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