Mimicking Arsenal doesn’t work

According to the Sun (that great vanguard of truth and taste) Ray Wilkins of CSKA said exciting things about Arsenal’s cup win against Wigan.

Things like “You enter a competition to win the competition. Why go into it if you’re not concerned whether you win it?   Playing a young or weakened team undermines the value of the competition.   And we have not and will not do that. We want to win it, big time.”

Which means he’s going to be a bit upset at losing to Burnley, who we also beat with a young side a year or two back in the FA Cup, I think.

On the other hand Chelsea won’t mind the fact that a coin was lobbed into the crowd by one of their players.   In 2002 a Liverpool player called “Carragher” did the same sort of thing when the Insolvents were playing at Highbury.   There was quite a demand that, since a fan who did this would be banned for life from the ground, so should the player.

But no, the “Carragher” was sent off, got a police warning, was fined £40k and told not to do it again.

Seems like it is all getting a bit softer these days – after all the EPL doesn’t fancy being sued by the might of Russia.  No sending off, and no sign of a fine or anything else.

What we do see is that after 10 years of careful nurturing of talent, combined with world-wide scouting, Arsenal have produced a youth team that can defeat an EPL team, with Liverpool Insolvency and CSKA Fulham have used the time to buy anything that moves.

Their buy-buy-buy policy has resulted in a second team (not a youth team) that in each case doesn’t really look as if it wants to play much.

If ever there was a week that shows the worth of the approach of the Lord Wenger, it is this.   I know we are behind in the league – obviously I look at the league table – but knowing what the youth team is up to gives me a really warm feeling.

3 Replies to “Mimicking Arsenal doesn’t work”

  1. ahhhh… gives you a warm feeling doesnt, hubris – what a wonderful thing.
    Ray Wilkins is a fool, a fool with his foot so firmly now in his mouth that rumour is the government is thinking of setting up a foot and mouth quarantine zone around the kings road.
    Its one of the less attractive traits of being a football fan that the failure of your neighbours can give such pleasure, but its really true isnt it?! The success of the Arsenal youth system (and the 10 years that wenger warned would be needed to produce british talent of the quality required- is the guy a prophet or what?!), added to the stumbling incompetence of Uniteds scraped result, the Scouse humiliation, and the embarrassment and egg on the face of chelsea. Not sure what exactly is giving me the most pleasure! Its been a good week so far!

  2. Earlier in the season when Ray Wilkins was on Sky TV as a pundit, he remarked that he was worried for Arsenal because “they really do lack any depth in their in squad”. Well Raymondo I would politely suggest that you save your concerns for your own house, because you really need to worry about your own depth if you cannot win games without Terry & Lampard in the starting eleven. Liverpool’s depth was impressive as well wasn’t it?

  3. Ha ha ha!
    Man U only scraped through as well. It just shows you can’t fake a youth policy. Wenger is genuinely interested in developing young players – everyone at the club knows it, the whole club is geared to doing just that, which is why we are so consistently successful in the CC. Other managers can’t just notice that they have younger players once or twice a year and still expect to reap the same dividends.
    This is the up side of “weakening” the first-choice first team side with younger players. They do cost us, but every talented young player in the world knows he will get a genuine chance at Arsenal under Arsene. So we have our pick of the best.

    This current CC team should go very far indeed because it is so well balanced. Almost everyone is playing in their best position – Merida is not a natural wide player, unfortunately, and is still adapting. Also all the (relatively) experienced players are in the spine of the team, which is where you want them. And finally, there is a good mixture of leaders, matchwinners and grafters. Hope I’m not jinxing anything!

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