Wenger won’t buy players to cover each position sufficiently.Wenger now resembles a driver that’s fallen asleep at the wheel. The car is continuing to move forward, but in the wrong direction, hitting debris as it continues. The problem is that he was never a competent driver in the first place. He made some good moves, but in a number of instances it was simply just luck.

  • stuart

    hey Tony.

    You keep on trying Tony.

    Ill beleive your propaganda if you will.

  • Stuart:

    “I’ll let you be in my dream if I can be in yours”

    Bob Dylan

  • Jeervy

    “Even Lehmann was a loony.”

    Maybe so, I don’t know, but he is the only man ever in the history of English first division football to have played through a complete league season at the top level and never once been on the losing side.

    Not bad for a loony.

  • jeeryy

    I am not saying we need to spend 100 mil or get in debt. Wenger has ignored the need for players since 2006. Now it has built and up and up and up. We now need so many crucial players its unreal. DM, Keeper, CB , A Winger who can cross , and a striker who can stay fit all season. Then there is a new medical team. Success does not come at a high price as wenger has proved by finishing in top 4 every season. However last season for example if we would of spent money in January and not a huge amount, we would of won the League. Same in 2007 season!!!

  • A Casual Observer

    ^ TROLL ALERT ^

  • Bio

    Lately, I have read in the British press how much of a genius Sir Alex is because he suddenly believes the future is in the youth system(and they remember how he got the Giggs generation via that route), and because he now complains of the “kamikaze” spending of his rivals.
    But they fail to note ManU spendings of the past. They also fail to note the financial straits the club is in!
    But Arsenal has had this system(as detailed by Tony)for years, and Arsene has always been vilified for this!
    The reality is any time you dip in the transfer market, you might draw a blank after spending a lot of money- the top leagues in England, Spain, and Italy confirm this.

    And “Jeeryy”, the whole point of a youth system is some of your youth will not make it at the top level. You will know what I mean if you are a parent! Hence I miss the crux of your verbose and shallow post.

    In all, like any true Arsenal believer, I look at the long term for my club. And I must say I’m pleased.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    I am pleased to see the quality of the youngsters coming through but I am still unsure of something. How exactly is the academy run and how is it different from other academies (the same can be asked about Ajax and Barca, too)?

  • A Casual Observer

    @Bio – have a good laugh, read this.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/m/man_utd/8931026.stm

    Anyone still envy them for the last few years of decadence? What’s the use of willing silverware when you have to sell the family silver to do it?

    *snigger*

  • The Blaze

    To be honest, a couple of months ago, i was heavily critical of Wenger´s management of Arsenal. This blog is one of the reasons my view on him has changed for the better. I´m much more informed of Arsenal than i was before and i keep learning more of the club, knowing that it would be a lot worse on competitive level with someone else than Wenger. I have a question though, should we see ourselves as an championship-club, an outsider or a top-4 club?

  • WalterBroeckx

    Thanks for this link Casual observer.

    Let us hope and pray that this never happens to Arsenal.But with our current board and manager I think they will not let us go that way. (But still a little prayer and some hope will never harm I think.)

    Utd have the owners they deserve. 🙂

  • A Casual Observer

    @The Blaze

    We are poised to DOMINATE English and European football… this is not ‘if’ it’s ‘when’… thanks’ to Wenger’s ‘stubbornly’ kicking against the pricks for 5 years we have already won the battle – it’s now just a matter of time.

  • Mikey

    so you dont like Wenger then, Jeeryy?

  • Paul C.

    Jeerry – give it a rest. You are like a serious broken record. Your posts are becoming funnier and funnier. Listening to you go on anyone would think we are fighting against relegation every season!!!! Man oh man. Really, you do need to get a grip on reality one of these days.

    Tony – I think we need to be very careful about this assumption that our youth system is goign to pump out this steady stream of great talent. History shows that even the very, very finest youth system produces one or two players every three years or so. That is the ratio we should expect. Then we just our fingers crossed that maybe, maybe once a generation we might get three or four players in a single crop. Relying on your youth system to produce players is the road to ruin. Does that mean a club shouldnt invest in the youth system? Absolutely not. The youth system is one of the best investments a club can make, as it can pay for itself simply through selling players who are not quite good enough. But you should never, ever EXPECT the youth system to produce. When it does it is a massive bonus. And while Arsenal are among the top-6 in the country we should really only expect it to produce “squad” players (as it has wat Utd with Evans, Brown, O’Shea etc.). Until the FA change the recruitment rules in England for young talent then that is the most we can really expect. That is where Carca have such a massive advantage, in that they are able to attract the very best Spanish talent (as well as international youths), whereas we can only attract the very best North London talent (among Englishmen).

  • Dark Prince

    Jeeryy does have some valid points. Last season, we should have made some additions to our defence and striking options. Bendtner played well in the absence of Van Persie but he was clearly not upto the mark. We were struggling both in our defence and offense. Its still happening now. At this point we need a defender and a better goalkeeper but we are still weak in these sections even though its just 10 days left for the end of the transfer window. And Wenger do sometimes becomes a miser in spending even though it was just about a few millions. We dont need to buy any expensive players but atleast for those who are affordable we dont show that we are misers.

  • Salim

    Jeeryy, two thing it is missing from u:
    a)iyes
    b)ears
    if the youth team cam with 25 it happen some of them must to sell example traure, wehave clichy and gibs what Arsenal can do and the boy he want to play! two ways send out as a loan player or sell him because you have a better player, the same to jay, marida etc. Dou think fabrigas came to arsenal as the law in spain do not alow them to sighn him? You are wrong, what happen vela when sighn to Arsenal and his age was under 18? Did he play in England or Spain? Fabrigas came to Arsenal because he was unwanted man, did you read his speach the day he sighn 8years contract with Arsenal? He was with mess and peque, why did he go and thoose two stay? Lesean jeeryy: Arsene is the best both in the planet if you like or not that your choice, he make player to be top class, he is human he can fail to some but he get wright 95% they are any team can keep there player? Look yaya he left barca and they want him! Any one can think to buy jack wilshere? That way Arsene want, if we be a champion this year we will keep it for next 5 to 7 years, believe me or not, the guy they will get sronger each year from 21 to 22 ………..

  • sam

    @ Dark Prince
    Marida left because he realised that he was behind Ramsey ( rightly so ) and even Jack. It would take him long time to establish in the Arsenal midfield. Trore has Gibbs in front of him, so he will also find hard to establish here. Any player with this kind of defeatist attitude is no good. Competition is part of the life at arsenal and if these kids show any weaknesses here then wenger will let them go. Remember Diarra to Pompey. Any kid who shows steely determination to succeed at arsenal will never be sold. So I am not worried about our kids leaving us.
    @ Tony.
    There is another way to succeed and develop a football club. Sometimes an exceptional player, preferably experienced, is bought to augment the well developed youth system at the club, thereby guarantying the continuous success on/off the field. Youth system can’t always provide the best solution for the teams deficiencies. For example, if we had bought Chamakh in Jan last year for a fee, we would have had better chance of winning the trophy. Instead, we played Arshavin up front.
    @jeeryy
    No one is saying that wenger is perfect. Of course he has made many mistakes and driven me to madness. But you have to look at the big picture. He had achieved enormous success. Without him we would not have the new stadium. We needed this stadium to compete at the highest level. We would have lost Fab this year if it wasn’t for our stadium. I believe that the summer of 2010 is a watershed in the history of arsenal. Every other clubs in world will now know that you can’t just go and buy an arsenal player, because arsenal don’t need to sell players for money. Our own stadium generates enough money for us to survive. We will sell the player on our terms. That means either, if we want to sell, or we are offered exceptionally high price. This is new position we have achieved in world football and I like it. This is amazing power to have. We will not be pushed around any more. All those who thinks that Fab will be going next summer, will have a shock to their system when they find wenger equally stubborn not sell him , unless on his terms. Chelsea, liverpool and spurs all want to build new stadiums because they know how vital this is for their future. However, they are finding it extremely difficult to proceed. Its all down to wenger to keep the team competitive on shoe string budget while the stadium was being build. However, we are now in a better position and wenger need to realise that he don’t need to be too stingy. He can now buy better players for a higher fee. And I thing he is beginning to do it.

  • Dark Prince

    @sam- i know the reasons why our youngsters were allowed to leave. But they are still quality players!! They show quality and there are lots of expectations from supporters but when we come to know that they are leaving, it feels we have been defeated in our youth policy. Just tell me, how would you feel when you come to know that Wellington Silva and Afobe left Arsenal bcoz they thought that they are behind Vela, Arshavin, Chamakh in the strikers position???

  • sam

    @Dark Prince.
    I get your point. Its not nice. But these kids needs to understand that if Vela, Arshavin and Chamakh are in front of them and doing well then they will need patience and their chance will come. Wenger is fair in this. Ashley cole, Theo, Fab, Ramsey, Clichy, Gibbs, Wilshire and Frimpomg are the good examples to follow. On the other hand there are Penant and Bantley, not so good examples to follow. Its up to them. The point I made is that those who are determined to succeed for us will not be sold and be given fair chance to succed at aresnal.

  • Dark Prince

    @sam- But with our set of youngsters playin in our starting 11, i cant see how other youngsters are gonna get a chance to play. For example, if we look at our midfield, we have Cesc, Ramsey, Wilshere, Nasri, Walcot, Eastmond, Song, Frimpong. And except Cesc, rest all of the players are expected to play for another 8-9 seasons for Arsenal. So how would any midfielder of in our youth academy feel secure??? Any midfielder in our youth academy who is 15-16-17yrs of age will want to be in the first team in 3-4 yrs. And looking at our midfield, it would be very tough to make a place. So eventually we’ll end up losing our youth players early in their careers. Its definately not about patience, bcoz when you already have too much of quality players in the team, we have to give up on some and thats what i’m feeling bad about. I felt Merida was as good as Ramsey or Wilshere, but we lost him. Even Traore will be as good Gibbs and Clichy but we still lose him. Its kinda like losing something precious bcoz we already have plenty of it.

  • Salim

    @sam your blood is Arsenal not because it is read but in your speach, I Want to tell you and others any player he can go cause he is 3rd or 4th option, and that it make Arsenal to have more and only quality players they can stay with us, Eduado left because of chamakh wow how good, Almunia he will go cause of Given or any another new keeper, that it will be more sweet then honey, My br Sam pls cool.

  • Salim

    @dark prince dont worry if in our youth they are good players they will get in soon, they will never wait out, look fabrigas the age he start, and if kids they are better only Arsenal they will benafit, choose between them who is best and keep.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    ‘Appy Arry Headcase would love to buy his usual twenty odd players but so far has just bought one. And when Arry is not dealing, you know the system is in trouble.’

    HR has stated to the media that he had 5 targets this summer, they didn’t change and that they included Gallas and Remy.

    As a site, you state that you get your facts right. Usually, you do.

    But it’s important to point out when you reduce yourself to inaccurate slagging off which can be refuted far too easily for your credibility……as this article is a serious one, not the clearly farcical rant that we all laugh at on regular occasions!!

  • Tom

    Gilberto silva was signed before the world cup 2002.

  • Dark Prince

    @salim- fabregas started in our first team only because there was no other option after Patrick Viera. We had many experienced midfielders in our team that time and most of them were leaving, eg. Viera, Pires, Lungberg, Gilberto, etc. Thats the only reason why Nasri, Cesc, Walcot, Rosicky, Denilson etc got their chance. But these guys are gonna stay here for a long time bcoz they are still young, so there is no way others might get a chance for a long time.

  • Shard

    @dark prince

    so the problem is that we’ll have too MANY good players??

    I’d take that situation anytime.

  • Dark Prince

    @Shard- the problem is not that. The problem is that we’ll lose many of our quality youngsters when we have lots of them. And eventually end up with few of them.