Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Wenger: We must continue to give youth a chance

Arsene Wenger says it’s vitally important that Arsenal continue to focus on giving youth academy prospects a chance in the first team despite the pressure to spend big money on new signings.

Frustrated by the apparent failings of the half-heartedly introduced Financial Fair Play regulations and against a backdrop of transfer market prices spiralling out of control, the boss, in words that echo sentiments he often expressed eight years ago at the peak of his ‘project youth’ experiment, spoke of his desire to maintain competitiveness by combining ‘internal solutions’ with sensible spending.

Arsenal’s financial muscle may have grown considerably in recent seasons – in part down to healthier commercial partnerships – but the gap between themselves and the new era’s super-rich remains as wide as ever, especially with repayments on the Emirates stadium still on the agenda.

“You can’t forget we have financial restrictions from the banks because of the stadium. We have to respect the financial plan,” he told his pre-Chelsea press conference on Friday.

“We worked very hard to become richer and after that we have to spend the money in the most intelligent way we can in a transfer market that has become a bit out of control.

“Despite the financial superpowers we have now in our league and in Europe, I believe it’s important that we keep the basis of our focus on getting people from inside the club.

“The way football is going is maybe not necessarily only to buy players for a huge amount of money, but to have players in the team who care about the club, who have a sense of belonging to the club.

“I’d rather encourage the club to push more on the quality of youth work rather than go into a way where it’s only about millions and not about values. We are the only team to play with four, five players who have come out of the club.”

While Arsenal’s policy of blooding young bucks is one to be proud of, it’s hard to ignore the fact we’ve not won the title in 14 years and that during that period, plenty of players have risen through the Academy only to burn out with injury, not live up to expectations or, if they have been successful, leg it to the first club waving more cash in their direction.

Wenger may yearn for players loyal to his values but ultimately such players are few and far between in the modern game.

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Just keep Blackburn George away from any age or number related issues, everything will be fine.

Mein Bergkampf

Or how about playing them in their actual positions…


Of course it’s vital we need to develop talent and sell. How else will we line the pockets of those rats at the top!


Let’s see…. We had the post Highbury, welcome to the Emirates era ? That was when we had the great ‘Yooof’ movement of Denielson and Bendtner and Song – et al… Then we had the ‘We are building our own homegrown talent’. That was Cesc and van Persie. Then we had, the ‘British core’ approach of Wilshire, Gibbs, Walcott and Ramsey. Then it was the – ‘We will match Bayern any time’ with Sanchez and Ozil. Now we are back on the ‘Yoof’ kick. ? How about a really radical departure ?????……… How about the – we will get a… Read more »


That’s true, Wenger, but you have to use them in a sensible way. Having zero experience on the bench against a hungry Championship side was never going to turn out well. Also these young players need direction and structure. It’s not enough to “let them express themselves”. These players need structure. As much as AW talks about freedom, the real freedom a player can flourish in is when he has freedom WITHIN a defined role. I was watching a thing about Glenn Hoddle (I know, I know). And all of his players said how exacting he was and how well… Read more »

David Hillier\'s luggage

I’m pretty sure Hoddle is on record as saying Wenger was a major influence on his managerial style. I’m not saying you’re wrong, but the fact Hoddle has rock solid ideas doesn’t mean behind closed doors Wenger doesn’t, there’s a strong possibility he learnt them from Wenger!


How many trophies did Hoddle win as a manager?


Cruyff very much was big picture stuff. That’s total football!


14 years…..seems like yesterday it was 10 years. And that, is a scary thought….how many more? I can honestly say I don’t see us with a title within the next 2.


The next 2 decades yeh? Don’t be so pessimistic, Kroenke might have a heart attack or somethin’


So… 1) Mhikitaryan is more than likely a replacement for Ozil. Like for like? world class? Anyways we also have Ramsey so Mhikitaryan will hedge out bets that one of these two can come good when Ozil leaves. 2) Aubameyang (should he materialise) will be a replacement for Giroud but its like exchanging an Axe (Giroud) for two swords (Lacazette and Aybameyang). Sure two swords are impressive but you never know when you need an axe to break a heavy shield down to put it in medieval combat terms. Well we also have Welbeck, he’s like a wooden pole. 3)… Read more »


So how about that original post?

Mayor McCheese

Wha? Stadium repayment? That’s still a thing? Thought we were done with all that. You mean, I can continue to use financial austerity as an excuse for our failings in the transfer market and on the pitch?


You can. Forget the incompetent manager now


Or we could keep a semblance of balance here and say that stadium has most definitely hampered us financially in the past, as well as Wengers performance as manager not being up to standard in recent years.

Calling him incompetent might sound snappier but its patently bollocks.


The make up of this squad is incompetent. There was a master plan to get micky and aub? Sanchez wasn’t for sale as we are demonstrating we aren’t about money but he was for sale? Yet we couldn’t find a replacement in the summer for him but now we identify aub? Coq put on more money than alli and then sold at a cut price because no one can match the wages. Ramsey and welbeck floating towards the end of their contracts and no talks. Acceptance the scouting needs improvement then why wasn’t it before the new guys came in?… Read more »


We tried to call Welbeck about a new contract but when his mate chucked him his ringing phone he missed it completely, tripped, stumbled and ended up shining it out the window and into his swimming pool… he was just unlucky…


A lot of those players you talk of from the last 14 years were hardly our own academy players, not if they’re parachuted into our academy at 16 or 17 after being developed elsewhere.
The current crop has in the main been at the club since the were about 10 years old and have the club ingrained in them. I think you still get more loyalty from players you’ve developed from schoolboy level. Let’s hope so anyway.


The promising young players plateau under aw. Sad to say but we’re a stepping stone now

An owner with zero interest and a manager with his best days long gone


17-19 are make or break years for young footballers. And there are plenty of good ex-Arsenal players out there who have made a decent career. Not everyone can make the grade, like Ramsey, Wilshere or Bellerin. But that doesn’t mean Arsenal haven’t given them a real push to have a good career somewhere else. I hope you get my point.

Dial square

In other words, the Aubameyang deal has fallen through….

Mayor McCheese

Wrong! I saw a photo of him putting some belongings in a car earlier today. And nobody ever puts belongings in a car unless they plan to start a new life in another country. Fact!

A Different George

I heard he was listening to some American pop music which, as you know, is in English. That says it all.


I heard he’s just started following the official AFC Twitter. We all know thats the real clincher.


Maybe he was going on holiday?


Values values values

Tom Gun

This is why Wilshere is so important to us:

While Arsenal’s policy of blooding young bucks is one to be proud of, it’s hard to ignore the fact we’ve not won the title in 14 years and that during that period, plenty of players have risen through the Academy only to burn out with injury, not live up to expectations or, if they have been successful, leg it to the first club waving more cash in their direction.”


You stood up for those values at the agm arsene when chips went all cumdumpster


With all the hate and BS, and adolescent responses and barbs at the gaffer, I honestly fail to understand why most of you “support” Arsenal. Healthy criticism is all well and good, but that ain’t what most of this is. And, as aside, I’m a bit surprised by Blogs taking the swipes he does in this piece. Sort of unlike him. I know were all annoyed as hell the club let the Alexis thing happen the way it did, but WTF … its done and dusted. We have a hugely talented, two-footed attacking player. Let’s move on. What AW talks… Read more »

Joey Joe Joe Shabadoo

One good thing about when wenger leaves will be end of the deluded superior toned posts like these,
from the air quotes around “support” or the umbrella statement of FIFA or FM all the way to the always welcome Latin translation,thanks.
Do you feel the need to educate and chastise your own clubs supporters
Sorry “supporters”

Mayor McCheese

Man, that is one weak-assed apology for Sam Kroenke, i.e., he’s not swell, but so what? Lolz.


M. McCheese


Well, there’s many a true word spoken in rant….even if AW is a bit past his sell by date (sorry, bit of a swipe there).


I didn’t write this piece. Each article has clear information about who the author is.


This site is funny. You correct a clear error and you get down voted


Spot on with this comment. Whole reason why people love the club who started following in last 20 years is down to Wenger. The style of play was built on this philosophy. How many of the invicibles were big time transfers. They weren’t. Henry, Vieira, Toure, Freddie were all bought when they were just breaking through and under 22 years old. And weren’t mega transfers. People have short memories. But original commenter Homer put its perfectly in the first paragraph. In which case, if it was all Wenger fault, then it is also his fault you love the club as… Read more »


Some of us supported arsenal before aw

And the club will always be more than just one man and his out of control ego


Total rubbish, maybe we give too much credit to the manager and no the players. Football has now evolved and wenger hasn’t al this talk about short memory, should we wait 50yrs without major trophy before it is time to approach things a different way. And what a pathetic statement about gazidis, if you think we can win anything with youth in this market and wenger coaching them you must be mental.


That’s one of the best comments I’ve seen on here in a very long time. For once I’m actually pleased I scrolled through the comments.


I think we’re missing the point here. Arsenal have no option but to mix the superstar policy with the youth policy. We’re not getting any ? from Kronke so we’re left with managing within our means. There are 7 clubs with significantly more resources than us (This number could increase if more millionaires decide to flaunt their wealth via football). How we spend our resources is vital to our future success. We’ve finally upgraded personnel in the fitness, scouting, negotiating depts. Changing the manager and training staff (whenever that happens) is be the final piece. If things go well, expect… Read more »


Blogs, have you completely become a wenger out man now? Almost every article now days has something negative about the boss. Not that I am his biggest supporter…


Its not Andrew’s fault that wenger feeds us with nonsense or excuses and false objections almost daily nowadays. I mean how long can you listen to the same arguments justifying why we collapse as a football club which was meant to be competitive in england and europe and instead sits on the 6th, lost against 1st division club in fa cup and battles for thurasday league trophy while losing its best player to rivals? Spare me all this crap about the stadium debt and start acting like a big club should.


I wholeheartedly agree with you!


Not my article, please see the byline!

Yes, I think we need a new manager. Have been quite clear about that, but not every article expresses that, not by a long shot.


Give it a rest Bloggs. If they are too lazy to see who posted surely it’s on them. I agree with the author 200% though.


Blogs is a fan at the end of day and has an opinion like the rest of us. His now happens to be that a new manager would be the best option and a 4.1 win against palace or a few shiny new signings won’t and shoudnt alter his or anyone else’s opinion.
It’s been the same thing for years now and history just repeats itself, at least with his blogs it’s done in a respectful way and not with vitriol that some on here give Wenger.


Thank you for the report on what the manager says – fully agree with the manager —- Arsenal has its own identity , its own style of play – the Arsenal Way – and is rooted in its community . It is not just about money or winning the PL – only 1 team can win in 1 year and since 2003 , only 4 teams have won it …as a supporter , I make sacrifices to pay my season ticket and I go there to see players who are brought up by the club and play in the Arsenal… Read more »


Good report Mr primorac


Josh! is that you in disguise?? This is worst than political rhetoric, he has tried and failed multiple times, why does he not want to give someone else a chance. It is arrogant to believe that he is the only one that can move Arsenal forward because of his early success.


He loves the club that’s why. Not that he isn’t good enough anymore but we love sentimentality at arsenal

A win over palace is the dawn of a new era of dominance for some “supporters”. Then again when the same issues arise and we bomb but then we win well we are on the crest of a wave again


Being an Arsenal fan should also be about loyalty to your team and the manager while he is under contract – why should we be getting rid of a manager who has earned the team more than 10 trophies and 20 years of CL , helped pay for a new stadium , helped keep the team financially Self sufficient and with manageable debt and above all get a team which plays attractive football you actually want to watch and with a stadium which is sold out throughout the season ? Which manager around will be able to guarantee you this… Read more »


le fraud as usual talks crap, apart from Gibbs and Wilshire, no other player came through the youth system, it has always been a lie that Wenger continues to spin, he has failed the youth policy, playing Niles a midfielder at left back proves what clown Wenger is. The sooner he goes, the sooner we can start to clear the mess the clown has left the club is


Under 23s just beat Bayern 5-2, there are some exciting youngsters in the team.

Charles Charlie Charles

Stadium payments. Did he get high and forget the last 7-8 years? Wouldn’t blame him.


In his most successful spell we punt emphasis on quality. In his worse spell it was on youth who would eventually leave because they were quality. Nowadays it’s not even youth like the banter years. It’s lots of mediocre players with no identity and boring football. If he still thinks it’s youth project then he needs to think twice. Only hector (assuming AMN is a temporary left back) is starting in the 11. Not like when we had Djorou/ senderos, Clichy, cesc, denilson, Rvp, Theo et al. With stones, sane, Jesus sterling(ish) city are giving more youth in the starting… Read more »


All of those players mentioned were cherry picked from other clubs.

How I yearn for Denilson. Years went by where we refused to buy better as it would hinder his development. Giving him huge wages for the slowest side ways passes. Being over taken by the ref chasing back is my favourite memory

Steve Bould\'s Morning After Reflection

Why is anyone surprised that we’re still paying off the stadium when it’s public knowledge? I agree with what he says about bringing through and keeping players who have the club’s values instilled in them…I just wish it applied to goalkeepers!


If it works for Barcelona then it is good enough for me.

Otherwise we become Mourinho teams which basically


If it is good enough for Barcelona then it is good enough for me.

Otherwise you become Mourinho and have to cockblock other people’s transfers just so they can’t have a player, even though they can’t use that player in their system. Think Miki to United, stopping him coming here, think Mata to Chelsea… Look back in history and he has gazumped plenty of our transfers.

Although he did take advantage of how slow Dick Law was to get sxxx done.


Not sure why there is so much negativity here.

Wenger isn’t saying we shouldn’t do big transfers. Just that we should still not forget to keep a balance using the youth.

People who get excited about Mavropanos and then come here and complain should take a good look at themselves.


When we had David Dein a big transfer was one which got the transfer done quickly and effectively. NOT about the size of the transfer. For example we replaced anelka with henry. Parlour for freddie. Then wenger mentions internal solutions, I think this is where people get confused. We shouldn’t care if the youth player was here since 8years old or was bought in for a few million at 17years old. We should be targetting the best young talent like Barcelona and develop them. United have destroyed their youth policy. And now have the ultimate anti-academy manager, who buys back… Read more »


Unnecessary finish for a good article. There was no need for reminding people of negativity


There’s a thin line between an explanation and an excuse…sorry Arsene, but the latter is the case here


There is something wrong with Wenger, that he does not realise yet. Look, i like the man and his values, but being a little like him concerning values, i realise there are times when one must be ruthless too, else one gets trampled by the crowd especially in this world of sharks. One will get misused and abused if one does not “flow” like a willow tree in the wind, one will break sooner or later. So, he needs to modernise his footballing ideas and get with the world today in order to be competitive, he needs to bollock his… Read more »


give them a chance if they are good enough , and not just for the sake of it

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