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August 2021

Let’s Ged-i(t)on! Oh come on. We can do a better headline than that! Can’t we?

By Walter Broeckx


Tony asked the question in his article about Arsenal beating Vietnam with 1-7 : what we learned? Well I will try to answer that.

First of all I think the conditions in Vietnam were terrible to play a game of football. You could see even after a few minutes time that some players were huffing and puffing and trying to catch the little oxygen that was in the air. Now I admit I have never been to Asia at this time of the year but it did seem very humid and warm. Conditions most of our players are not really used to.

I learned that Giroud seems to have read a few tabloids in the last weeks. And that he is aware that there might be another striker on the way to the Emirates. He said apparently (and I quote from what the media said so don’t know if he really said it): “Fine, no problem with me. I will just try to do my best and try to do better than last season.”

I then learned that Giroud has given the perfect answer where it matters: on the pitch. I have learned that whoever will come will face the task of doing better than Giroud. And after his 17 goals in his first season I predicted he will be 25 goal scorer in the league this season. So another striker to match that?  Or Giroud to just do the 25 PL goals trick himself? Or Giroud scoring more?

What else did I learn? Well that I was one of the first to casually mention the name of a young player who might turn out to be the next great thing. On March 13th I wrote an article. A preview of the away game against Bayern Munich. You know the only defeat at home they suffered this year and the only time they couldn’t even score a goal in a game. I named it Bayern – Arsenal, my preview and a new kid in town?

At the bottom of that match preview I said a few things about Gedion Zelalem. I still remember how the usual suspects laughed at me (the kindly ones) and others abusing me for daring to suggest that we had a possible great player in the youth teams. Oh well you know the usual suspects and their usually fine mannered way of speaking [not to mention their overwhelming lack of evidence and sources – Tony].

Following the last two games and his performances therein I somehow think that even the hardest moaners must admit that this guy has something special. Will he make it or not? That is a question that nobody can answer for the moment. He is just 16 years old and at that age you can also get other things that can take your mind a bit away from football. You can run in to bad friends and lose it. But we can only hope that he has a good head on his shoulders and that he will keep that head firmly focused on football and on Arsenal.

And we all know that our manager from the stone age as some described him over here is the best manager around to guide such a player to the top. Walcott, Ramsey, Wilshere and of course Fabregas are just a few names of boys that Wenger has developed from them being 16 to what they are now. And some of them had to suffer some injuries that hampered their development in a big way. In fact Fabregas was the only one not to have a big injury or a long time out of those 4 I named.

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What is so special about Gedion Zelalem is the fact (and this is something I have seen now myself and was said by the youth coaches that have trained him) that he has that special awareness and vision on the field. He seems to know where the space is. He seems to know where his team mates are. He seems to know where to put the ball to create danger. I remember Thomas Vermaelen saying in an interview in Belgium that at times it looked as if Fabregas had eyes in the back of his head. Well that is exactly what looks to be the case with young Gedion Zelalem. He just seems to know what is around him.

So me being one of the first to mention him in the serious blog world of Arsenal makes me kind of proud today. And after trying to be cool about his performance against Indonesia in the first game I now feel it much more difficult not to get too excited about Zelalem. I find it very difficult to not shout to Wenger: just give that boy the chance to shine. Not in 4 or 5 years when he has grown up but now, today, this hour, this minute, this second.

But my head is saying: just give the boy his chances in pre-season and then take him to the training field. Work on him and improve him. And if possible give him a chance to play in the Carling cup or Capitol One cup or whatever it is named these days. Together with those other promising youngsters we have seen.

Like Akpom, only 17 years old, and the fact that a few hours before the game he tweeted that he was sick and had been sitting on the toilet way too much. And then he came on and scored two goals and was unlucky not to get a hat-trick. Imagine him not feeling sick before the game…

Well we don’t know what will happen in the season but I do have the feeling that the Capitol One/Carlin/whatever cup might be fun this year. Let’s get it on, Gedion. [Sorry Walter, we don’t do puns on Untold]

18 July Anniversaries

  • 18 July 1984 – Bernard Joy died in Kenton.
  • 18 July 2005: Tomáš Rosický plays against Barnet, following an absence of 18 months due to successive injuries.
  • 18 July 2005: Thomas Vermaelen makes his début for Arsenal
  • 18 July 2005: Emmanuel Adebayor joins Manchester City for £25m

 The books…

The sites from the same team…

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74 comments to Let’s Ged-i(t)on! Oh come on. We can do a better headline than that! Can’t we?

  • Bootoomee


    That was my exact feeling about Zelalem. He reminds me of Cesc and Jay Jay Okocha. I think he is ready for some role in the first team.

  • withwengerwerust

    Lets go for another round of 7 years of scholastic youth project and bang on fans teeth !

  • john bond

    in view of the opposition things went how they should have gone. but this boy zelalem exites me and I cant wait to see him in action in the emirates cup so arsene make sure you give a run so everybody at the emirates can purr like the cat that got the cream.

  • Mick

    So what is your opinion on Zelalem then, do you not think he is an exciting prospect? Forget your agenda for a moment and try to engage in some meaningful debate.

  • A. Stewart

    Interesting Article… a few things:

    1) Giroud’s response is exactly the type of response you want from your players (regardless of age/status) at the thought of competition coming in. I’ve always had a problem with “not wanting to kill development” of younger players by bringing in competition. More on that later…

    2)”Will he make it or not?” That’s the million dollar question. As with any youngster. Yes he looks special, but the list of kids who have look special that gooners have talked about over the years that ultimately never made it, is a very long one. I also think we have short memories in terms of how very highly rated and hyped some kids have been who ultimately never made the grade. Time will tell if he makes it.

    3) a separate post below….

  • withwengerwerust

    AT mick
    He is good and exciting but we need to focus on proven players at least this summer. Build a strong competitive team, win a trophy and place Arsenal on the world charter once again. Then we start introducing some prospects.
    Failing to do so and continue to experiment and coach youngsters will make it more difficult to keep Cazorla, Koscielny, Wilshere and the OX.
    Failing to realise this simple fact will turn out to be more and more difficult to win a trophy again. We have lost too much time training potential players who just happen to go elsewhere or fail to be present when needed.
    How can we start other youngsters when Ramsey, the OX, Coquelin, Walcott (to some extent), are not yet finished goods. Wilshere will come back after one season on the treatment table, so does Diaby. What do we intend to do? Challenge for a trophy? or run another round of youth project.
    I am personally not interested in hearing or discussing young players anymore and so do other fellow fans.

  • WalterBroeckx

    fine wwwr, then why did you comment in the first place?

  • gouresh

    I can tell from experience that if you are used to the humid conditions, you don’t want to be there for even 5 mins. I remember playing a tournament in Mumbai, which has similar conditions and we being from a town called Pune which has a dry climate & all of us being fit and all, could not last 30 mins. I know its a killer as U are completely drained out. Well done to the boys.

  • A. Stewart

    Walter/Tony..on the point of youth development, and Wenger’s ability in this area, would you ever be interested in doing a deeply analytical piece on the success of the players post 2005? (I use that as a benchmark, as it represents the beginning of the end of the Invinceables, stadium transition, and a more youthly direction).

    One thing that I have found pretty alarming is that it seems the majority of the kids (including some very hyped ones) that have come and gone, tend to end up lower table clubs (domestically and Europe), in lower division, and are rarely sold for any appreciable transfer fee if any.

    And it makes me wonder if a) they are not being developed properly or b) there is a problem with talent spotting in the first place, since these kids overwhelmingly seem to go on to the lower reaches of football never to be heard from again.

    Moreover, the kids that do seem to make it (with some exceptions) are the ones that we pay a lot for and outbid other interested big clubs (and pay high wages over many years), and play and play and play them often through years of frustrating play and arguably at the cost of better players not “killing their development”…We seem to do what’s best for them, over arguably what’s best for the on-field success of the club especially in the present.

    I know UA has the analytical capabilities to really go in-depth in this issue.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Do hope the boy makes the grade with us ,Walter .And Tony , why is it that we don’t do puns ? You’ve allowed the AAA to come here and crap out their shit for brains or is it their brains for shit. No fair !
    So in defiance ,I present to you -PUN INTENDED .

    A tourist in Vienna is going through a graveyard and all of a sudden he hears music. No one is around, so he starts searching for the source. He finally locates the origin and finds it is coming from a grave with a headstone that reads “Ludwig van Beethoven, 1770-1827”. Then he realizes that the music is the Ninth Symphony and it is being played backward!

    Puzzled, he leaves the graveyard and persuades a friend to return with him. By the time they arrive back at the grave, the music has changed. This time it is the Eighth Symphony, but like the previous piece, it is being played backward.

    Curious, the men agree to consult a music scholar. When they return with the expert, the Seventh Symphony is playing, again backward.

    The expert notices that the symphonies are being played in the reverse order in which they were composed, the 9th, then the 8th, then the 7th.

    By the next day the word has spread and a crowd has gathered around the grave. They listened to the 6th, 5th, 4th Symphony being played backward. Just then the graveyard’s caretaker ambles up to the group.

    Someone in the group asks him if he has an explanation for the music.

    “I would have thought it was obvious” the caretaker says.

    “He’s decomposing.”

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Sometimes we are too soft with the AAA -wish we have an enforcer like the following ….

    The FBI had an opening for an assassin. After all the background checks, interviews And testing were done, there were 3 finalists;

    Two men and a woman..

    For the final test, the FBI agents took one of The men to a large metal door and handed Him a gun.

    ‘We must know that you will follow your Instructions no matter what the circumstances.

    Inside the room you will find your wife sitting In a chair . . . Kill her!!’

    The man said, ‘You can’t be serious. I could Never shoot my wife.’

    The agent said, ‘Then you’re not the right man For this job. Take your wife and go home.’

    The second man was given the same instructions.

    He took the gun and went into the room. All was Quiet for about 5 minutes. The man came out with tears in his eyes, ‘I tried, But I can’t kill my wife.’ The agent said, ‘You don’t Have what it takes. Take your wife and go home.’

    Finally, it was the woman’s turn. She was given the Same instructions, to kill her husband. She took the Gun and went into the room. Shots were heard, one After another. They heard screaming, crashing, Banging on the walls. After a few minutes, all was Quiet. The door opened slowly and there stood the Woman, wiping the sweat from her brow.

    ‘This gun is loaded with blanks’ she said. ‘I had to Beat him to death with the chair.’


    Women – Don’t mess with them.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Or how the Spanish get rid of their stupid people.

  • A. Stewart

    Sad to have so much vitriol and spite towards others over differences in opinion about the operations of a football club in common.

  • Mick

    Thanks for your comment. Now why could you not have commented with similar reasoned argument in the first place instead of the antagonistic way you chose.

  • sperez

    A.Stewart, get used to it when you come here. If you don’t think everything is great about Arsenal and Wenger, you’ll be subjected to all sorts of verbal abuse then the same rude people who offended you will have the cheek to ask Tony to ban you.
    Oh, and there’s someone here claiming ‘we are too soft with the AAA. Yes, the AAA, the fictitious anti-Arsenal group. Just like the imaginary 4th place trophy that Wenger loves so much. You know, the paranoid minds need enemies to grow stronger.

  • robl

    Enemies are people you perceive as a threat; for you dear boy I have nothing but ambivalence.

  • Sam

    Great point from Sperez; wait, is that the same Sperez that I recall having a post saying nothing other than “you’re a c*nt” to someone? Why yes it is! I’m not for name calling either, but if the shoe fits…and Sperez, you’re a hypocrite. What’s more is that you must have the last word when your pessimistic attitude is not greeted with cheers and approval from everyone else. You seem like a remarkably narcissistic human being.

  • AL

    I too think this boy is a gem; great movement with an eye for a good pass.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I really cannot understand why some people need to be unhappy all the time. Fair enough if they want to be unhappy. But why would you want to spread your unhappiness?
    So let us be happy and you go being unhappy somewhere else. We are not qualified to make you happy so you might best look somewhere else to feel better. That is if you want to feel better and happy.

  • AL

    Sure this has been viewed lots of times already by most but this guy could teach some of our fans a thing or two;

    And great narration btw:)

  • nicky

    What we would appear to have learnt, so far from our Far East tour, is that some of our younger players are knocking that bit louder on the first team dressing room door.
    We get this every pre-season of course, but THIS year, with all the twists and turns in the transfer Window, it is about time some of these young stars were introduced more permanently into the first squad.
    If they are good enough they are old enough.
    Remember they are the future of our great Club, the near future apparently…..if only they can be given the chance.
    Forget the impatient doom and gloom merchants who foolishly yearn for silverware as though that is the be all and the end all of success. In truth, trophies can wait in favour of steady progress using the ever-improving talent we already have in our own back yard.

  • nicky

    Re your 3.36, I think it all depends on the individual.
    I played and practised without trouble near Poona (as it was called in 1943). This was December/January…perhaps a different time of year than your experience.
    Later, I played in Ceylon and Assam with no problems.
    As I say, we are all different.
    But I wouldn’t compare my experience, of course, with that of the pace and exertions of the Arsenal lads on tour.

  • para

    Quote: I find it very difficult to not shout to Wenger: just give that boy the chance to shine. Not in 4 or 5 years when he has grown up but now, today, this hour, this minute, this second.

    This i agree with, why wait, ease him in slowly slowly into the team.

  • Pat

    Just a word of caution – Arsene Wenger said recently that sports experts were beginning to realise that you have to take care not to overtax a young sportsman’s body while it is developing. There are examples where this has happened.

    The English professional football game is also a particularly physical game. Even violent at times.

    We do not want to risk the future of our young talent by introducing them to first team football on too great a scale too early.

    I trust the Arsenal coaching and medical team to do their best to get the balance right.

  • Yudhoyono

    @walter, it’s not about being unhappy or spreading it…. But simply it’s the same old bullwhip over and over again for the ninth season now. What do we have to show for it? Some random called sang gogo. Jovetic now signing for city… Another one bites the dust.

  • Adam

    Yudhoyono, Why is Jovetic so important to you?

  • Yudhoyono

    I came into this close season really hoping things would be different, and it did seem like it would be. dead weight looked like it was being moved, but all that promise and hope has pretty much evaporated. Bentner and Santos are back, and I have no faith we’ll strengthen appropriately. All we need now is to hear Wanger has signed a new contract!!!

  • Adam

    Please don’t use the term “dead weight”.

    You have stated that you have no faith. Then please don’t annoy the people on this “positive” site with your problem.

    That’s all it comes down to is your opinion differs from most peoples on this site, so please except that and move on.

    If you have come to a conclusion because of questions you have or you think you have found the answers to, and have lost your faith in Arsenals direction or leadership, maybe it’s about time you either, stopped supporting, or started to ask different questions.

    I have not come across you on here before, but can tell you it can be a fascinating read at times and very informative. What is not on is slagging off an Arsenal player, that’s not your job.

  • Adam

    Plus you still haven’t answered my question, why is Jovetic so important to you?

  • iniez


    Santos has apparently been released. He’s agreed to cancel is contract and is no longer an arsenal player. Best of luck to him. Not exactly the best left back, but I always had an eboue type soft spot for him..

  • iniez

    Zelalem is really impressive. I love that he’s always looking to get on the ball. He doesn’t shy away from responsibility and makes good when given the chance. I’m so impressed by this boy I can’t believe it. I was giddy like a school girl watching him play. Every move he made was great. He is quite young and needs some time, but this kid was born to play football. And he was born to find that killer pass. I want to see him in the team but I agree with Pat. He’s far too young for the rigours of the premier league. Let him atleast get to 19 before we start throwing him into the first team(though cesc was 16 when he made his first team debut right?). I’d love to see him out there now but I worry for his health. No good having all that talent if he ends up getting niggles the rest of his life. But my god what a player!

  • iniez

    Zelalem is really impressive. I love that he’s always looking to get on the ball. He doesn’t shy away from responsibility and makes good when given the chance. I’m so impressed by this boy I can’t believe it. I was giddy like a school girl watching him play. Every move he made was great. He is quite young and needs some time, but this kid was born to play football. And he was born to find that killer pass. I want to see him in the team but I agree with Pat. He’s far too young for the rigours of the premier league. Let him atleast get to 19 before we start throwing him into the first team(though cesc was 16 when he made his first team debut right?). I’d love to see him out there now but I worry for his health. No good having all that talent if he ends up getting niggles the rest of his life. But my god what a player!

  • iniez

    Woh, clicked twice by accident and it doubled lol, sorry

  • weedonald

    UA encourages open dialogue and respectful divergence of opinions but not abuse, insults and overt or covert viciousness towards any other blogger. Some, like Sperez have an invariably negative view of what the current management are doing and that is fine,since many have just the opposite view. We need both sides of the argument, just like it takes the entire spectrum of colours to make a rainbow. However we could do without the lightning and thunderstorms between Gooners…..that is counterproductive and foolish in the extreme.

  • Adam

    Before you judge others or claim any absolute truth, consider that you can see less than 1% of the electromagnetic spectrum and hear less than 1% of the acoustic spectrum. As you read this, you are traveling at 220 kilometres per second across the galaxy. 90% of the cells in your body carry their own microbial DNA and are not “you”. The atoms in your body are 99.9999999999999999% empty space and none of them are the ones you were born with, but they all originated in the belly of a star. Human beings have 46 chromosomes, 2 less than the common potato. The existence of the rainbow depends on the conical photoreceptors in your eyes; to animals without cones, the rainbow does not exist. So you don’t just look at a rainbow, you create it. This is pretty amazing, especially considering that all the beautiful colours you see represent less than 1% of the electromagnetic spectrum.

  • Adam

    “One of the biggest problems with the world today is that we have large groups of people who will accept whatever they hear on the grapevine, just because it suits their worldview—not because it is actually true or because they have evidence to support it. The really striking thing is that it would not take much effort to establish validity in most of these cases… but people prefer reassurance to research.”

    Neil deGrasse Tyson

  • Adam

    “I would teach how science works as much as I would teach what science knows. I would assert (given that essentially, everyone will learn to read) that science literacy is the most important kind of literacy they can take into the 21st century. I would undervalue grades based on knowing things and find ways to reward curiosity. In the end, it’s the people who are curious who change the world.”
    ― Neil deGrasse Tyson

  • uk

    where’s craig eastmond, mark randall, JET, jay simpson, A. traore, gideon ze… sori, please erase gideon from that list

  • Bootoomee

    It seems the poster by the name uk gets everything that he attempts in life right.

    BTW, Arsenal’s youth player output is still the envy of other EPL teams. Not even Barcelona and Ajax get them all but then if your objective is to slag off the team that you “support”, why let inconvenient facts like these get in your way!

  • bjtgooner


    As a so called supporter you are as much use as a backfire in a space suit.

  • Robl

    @ UK, where are the 15 players from my school team? come to think of it where are the 410,000 English lads in my school year born in 1974? Aside from Sol Campbell & Paul Scholes I can’t think of any others that were world class.

    With those odds you are going to lose many, many players through every acadamy.

  • Stuart

    So UK expects 100% success rate from the academy or to scrap it which would definitely be zero.

  • LRV

    What can we do about the Negative Viewers? If you dare visit their sites, they downright insult & humiliate you en-mass with so much vitriol for daring to have a shred of positivity. But when they visit Positive sites, they come with audacity, seeking to make everyone sad souls. Frankly, it beggars believe.

    Why don’t we all just adopt a simple motto; “To you your believe; to me mine. Don’t come to my site and insult mine & I won’t insult yours on your site. Accept mine on my site or stay the hell off.” It is that simple really.

    Even if we have different view points from time to time (our views should tally most of the time anyway since we profess to LOVE the same club) we should still be able to express it without insulting that which others love. Simple!

    As for Zelalem, we need to handle him more carefully than we handle Cesc. Else, the Premiership Leg-breakers will stunt his development possibly more permanently than Diaby.

  • gouresh

    @nicky: Poona in Jan / Feb is very pleasant, unlike Bombay. We needed at least 3 days to climatise.

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    Jovetic was marginally more productive in Serie A than Giroud in the EPL, is shorter & lighter (hence less suited to playing as #9 in the EPL) and does not contribute defensively as the HFB does. He doesn’t even complete as many passes as Giroud, one of the more wayward passers in our side.
    Value for money eh?
    Oh and Walcott, dumps all over Jovetic in terms of end product, scoring more goals from less shots per game and generating more assists.

  • uk

    why all the hate people? i simply asked for the whereabouts of some of my favorite players. i’d appreciate if someone just said, “uk darling, i last saw eastmond in wenger’s backside fc”, is that too much to ask?

  • uk

    even though i agree i’ve never really rated jovetic, never understood all the hype. ive seen him play at least 15 times for club and country. but i honestly believe you only say what you just posted now because he’s finally gone to another club. had he come to arsenal he’d probably have had you screaming wengers praise all over this forum, “marquee signing”, wenger is the best thing since sliced bread, AAA eat that, bla bla bla

  • A. Stewart

    With all the varying opinions about the success/failure/indifference of the youth program..Again, I ask UA, can you do a real deep analytical piece on it? I’m not sure why we wouldn’t want to deeply analyze this (with the same fervor as ref/media analysis) as it’s a stated value of the club?

    Much of the discussion surrrounding the program stems a lot from emotional (pro or against).

    You can choose whatever metrics you would like for an analytical piece, but some that may help get an accurate picture are:

    – numbers of players post 05
    – youth players, CC players etc that have truly broken through to the first team (%ages, failure/success rates).
    – Of those players, number that have broken through who were bought (and for what prices) vs. intenally and originally developed. Appearances to breakthrough
    – where have the players that didn’t make it, ended up?
    – Fees of players sold.
    – Players sold vs cut/contract expired etc.
    – Comparisons with other teams in terms of success/failure rates (in context of clubs’ values/direction for developing young players)
    – Wages of our young signings and comparisons to others.
    – Developmental strategies of us versus other young players at other clubs.

    These are just some suggestions of any variety of ways to analyze this issue.

    I would love to see UA do a deeply analytical article or even series on the topic, it’s long been a hot and polarizing topic amongst gooners over the last few years.


  • A. Stewart

    ….”So UK expects 100% success rate from the academy or to scrap it which would definitely be zero.”

    I don’t think anyone realistically expects that…..

    …”Arsenal’s youth player output is still the envy of other EPL teams.”

    That’s debatable, and doesn’t account for any variety of numeric and qualitative factors, including some other big teams may not value youth development as much as we do..

    …”where’s craig eastmond, mark randall, JET, jay simpson, A. traore,”

    Cheeky and I can understand why some are ticked off about that, but take the emotion aside it’s a good question. We’ve been down this road before (multiple times), where we say we have a great batch of youngsters, who are going to be the future, the next superstars, a great title winning team in two years time etc etc etc…who largely disappear into anonymity. Maybe Zalelem, Gnabry, Akpom etc will be the nucleus of the successful onfield future and turn into top players, but based on precedent the question I think is legitimate.

    …”Not even Barcelona and Ajax get them all but then if your objective is to slag off the team that you “support”, why let inconvenient facts like these get in your way!”

    The certainly don’t get them all right..But instead of conjecture why not analyze/compare this in terms of players developed internally, truly internally (as in not brougth from other clubs but there from the start) that make it through to the first team..and where young players that leave end up, fees recouped etc..and make these comparison domestically and continentally…

    I understand UK may have been cheeky, and much of the vitriol that has come his way may be influenced by past posting…but I think his question is very legitimate in analyzing this issue.

    All the more reason to truly analyze these issues in depth…and there is no better place than UA to do so.

  • Woolwich Peripatetic


    No, I posted it because the same people who slag off Giroud/Walcott etc. will w**k themselves into a coma over players who we’re linked to and then go to other clubs.

    As a counterpoint, I’ve mentioned James Tomkins before, his performance level has dropped due to being played out of position but he’s still a very good, young, English CB, who almost ran down his contract and could have been had (allegedly) for a very reasonable fee, I saw £10 million quoted in some papers (not in relation to us). That this guy isn’t even linked with us is utterly bizarre.

    There are other players who look an obvious fit for Arsenal that we could get due to contract situation, financial state of the selling club, lure of the CL, promise of international callups etc that we could get but don’t. Given that they’re not the names in the papers, my opinion of people who recycle the mainstream media is really low – it shows a lack of knowledge about football in general, which is a poor platform for criticising people whose job is football.

  • Adam

    where’s craig eastmond, mark randall, JET, jay simpson, A. traore, gideon ze… sori, please erase gideon from that list

    Earning more money than you, and doing a job they love. That’s where they’re at.

  • uk

    thanks adam, @least a response

  • uk

    thanks Stewart.
    actually i read a survey on the “leading producers of elite footballers for european big 5 leagues. it quantified the number of players currently playing for teams in the top tier of big 5 european leagues of england,france,iraly,germany, spain. these players are said to have been developed by the said teams if they spent @least 3years in a club, between the ages of 15-21(so by this, fabregas was developed by arsenal, so will players like merida, bellerin etc)…. to be continued

  • uk

    barca topped the list, producing 38, 14 of whom are still at camp nou. lyon followed with 31(10). then madrid 29(8), stade rennes 24(7), then man utd ties rennes in 4th place with 24(9), arsenal is in 13th place, below munich,sochaux,sociedad,atalanta,, bordeaux,schalke. arsenal 20(6). the only other english teams in the top 42 were aston villa @24th 15(8), tottenham 15(8), 35th westham 13(5), 41st newcastle 13(8)

  • Adam

    @UK, your not the only one who questions the clubs youth output, but we don’t do it in the manner you do. Anyway fella mind how you grow.

  • uk

    the total numbers were further divided into primary and secondary products. primary if the club was the first to develop the player within those ages. so since fab came in at 16, he would be a secondary product of arsenal, tho barca dont get any credit in this survey for his development, as he didnt spend up to 3years there between 15-21 years.
    so arsenals total of 20 wAs made up of 14 primary and 6secondary products…70%primary development.
    barca 36/2 ….95%
    madrid 27/2…93%
    man utd 20/4…83%
    totts 13/2…87%
    based ln this, of the teams compared arsenal seems to be more of a secondary producer of talent than the others, i.e had more percentage of such players who wer brought in at 17,18,19 years

  • uk

    city, chelsea and liverpool ranked 46, 51 &60. producing 12, 12 &10 respectively. with a primary/ secondary distribution of 12/0, 11/1 and 10/0 respectively

  • uk

    @adam, you question it? reeeaaalllllyyyyyyy????? i wouldnt have guessed. anyway from my survey posts, i wouldnt say we have done poorly on that front

  • uk

    please tell walter &tony during your next AKB summit, to remember to say thanks for my helping out with stewart’s request

  • Stuart

    That report sounds great but also sounds very misleading as I suspect it doesn’t compare apples with apples.

    What does it do to also factor in how long these academies have been running for? An academy such as that of Barcelona has been going for over 30 years so has its methods finely tuned where as Arsenal have had the academy since 1998 – 15 years. Do the maths and you’ll see those given a full apprenticeship will only have recently finished so there’s not much opportunity to have made adjustments, unless of course you are expecting us to have had finished products to have emerged after 2 years having somehow completed 10 or more years training.

  • uk

    well i seriously doubt arsenal didnt have an academy before 1998.
    also the survey just looks at the current players of all the squads in the top tier of the big 5leagues, it wasnt done with any particular bias. also remember rennes was tied @4th place with man united, i never knew there was a club called rennes in 1998, much less its academy, whereas a club like ajax with a world renouned academy placed 42, below newcastle(probably due to the fact that many of its players end up in other teams in the dutch league, a non -big 5 think we can all try to be objective and just enjoy the data placed b4 us without trying to clatter it with all our subjective bias

  • uk

    well according to info on google, it says arsenal has had an academy since 1954, 1998 is just when the fa commenced a youth league, with across the board structuring of the teams, and arsenal winning the inaugural league. im sorry stu, but if theres something i dont like about AKBs its the fact that a lot dont really know the club history, but instead of keeping quiet, cook up facts with which to argue. it gave me lots of pleasure to school some who always went “portsmouth, leeds built stadia and went burst, mention any club who built a stadium but didnt go under…bla bla bla”

  • uk

    infact arsenal’s academy is older than barca’s which began in 1979

  • liam

    I like Wenger and I have no problem with him being offered a new contract BUT the responsibility for recruiting new players must not be left down to him. He has too much power over transfers and his view of player values in the current market seems to be way off. He picks the targets he¿d like, then it should be the club negotiating the fee. That part should have nothing to do with Wenger. It seems we really don¿t have the pulling power to attract the top players these days and Wengers transfer philosophy over the years has contributed to that. That responsibility must be taken away from him.

  • Stuart

    Arsenal had a youth team prior to 1998 but not an academy, it was just a team rather than an education system (us AKBs don’t need to check google to find that out by the way). Rennes are very successful, I had never realised how much so until you just brought it up and as far as I can tell about Rennes (using Google) they had an academy going back as far as 1973 (as the academy won a competition back then) although I can’t find a specific date for it opening. They are certainly a good model of academy to aim for.

    As for the players in your report, you can’t compare the first graduates from one academy to those from another academies current crop of talent (whose first graduates have retired) as they have had many many more years to get things right and the current students are receiving the benefit and wisdom gained from lessons learned from all the mistakes made over the several years. You have to consider that although the academy has been around for 15 years, how many years worth of full graduates could it realistically have had?

  • Stuart

    Anyway, more to the point, what did Wenger have to do with youth development at Arsenal back in the eighties or earlier? It’s Wenger and the academy you had an issue with right?

  • Adam

    What was his request? Youth policy? I remember reading something recently, so if you find his comment put a link up.

    A.Stewart is intelligent enough to do his own research, and I would like to read his thoughts, if put into an article format.

    If you had followed a conversation we had awhile ago about the eighties compared t the nineties you will find a huge disparity between the decades. And as far to my knowledge, no one has explained the disparity, we just put it down to the ebb and flow of football.

  • uk

    no not wenger and the academy. just answering stewart’s request. besides if you refuse to accept arsenal began its academy in 1954, just like barca did theirs in 1979, and the said academy has undergone several restructurings just like barca has had, that will be your issue.
    arsenal is a football club, wenger is one of its employees i have a problem with. the more than necessary emphasis on youth accumulation may be his idea, but the folks who should direct his work and hold him accountable are equally to blame.
    but more than anything, 1998 only came into the discussion because you brought it up

  • Adam

    UK, good for you fella. Finally reading the rules.

    Someone been reading CIES Football observatory.

    One could actually make a case for Barcelona being the ultimate “selling club”.

    UK, If your getting into seeking info look into Birkbeck university, they are behind alot of data gathering within the football industry, and carry out studies for the EU.

  • Adam

    Arsenal have had a youth set up for ages, this latest venture is just that, the latest venture. I hope we get better at producing talent for the first team and not just the rest of the professional pyramid.

  • uk

    hear hear adam. thanks for the link. i saw that months ago and only downloaded the tables.
    cheers man

  • Adam

    Your welcome, and:

    You would be surprised at the information I retain. Although my missus reckons my memory is very selective. I only remember information that interests me, hence the reason why I remember “footie stuff” as for most other things, forget it.

  • uk

    hehehehehe, tell me something i dont know man. sometimes the missus wants to make me chose between her and footie, God help me, i’m gonna fail that test soon

  • Stuart

    Fair enough, I suppose there ateany ways to view it. I still think the academy is a good idea and despite Arsenal having it in one form or another over the years, I don’t think now is the time to judge AW over what has been produced during his tenure. We are starting to see signs but we still have to learn from mistakes.