France 2 Spain 1. Last night. Final of the UEFA Under 19 Championship.
In the team were two Arsenal players – Coquelin and Sunu. Both played brilliantly, both were significant part of France’s victory, and both were part of the magnificent double winning team of Arsenal, that won the Youth Cup and Youth League.
They were in fact the only French players in the all-conquering Arsenal team of the season before last, and France has embraced them totally.
The rest of the Arsenal team are English, and we are slowly seeing them edge their way into the Arsenal under 21 squad, used to supplement our first team squad of 20 or so.
So with this massive array of talent available we might turn to the England under 19 team in the same competition. And how many Arsenal players were in the England team that got knocked out by Spain? One, Tom Cruise. That’s all.
Worse, when England got knocked out by Spain our great and glorious coach-leader Fabio Cappuccino couldn’t even be arsed to turn up to watch. He was in fact in Spain playing golf doing what the Telegraph called “the football equivalent of an expenses-fiddling MP, his every moment on the fairway monetised against his enormous salary.”
Quite clearly England don’t get what Arsenal are up to – the incredible production line of talent being knocked out year after year. Wenger gets it, because he built the youth sides that have won three trophies in two years and became the first ever team to hold onto the youth league trophy. And he identified that he was weak in two positions – one in defence one in attack. So he went out and got the two best players in Europe at that age level.
And he was right.
But why does England turn its back on one of the greatest collection of youth talent the country has ever seen?
The answer is complicated and it has to do with the fact that the idea that “you won’t win anything with kids” which the Hansen idiot said five years ago, is deeply ingrained in English football. Arsenal started to work on this project seven years ago, when it signed a bunch of 9 and 11 year olds to create what later became the youth cup winning side.
But in working in this planned and methodical way, they are considered out of step. It is a story that is grabbed upon by the Anti-Arsenal Arsenal blogs who run the endless “the youth project has not worked” story – forgetting that only now can we see the results of seven years of playing the Arsenal way. Only now do we see JET, Wilshere and the rest.
So to the English mind, the under 19s championship (the final of which was incidentally utterly glorious and enjoyable from start to finish) is irrelevant, and players who are groomed for this continental style are irrelevant too, because they are getting all the passing technique and having the bulldog spirit knocked out of them.
To appreciate this you have to have watched how England played in this competition and then how France and Spain played – especially in the final last night.
And then take a look at Gilles Sunu goal, and reflect he is an Arsenal player and that he is playing at under 19 level.
And then take a look at the list of stories on the Anti-Arsenal Arsenal sites appearing on Goonernews.com and you’ll see virtually nothing about our two players playing in front of a full stadium winning a trophy that the rest of Europe knows is of great significance, and which is a sure sign of strength in the years to come.
And consider where Cappuccino was.
And know that England has utterly lost it, but fortunately Arsenal has got it.
- Are Arsenal really making progress, or are we starting to slip back?
- Luton 3 Arsenal 4: maybe it is time to say positive things
- Luton v Arsenal – the referee, the team, Saka and Cliff Bastin
- Luton Town – how do they play the game. The tackles, fouls and cards.
- Luton Town v Arsenal: Grim football, fewest goals, lowest possession rate