Arsene Wenger believes that an emerging core of British talent can help end Arsenal’s trophy drought if they opt in to his latest project as a collective.
The boss is thought to have sanctioned new deals for ‘home grown’ quintet Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Carl Jenkinson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Kieran Gibbs after admitting that his attempts to garner commitment (and results) from an international clique of young talents has floundered.
“I believe we have a good core of young English players,” the boss remarked after Monday’s 5-2 win over Reading.
“We couldn’t keep the good core of young foreign players but I hope we will be capable to build a team around all these young England players who can achieve something together.
“Somewhere the players must say ‘let’s do it together’. If you educate players, the faith is in their hands. They must want to do it together at some stage.”
Having watched the likes of Samir Nasri, Robin van Persie, Cesc Fabregas, Mathieu Flamini, Emmanuel Adebyor and Alex Song variously slip and get squeezed through his fingers and players such as Jose Antonio Reyes, Nicklas Bendtner, Denilson, John Djourou, Philippe Senderos, Emmanuel Eboue not make the grade, its obvious that Wenger has had his fingers burned in the last seven years.
Whether he is able to forge another side capable of living up to the club motto ‘Victoria Concordia Crescit’ remains to be seen but he’s correct when he says the players have to want to be involved.
One member of the current squad over whom a question mark perpetually resides is Theo Walcott. When asked if the England international might join his compatriots in signing a new deal, the boss again stressed it was what he wanted, before again kicking the ball into his protégé’s court.
“It is not my decision – it is Theo’s decision as well. If it is my decision it is quickly done.
“I believe he has been educated at Southampton and Arsenal and he has become a top player. I hope that when he considers his future he will consider Arsenal is the best place for him and sign for us.
“I do not want to come out on details of Walcott’s contract but simply say our desire and will is clear and he knows that. Hopefully we can get to a happy ending.”