Arsenal: who next on the transfer roundabout?

By Tony Attwood

Arsène Wenger has now given Arsenal two amazing players in two years.  It is a measure how quickly the press change their tune, that there is now a general anticipation that a third will be signed.   Maybe it is just a ploy to ensure that they can then run a “Arsenal hijacked” and “Arsenal fans will be disappointed” headline or four, or maybe we can have some more “High alert” stuff which we ain’t seen for a few days.

So who is it to be?

Germany is the flavour of the Arsenal team these days and so Germany is the focus by and large: Sami Khedira and Lars Bender are the names.  Although there are a number of “Why Arsenal should not sign Khedira” articles around too.

Mathieu Debuchy’s transfer from Newcastle seems to have been around forever and looks likely to be the next one in.  As well as Javi Manquillo of Athletico Madrid.

Khedira is a holding midfielder presumably to replace Flamini and Arteta and play alongside Wilshere, or maybe do it all on his own.  The price is said to be £20 million or more.   His move to Arsenal would give us a Germany line up of Ozil, Mertesacker, Podolski, Gnabry, Zelalem, and Khedira.

We apparently bid for Bender last year, and he has the benefit of not having played in the world cup (so is available now, if the injury that kept him out has cleared up.)  At the moment it seems to be one or the other: Khedira or Bender.

Most likely next departure seems now to be Carl Jenkinson – although that is a loan it seems.  But loans for a season often don’t make out –  after all we had a developing defensive midfielder with us in Coquelin – whose loan spell last season did nothing for him, and he will presumably now be sold or given away.  It seems an awful waste of what looked like a great talent.

The departure board now reads:

    • Sagna
    • Fabianski
    • Bendtner
    • Park
    • Aneke
    • Boatang

As we have said before the reputation of Wenger in world football is utterly different from that in England – abroad he is seen as the absolute master, the man who has managed to keep a club in the top four without any money.   Now however with the purchases of Ozil and Sanchez being the news, rather than the loss of players, it is easier to tempt players in.

The fact that even Cesc Fabregas, who must at one time have thought that he could do anything and have everyone dashing around after him, will still speak so highly of Wenger is a sign in itself.  There’s little doubt that Cesc wanted to come to Arsenal after his DNA underwent a metamorphosis.  He must also have been pleased to have got out.  I mean it is one thing to have Barcelona in your blood – another to have Suarez standing next to you.  Does Suarez have Barcelona in his blood – or does he have to take a bite first?  I think we should be told

But who have the others got in?

Chelsea has Fabregas, Costa, Pasalic.  Leaving are Luiz, Cole, Eto’o, Lampard, Hutchinson, Schwarzer, Hiario, Wallace, Traore, Hazard

As for Man U coming in they have Luke Shaw, Herrera, Milinkovic.   While leaving Very Old Trafford we have Buttner, Ferdinand, Vidic, Macheda, Barmby, Giggs

Man City have gained Ferndando, Sagna, and Caballero. while leaving are Pantilimon, Lescott, Barry and Nimely

As for Liverpool the inwards door has Lallana, Can and Rambert, while leaving there is the Suarez creature and Alberto.
And finally because we are always fair minded people at Untold, here are the Tiny Totts   In we have Mark Question (?) and out Livermore, Gomes and Lancaster.

62 Replies to “Arsenal: who next on the transfer roundabout?”

  1. How long before the media morons start trying to undermine our new superstar like they’ve tried to do with Mesut?

  2. We rarely get the opportunity to see or hear what the overseas media think of us and Arsene. I read one or two blogs, but other than the New York Times, Rolling Stone and the odd link to news items I don’t know what their opinions are. Would be interesting to know.

  3. good, balanced article. Is the war over now! You banned me 5 years ago when I said the Wenger system was a failure back then. I was proved right. The youth model has been an utter failure in that only a few turned out really good – then they left to other bigger clubs like City and Barca. Talking about Cesc, he must be one of the biggest fool I have ever known. Where is that Barca DNA now? next he will be telling us he has Chelsea DNA! Cesc could have been the best creative midfielder in the world by now if he had stayed put, rather than warm the Barca bench.

    Kudos has to go to Ivan Gazidis as well. When he first came he seemed a waste of space, collecting £3m a year for doing nothing (I used to call him Ivan the Terrible). He has masterminded some fantastic deals for the club, enabling us to have big money to spend on transfers. Last season he said we have the financial power to spend big, and we did. He said it again this summer, and Wenger’ usual tight purse strings has had a lease of life. This is a far cry from that lying toe rag Peter Hill Wood who use to say: ” we gave Arsene loads of money to spend, but he is such a good bloke, he doesn’t spend any of it.”

  4. joe71

    It wasn’t really a ‘youth model’ was it.

    It wasn’t really an overall failure either was it.

    It was a:


    model really wasn’t it?

    And as far as I can see that makes the last 9 years a bit of a success story don’t you?

    But hey you put your negative spin on it if you like.

  5. Also, if our youth players were so crap, how could they leave for “bigger” clubs like Man C and Barcelona?

  6. I’m with jambug

    In those barren years as well payingvfor the stadium, new training comes and new academies across the globe, we also stayed in the top 4 every season ensuring champions league qualification. We also reached 3 major cup finals including the champions league final and we were unlucky to lose all 3 of them by the odd goal. Perhaps if lehmann hadn’t lost the plot on we could have kept Pires on that could have changed the entire next 8 years. If arsenal had played their first team against Chelsea in league cup final, we would probably have beaten them, Not to mention the wojkos balls up against Birmingham.

    But anyhow forget those barren years, they are gone, look at Wengers overall record of 3 league titles and 5 fa cups and let’s roar the team to add to our haul TOGETHER WE STAND COME ON YOU GUNNERS.

  7. joe71

    Wow, tou still do not get it do you? Trotting out doomer clices and bullshizen as if facts.

    “youth model”??? As already mentioned, what happened over the last few years was a direct result of the move. We all were told money would be relatively tight and that was true and this occurred at the same time that not only ManU, but also the chavs and later city spent exsorbantly on transfers and wages.

    But all this is common knowledge and its only paghetic anti-supporters who want to cling to their revisionist history so they can claim that Wenger has changed and its down to their pathetic portestations, like that self publicising twat Payton.

    Fuck off, you aint allowed to enjoy the Arsenal. Its because of fuckwits like you that the fanbase became so divisive.

  8. as an American gooner I can tell you our media still doesn’t pay very much attention to football. it’s gotten better it being a World Cup year but usually it’s really piss poor. ESPN only cares about American football and basketball but Yahoo has had some very nice things to say about the direction Arsenal is heading. I coach youth soccer and the kids and the parents who actually know anything about the game seem to appreciate what a well run club we have. the kids also seemed to really enjoy the style of beautiful football that Arsenal play. I’ll keep listening to the kids opinions.they know more than the American media anyway

  9. Joe, you do raise a valid point about Ivan, wherever you stand, he has played an absolute blinder especially over the last year or so. New youth set up which will hopefully pay dividends, a new fitness coach…..who seems to so far be doing very well with the German team this summer, then his part in players signing new deals as well as some great talent bought in. Ivan has to balance some possibly conflicting interests of those who care deeply about the club in their own ways, and he is doing it very well. And of the elite clubs, he is surely one of the most willing to engage with fans amongst those in his position.
    Feel you are a tad disrespectful to PHW though, the man and his family are Arsenal through and through, you may not agree with everything he has said and done, but nobody can doubt his lifetime loyalty to the club. As for what wenger did or did not have to spend, I am sure they had very good reasons keeping a few things under wraps at the time. But that’s all in the past

  10. Agree Tony, two players from Madrid and Barcelona joining us is a massive coup. And its not just any players, but their star players, at their very peak too. Most clubs usually get players from smaller leagues such as the French league or from south America. But it’s not everyday you hear about players joining from those two la liga powerhouses. Not just that but a few players with already good clubs have expressed their desire to play under Wenger(Martinez, Balotelli, Khedira(if the press is to be believed), etc. Arsene and co must be doing something right at the Ems… Shame only a few(in England, that is) can see it.

    Wenger is respected throughout the world, but in England only. I’m not from here originally and I can tell you where I come from they have got nothing but respect for that man.

  11. Funilly enough the media HAVE started to criticise Sanchez now – apparently he has a poor first touch, loses the ball a lot and is inconsistent…..and of course they picked up the Joey Le Bartone story where he shoots his mouth off about ;not wetting his pants’ over the Sanchez signing. There will be a huge media campaign to discredit and try and force Sanchez out. It’s just getting into gear. One hopes it is not so intense as the Ozil campaign…

  12. Jayram
    Had seen one two articles like that too. Others are saying he pinched Monreal’s squad number, Monreal was disrespected blah blah blah. What they forget is we’ve had about 5 or 6 players leave, naturally freeing up some numbers. For all we know Monreal might have already relinquished the number 17 jersey for another one. I hear Gibbs has taken Sagna’s number 3. All this won’t make any sense to them.

    The media will never acknowledge that they’re the biggest stumbling block to England’s success on the world stage. They’ll hail the likes of Brenda Rodgers for snapping up all the English talent, which is fine. He will appear to be doing well coz the refs will also buy into the English talent myth, aiding Rodgers side to comfortable wins in the PL, giving them a false sense they’re good. But when it comes to the world stage things are different, rules are different. Then they start wondering how teams like Costa Rica with some of their players plying their trade in the Mexican second division do better than them. Well, it’s because the Costa Ricans have to work hard for everything. They don’t get praised for putting in mediocre performances every week. Nor do they have complicit referees awarding them dubious decisions to tilt results in their favour every week. Those in the media need to wake up to how they’re hindering the progress of the players in England.

  13. @AL
    I 100% agree. Until the media and pundits stop picking the England team and declaring average players as world beaters, England will NEVER compete.

  14. AL

    I have been saying for a long time that the media run our game.

    By that I mean:

    a) They set the agenda as to which teams should be favoured by Referees

    b) They set the agenda as to which teams should be persecuted

    c) They set the agenda as to which players are allowed to be kicked of the park

    d) They set the agenda as to which players are allowed to kick players off the park

    c) They select the England squad/team

    Bunch of wankers the lot of them.

  15. Jambug – sorry mate, Wenger coined, and used the term “youth model”, and the rest of the board members followed suit. Or are you saying Wenger does not know what he is talking about? Even only last year, he had said he had not given up on the youth model.

    Thanks for your response Mandy – But regarding PWH, I do not think my opinion of the man will change in a hurry. While Jambug was right that the board had to do what was needed to keep the club competing, during an austere time,the PR had to be a lot better than that as it got us too many unwarranted criticism. For instance, after PWH’s comments,during a meeting the Arsenal shareholders were blaming Wenger for not spending. PWH sat there and left Wenger to stew.Afterwards, Wenger threatened to leave citing that Real Madrid had a very interesting project. PWH was now forced to defend Wenger from his detractors. Since then, I have had little respect for PHW.

    John – WOW! do you actually read. I said some of the young players turned out “really good”, and when that happened they left the club, and we ended up going back to square one with even younger players.Please read the comment properly before you respond.

    And as for you Dexter, what can I say – Please learn to write English properly, your spelling is appalling. I can teach you if you like. My charges are not exorbitant!NB too many swear words only make you crude and stupid.

  16. I must talk about one more thing that seems few thought about.

    It was quite a long time without much money to spend. Some people suggested that it wasn’t actually that long. May be 4 or 5 but in the last two or three, there were money.

    The problem is, how much?

    If it was 20 milllions more a year, that won’t buy Arsenal anything. May be a community shield? but to be honest, if the players played slightly better or there were fewer injuries, Arsenal would have gotten two or three trohhies anyway.

    With out those 20 millions, they were still able to challenge a limited number of local competitions. With those 20 millions, they won’t be going very far.

    Please remember that the “young corse” wasn’t up to the level back then (Ramsey, Walcoot, Wilshere, Gibbs and OX of 2 years ago… there were simply not good enough). The bench was not thick because of that. What can u get with that extra 20 millions? NOT MUCH.

    With that in mind, it is better to save 20 millions for one or two years and wait for big buys of 30 or 40 millions which the team can keep using 5 years from the purchase when they can add really good players. At the same time young players start to show their potential and the team would be filled with great players in every position including the bench.

    Some would suggest, may be they can spend those 20 millions to stop great players from leaving.

    The case about Cesc, RVP and Nasri was never about just 20-30 millions they were sold for.

    A) They wanted to play with other “expensive” players which involve several purchases of at least 25+ millions which the club couldn’t afford.

    B) They ask for significant pay rise and that will pull up the wage of others, thus using up the money that can be saved.

    C) They try to direct the club to do something as their wish.

    So, even if Arsenal did not need those additional 20-30 millions from their sale, they would have caused a rise of expenditure which Arsenal rather save.

    So they are sold. As a result of these guy persuing their own agenda, Arsenal waited two to three more years before a better team is in place.

  17. We had no money, at least relative to our direct competitors.

    Of course we had to rely more on our ‘Youth model’ both home grown and imported.

    As we had to shop in the bargain basement.

    What did you expect him to say?

    “I know we’re relying on the youngsters but we don’t really want to?”

    Wenger hasn’t suddenly dumped the ‘youth model’ he’s suddenly got some money.

  18. Nelson Wong : I could not agree more! We will never earn enough money to buy players for 70-80m EVERY season. But if we are smart and buy cheap raw talent some summers, then we will have more money to spend next year. I common sense and like you and I we cannot use money we dont have, but if we save some we can use more. If u look at our earnings the last 5-10 years even with the sale of some of our best players we never earn more than 20-30 mill per year and some years even less. But that is way better than for example Liverpool who have lost 50 mill per year the last 2 seasons, if they continue that way they will go bust like they almost did a few years ago. I have a couple of friends who are Liverpool fans, and they said before the summer that the owners promised Brendan Rogers 60-70 million pounds to buy players this summer to strengthen for the CL, the thing they dont understand or dont want to understand is that this money is then a debt that Liverpool FC own Fenway sportsgroup and will have to pay back eventually. I cannot see why people Ignore common financial fact when it comes to football ?

  19. Nelson Wong

    I wanted to say something similar but couldn’t put it in words.

    You saved me the bother. Well said sir.

  20. “As we have said before the reputation of Wenger in world football is utterly different from that in England – abroad he is seen as the absolute master, the man who has managed to keep a club in the top four without any money. Now however with the purchases of Ozil and Sanchez being the news, rather than the loss of players, it is easier to tempt players in”

    Agree completely. Wenger is sort of a renesaince man,which in football is quite unusual to say the least. He certainly has his flaws but he could easily have a pick of Europes’s top managerial jobs at club or country level if he wanted to. How many other managers can we say that about? Three or four, maybe. He is the most powerful manager at a club level in the world to be sure. He is unsackable and at 63 he can pull off the” speedo look”. Could Hodgson do that ? Doubt it .Wouldnt want to see him try. It might scar me for life and I have seen some sick shit in my days.

    So why so many seem to hate him then? Even complaining about his going to Brazil, which is the hights of stupidity – complaining about a football manager going to the biggest footballing event in the world, where the best players and their agents congregate.

    I have my own theory on that. Wenger has been attacked by some from his first day on the job and has gotten used to it so much that he stopped paying attention to his detractors and just went about his business . But somewhere along the line he and the club have made a serious P.R. blunder when they failed to coordinate their messaging about finances and transfer spending which put Wenger in a bad spot . His comments on the matter didn’t help his cause either and saying things like “I would give it right back”, when asked what he would do with a £100M war chest, has sealed his faith with some of the fans and pundits .

    Another reason for negative press when it comes to Wenger and Arsenal in General might stem from the fact Arsenal are the third most popular club on social media in the world and any story or opinion , especially a negative one , is bound to be received with much interest. People are naturally drawn to negative publicity.

  21. Why people don’t seem to get is that AW say’s something’s tounge in cheek. This man has suffered more abuse not only by the gutter media but also bt some so called AFC supporter’s and I use that term loosely. The comment about the 100m was in my view exactly that. No matter what he does and say’s he can’t seem to do right for doing wrong. I for one thank my lucky star’s that he is the Arsenal manager. What he has done for this club is far and beyond the call of duty. Who ever he bring’s to the club will have my full support. I trust him and he has never let me down.

  22. Thanks Tom about the PR blunder. This is the point I am trying to explain to Jambug about this youth policy.

    Why tell the public the youth policy will soon work therefore you don’t need to spend the money – when you haven’t actually got the money. The lack of honesty caused a lot of divisions and suspicions between fans, and lack of respect in media circles. This could be one of the reason the media hates us.

    I supported Arsenal during the dark days of the mid 70s and mid 80s – even though we did not have money back then. Yet our best players were still going to other clubs e.g. Brady went to Juventus.

    True fans will still rally behind the club if they made it clear that the manager did not really have anything to spend unless he sold some players. Instead we created a lot of confusion.

  23. Joe 71
    It depends on what you call a failure surely the job of youth systems are to provide players for the first team.
    Ours has provided a lot of players
    Currently in the first team squad or just left
    Fab (left)
    Jack Wilshere
    Flamini (left and came back)
    Ramsey(only 17 when bought)youth
    Walcott( only 17 when bought) youth
    Ox ( same as above)
    Players which the youth team produced or bought and Arsenal got money for
    A lot of others
    By the way a large number of the players listed had a part in Arsenal winning this years FA cup.
    So on the youth team being a failure I think your very wrong.

  24. Only if u have unlimited funds like Chelsea, City, PSG or Monaco, only then u can build a team without having a good acadamy to and develop good young players for the senior team. No other club makes enough money to buy ready made stars for 20-30-40 mill for every position and backup. But for me the most important thing with our Youth policy, it gives me an enormous satisfaction when we see great young players getting into the team. Players that have learned their football the Arsenal way. Nothing gives me more pleasure. Therefore one of my greatest time every year is tournaments like the Emirates Cup where i can see the up an coming stars. Really looking forward to see players like : Eisfeld, Gnabry, Zelalem, Bellerin, Hayden, and maybe Joel Campbell. Also I look forward to see how players like Sanogo, and Ox can continue to develop. So yes, I am very happy to see “Project youth” continue.

  25. My own opinion on this is that it ia all largely speculation. We don’t know exactly how much money was available for transfers, how much was in reserve, what discussions and decisions the board made (and not just Wenger), what our financial arrangements were, etc. All we have is a few numbers floating around.

    And I’ve had a look at a few writers, blogs and websites that discuss Arsenal’s finances, and the figures they bandy about range from about £70m to £200m in reserve for spending. If those so called experts can arrive at figures so far apart (200 is nearly three times 70), then I’m convinced it’s mostly guess work.

    What I do know is that Wenger is a very successful manager, and he has a Masters in Economics, so he is pretty much uniquely qualified to make the right decisions for the club, and I have no doubt he did what’s best for the club. That’s my two cents, anyway.

    P.S., even Gazidis comes in for a lot of criticism, but here’s an extract from his Wikipedia page:
    “In 1994 he joined the founding management team of Major League Soccer, becoming in 2001 its deputy commissioner. He oversaw MLS’s key strategic and business decisions and its marketing arm, Soccer United Marketing, of which he was president. He also helped promote the Mexican Football Federation and the CONCACAF Gold Cup.”
    As well as being Oxford educated. So the man is not quite the bumbling clown his critics sometimes paint him as.

  26. Regarding the youth policy, it was hardly a secret that Arsenal didn’t have much money because of the self-funded new stadium. It was just the hostile press that would use any flimsy excuse to bash Arsenal and Wenger with. My own opinion is that the club just did not want to deal with the low-lifes in the media. And I really mean many of those journalists were real scum:

    The manager said that to comment on that would be to break a vow he took when he first came to England, when slanderous stories surfaced and gave rise to obnoxious terrace chants that can still be heard at away grounds. “I arrived 14 years ago and you know what happened and I promised myself I would never comment on my private life any more. For 14 years ago I have been insulted everywhere in England and without any truth.”
    (Last paragraph).

    The fact is, Arsenal and Wenger have a terrible relationship with the press in the UK. All the things they said during those days and today are part of trying to deal with a very hostile media, who are just waiting to pounce and dirty the club’s name. That’s my take anyway.

    Also, the youth policy was hardly a failure. Fabregas, van persie, Nasri, Cole, Clichy, Song (in those days), Hleb, Eduardo, etc. If those players had stuck together, rather than leaving, mainly for money, the youth policy would have been a huge success.

  27. PR blunder…maybe, but think the club were hit with a lot of unforeseen circumstances during and after committing to the stadium and new training ground. Oligarchs, the worst recession for seventy years and it’s effect on the clubs property prices, having to settle a relatively large sum with the inland revenue over….and I stand to be corrected on this….allowing players some sort of tax break, as well as relatively poor long term commercial deals, who knows…possible miscalculations on finances….to name but a few issues.
    They may have had to keep a few things quiet so they could attract, or at least stand a chance of keeping players, fans and sponsors . Maybe a bit on the less than candid side, but surely understandable at the time?
    What wenger had available known to very few. Personally, I think he had more available than he spent….reasons…..maybe keeping a stash for a rainy day, or if the club ran into trouble, or possibly he did have some money but not nearly enough to compete with some rivals, and he thought he could do better developing players than buying with the sums he did have. And he is good at developing players, even great, but we just could not keep some of the best of them.
    But in the past now, there is a hell of a lot of stuff we do not know, just hope the majority of reasonable fans can bury ideological differences and just back them… I am sure the majority are actually doing.

  28. Joe71

    So, having read ‘Gunnerjoe’ ‘Edda’ and ‘Quincy’ could you please expand on your accusation regarding our ‘youth policy’ failure.

  29. mandy dodd

    Very good summery and similar to things I have posted myself in the past, or though not quite so eloquently me thinks.

    What exactly did people expect Arsene/AFC to say:

    “Oh shit, we’re screwed” !!

    Economical with the truth at times?

    A tad over cautious at times?

    Well maybe, but it was there job to get Arsenal safely and securely through one of the toughest most challenging periods in the Clubs history, and they did exactly that.

    To be honest people moaning, groaning, and worse, questioning the integrity of Wenger and the board frankly make me sick.

  30. I think to suggest Wenger and Arsenal made a PR blunder is insulting to them both. Who doesn’t know what an obnoxious media we have here. They deserve someone who will tell them to go away, using expletives laden language, that’s the only language they understand. Fergus used to swear at and ban them at the drop of a pin, but they still queued up to praise him. To say they’re a bunch of wankers is an understatement. Proper scum.

  31. I don’t think we should get too distracted by an alleged PR blunder.

    The club has come through an austere period following the decision to build the Emirates and all involved therein – some of which has been outlined by Mandy above.

    During that period Arsenal could not spend heavily on signings or wages, they could not match the obscenely rich clubs, but still did damn well to qualify for the CL each year. To achieve all that the club has in that time and to manage the finances carefully so that we now have a stable club, still close to the top of the EPL, with a very good and improving team, a class stadium and a reputation second to none is some achievement.

    Additionally, the sustainable model has now reached the level that allows the club to purchase quality.

    This is a happy time, or should be. The club is on the up, we have a very very good squad and have just added a world class player – all fans should be celebrating and appreciating the good management that has got the club to this position.

    Just now the gloom and doom merchants, whingers and moaners, twisters and liars are starting to look more and more isolated and ridiculous as they still try to attack our manager, team, even the new signing, and the club in general.

  32. Whatever did or did not go on Jambug, think history will eventually be very very kind to wengers and his achievements. He maybe got a few things wrong, but got a lot more right

  33. As far as I’m concerned Wenger has been extremely tolerant to this mob’s behaviour. And has always been courteous to them in the face of unthinkable hostility. Anyone else would have done something seriously nasty to this bunch. So I’d urge anyone to try and not come up with statements that may insinuate Wenger did something wrong in handling this lot. The way he’s carried himself with dignity given the circumstances is nothing short of a miracle.

  34. Agree Mandy, he may have got a few things wrong(like anybody else) but got a lot right. But when it comes to the media the only wrong he did in my eyes, is not to spit at them. And I abhor spitting.

  35. Joe 71 sounds a bit like a politician youth system failure blah blah blah youth system failure but is questioned with facts then runs for the hills.

  36. In my previous comment I did mention that our best youngsters in the past left for other clubs (hardly what you would call successful, if your very best players are developed by us only to leave when they reach their peak). I am not saying Wenger did not develop very good young players, just saying the really good ones he developed left – therefore the model did not work – it might have done if they all stayed – which is what Wenger said himself last season when he made the point that Barca and Man City messed up his youth model. RVP, Cesc, Nasri, Song, Clichy would all have been in this current side enabling us to truly challenge for the title. I think you confuse the term “model” with “Players” – they are different.

    Again, success in football is not about how many points you get, it is about the major trophies you win, and while Chelsea, City and UTD have used money to move the goal post, they are legitimately allowed to do that. Therefore, the youth model was competing with much tougher external factors than our Invincibles ever encountered. Hence, the measure of success got a lot higher.

    Finally, it has already been repeated on this site, that Wenger only used the youth model because we did not have money, but now we do, he is buying very good players who are ready to fight for a starting line up – therefore, he no longer had too much faith in the youth model.

  37. Not re-signing Cesc was a way of showing his faith in the youth players that stayed loyal.

  38. joe71

    Who would deny that Southampton have a magnificent ‘youth model’?


    Just because other, wealthier, Clubs subsequently entice there successes away doesn’t take anything away from that.

    It is the same with us. Unfortunately players are tempted away by money, mainly, but also, the greater possibility of trophies and, as we have found to our cost, ‘the little boy inside’.

    Your criticism of Wengers ‘youth model’ is complete and utter rubbish.

  39. Cannot help but wonder if very soon, we will have a Bender on the agenda?

  40. Joe71: Do you really think that we should stop looking for the best 15-16-17 year olds in the world and close down our academy ? That would be crazy! The “Youth Project” must go on, we can buy 1-2 players each year but the majority of players should come from our acadamy, if not we are doomed for sure!

  41. I think because of the club Arsenal is, they did not put too much pressure on players who wanted to leave because 1: these players helped Arsenal through the rebuilding phase with lower wages for years, and 2: when at their peak, if they wanted to go and earn some more money, (after all their careers were getting on) they were probably even encouraged to do so. Arsenal always seemed to try to deal in a fair way with players, especially as Arsenal was not able to pay those high wages at the time.

    Now we see a different policy coming in, wages are raised to compete better, but mostly only because we now have our own resources, profit and earnings from our business model.

    Those young players who stick with Arsenal, are going to be really rewarded, especially starting this next season, as they can now be a part of the transformation of Arsenal alongside the quality players coming in.

    Those who think Arsenal has abandoned a failing youth model need to think again.

    A youth model that has
    1: created many great players,
    2: a youth model that has kept the club alive and surviving through the lean years,
    3: a youth model that has created players (earning money for Arsenal) for other teams.

    Arsenal is more likely going to build on that success and make the youth model even better , especially now having more resources to do so.

    Arsenal is probably soon going to be heavily involved in it’s own media the way things are looking.

    Well said concerning the media and England .

  42. Or is Khedira getting nearer…..

    Sorry, just playing at tabloid headlines, and I cannot think of one for the Southampton MF

  43. How can it be a successful strategy for a top club to develop and nurture the talents that are RVP and Cesc then to lose them to a rival at the height of their powers ? Don’t be ridiculous.

    The time to start crowing about long term successful strategies is when Arsenal start to beat our major rivals as consistently as they have beaten us in recent years.

    Whatever you think about the youth strategy- the fact is the club are no longer over-reliant on teenagers. Buying rather than selling more mature top players,started a few years ago and it is a very welcome change.

  44. Yes, it is in the past, so why can’t we leave it there? But to address your point: money. We had to sell the players we developed for a good profit, and then use that money to buy cheaply. Also, many of the players we developed left to earn more than we could pay them on our limited budget. Why else would a player leave to Man City or Chelsea when those clubs had just started trying to buy trophies?

  45. Stan Collymore on twitter yesterday: “Spoke to agent. Arsenal in advanced talks with Khedhira. Fuck me, they’re getting serious”.

    I maybe wrong here, and those with a better command of English may help, but doesn’t Stan’s tweet here suggest he’s speaking to an audience that has been ridiculing Arsenal as some kind of joke, and is now saying people we need to take these guys seriously? That collective view of seeing us as jokers is the one I feel he’s addressing here, and whoever holds that view are the ones he’s addressing here. By using the term “they” there’s an element of us against them. He wouldn’t be using that to address Arsenal fans surely, wouldn’t make sense. So that statement to me suggests he’s saying guys we need to take these Arsenal people seriously and stop laughing.

    While there may be no truth in the whole Khedhira thing, this shows that Stan has realised we mean business, and not to be scoffed at anymore. He surely could not say this about utd, Chelsea,city,etc. Not concerned that he’s been misguided about us as a threat, but that he seems to be saying there are millions out there who hold the same (misguided) view. He’s an idiot, of that there’s no doubt, but at least he seems to acknowledge that we’re taking things to the next level. And anyone who continues making fun of us will do so at their own peril.

  46. The youth trainning thing is a very good investment both in financial terms, football terms and a way to support the community.

    Its obviouse for football. Arseanl got plenty of players who knows how to play in the Arsenal system. It provides a thicker bench and less likely to be threaten by a few star players.

    Its relative cheap in business terms. You can either get return on having good player on the pitch or sell them for $$$. What is invested, on the other hand is hard work and patience rahter than money but that is what business is about. People putting things together with brain, hand and heart. And with a healthy supply of players, its less likely to that one or two players can threaten the club.

    It is also excellent PR. Kids being exposed to the Arsenal atmosphere will spread the words and improve the image of the club. It shows a positive side to the whole country and even abroad that the club is caring.

    Finally, all these work isn’t solely for PR. It can really change the community and help some children. It gives them exercise, trainning and friends. Some of them will get a career. Some with have health entertainment and all that under professionals. England talk about the lack of football talents and a club with youth trainning is helping to solve the problem.

  47. AL:

    I said quite often that so called “football fans” are poeple like Romans watching Gladiator games.

    1) They are glory hunters.
    2) They want free drinks/ food. Or someone to sponsor them for free entertainment.
    3) When they want to pay, they are not only about watching a good game. They want to watch STARS ENTERTAIN THEM. They think that brings more value to the money they spent.
    4) They don’t care about how a club is run and where the money comes from.
    5) They want to look good with their friends boosting they are on the side of the winners.

    That’s not every fan but they are the majority especially those overseas or those in big cities.

    Arsenal for the last 9 years were the opposite to all those. So it is a target of abuse and jokes. I think some jokes are fine but quite a lot are simply brainless.

    Once Arsenal start to get things together (not far) and roll over other teams with a tight purse and weaker foundation (youth trainning, big pitch, worldwide fans, etc), some glory hunters will switch sides.

    Others who laughed at the Arsenal way will start crying foul. They will say all sort of things that Arsenal have an unfair advantage.

  48. The rumours are, Real Madrid are pushing Khedira out the door to make room for Kroos. Bayern would be mad to sell him. Anyway, Khedira is a box-to-box midfielder, and we already have Ramsey, the Ox, Wilshere and Diaby in that position, with Zelalem coming up. Do we really need Khedira?

  49. Quincy
    Yeah, I don’t see any added value (other than as Ozil’s hand holder) in Khedrira, and I wouldn’t like to see any of our young Brits displaced. Agreed, it’s not the position that needs strengthening.

  50. Anyone who says Arsene Wenger has abandoned the youth policy should watch the short Puma publicity video. Arsene specifically says we take young players and teach them how to play our way.

    This is part of Arsene’s philosophy; he will not change. Now we can add already top class players to the mix. This is not only good for the club; it is good for the other players, including the young ones, who get the chance to improve by playing with top class talent.

  51. Pat…

    One of the key words in those three promos is “FUTURE”. Without a stream of young players, who’s certain about of the future? You go out and try your luck to wait for another Ozil, Cazorla chance to come by?

    I don’t think so.

    They come once or twice a year so you need to fill 9 more spots + reserves.

    Trainning is the spine.

  52. I would love to get Khedira, but at the reported 200 000 punds/week wages, not a chance. Why should he make 3x as much as Ramsey. And yes we have more money now to spend on wages, but we cannot afford to play 25 players 100 000+/week. We have a good foundation now, dont let us spoil it by biting over more than we can chew. Would rather have Bender on a 70 000/week salary.

  53. Edda

    There’s no way, after such a long period of austerity, that Wenger would suddenly throw all sense of proportion out of the window now.

    It could be for exactly the reason you mention that we may miss out on certain targets, although I’d bet we wouldn’t necessarily find out which ones.

    Assuming Khedira is a target, and assuming we can afford the transfer fee, and assuming he fancies playing under Wenger, it may end up just being down to personal details.

    A few things for sure:

    a)Wenger wont upset the harmony at the Club by paying stupid wages to one guy.

    b)Wenger wont accuse Khedira of being greedy if they cant meet his demands.

    c)Wenger will get blamed for being tight, being slow, being gazumped, yada yada yada.

    But that is the sort of thing our boss is prepared to swallow to maintain his integrity.

    Such a shame so many others don’t reciprocate.

  54. Jambug

    I absolutely agree, but that will not prevent the media for making a lot of negative headlines when Khedira chooses Chelsea over us because he wants more money. Or maybe he will take a paycut to play for a great club and a great manager, who knows 🙂

  55. Just one remark, Mr Attwood:

    if either Khedira or Bender signs for Arsenal, he’ll play next to Ramsey, not Wilshere in the midfield.

    Szczesny-Debuchy, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs-Khedira/Bender, Ramsey-Walcott, Özil, Alexis-Giroud.

    Of course, there is always an option with Ramsey AND Wilshere in the middle.

  56. Pantilimon would be a good backup. He has been pretty good when he had to deputise for Hart.

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