Sunday, October 2, 2022

Chances should still remain for Arsenal youngsters post-Wenger

There has been much speculation about Arsene Wenger’s future as Arsenal manager of late and when the Frenchman’s tenure comes to an end, whether this summer or at a later date, his tendency to give opportunities to young players will be looked back upon as one of the key elements of his time in charge.

Wenger has given debuts to a horde of players, some of whom made just a solitary appearance for the first-team, while others, such as Ashley Cole, Cesc Fabregas, Hector Bellerin, Jack Wilshere, Alex Iwobi and Kieran Gibbs became much more frequently involved.

All of Arsenal’s academy sides are schooled in playing Wenger’s preferred method of pass and move football, which perhaps goes some way towards explaining why the majority of the best talents to emerge from the club’s Hale End system are attacking midfielders or wingers rather than centre-backs.

Although Wenger hasn’t relied on youth quite so heavily in recent seasons – certainly not as much as in the Carling Cup days of yore – he still seeks to involve youngsters in the first-team set-up when the opportunity arises; witness Iwobi’s breakthrough last season and the frequent participation of prospects in training sessions with the senior squad.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles is now on the cusp of the firs-team and many youngsters decide to join Arsenal because of Wenger’s reputation for developing players.

It is worth remembering, however, that the strength of Arsenal’s youth system pre-dates Wenger, with some of the most decorated figures in the club’s history such as Pat Rice, David Rocastle and Tony Adams having worked their way through the ranks.

Arsenal’s youth system will continue after Wenger has left, too. There is much good work taking place at Hale End, while with regards to the youngsters already at London Colney, Reiss Nelson and Trae Coyle offer the most hope from the new generation.

Regardless of who succeeds Wenger, there should be an onus to give the very best of Arsenal’s youngsters a chance to make the grade.

At Manchester United, a club with fine traditions of promoting from within, Jose Mourinho, a manager previously renowned for being hugely reluctant to call upon youth, has given debuts to Axel Tuanzebe and Joel Pereira this season, while Timothy Fosu-Mensah has also been involved with the squad and Marcus Rashford remains an important player.

Arsenal must ensure that their youth academy values aren’t lost when Wenger departs, especially at a time when some technically gifted starlets are on the way up.

Jeorge Bird is the author of Follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird



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Wenger is excellent developing young players. He brought Iwobi, Bellerin and Coquelin through in recent seasons. That said, he can be accused of putting too much faith in them sometimes. I thought it was a mistake to play Iwobi against Bayern. He looked a bit shell shocked coming off and frankly lost. He’s an excellent player but against a canny foe like Bayern, we needed a bit more composure. My pick for starting line up would have been Lucas but alas he suffered a knock as is our luck. Short of him, Welbeck with his power and a bit more… Read more »


Go write a blog or something ?


“Gibbs is pants” excuse me Sir! 🙂


Agree with you, nicely written. I think we could cope with Alexis and maybe Ozil leaving if we replace them with players that suit our (or new manager’s) philosophy as you mentioned in Pjanic as an alternative. Atm we are too much a group of individuals ( and Alexis acting as he is the only one who tries or cares) instead of a team. PSG beat Barca because they played better as a team.


all this talk about replacing Wenger, at this stage of the season is morale-sapping…I can tell you tell you this, fellow Gooners: Wenger goes this summer and we can look forward to at least 5 years of upheaval and mediocrity whilst the team and the club find their feet again…what’s wrong with you people? look around you…Man U, Man City…Barca lost 4-0…4 fucking nil…and yet they still talk of qualifying for the next round…get behind the team and the coach whilst he’s still there…and when he’s gone, get behind the new coach and team…the King is dead, long live the… Read more »


You can support the current manager AND talk about the future and alternatives as he seems to be leaving.


This is an excellent post. The decision to build around the ‘British core’ after Fabregas, Nasri, van Persie, etc left was a massive mistake and is still costing us. The British players simply aren’t good enough – especially in the midfield and forward positions that require technical ability at the top level. We’ve been trying to convince ourselves for 6 years that Walcott, Ox, Ramsey, Wilshere, Gibbs etc can do it, looking for every excuse and reason to believe despite all the evidence to the contrary. Even just now I saw a ridiculous article in the Independent that these players… Read more »

gunner smith

Walcott has been at Asenal since 2006. Great things were expected of him. His impact has been minimal. I don’t whether under anew manager he/Arsenal could have gone flying. As for Wenger ,enough has been said about him.I”b e very surprised if he stays at Arsenal. I don’t know of any top managers who has been beaten by very big margins regularly.You don’t find Barca/RM/BM losing by very big scores all the time.At Arsenal its the norn in the big games. Maybe afew time is acceptable but to be pulverized repeatedly in the big games is criminal at a big… Read more »


Barca lost 4-0 the day before? Walcott is a good player but should probably not be starting for us regularly or be on the wage he is atm.


Doesn’t really sound like anything other than disagreeing for the sake of it. Barca don’t lose REGULARLY by big margins is what the initial comment says. And you say Theo is a good player but end up saying he’s not good enough to start or justify his current wages. The original comment is about his impact. He scores, but does little else as a winger. Also, this is similar all the people pointing to the barca defeat in response to a comment by fellow user ‘mootilated'(if I remember right). It’s okay to lose like that once, heck even twice. Shouldn’t… Read more »


Was just saying that other big clubs lose big too. Barca were also trashed by Bayern a few years back. Yes, they have a higher and more consistent level, was not arguing against that but wouldn’t say that we keep losing big REGULARLY against big teams. We lost against Bayern 5-1 last season too but otherwise there have been no really big defeats since the 6-1 at chelsea a few years back. Wouldn’t call that as being beaten big regularly but yeah not arguing that we probably shouldn’t lose big at all. Wenger is not a good defensive manager and… Read more »


I agree with everything you say apart from the final bit about allowing Wenger another season while we figure out a successor. This would simply be another season of disappointment and underachievement. Wenger and Arsenal need to move on swiftly for everyones sake, and the club should already have an idea of what they plan to do when he leaves.

uncle D

2013 Barcelona vs Bayern! Let’s hope we don’t set a new record with complacent fans at home! Do your job and support, stick to your day jobs…. ?


You are right about all that you’ve said but one thing and that is Arsenal being a big club. A team that is frequently bullied into selling their best players to top teams, hasn’t won a major trophy in over 10 years and often struggles to attract marquee signings to address their problems on the field cannot be referred to as big.


Big in assets. Short on ambition.

Heavenly Chapecoense

I thumbed you up then cried. You revealed such a painful reality.


I appreciate the periodic update on young gunners very much… very grateful.

But there is something off about laying down expectations from a new manager when the incumbent is presently preparing for a match that will feature the very players the writer intends to see blossom at Arsenal.


There is a coherent strategy in the tactics employed and technique that is worked on in the youth ages and all the infrastructure and training talent going on. This was a vision of Wenger, a philosophy. Not something suddenly watched on youtube in five minutes. Even though it could be templated, his commitment and talent in identifying potential is the most worrying biggest hole after he leaves. The whole foundation of this system created is based on nurturing talent Not buying talent. And it has financial, contractual and efficiency implications which other clubs can’t replicate easily. When a new manager… Read more »

The Nigerian

well said


I love the plan to bring through young players that Wenger has created (although perhaps not so much that a lot of this comes from abroad) and impressed that the ideals of the first team play are replicated through all levels. The problem comes when that style of play is no longer a winning way. Are we educating young players to be able to fit in with a first team that cannot adapt to various styles of play? The youth teams then become replicas of the first team and do not provide the alternatives we need. Our youth teams used… Read more »

Heavenly Chapecoense

I am sorry to dissent a bit but we got no world class from our academy other than Fabregas and Bellerin who is getting there but both came from Barcelona academy. What is very special about Wenger is instead digging out players like Giroud, Adebayor, Kolo Toure, Lauren and Koscielny who is a world-class defender. In terms of academy, Southampton and some others do better than us. Akpom, Zelalem, Crowley are all late in their development.


We took Theo, Ox and Chambers from Southampton and their development is also tardy. Jenkinson, Upson, Jeffers all came as promising prospects only to fall away.

There are very few “world class players” – a much overused phrase – in the world and most have been around several clubs on their way to that title.

If the youth teams can provide a steady stream of good squad players we should be happy with that.


Youth system is a must you do find them gems of players come through the ranks they also get a good schooling it normally helps them go onto a good career not always at the top.A system more updated now by AW means one of his legacies that will keep the clubs policy going it also generates income when they are sold on and future deals on contracts


Don’t worry guys Wenger will sign an extension. I cannot see a simple 5-1 lost to Bayern will make him leave. It’s not the first time we lost and been humiliated. We had numerous big margin defeats and Wenger always extend his contract. Losing to big teams, finishing top 4 and get knocked out in the last 16 of Champions League is part of the arsenal culture and tradition now. According to Pro -Wenger fans it’s not the time to rant and be negative because it might impact our 4th place trophy. Leave your dissent until Wenger retires. In the… Read more »



Lord Gabriel

Belief that this season is the AW’s lasts, or he is still managering Arsenal next season or more, I just hope Arsenal is changing, AW can flexible with tactics in the game and rise up Arsenal mentality like Conte did at Chelshit. But now, please get up you Gunners, I so much sick with your condition right now and take the FA Cup (realistic) to end AW’s era (may) with style and smile!
PS let’s forget CL, just enjoy PL and reach our usual minimum goals (big 4 and above Tot).

Cheesed off

Firs-team lol or team firs!!!


Personally I think our youth academy is great at creating wingers, wingbacks and attacking midfielders. I think they could find a better balance and not focus so much on one aspect. It is one of the things I was hoping the new manager would fix.


Just a thought but if Wenger goes esp to a bigger club, will all our best players and youngsters be at risk?

Normally a new manager raids his former club for players he has worked with before as well as promising youngsters he can trust.

I mean if for example last yr if he went to Man City, would half our team have gone with him?


Half of our team preceded him!


Thanks Jorge, illuminating as ever but please resist the temptation to sully your excellent work with references to Voldemourinho.

uncle D

When last did an English team win the ECL? Are players prone to fatigue? How many teams in the ECL have Christmas breaks? Is the Premiership the most competitive league in the world? Not excuses but just a bit of perspective! Money is the motivation at the end of it all. Great comments, am learning a lot here.

Tommy Caton

The Premier League is like reality TV – it’s massively hyped and it can be entertaining but the technical quality isn’t great. If you want to watch proper football at a high technical standard, you’ll want to watch the German or Spanish leagues.


Next Arsenal manager latest odds:
Massimiliano Allegri: 4/1
Thomas Tuchel: 6/1
Eddie Howe: 6/1
Patrick Vieira 9/1
Ian Holloway: 10/1
Diego Simeone: 12/1
Joachim Loew: 16/1
Ralph Hasenhuttl: 18/1
Rafael Benitez: 18/1
Luis Enrique: 18/1
Dennis Bergkamp: 20/1


Ian Holloway lol. Good one Paul.


Thanks Spinner at least someone has still got a sense of humour on here!


Arsene Wenger 1/1


Anyone notice I added Ian Holloway?? 🙂


My post crossed with Spinner’s, so sorry, so very very sorry in this time of deep depression and gloom….

chippy's chip

All this talk of post wenger getting me excited but didnt i tell you the 2 yr contract that is on the table has been signed and will be announced at end of season. Unles that is just so we can honour it and give him a half tidy payoff/pension. Not too shabby.


No. They dont. No one gives youngs the opportunities Wenger gives them. No other manager uses a young Iwobi Gibbs Walcott or Ramsey. He will stay. But day that hes gone no one can introduce young superstars like Wenger. He is Arsenal.


Couldnt give a flying fuck rite now

chippy's chip

Nothing new there paul just like the i like gibbo shit.


No other manager will give young players the chance to play….not as frequent as wenger

gunnerfan ov palace

You watched arsenal fc form in the last four games with three losses, not good but should be a team thought for wins, at least if you was a manager you would say well elny was at afcon then get pace around the xhaka zone to defend and attacking defence, alexis, theo and giroud maybe ox look ahead liverpool will be a big game and they play gd, with bayern now our team need to put a team fit, strong and gd movement in these areas look at wolves v chavs wolves unlucky but shit chavs team up.


If Wenger doesn’t leave at d end of this season,then no Arsenal fan should go to the stadium to watch Arsenal games.not even away games next season. Don’t even buy any ticket for a Arsenal game. We are tired of wenger.

Lord Bendnter

Aye aye Sir Kingso
Leader and representer of the entire arsenal community across the globe
Will you tell us what to wear too?

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