Abandoning the youth project is more important than winning the Champions League

In this afternoon’s post:

1.  Abandoning the youth project is more important than winning the Champions League  by Walter Broeckx

2.  Untold Rumour of the Day

3.  What you may have missed because you weren’t looking properly – including the correct spelling of Kenny Sansom and how to meet him.


Abandoning the youth project is more important than winning the Champions League

When strolling on the internet I ran in to this phrase put forward by….. an Arsenal fan. Well he pretends he is.

“As much as I would love to win the league and champions league this season….it concerns me that if by some miracle we do…..then is this going to give him license to another 5 years of continuing with this youth policy whilst other teams strengthen???

I think it will…”

From his words we can clearly deduce that he wants to win something. Well that’s nice. We all want to win things. So no problems there.

But he thinks we need a miracle to win a trophy.

I would say it only needs fit players to win a trophy. If maybe we get some players back like Van Persie and if players like Song and Diaby can stay fit well that is all we need I think for the moment. So we just don’t need any more injuryies.  Maybe that would be a miracle in itself.

But our fan is concerned. In fact he prefers not to win trophies this season. Because it could give Wenger more time to continue with his youth policy.

Now this is getting confusing for me. If Wenger wins with his current squad then it is because of Wenger sticking with his policy that he began 5 years ago.  So when finally these players deliver… it is bad news for this fan ?

When the youth project proves that it can win us trophies this fan prefers not to win it, so he can moan further on the lack of trophies and prove to  prove everyone that it won’t bring us trophies and that he was right. So he rather would win us nothing because to do so would prove others right.

And to think that some people tell us we lack ambition, we don’t want to win things. They only want to win things if we buy players with big shining names and at high prices. Otherwise it is no good for those kind of fans.

Oh yes and Denilson is the scapegoat at present. And I have no problem in admitting that he wasn’t at his best against United. But the way they are moaning on about him is disgusting.

Denilson last season had 51 games in total in which he scored 3 goals. This season he played 17 games in total and scored 5 goals. I think this is not a bad statistic for a midfielder who mostly plays in a more holding role.

I bet those fans didn’t cheer when Denilson gave us some vital goals this season like against Everton, Hull and our first goal this season the cracking shot at Everton and his shot against Standard in the CL.

And we have to remember that he got a very serious back injury early September which kept him out for a large part of  the season. And when he came back he was thrown right in to it. He even literally fell to peaces in one game, had a short rest and had to play again as Song was away and Diaby was also injured.

So yes it could well be that Denilson wasn’t playing his best the last weeks but he is a human being and not a robot or a player in some kind of computer game where you can modify your player with a mouse click. He just has to get back to his fitness level and all players need time to start performing again when they have been out for such a long time.

With the possibility of Song being ruled out for some games it could be that Denilson comes back in the team. So why don’t we just get off is back and give him the chance to become the player that Wenger has seen in him. Do I really need to bring up the names like Diaby, Song and even Eboue who has become a better player under the guidance of Wenger.

Oh, sorry just forgot those on Denilson’s back are all very successful managers of their own team that has just won the CL. How could I forget this?

Ah what the hell, how on earth can such a good club like The Arsenal have such a bunch of fans who never can stop criticising their own players?  Fans who even prefer not to win things in case it gives support to the notion that Wenger was right.



The transfer deal for Cheryl Chamakh is off after the attacker demanded that she be paid in Swiss rolls.  Arsene Wenger said non, and it is now likely that Cheryl will now go to Amsterdam Aggravated Astronauts in Alaska where she will play blind man’s buff with a polar bear.

Loic Remy who plays for Lovely (sorry Nice) has also said no to Arsenal on account of the size of the goals at the Ems.  “They are just too small,” he said.  “I asked for them to be made bigger but Wenger said no.  I told him, I am a professional and I will not be messed about by some pip squeak hydrofoil operator living in Equador, but I think something was lost in translation.”  The fact that the player is only 3 feet 8 inches tall had nothing to do with it.   On the way to the underground station he told Untold that we could go stuff our heads in a pig.

Mohammad Zidan of Borussia Munch-thingy is not coming to Arsenal after Arsene Wenger refused to change the name of the club to Arsenal Munchen Howsyourfather.   (Incidentally do you know who is the most unpopular man on the terraces at Borussia Munchen-whatnot-thing?   It’s the guy who shouts, “Give us a B”)

Raheem Stirling is not coming to Arsenal after Arsene Wenger refused to do a swap deal involving most of the Arsenal ladies squad, three bags of cement and a box of tortoises.  Sir Ivor Racetrack, president of QPR said, “what’s a football?”

Arsenal supporter, Weshud Getridofthatfrenchgit said, “We should get rid of that French git.  He’s a menace to society.  It is quite clear that we need players like Zidan, Stirling, Chamakh and Remy, plus another six, most of whom should be goalkeepers.”

Mr Getridofthefrenchgit was immediately offered a job by Arry Redknapp as his accountant following the firing of Aba Cus.

And finally, Cesc Fabregas is not going to Barca in the summer but is going to Bristol City.

3.  What you may have missed

Why did we move to Highbury and not somewhere else

From Manchester United to Mansfield – different ways of running a football club (or league)

Making the Arsenal: the book

Meet Kenny Sansom (with profound apologies for the mis-spelling)

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One of the upcoming events for the Autographs Store is the London Legends Football Dinner which is to be held on the 4th March 2010 at the Oakley House in Bromley. The event starts of with a champagne reception, followed by a three course meal, sports memorabilia auction and raffle.This event includes various legends of the footballing era.

Football legends such as Arsenals Kenny Sansom along with other renowned legends will be attending this event. The event gives guests the chance to talk to the legends in the question and answer session and to purchase sports memorabilia of their choice including a fantastic array of Arsenal Football Memorabilia.

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46 Replies to “Abandoning the youth project is more important than winning the Champions League”

  1. “Mohammad Zidan of Borussia Munch-(Incidentally do you know who is the most unpopular man on the terraces at Borussia Munchen-whatnot-thing? It’s the guy who shouts, “Give us a B”)”

    VERY funny!

  2. Your blog really is as boring as you look. And yes, you DON”T have to be a CL winning manager (like myself AND Wenger for that matter) to see that Denilson is NOT of the requisite level (even when SUPER fit) to play for the Arsenal – case closed!

  3. Anon,

    You don’t comment on people’s looks unless you present your own verifiable picture. You are not even bold enough to use an alias. Why not just make your comment and leave people’s looks out of it. By the way, genius, Sir Tony did not write the article.

    Now let’s get something straight. You hate half the players, you can’t stand the manager and you hate the club’s management policy. My question to you is why do you continue to call yourself a fan of the club? It seems like you’ll be sad and disgruntled for a very long time nothing as likely to change soon.

  4. Bootoomee – Well pointed out mate, but I’m sure Anon won’t let the facts get in the way of what (s)he thinks is a good comment!!

    Walter – “I told him, I am a professional and I will not be messed about by some pip squeak hydrofoil operator living in Equador, but I think something was lost in translation.”

    Very funny mate. You Dutch speak a lot of languages, and so you should understand why I was laughed at by the whole restaurant my wife and I were eating at in rural Alsace. Trying to speak French and asking for an ashtray, I got it slightly wrong and apparently asked for a ‘wild pig’!!! I stuck to the Englishman’s universal language after that, i.e. pointing at things and speaking English very loud.

    And Walter – I also share your concern about so called supporters who want us to fail just so they can put pressure on Lord Wenger to leave. What scares me the most is that the voices of these ‘not so silent minority’ encourage the best manager in the world to go somewhere where his magic is appreciated. Why can these so called fans not see how lucky we are – or are they fans from up the road trying to break our dominance over them???

  5. We have won zilch for years and Man utd have.We need to win everything in the world or i will feel insecure.We should have bought Zeco,Smalling,Chamack,Toure,Villa,Ibrahimovich and everyone else that we have been linked with.We need to bomb the stadium,training ground,youth coaching facilities and go back to Highbury to win one nil cos i can brag to my mates then.Abandon the ridiculous youth policy thats never going to get is in debt cos thats what you need to be the BEST?I hate myself cos we havent won anything and i am going to scream and scream and scream until i am sick just to prove a point.I hate Arsenal and might just end it all………………………I love irony yhough.

  6. Is it me or are are fans comments based on their own personal feelings due to the pain they feel or the stick they get from their workmates.If ony they could accept that you cannot win everything and if you try your very best and keep improving that is all that can be expected.Time to beleive in your team,keep the faith,be at one with yourself and actualy enjoy what we are trying to achieve.We may never succeed but to fail trying is no failure at all.

  7. Well I don’t know how Anon knows how I look but I just came out of the bath and when I held my breath for a few seconds in front of the mirror I was thinking I looked rather good and in good shape. Well until I had to exhale and suddenly my shape changed dramatic. 😉 How can a man who can change his total look in a second can be boring ?
    I just think that Anon = Weshud Getridofthatfrenchgit. Anon could also be the abbreviation of his full name : Wenger Ah Non. One for the native French speeking. 😉

  8. Steve d., the difference between un sanglier and un cendrier is not much in sound but I bet that if you would have tried to use the “sanglier” (wild pig) as a “cendrier”(ashtray) he would have gone really wild. 😉

    But just one more detail : actually I’m not Dutch but Flemish (don’t mind to be called Dutch at all). And don’t tell it any further but I think most Dutch people that I know would not know how to ask an ashtray in France as they for some strange reason seem to have trouble with French (but not with German language even if most of them hate the Germans, but can speak the language rather well).

  9. Anon,Denilson is not a first choice player but does a good job as a reserve and is improving all the time………………sorry to pee on your chips though.

  10. Hilarious, I just cant wait until Denilson becomes a revelation like Song, but guess what will happen then? Everyone will start slamming some other player……… -_-

  11. Walter,he has the potential to make a really good player.He plays in a defensive position but his instincts are to go forward and try to be creative.He links up well and try’s his best but he will always be slated for his pace and power unless he can resolve those issues.Only time will tell.

  12. No – to be honest that fan did have a point. Do not talk about players like Song, Eboue and Diaby and other players who were once hated but came good (by fans like me, because mate, believe it or not, I am one) WITHOUT mentioning players like Senderos, J.Hoyte, Aliadiere, Muamba, and thats just a fraction of the long list of players he got shot of after taking years to accept they were nothing more than average. At best. Add to that the list of people such as Flamini, Hleb, Diarra, Cashley, Bentley, and lately Adebarndoor! Hell, even Le-Sulk counts as one! As much as I hate most of that last bunch – and some indeed with a passion – its only testament to the other group of players shipped off as soon as they begin showing any promise! All that after loyal supporters like me endure their mediocrity game after game, season after season! Often pissing away cup after cup. It is unfair to the extreme, for every player who has come good from the youth project I’ll give you at least 3 who dissapointed, and continue to disappoint. Take a look at the current squad, starting 11, and point out how many of them are from our youth set-up. I count 4, maybe I’m wrong. FOUR. You’re telling me, for every 5 year spell developing talent, we only get FOUR players who can make our 1st team?? To top that, they’re not all world-class yet now, are they? Seriously. I’m sorry, I like this blog, and the posts, it always brings the optimism and belief out, besides occasionally reminding me of why I support the manager too, in a lot of what he does, and trust in his brilliance – after all he did predict the unbeaten season I’ll always give him that! Project youth though mate, is not what its cut out to be, and that particulas fan’s concerns are a lot of fans concerns – look at Barca, better school, better skills, better training… yet still the youth they’ve produced only make half their team. The other half cost them more than our own entire best 15 or so players! Which goes a long way in explaining why they won six titles. Have a goodnight, and apologies for the length.


  13. Goonergaz – by the way Barcelona, did it. They won. Everything! Buying one player, at 30million, made a world of difference. 2 players if you count TH14. Believe me I am sick of talking about them, but they did set a standard, for clubs like ours.

    Six titles for 46million. We got 40million from Citeh.


  14. Pat,mediocrity game after game, season after season!We play the best football in the league by a country mile.You’re moaning about the amount of players we have brought through but how many have Chelsea or Man utd.

  15. None really and that is why they both are a disgust to watch, and yet another reason why I believe AW is brilliant. Nonetheless, when did we revert to being a training ground for eternally average players?

  16. Pat,we have some midfielders who are truly technically excellent.Tacticaly we are poor because of the mentality of Arsene towards open attacking football.Just think for a moment though and imagine how poor the premier league would be without us.

  17. Good call about Denilson – he broke his back for heavens sake and has an appendix problem. He wouldn’t (and shouldn’t) have been playing if it wasn’t for other injuries. He’s not freakin’ Lazarus.

    I quite like project youth anyway – at least we’re not in court defending a winding up order.

    Out of interest did “the fan” say who should replace Arsene?

  18. Tony — Excellent article.

    This is exactly why I am so frustrated with certain fans. They talk about “focusing on the present,” rather than the future, yet they don’t understand that the present is one where we have two very legitimate chances to win the PL and CL.

    Buying players is not focusing on the present. Any new players won’t arrive till the summer, and they take time to be integrated into the team.

    Focusing on the present is supporting the players and showing that we believe in them.

  19. I honestly think it’ll be a miracle if all our key players are fit over the course of a season. The problem is that we have players like van Persie and Gallas, who if injured, tend to stay injured. They get soft-tissue injuries and miss a month or two. Or van Persie gets a freak injury that rules him out for the rest of the season. And the problem is that we don’t have a genuine replacement for players like these. Would you entrust our froward line to Bendy if you were given an alternative? Or how about Silvestre if Gallas was taken out?

    And Tim, I think we’re looking at two very different presents. In yours, you see a team that is 6 points off the league with 12 games to go. It is difficult to win from there, but possible. In my present, I see a team that has just lost to its main two opponents, that has a thin squad with injuries to key players, that has a dodgy keeper, that doesn’t look secure in defence, and that is trying to win a league from 6 points back with 12 games to go. And I see that things could’ve been done to improve our chances (buying key reinforcements in January, coaching our defence) that haven’t been done. That is the reason for my ire. There are things we could’ve done to improve our chances, but we didn’t do them. I still see that we’re 6 points off with 12 games to play, but I see it as necessary that we win 10 games to have a chance? Will we do it with the squad we have? I hope so, but I’m not holding my breath.

  20. @WEG — Yes, I think we’ll just have to agree to disagree. All I am saying is that we have to have faith in the present squad because anything else is speculation for the future.

  21. can u guys tell me (i m not moaning jst curious)…..an example of denilson in another team…i mean the developed version of denilson…eg song close to essien….

  22. pat and WEG, u got points..but nobody gonna listen to u on this blog and u don’t have any choice other than supporting arsenal….nor ur opinion matter to wenger…so get on with it….i think present debt is 330mill so it will take may be nxt 4-5 years to compete in transfer market…..

    dragonball z is an anime series….

  23. do u guys(for eternal optimists) think wenger should dump cl…for the sake of pl….like he did with fa cup..

  24. To all who complain about the Arsenal’s ‘youth policy’, go read today’s Sunday Times article about Porto’s ‘buy low, sell high’ policy this decade. Appears they made £200m from transfers and somehow or other under that Portuguese reprobate won the UEFA Cup, the Champions League and a few domestic pots.

    They became the feeder club for Utd, Chelsea, Lyon, Barca et al. But they pinched ‘our’ Champions League in 2004……..

    Er no actually: we threw it away by being 2-0 up on aggregate, with 45 minutes left at home in the 2nd leg. With players like Henry and the untouchables……

    Nothing to do with transfer policy that.

    To do with not being sufficiently professional to close out the tie with experienced players on the park.

    That’s life.

  25. Re: Critic @ 8:42am

    Pat and WEG can go to Le Moan. They’ll find other Arsenal bashing fans there aplenty. At least this blog is not a pretender or hypocrite. You are welcomed with this bold notice:

    “Untold Arsenal: Arsenal News supporting the Lord Wenger in all he does.”

    Now compare that with LeMoan’s “A blog where you can have an opinion, not get one.” At least we are honest here about our intentions and bias. If you see that welcome notice and still stays on, then don’t complain if posters here can’t stand your whining or negativity towards Wenger and our players. It’s an Internet blog about Arsenal dude, not Arsenal.com. There are thousands of others. I don’t go to LeMoan or ANR and whinge about their negativity. I just click on to other places like UNTOLD. It’s very easy, just try it and you’ll see.

    Dude, this is my oasis in the desert of Arsenal negativity, please don’t suck out all the water here.

  26. Rumour of the Day:

    ‘The footballing IPCC (headed by that ‘Cowboy and Indian’ ‘King of the Hill’ in New York) announced today that ‘diamond credits’ would be introduced for all clubs in the EPL.

    The terms of such diamond credits are as follows: the UK will pay millions to Indian, Chinese and African agents to put English footballers out of work, whilst transferring expertise and technology all around the globe to increase the standing and stature of competing leagues.

    Lord Trees Man, in seeking to protect the jungle where diamonds are prospected for, particularly the agents in Pelikanstraat and Hatton Garden, made a cogent case that, in the current climate, the best thing to do would be to bankrupt 10 EPL clubs, so that they could be started up again by fan-based consortia in the Isthmian League.

    RBS CEO announced their ‘strong support for this insightful and forward-thinking proposal’, whilst CEOs of the trading platform Stratford Partners and Gold Mine Sacks noted with appreciation the potential for entrepreneurs to benefit from such arrangements.

    The FA is away in Barbados, hence was unable to comment…….’

  27. Bootoomee

    Thank you for your excellent defence of this blog. It made me feel really good. I am going out for a walk now, before my head gets too big to get through the door.

  28. Re: can u guys tell me (i m not moaning jst curious)…..an example of denilson in another team…i mean the developed version of denilson…eg song close to essien….

    Gareth Barry
    Darren Fletcher but less of a knob

    I need to drink some of this. my glass is too full.

  29. Walter – Dani Alves got bought for 30million.

    Gunnergaz, yes certainly we have superb technical midfielders. A number of those were purchased though, at significant cost – Rosicky, Nasri, Ramsey, Walcott, even Denilson. Will we eventually sell them all? I wish I knew the answer to that.

    Botomee – I have no intention of ruining the blog and/or going against its theme whatsoever, in fact I certainly find it an outstanding source of solace after disappointments such as our last several encounters with those ‘other’ two teams. Kudos to Tony Attwood and Walter, pray you never lose any of that belief (unlike some of us). Its just unfortunate how the gulf forming within the club support is getting wider and wider, and I believe this was mentioned here at some point. Everybody has their breaking point however, for some it was the year right after that F.A Final, others are breaking now, yet others could take 10 more to lose heart, maybe even a hundred! It still is our club though, and name calling should be reserved for the laughable sp*ds. Again, keep up the brilliant work Tony/Walter, and the humour as well!


  30. Re: can u guys tell me (i m not moaning jst curious)…..an example of denilson in another team…i mean the developed version of denilson…eg song close to essien….

    I think that Denilson can develop in to a new Gilberto. And to counter some of the normal comments to deny this I just want to point out that Gilberto only got his first call up to the Brazilian national team when he was 25 (that is twenty five yes please). Denilson is 22. Dani Alves was 23 for his first call up if you are interested

  31. I feel refreshed after reading this post and all of the comments. I feel reassured that ‘OUR’ Untold community will not be turned into a ‘Le Groan’ clone. Not now, not ever.

  32. I’m sure I read somewhere that Dani Alves has actually cost Barcelona closer to 43million euros (As Sevilla did not need to sell they got as much as they could for him), which is just silly money despite his undoubted talent. Add to that the 45m that they forked out for Ibrahimovic (which to me was just the craziest deal in the history of crazy transfer deals – mainly because they also gave away 35 goal a season Eto’o as part of it: it’s also funny how neither of them are pulling up any trees at their respective new clubs, although I sympathise more with Eto’o having to play in a negative Mourinho team) and Barca’s self proclaimed title as the model club that we all should follow runs a little bit shallow. They also forked out £25m for Chigrinsky who has hardly made a first team appearance.
    Add to that the fact that it has taken approx. 5 years for Barca to integrate their current 1st team home grown players into the team – a process that started back in 2003/2004 with Rijkaard, then I am more than happy to keep waiting a while more for Arsenals current squad to develop, and that is exactly what is happening. Each year these players are getting better, Arsenal’s football is getting that bit more slicker and faster, and it only needs for true consistancy now for us to be truly feared around Europe, but that consistancy will come as well. We had Song last year and this, and now Diaby is truly looking like one heck of a player this season. Next season it could well be Denilson’s turn, or Bendy’s, or Nasri’s (who is just 22 we remember). We have Ramsey doing really well. Vela will definitely get better. God even Clichy is still only 24 and there aren’t many better left backs around than him IMO. To me the future is very bright.

  33. As I see almost all the games from Barcelona (till TH is substituted mostly 😉 ) but I really must say that Abramovitsj is half the player Eto’o was for Barcelona.
    He walks on the field with an air around him and always trying the most difficult things as if he would try to match Messi’s brillance. He onlys seems to play for himself. I’m talking about Ibrahimovic just to be sure you follow me.
    Eto’o played with his heart and worked 10 X harder in one game than Ibra in 5 games.
    But Barca had to sign a big name for the sake of it and at the end it could cost them.

    I’m not saying Ibrahimovic is a bad player but not a player to my likings. To lazy and not putting everything in it. If things do go his way you wont see him putting in more effort like Eto’o did in his time with Barcelona.

    Off now to watch the game on my TV: Atletico Madrid – Barcelona. 😉

  34. AGS,totaly agree about the players improving other than Clichy.He has awful positional sense and dives into tackles he cannot win.He has good technique and pace when fit but his decision making is truly awful.When Cole left it did not concern me at all because we had a ready made replacement,yet as he gets older he is not improving.I dont see him as being good enough to play for us which is a shame as his problems are just basic and should have been ironed out with good coaching.Lets hope he puts his brain in gear soon or we will be in need of a replacement.

  35. Barca just subbed xavi with 10 minutes to go. I can’t remember him ever being subbed before – is this the beginning of the end. Are they making room for cesc.


  36. I think the reason why Denilson is getting a lot of stick with fans is that it seems that his workrate just dropped off. I mean, he is not that strong, he is not fast, and this year he gives away cheap penalties, gives up on marking etc..

    And for me personally, the only dissapointing part is his workrate. I don’t get annoyed with lack of skill, I don’t get dissapointed with mistakes, as these things happen to everyone. But being lazy on the pitch? That’s very dissapointing.

  37. I’m very optimistic, and I think we’ll win the league as well, but I really don’t see what Denilson does. He’s scored a few important goals this season, but he’s done pretty much nothing other than that. What does he bring to our midfield? I can’t see any potential in him apart from those long shots. His reading of the game is above average, but his tackling is very weak.

    And he seems so lazy. Eg – In the second United goal, he was supposed to be covering Rooney, but he was outpaced by the ref, a man who is 47 years old. If that’s not lack of effort, then what is?

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