Tottenham tricked by con man, Liverpool’s incompetence, Arsenal sail on

This week’s special activity:

Go to your local public library this week and ask them to order a copy of “Making the Arsenal” by Tony Attwood.  You don’t have to read it but I would like to get a few more sales as we are coming out with a new edition shortly.   (And if you were one of the kind folk who bought a first edition copy, my sincere thanks.  Hope you enjoyed it.)


Tottenham tricked, Liverpool caught, Arsenal perfect

Arsenal Youth Team will not win the Youth Cup this  year.  The Reserves won’t win their Reserve League either.

But the  youth team won their division with about 8 games to go, and the only problem with the reserves (who ended up second) is that most of the players who should be there were out on loan – apart from those who had moved onto the first team bench.  A lot of the reserves were youth team players.

Before we go into any detail it might be worth a reflection on what the Liverpool youth coach Rodolfo Borrell said this past week about the Liverpool youth team situation.   And before we do that it is worth considering why it matters.

Liverpool are up the proverbial creek without any means of progressing forward (sorry if you are a non-native English speaker who honours me by spending time battling through my prose – that is just part of my occasional meandering into fantasy English – a sort of variation on fantasy football).

Anyway Liverpool need to pay the bank £100m or something like that, and their team is struggling to maintain any sort of status, and their manager says they want to buy five players.

Ah – I thought in the way I tend to – why does he have to buy five?  I mean I know they are not very good, but surely the old Liverpool tradition of the “boot room” and all that gibberish from the period 20+ years ago of having  an unending line of little Liverpuds ruled over by some ex-scouce player saying “Kalm Down, Kalm Down Kalm Down” all the time.

But no, it seems not.

Rodolfo Borrell is in charge now, and he has criticised as “unacceptable” the standard of the club’s academy. Borrell said, “The reality of what we found here was unacceptable,” and he should know because before joining the Scouse Yoof project a year ago he worked with Cesc Fábregas and Lionel Messi in Barcelona’s youth system.

Bit of a come down then.  But surely, there is just the usual spot of tinkering to be done?  No?

“The under-18s had no centre-forward, no balance, no tactical level, no understanding of the game. We are working hard, but you can’t change things overnight. I think we have made a lot of progress over eight months, but we need to improve a lot more to get more players into the first team. I think if we keep working hard maybe in two years somebody can appear in the first team.”

Bit of a balls up then.

Borrell’s job (and you’ll love this) has been outlined by the Rafael Benítez character who some say is the manager of the bankrupt club, as this: develop more English players.

This week the club signed the England youth international Jonjo Shelvey from Charlton. He will go into the reserve squad.

“The best players to defend the Liverpool shirt are English players,” Borrell told BBC Sport. “We have to fight to make English players arrive. The rest of the players who are not English must be massive quality.”

So, nothing to do with the new 25 player regulation next season that we have been debating these last few days on Untold.  Nothing to do with having players who have spent 3 years in the England/Wales system so that they can qualify to play for the club?

Nothing to do with the fact that while I can misunderstand the 25 player rule and give everyone the wrong info and simply make a fool of myself, the people at Liverpool are supposed to be running a professional football club, and get paid for making decisions?

(Interestingly, Liverpool got away with this piece of misinformation, because the few papers who reported Borrell’s comments just ran them, without any talk of the 25 player rule).

Of course it is not just the Liverpool Weetabix club that has screwed up – The Tiny Totts  have been subjected to one of the biggest cons of all times, in this field.

Arry Redknapp, always the great wheeler dealer, whose trail of past glories includes West Ham (every player up for sale), Southampton (docked 10 points for administration this season), Portsmouth (docked 10 points for administration this season), and Bournemouth (refused the right to buy any new players this season because of financial misdemeanors) has done it again.

Want to know where Tottenham Reserves ended up in the Reserve League?

They were, well, you see, its like this guv.  They were… wound up at the end of last season and didn’t exist this year.

There was no Even Tinier Tiny Tott Team in Tottenham.

So no kiddiwinks coming through.  No balancing the 25.  Never mind, we’ll just go out and buy some.  Who cares?  And if the brown envelope is around, well, you know of course that is never going to happen, because I make no allegations, have no inside knowledge, and I can’t understand at all how Arry is going to have to appear in court this month to answer charges about his personal finances, and anyway the Tinies have the money in that Virgin Island bank account…

A while ago Untold Arsenal did a piece called “Arsenal’s Golden 30” highlighting the 30 youngsters who have yet to play in the first team but who are on the verge of something biggish.

Lots of people sent in their comments and we refined the list and got rid of the errors.

Then we took a vote, and just in case you missed it, here is the result.  Readers could vote up to five times from the list of 30 for players who would make it next season.  (Those who had played several times for the first team, even if just with walk on parts – like Carlos Vela – were excluded).

Here’s the score…

1: Wilshere 96.1%

2:  Emmanuel Thomas 60.9%

3.  Eastmond 56.4%

4:  Merida 48.4%

5:  Szczesny 42.5%

6:  Wellington Silva 25.8%

7: Nordtveit 26.3%

8: Coquelin 23.5%

9. Barazite 15.1%

9. Bartley  15.1%

The full discussion of these players, who they are and what they can do – plus the rest of the 30 is here.

And all these guys can fit into our squad because of the way the 25 player rule works.

Clever eh?

So while Liverpool try and buy qualifying players, and the Tinies try and buy qualifying players, we’re already set and ready to go.

17 Replies to “Tottenham tricked by con man, Liverpool’s incompetence, Arsenal sail on”

  1. Tony, its always great to read your posts.Very knowledgable and great foresight on the plight of other clubs. Would love to have a quiet drink with you sometime. Though I wouldnt have close to the knowledge you have.

  2. I knew that the Spud’s had pulled out of the reserve league but they must have a youth system of some sort? Not having a reserve team takes away an important stepping stone from youth to senior and sending all of your kids out on loan is basically putting your long term development into the hands of other clubs coaching ability. What I can’t understand is why they would wind up everything outside of the first team squad. Maybe the bank account in the Virgin Island’s is running a little short and their looking to cut costs? If that’s the case having a serial bankrupter of clubs is hardly the man you want at the helm.

  3. I also was stunned at Spurs decision to cut their reserve team. Why? Why? Why?

    The jump from U18 to 1st team is too great.

    The other one I can remember doing that is Keegan at Newcastle, and that didnt end up too well for them either, did it?

    Liverpool are screwed. End of story. Completely and utterly screwed. Bentitez will just wait to get fired, get another huge golden hand-shake, and Liverpool will be even more screwed. I would laugh if the thought of that happening to Arsenal wasnt so scary.

  4. Hey Tony

    What question did you finally ask Wenger? What was his answer. Please let us know and also your feedback.

  5. How cynical is Rafa Benitez!!!He says he didn’t get what he was promised. I mean, come on! You signed 2 players costing 45 million! He says he didn’t get the money he was promised? 45 million isn’t the money??? Or does he mean he didn’t really want Johnson and Aquilani but wanted different players (David Villa,Silva)and they were signed by the board anyway? That’s got to be foolish spending so much on unwanted players.


  6. Sadly Arsenal FC changed the rules of the questions, and they gave me the question that they wanted to ask. I protested and so forth but they would have none of it. It was ask a prepared question (prepared by them) or nothing.

    I am looking to work with AISA to bring to the attention of Arsenal that this does not treat the fans with enough respect. And I am going to see what we can get done about this for the future – although obviously nothing can be done for this year. for what it is worth, which is not a lot, I asked him to describe himself in three words.

  7. I am always delighted (I mean really delighted) to meet up with Untold readers and indeed with the smaller number who have read “Making the Arsenal”. When the weather is fine we meet up at the Auld Triangle in St Thomas’ Rd., and when its horrible and cold, inside the ground. Obviously only one match to go this season, and I am meeting up with Walter (details yet to be arranged – Walter we need to fix this) but that’s a possibility – otherwise next season. Let me know when and I’ll try and be there.

  8. Yes Tony still need to make some arrangements but really looking forward to next sunday and meeting again.

    I’m going with my car, and I really hope I cannot make a story like the last time I went with my car. 😉 But to be sure I took an extra insurance for the car in case it breaks down.

  9. Total off topic but Steve Mclaren has won the Dutch league with FC Twente today.

  10. There was no Even Tinier Tiny Tott Team in Tottenham. LOL my cuz is a pool, he came round yday and his face said it all. must admit i felt sorry4him. he’s a nice guy, jus chose th wrong team.

  11. Tony — Excellent article. AW always seems to be years ahead.

    But that “fan Q%A” sounds awful, and it makes me angry.

    The directors of the Club need to realize that actions like that are only harmful, and that they play into the hands of the D&Gers. It’s pretty piss poor to stage a Q&A.

    The majority of the fan base out there is supportive of the direction of the Club, and the directors should understand that people won’t just blurt out, “Why didn’t you buy in January for fuck sakes!” It’s strange because through countless press conferences and shareholder meetings, AW has proven that he is nimble at deflecting insults and stupid questions (Now if this were ‘Arry or Rafa, it would be a completely different story 🙂 ).

    I’m also angry at the loss of coverage of Reserve matches…

  12. Now that sounds a bit stupid with the Question thing Tony. Why don’t they let the fans ask the questions they want to ask and if there are any questions they don’t think good enough or abusive they can always just throw it out.
    If they interview people on the street the media do it like that. They ask 20 people the same question and only give 2 or 3 in the news.

  13. I am really hoping and wishing Wenger goes for Micah Richards as i think he could be a perfect replacement for right back/come central defender bcoz i just have a feeling Sagna will leave (don’t know about Eboue) and if Maicon does follows Jose to Real Madrid i can see Inter making a bid for Sagna – but then again he could go to Real Madrid and there still doubt over Gallas. As for the Striker situation we know that going to be Chamark and the goalkeeping situation there so many rumours but i saw Frey against Milan last night and he saved everything insight only a stupid penalty decision got the better of him but i thought he was excellent, i even like that Crystal Palace goalkeeper Speroni all i know that they are both better than Alumina and Fabrinski.

  14. My silly question, insisted upon by the club was,

    Mr Wenger how would you describe yourself in three words

  15. LOL…no Tinier Tiny Tott Team in Tottenham….priceless..
    But i really like to see jack wilshere next season with the first team because he’s been playing well with bolton during his loan.

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