By Walter Broeckx
With the transfer window being open again we get the usual : “Arsenal must buy ….. (fill in)” to win the PL.
Let me spell it out once again: I am not against buying a player at all and I will welcome any player that we buy and support him. But in the world of football as it is today we only find a few players who can really make a difference.
Now first let me say what I mean by making a difference. Carroll made a difference when we played the formerly known club West Ham United now known as State Aid United. But in fact that was the only time in the season that he really made a difference and was allowed to make a difference by yet another weak referee performance. That is a one off. Making a difference is a player who is able to win matches week in week out.
And such type of players are rare and only a handful in the world of football are capable of doing so. Players like the tax fraud aka Messi, the biter aka Suarez, the transfer fraud aka Neymar, the crying one aka Ronaldo. Some might add Bale to this but I do think he is one step below them.
Even Lewandowski is not the player who will make the difference. This is something you can see when playing for Poland. A bit of a weaker environment and suddenly he can’t find the back of the net.
Now with our business model and the fact that there are some oil/gas teams out there who can spend and spend and spend means that those players are unreachable for Arsenal. Then why are they reachable for teams like Barcelona and Real Madrid? I think the outcome of the examinations by the EU speak for themselves. I think the fact that they are involved in dodgy tax schemes, dodgy land deals speak for themselves.
One could say you have the money teams (Chelsea, Man City and PSG as the most well known) and then you have the fraud teams. We cannot compete with such teams.
So how would we get players of the type of Messi and Ronaldo? We can’t buy them once they are famous. It would take us a few years of not spending and then spend it all in one giant move. But the problem is that by then those players are embedded in their fraud systems and I can imagine that Arsenal is not really keen on buying players and help them to illegal schemes. Doing it the right way usually gives you a handicap but in my opinion it is the only way to do things.
And yes I am rather proud of Arsenal doing it their own way.
For me the only way of getting such players is… to produce them yourself. So this means that you will have to be on constant red alert (I learned that from the Sir Hardly articles) and sniff around in youth leagues to find that hidden talent that is still going a bit unnoticed.
Get them in at an age between 16 and 18 and then work hard and hope that they will develop in the way their talent would allow them to. But as you can see that only a handful of players worldwide fall in that category the chance of finding that player is rather small.
So creating your own Messi or Ronaldo is not just a case of working hard but also being very lucky to have him in your own club.
And then there is the minor problem of giving him a chance. If Mourinho had been the manager who had Ronaldo or Messi at his disposal when they were 16-17 they probably wouldn’t have made it under his guidance. He would have given them one match and then would have dropped them in an instant the moment his more expensive player was fit again. In fact both players were lucky to have been guided by a manager who saw their talent and wanted to stick with them.
Because people forget but Ronaldo was not always such a goal scorer. In fact in the first three seasons at Manchester United he scored 4, 5 and 9 goals in the PL. Can you imagine someone like Mourinho sticking to a player like that? But credit to where it is due Sir Alex Ferguson backed him in those early days and got rewarded.
But this shows that players at the start of their career need to be treated with some form of patience. Patience that a lot of our fans don’t have. We do have a manager who is patient and wants to give the players all the chances they need to improve. But alas too many fans just jump to definite conclusions because of the last missed chance, the last lost match… Any temporary loss of form is regarded as a final break down of that player and we have to give him away and sell him.
And yet, the only way to have our own Messi and Ronaldo is to be patient. Patient with the young guns that stick their nose through the window (not the transfer window). Support them. Even when they miss a chance. In fact support them even more when they miss a chance. Because certainly for young players it is important that they feel the support.
So yes I do not see us buying Messi or Ronaldo any day soon. But what we could do is support our young players and hope that they not only have the talent to become such a brilliant player but also have a manager who guides them to be such a player. And we as supporters have to play our part. The part of supporting our players. Who knows? Maybe Iwobi, Mavididi, Nketiah, Willock or Malen may be the next Messi or Ronaldo.
But will our fans have enough patience to allow them to grow? I for one get more excited when I see a young player coming through the ranks and make it than when I see a player we have bought making an impression. Because players like Ramsey, Wilshere, Bellerin, Coquelin, Gibbs and Iwobi feel like part of the family. Something that an expensive signing will probably never really become. They always be some kind of brother in law and not your own brother. Yes I know one can love their brother in law as much as an own brother but the real ties will never be the same. If I could use the Barcelona case: the DNA ties will never be the same.
So I am not looking at who will we buy? I am more inclined to be asking myself if Akpom can do the trick and step it up next season? Now wouldn’t that be great if he turned out to be the one we have been craving for.
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