Arsenal win 5th major trophy of season

After the women’s team team won the FA Cup, the League Cup and of course the League, the youth team continued the story by adding the Youth Cup to their winning of the Academy League.

The second leg of the FA Youth Cup final was won 2-1 against a Liverpool team that showed what we had guessed from the first leg: that they teach the nasty side of the game (of the elbow in the jaw variety) early on Merseyside.

The crowd was tiny compared with the first leg at the Ems last friday, and the limit of Liverpool’s ambition was shown when they scored their only goal of the game, to bring the aggregate to 2-5. They celebrated as if they’d won the league.

So, 6-2 to the Arsenal on the anniversary to the day of a goal by M. Thomas. Quite a nice feeling.

As I have mentioned many times, Arsenal Academy won their league by such a margin that the league was over by about January. This team really is quite something. (One fact: they scored 99 this season from about 30 games.)

You’ll hear many people say that 2 or 3 members of a winning youth team on average will go on to play at the top level. That might well be true, but that is “on average”. This team is way above average. Having two or three players come through would be a disappointment. I would expect players such as Wilshere (obviously), Coquelin, Sunu, Emmanuel-Thomas, Murphy and Lansbury all to make it – and I have probably missed someone obvious. Oh yes, Sanchez Watts.

This is a great team – if Arsenal release a DVD of the first leg, get hold of it. And when these players make their way through, let us sing a song for Steve Bould.

Final thought: you can see the youth team and the reserves playing all over the south of the country. It is worth going – there’s no charge.

22 Replies to “Arsenal win 5th major trophy of season”

  1. Congrats to the Young(or Younger?) Guns for the Double. This team brought back to our academy what it deserves.. Trophies and recognition.

  2. Couldn’t have been better timing…maybe we should play all our games on May 26th.

    See I’m a bit late to comment on Jonny’s post but a comment he made about a ten year trophy-less spell he does forget:

    “1938-48”?? We were Champions 1937-8 Then came WW2 1939-46 so no league football. Champions 1947-8. Effectively that’s 2 Championships in 4 years.
    Rather look at 1972-1988. A couple of cups admittedly but…

  3. its great that the work done by the club on youngsters gets official recognition can they retain it next year? would be great if they can.

  4. Ha! Thanks for the reminder about WWII (doh!)- I’m guessing people had more important things on their mind back then.

    Isn’t it funny how during the blitz people were generally much happier than they are today? Listening to the bitter moaning of the DM’s really gives that a little perspective. Life is good!

    Anywho the 18 year stretch still stands though!



  5. I note there is still no mention of our youth cup victory on the BBC.


  6. Jonny

    Not only no mention on the bbc but no mention on Sky Sports News either until about 11pm when all we got was the score ran along the bottom of the screen. No commentary from the presenters or any highlights. The bit that really gets to me is the focus that Scottish football and rugby gets when on many occasions there seems to be more people playing than watching. Surely 33,000 at the Ems means that there is interest in this?

    Further to this some years ago i think Leeds and Man u played in the youth cup final and all elements of the press were full of it.

    Also my season renewal came through last week. I noticed that there was a charge for the cup games in this season that were over and above those covered by the season ticket. Cost of this to me was £237. If my ticket is average cost then thats an extra £14m for the club that was not in the budget for this season.

  7. is there any place on the web where i could watch the match highlights?

  8. The only mention on the Beeb is a reaction from the losing Scouse coach! How pathetic! The Beeb don’t name the Arsenal players or the wonderful result, justn Hugh McAuley saying; oh, cock… The Beeb sucks.

  9. although things are rarely as simple as they seem it is clear that the reason we did not succeed this season was because of the defence. Having scored the same amount of goals as united and Chelsea it would seem we have enough options going forward, especially with the likes of Ramsey and wilshere showing promise. Its the defensive spine of central midfielder and defender where we lose it – I would look at de rossi for that central midfielder and chivu for that central defender as I think he is a more versatile player than hangeland. I would also bring in sakho because undoubtedly he is the best young defender in Europe right now.

  10. Great read Tony.

    I think it will be at least a couple of seasons before any of this excellent youth team become anything like regulars. They were all very impressive but it is strange that of our previous FAYC winners very few made it. Pat Rice in 66? was no stand out player but it was only him & Sammy Nelson who made it with us & 4/5 years on.

    There does look like something extraordinary about these boys though, so it will be interesting.

    I really think that the top clubs are missing a trick by not setting up a properly competitive & regular reserve league for these boys to progress in. 33k proves there could be a market. The entertainment from the CC team & the youths has been wonderful.

    Super post yesterday, Johnny. I thoroughly agree.

  11. Two words stood out for me in that piece by Johnny Neale, “unique experiment”.

    This is exactly what is going on, an experiment, and you don’t always get the results you expect from an experiment.

    There are no guarantees that what Wenger is doing will work, there are no guarantees that the lads who performed so well in the youth’s this season will make it. Wenger is playing a long term game which, whilst important, it is not as important as the short term game.

    Without the short term game there is no long term game. Like it or not, the big money does and will talk. In 5 years time, Arsenal could be in as much trouble as the other clubs saddled with debt. A couple of seasons out of the Champions League will see to that (along with our over inflated wage bill). And that is very real prospect as far as I can see.

    Time and again, the Wenger defenders try and take the moral high ground with the “so called supporters” jibe. No Arsenal fan takes any pleasure in believing Wenger is getting it wrong and nothing would delight me more than for him to prove me completely and utterly wrong. But I stand by my belief that Wenger is the one risking the clubs future by not addressing the current obvious failings we currently have. And the fact is, he doesn’t have to break the bank to rectify them, he just needs to accept the problems and do something about them.

    The summer is his chance to prove that he does recognise our fairly major flaws and put them right.

  12. parsi,

    I hope you do not mind, but your comment yesterday moved me so much that I had to quote it on my blog. Any problems and I’ll take it down.

    (Maybe I got that the other way around)

    Tony, I love the site, great positive articles we need more sites like this.

  13. Johnny, You almost had me feeling sorry for poor, benighted Arsene for a moment. Toiling away with “no money” while ungrateful so-called fans howl for trophies must be a thankless task. Why oh why would he subject himself to it year after agonising year? Oh, hang on. It couldn’t be something to do with the paltry £4mil he banks every term regardless of where we finish, could it? So a couple of naughty shareholders had the temerity to question his failing abilities and wonder why we’re not competitive any more. All of a sudden, our thin-skinned leader ropes in PH-W to tell us how “hurt” Le Boss was by the treatment he received. Pah! Can you imagine a manager of a Top Three club being pampered and indulged for so long when it’s so patently obvious that he hasn’t a clue about competing or winning the games that matter? You exhort us to enjoy “the ride” when the fact is we’re not actually GOING anywhere. Look at the table for God’s sake. We finished 18pts off Man U and 11 off third-placed Chelski. Do you honestly think that’s good enough?!? We spent most of the season in the shadow of Villa! If anyone did require proof of Wenger’s sad decline, surely that’s it. I don’t want to dwell too long on your post but just one small point… you rave about a cavalcade of youngsters coming through in the next few years who’re supposed to transform the club from perennial also-rans into competitors (yeah, right). These will be the same kiddies who routinely get their bottoms smacked in the Carling Cup every year, will it? Face it, Wenger may be great at balancing the books and therefore securing a huge profit for a shareholder whenever they feel like cashing in but what about the tiny matter of competing for silverware? Nah, let’s forget that. It’s too troublesome. That’s not what AFC is about. After all, in the words of the deluded one: “Winning isn’t everything.”

  14. I think we are missing one fundimental fact about AFC specifically and football in general. Cast your minds back to the halcyon days of Les Invincibles…aaahhh…Even further back to our unbeaten away and double winners of 02. Now fast forward to this season and our unbeaten 21 stretch. The one thing i’ve noticed, a common thread, is that MOST of the time our unbeatens, our 02 double winners and our 20-oners had practically THE SAME 11 EVERY GAME. Sure one or two changes were made due to injuries and of course subs were used when needed. But no coincidence that with our great team of ’04 the starting 11 usually picked itself match after match. No coincidence (but for injuries/suspensions) that our 21 game unbeaten run this season coincided with the same back 4, same central mid Den & Song/ and Nasri with Ade/RvP up front. The problem Arsene will have ESP’ if he buys one or three is keeping ALL the players happy. He MUST (IMO) right from the start of next season know what his starting 11 is and stick with them save for injuries/suspensions. If next season we see Diarby left wing one week and Cesc c/mid and Theo up front then the following game we see Diarby r/mid (for arguements sake) and Cesc second striker and Theo left wing we will suffer just as we have this season. Arsene PLEASE right from KO first game next season know your starting 11 and stick to it. Make sure the players are drilled in those positions and tell them this is how its going to be. Its simple really you decide who your ‘best’ 11 are – playing players in their correct postions and play. If you do this I can practically see a trophy or two but if you don’t…well indecison breeds failure and the last thing any of us want is AFC to fail.

  15. But winning DOES seem to be everything to you.

    You’re going to love my next post! *grins*

    In some ways we went backwards this season but we did do better in the cup competitions, we coped with a startling collection of injuries and thoroughly blooded some youngsters who are now looking part of the first team squad.

    We can go for in circles forever on this (which you seem resolutely determined to do) but many of your complaints sound as though they are to do with being anti-modern football fullstop.

    I have some sympathy with this but it’s luidicrous and contradictory to be moaning about the effects of money in modern football whilst demanding that the club spend MORE money to compete and give up it’s pursuit of an eminently sensible ‘sustainable approach’.

    Is there a middle ground – yes. But you can’t blame Wenger for not being clairvoyant enough to know he would be without half his first team for a season. He has made a few mistakes, so has every manager – this is just part of life.

    For the last time of saying it, I don’t think anyone believes Wenger is infallible but I do believe he does the best job he can, that he is the right manager for the club and that making any change at the helm (unless things go tragically wrong) until at least the end of next season (if not the season after) would be terribly premature.

    You still haven’t explained why you insist on returning to rubbish our pro-Wenger opinions. We get that you disagree.

    What’s the attraction in coming back over and over like a dog with a stick?

    Is it love?

    Why not give in to your true feelings – fight the DARK SIDE and enjoy your football and perhaps your life a little more…?


  16. “There are no guarantees that what Wenger is doing will work, there are no guarantees that the lads who performed so well in the youth’s this season will make it. Wenger is playing a long term game which, whilst important, it is not as important as the short term game.

    Without the short term game there is no long term game. Like it or not, the big money does and will talk. In 5 years time, Arsenal could be in as much trouble as the other clubs saddled with debt. A couple of seasons out of the Champions League will see to that (along with our over inflated wage bill). And that is very real prospect as far as I can see.”

    This is patently untrue. In fact the opposite is true – we are the one CL club which has been set up to survive regardless of CL qualification.

    I think the board took one look at Leeds and thought it is better to take a long term view than a short one.

    I know Tony has a lot of business experience and I have sat on the directors board of two companies. I think we would both agree that Long Term perspective and financial planning is beyond vital or any company.

  17. Johny, In respone to your earlier response, football is about silverware. Do U think Man U and Barcelona are going Rome tonite just to say they took part in the final, Arsenal’s aim is to win trophies not to say we took part. We all know that we are just a few players short of being a top team and thats what most fans want to see. Arsenal back on top, not just a team that develops young players and then lets them leave to bigger clubs. Henry will justify why he left Arsenal and Wengers youth experiment. He will be adding the Champs League winners medal to his La Liga and Spanish Cup medals and what do Fabregas, Van Persie and Toure have to show for the season. Oh I forgot another season of playing good football and winning nothing, thats pathetic that some Arsenal fans have come to accept fourth as an achievement????

  18. Mak – you’re entitled to your opinion but football has to be about more than just silverware if it was only about silverware why would people support anything other than glory clubs?

    Silverware is the main aim but how you get it, the journey, the stories, the stadium atmosphere, the banter, the friendships, the tears and laughter all count.

    Come to that how about the actual football?

    If you think I don’t value silverware you are wrong but it isn’t EVERYTHING!

  19. Agree with Jonny Neal

    Professional sport for the player is indeed all about winning. The desire to win is a necessary condition to maintain a professional career. At whatever level you play if you don’t win a game it’s a failure.

    But this is not the same for fans. We get to share the elation when our team win and get heart-broken when they lose, which is only a part of the experience that we’re in it for. Everybody wants many happy moments and hate being disappointed. Everybody wants to be attached to something successful and, may I say, worth the money. But we don’t actually win/lose anything when team A instead of team B get hold of a piece of silverware. Life goes on.

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