Emery on summer transfers and youth integration for next season

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Following the disappointing Europa League Final loss to Chelsea, manager Unai Emery was asked if missing out on a Champions League place would affect incoming business over the summer.

While the answer to that is obvious to every Arsenal fan in the world, Emery toed the party line by playing down its impact to his summer transfer window.

“Maybe, but I think we are a big team,” he said. “I think Arsenal is a big name in the world of football. A lot of players want to play here. We are in one process and we need, in this process, to be strong in our idea, to be strong in our way.

“I don’t know our targets for next year, but the club is working to improve and do everything in our way.”

Arsenal will be financially hampered in the transfer market without Champions League revenue though Emery hinted that the club might attempt an alternative solution – integrate more academy talent into the first team for the 2019/20 season.

“We have a lot of players who have the possibility to improve and grow up with us,” he continued.

“For example, we have given a lot of youngsters their first experience of a final. I am positive for our future, creating our way with young players who are getting better in our way.

Many fans have been clamouring for increased minutes for the likes of Joe Willock and Bukayo Saka. Perhaps investing in youth would be the smart way to go considering how many of the team’s experienced players have under-delivered in recent seasons.

Watch this space for more Arsenal transfer news during the summer.

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Riku
Riku

Get rid and make money off koscielney and Montreal. How many more times – both played last night , last season against athletics Madrid, 6-0 lose at Stafford bridge , 5-1 v Liverpool , carping cup final loss v Birmingham ( koscielney) , take 5 million , 3 million .
They have played good games but , once first goal in. Replace with young and fast c back and left back who can play in a 433.

Willcocks yes, Rowe smith yes, Nelson yes

Mesut O’Neill
Mesut O’Neill

Monreal is leaving on a free & I would allow the same of Koscielny based on his service to us, personally I would keep Koscielny for another season, mainly just to help develop Holding, Chambers etc.

I’d be more inclined to sell Xhaka for £40-50m & get a true enforcer in the midfield as well as a proper centre back. Also LB is a necessity, man we are screwed.

riku
riku

sell koscienley , even if we only get 2million, Real Madrid said they will not give Ramos away for free to go China, so who do we think we are, we need every penny with stan in charge.

brighton cb, Dunk – double his wages, he will come.
crystal palace LB- Van Arnoild for example, i have generally been impressed with particularly when Big Stan was in charge, going forwards and defensivly.

if someone would pay £40 million for xhaka sell, i know he is out of favour but i still think Elneny can tackle and pass simple. if he had played last night instead of ozil. and just sat next to xhaka and covered for the Fullbacks , while Torreira pressed Jorginho. we would have done better IMO

maybe theres a young left back at the club, i like Tank K the Big Bosnian at Left wing back in a back five but he is better with a back five that a back four. that leaves us short in the centre midfield. Which is what happened last night.

Goonerink

Well we aren’t real madrid

Dave M
Dave M

Who are we though…getting tricky to work out these days. The gunners or the ivory back scratchers…Ah football…you’ve really gone to $hit, sadly taking our Arsenal with you

Caligunner
Caligunner

Wtf, so 2 strikers and 8 defensive players lol

Dave Cee
Dave Cee

Better than 2 strikers and 7 defensive players, innit?

Riku
Riku

Think torreia, more of an alround player in midfield. Great assist pass to Alex L. Against Cardiff. And great creative goal against spurs.
Put it this way who would you fear more closing you down torrentia or ozil!
Kloop has Wiljinsldan, playing to press and he is a similar player style to Torreria. Which worked well against Barca.
I suppose do you class Kola And A.m.n. As pure defensive. They played more like wingers. That’s why hazard and Pedro had a easy second half.

Jack4343
Jack4343

With all due respect, I’m glad you aren’t in charge of transfers. You don’t let a player walk for free to go play elsewhere when he’s got a year left on his deal. I don’t care if it’s Tony freakin Adams. If Laurent wants to return to France then that team will have to meet our asking price. Did Laurent give up his pay due to his long term injury? Of course not. Its nothing personal, it’s business. We have sold bigger legends in the past. Some disn’t want to go. Its business. Its rutbless and ugly but it’s the way it has to be done.

I agree with selling Xhaka. Doubt we will get anything close to £40 or £50 million. More like £25 million at best.

YaGunnersYa
YaGunnersYa

We have an excellent left back in Tolaji Bola, who has played for England consistently at youth levels and has intermittently trained with the first team. I hope he gets the chance to prove himself. Hopefully he and Sead Kolasinac can push each other on to greater heights.

Mya
Mya

Should have started by integrating Nketiah a lot sooner and who knows, maybe would have made an impact in the business end of the season and last night too!!
But no, señor protagonist prefered subbing on kolasinac when chasing a game instead of trusting an actual striker!!!

Myq
Myq

He may be inexperimented but won’t get that experience sitting on the bench !

Hi-brid
Hi-brid

Kolasinac started the game.

Mya
Mya

Was not talking about this game only/specifically, but on the night’s example Eddie could have come on instead of Willock.
My point is Emery often brings on defensive players when chasing a game instead of playing the striker sitting on the bench! Be it this game or the ones before

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

I’m completely down for Project Youth 2.0. I think I’ve repeated it many times on this site.

My only concern is if Emery is ready for it. He doesn’t strike me as pro-youth (even with copious usage of Douzi), and I’m not sure if he wants or expects that. It seems he came for more short-term reasons (get into CL, rather than develop a new youth squad).

If that’s the case and he’s not keen on it, then he can step aside and let Freddie have it.

Whocares
Whocares

I’m all down for trying out the paces forwards to see if they can do better than what we’ve got but I don’t see the youth system fixing our defence.

Sako, nketiah, willock and the 2 guys on loan in the bundesliga could offer a lot going forwards but it won’t matter until we can defend properly.

Cygans Parting
Cygans Parting

Spot on sir! Freddie should be promoted to the first team coaching staff. If we’re going to promote young players from his set up into the first team then he can be the bridge. His assistant Ryan Garry who is the defensive coach and has helped our under 23s and 18s become far more solid compared with recent seasons should also be promoted. Daniel Ballard and Mark McGuiness have come on a bundle and Ballard recently credited both coaches but particularly Ryan Garry.
Then we can bring back Dennis Bergkamp to continue Ljungbergs sterling work in the u23s.

Hantal
Hantal

Realistically we’re probably headed for a first team squad of 14/15 players with the rest of the squad backed up by youngsters. Our self sustaining model can’t support a Man City style 24 player squad of first team quality game too players.
This summers going to see a lot more outgoing players than incoming

Whocares
Whocares

The wage bill is far too high for the quality of the squad. Remove cech, lichtsteiner, mustafi, Kos, monreal, rambo, wellbz, Jenkinson and it’ll free up minimum 700k a week probably a lot more considering bonuses etc. With the exception of Rambo all the rest are either past it or not good enough.

In a year’s time we lose Miki and sokratis from the wage bill to free up another 350k.

Dave Cee
Dave Cee

Add Ozil to that list, ASAP. I.d also be tempted to listen to offers for Auba. We.ll never get our 60M back but realistically this summer might be our last chance to get a decent fee for him. I.m underwhelmed by his performances too often to really feel he justifies his price

GoldenOnion
GoldenOnion

Auba does miss some sitters but him and Laca are about the only good things about our season. There is far more broken parts of our team to fix. Selling Auba is bonkers.

GoldenOnion
GoldenOnion

Would be happy to see the back of Ozil though

asa

Apart from scoring goals, Auba doesnt do much else for our team. He never helps with build up play

Tony Adams Nose
Tony Adams Nose

Auba’s job is to score goals! He won the golden boot or didn’t you notice? You can’t have a great team without great strikers and that’s one of the only things this team has going for it!

I believe we do have some great young players AMN (in his preferred position, not RB), Smith Rowe, Nelson, Holding, Willock, Amaechi, Eddie and Bielik are all worthy of a chance. The problem is how long Emery has got to win something. It’s difficult to take a chance on youth when you need results but our noisy neighbors have done well taking a punt on their kids.

Andy Mack
Andy Mack

31 goals and 7 assists for Auba, and 19 goals and 10 assists for Laca …

James
James

I would happily support project youth. I want to see players hungry for success, hungry for development, hungry to improve; not these wankers that are already earning a princely sum per week by just turning up and dont give a shit win lose or draw. Let’s trim the wage bill, get some freeloaders packing and promote half a dozen of our youngsters.

Antony Adler
Antony Adler

fun for a week or two, then wait for the boos to ring out when they inevitably wilt under the spotlight.

James
James

Our “stars” are already achieving that.

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

If people are booing then it’s the issue with the fans, with high expectations and impatience.

But yeah, considering the fans treatment of Iwobi, Bellerin in the past and even AMN last night, I’m not sure if Arsenal is the right kind of club with the right kind of fans to do that again. Which is ironic considering we were one of the best at it.

razz
razz

özil out!!!

Anonymarse
Anonymarse

What have we got to lose

Anonymarse
Anonymarse

I think project youth backed up with some actual money (unlike last time) has a real chance of success

Progman07
Progman07

People aren’t exactly patient with Iwob, Guendouzi and co though. It would only work on paper…

Gooner Sam
Gooner Sam

I for one could get behind giving our youth a chance. Our owner will never invest properly so add some experience to a young squad and who knows. Big thing though, we need to have a plan, spray and pray won’t cut it

Sancheezy
Sancheezy

Based on what we saw yesterday, I think it’s time to use youth players. Chris Willock’s substitution is an example. AMN and Iwobi have made an impact this season. SAR always intergrated youth players with senior players and that seemed to work. At this point, I think Arsenal (and its supporters) are willing to try anything to get results needed on the pitch. COYG

Whocares
Whocares

I’m all for giving the youngsters a chance but unless we put a solid defence behind them it won’t work. If we learnt anything from the last project youth then that was it.

para
para

Take the defence from the youth as well instead of buying(wasting money) on below par defenders. Of course if we are prepared to pay £40-50m on 2 good defenders, ok but….

Andy Mack
Andy Mack

When did Chris Willock re-join AFC?

Big Mad Andy
Big Mad Andy

“I don’t know our targets for next year” Wait, what?

Orse
Orse

This!

Berlingoon
Berlingoon

He’s head coach, not manager. He works with what they give him. And we don’t even have an idea who “they” will be as the Sven role doesn’t seem to be filled anytime soon. Worrying. Just worrying.

Whocares
Whocares

It seems our whole future hangs on Raul sanllehi. Well until edu arrives.

Mpls
Mpls

I’m not sure if I should see that as comforting or not.

Mpls
Mpls

*Edu that is.

Benriz
Benriz

I found this alarming as well!

Andy Mack
Andy Mack

I’m sure he’s discussed the type of players/positions he wants, and probably even discussed a few by name, but he doesn’t make the decisions on buying them.

GunnAlex
GunnAlex

“I think Arsenal is a big name in the world of football”.

Only in name now guys. Hunker down, it wont be pretty for a long while yet.

Whocares
Whocares

5th in the prem and the Europa league final is hardly Armageddon.

If we could just find a defence, a midfield and some wingers we have a pair of really good strikers.

Mpls
Mpls

We have a serviceable keeper too, so we only need like 8 top quality starters, right?

Goonerink

The end of the world as we know it.
Its about performance, ideas, attractiveness profitability.

Without CL football, with a weak showing in Baku and a team with 8 players who should go, we are now tasked with attracting quality players, who will cost us next to nothing and play with a quality that garners transfer bids that we can bat away and look to build a reputation of getting good money for our players, whilst solidifying ourselves as a CL/top 4 club.
We also have to reset our wage structure, get rid of the equivalent of a bricked late gen iPhone.
All whilst watching Newcastle, Everton, wolves and others spend and climb higher.

Tough ask for a stop gap manager.
A manager who apparently wasn’t head hunted, he came to arsenal applying for the job vacancy, with dossiers on EVERY player involved with the first team and has a reputation for tactical acumen.
When in reality it has taken him a whole season to analyse the players again and has on numerous occasions got it wrong tactically.

para
para

For real, if anyone at the beginning of the season really expected us to get to EL final and 4th place, hell, even 5th place, they LIE.

Sam
Sam

Liverpool has Origi scoring braces against Barcelona in the CL semis and Senor protagonist can’t even give Nketiah minutes.
He isn’t going to give minutes to any youth player. Empty fucking words.

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

This is my concern with Emery. Outside of Douzi, he seems when it comes it, he’s very risk-averse with youth. We’ve been dying for a direct and pacey winger in so many games this season, you’d think we had an abundance of them (we have none, neither Iwobi or Mkhi are wingers), yet that need hasn’t led much to Saka being given more chances.

Instead he pushed for Denis Suarez.

para
para

Not impress with Douzi at all, he got far too many games for what he does. He should have gone on loan for 6 mths in PL or Championship to adjust to UK football and refs.

Lari03
Lari03

It was a problem Emery had at PSG, the ability to rotate and get the best out of a squad. He sets his opinion and shuts other players out. Moura was affected at P.S.G, Elneny and Nketiah are the main victims this season. Well he has only one more year.

Chigz
Chigz

Lucas was shit at PSG that’s why the club let him go for a loss, it’s such revisionism to act like it was Emery’s fault.

Whocares
Whocares

Origi is a 24 year old with over 150 league starts across the prem, bundesliga and ligue 1. He’s got 20+ international caps. Nketiah is an 18 year old developing in the youth system. It’s hardly a fair comparison.

Also Ainsley Maitland Niles would disagree that youngsters don’t get a chance.

Progman07
Progman07

AMN, Guendouzi, and who else? Or two youngsters are enough?

Kristian Rivero
Kristian Rivero

Rob Holding until he went down with an injury.

yura910721
yura910721

Add Smith Rowe, Willock got their chances. Holding, Bellerin and Iwobi improved, although Alex hit the wall in the second half of the season.

Chigz
Chigz

You know they signed Origi for £20m right? And he’s 24 years old, he’s not gonna sit on the bench all season. Nketiah just turned 20 and is behind Aubameyang and Lacazette, he’ll get his chance.

Huss
Huss

I think most of our needs at the attacking positions will need to be filled by the academy. Nelson, Smith-Rowe, Saka, Amaechi should all get their chance. They will make mistakes and that is fine – it’s not as if the veterans have done anything to acquit themselves with their decision-making. At least with the kids, they have the speed to recover and make things interesting for the other teams defenders. Teams have played very narrow against us and have zero respect for our pace – that changes if we play the youngsters.

With the limited funds we do have, that money has to go towards a centerback and a box-to-box mid. I read the Palacios rumors – that would be ideal.

I think left back is in need of a huge upgrade, and I think the sale of players like Xhaka will give us enough funds to fill these needs adequately. A true backup right back is probably needed – I think AMN has done enough to earn his shot to play more centrally/up the field.

James
James

I want everything you’ve said to happen

Lari03
Lari03

We virtually have no left back. Monreal is fading and Kolasinac is not defensively astute.

YaGunnersYa
YaGunnersYa

All the more reason to promote Tolaji Bola from our academy. I believe he can mature into a stellar left back. His attributes are well suited to the dynamic and forward-looking kind of fullback that seems so sought after in the modern game.

Whocares
Whocares

If we sell xhaka we’d need to buy a new center midfielder. We need to sort out the defence as a priority. Let xhaka, torreira, guenduozi deal with the 2 cm spots.

Vonnie
Vonnie

We have Chambers and Bielik coming back, both versatile defenders who have excelled playing defensive midfield and transitioning the ball forward. And I think they are both better than Guendouzy and Torreira.

para
para

The quicker they get to playing week in week out will determine if they make the next step up as needed.

AlexanderN
AlexanderN

Just remembered the two summer windows when we first only bought Cech and than splash the money on xhaka, mustafi and perez… yup, we still feel the consequences… sick : (

John C
John C

It starts before then, replacing Lehman with Almunia, Lauren with Eboue, Gilberto with Denilson. Not buying Alonso so not to “Kill” Diaby. Replacing Campbell with Gallas etc etc etc.

This has been 15 years of eroding the quality of the club

Whocares
Whocares

TBF he did fix the eboue thing by getting sagna pretty quick.

John C
John C

He never fixed the Gallas thing though, nor the Dnilson or Diaby ones either.

412gooner
412gooner

We should try to get rid of everyone over the age of 25 with the exception of Leno, Auba, Laca, Sokratis, and Kos if he wants to stay. Then try to make some smart buys to shore up the defense and fill out the rest of the squad with youngster like Willock, Sako, Nketiah, Amechi, Nelson, Smith Rowe, etc. I could tolerate them making some mistakes, instead of watching the same thing over and over again like the last couple of season. I would much rather see if these young guys have what it takes and if they aren’t quite up to it, you’ve put them in the shop window and can get some more money for them in the transfer market.

Lari03
Lari03

They are at the age where their quality and talent would mean we only have problems with the bigger teams.

Make Arsenal Great Again
Make Arsenal Great Again

We want to do things “our way”. How is that working out? We’re falling further and further behind City, Liverpool, and Spurds. United is not going to be dreadful forever, they have too much money. We may have Newcastle to contend with in a few years. We need to do things the right way. The Kroenkes should invest in the club or leave if they’re not up to it.

No manager in the world will succeed here with the way the club is being run. Wenger wasn’t the problem, he covered the inadequacies of the ownership. Emery is going to get sacked next year if things continue this way and he’ll take all the blame. Top talent trumps tactics every time. If the club doesn’t invest in top talent, no manager can compete here.

AmericanGooner
AmericanGooner

The problem is the Kroenkes couldn’t care any less about what you think. This is a business and the cash flow is all that matters to them. We need to stop hoping that they will inject cash. The reality is that it will never happen.

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

Tell me, which top talent did Spurs heavily invest in? Kane? Academy. Alli? League 2 (or 1 even). Son? We turned him down for bigger more marquee targets. Rose? Academy. Sissoko? He wanted us, we turned him down for bigger, more marque signings. Toby? We were linked with him for many years, but never pulled the trigger. In that time we bought the likes of Gabriel and Mustafi for a combined total of almost £50M.

What about Liverpool? They spent £70M on Alisson and VVD. That came from funds from buying Coutinho for £8.5M then selling him for £150M. They even got Solanke for free then sold him for £20M, whilst we bought Perez for £20M, sent him an loan a few times, then sold him for £4M. Sane? Southampton, and apparently fans in here look down on buying lower league PL players. Heck who was Alisson? He was Roma’s back up keeper to…..our own Chesny, who we sent of on loan to win the golden gloves, then sold to Juve on the cheap to replace this generation’s best keeper (all by Wenger, before you claim again he was faultless).

In short, giving youth a chance CAN work, but I fear fans like you will be too quick to jump on their back just to prove it doesn’t work and “spend some f*cking money” to an owner who won’t even be there.

/rant mode off

Whocares
Whocares

Yeah it’s more about buying good players rather than using a particular strategy.

Cygans Parting
Cygans Parting

I totally agree with your points but Danny Rose didn’t come from the Suds academy. The bought him from Leeds utd.

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

Yep, was going to say the same thing.

atom
atom

realistically of the players playing last night, only Torreira, Sokratis, Lacca & Aba should be counted on to start next year. Iwobi, Wilcox, Maitland-Niles & Gendouzi should all be solid squad players.

Ozil seems to have made it pretty clear he won’t leave unless he finds the perfect situation so at this point just tell him last night was the last game he’ll play competitively for Arsenal again. If he wants to spend the end of his top flight career just training and collecting his checks – then so be it.

Mustafi, Xhaka, Mik, Monreal, Kolasniac, Kos (this one’s painful) just aren’t good enough anymore and should be moved on/allowed to leave.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

I think Xhaka and Kola could be squad options as well, though they’re also probably among our most sellable assets. Neither should be starting though.

Homer
Homer

Completely agree with this comment.

Whocares
Whocares

Bit harsh on xhaka I think.

Leno, bellerin, holding are the only defenders we should keep long term. Probably need sokratis and kola next year as well. Get rid of all the rest of the defenders.

Chidi
Chidi

Iwobi?

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

A lot of people on here seem to be pinning their hopes on our academy, but I’d be dead-set against Project Youth 2.0 if we haven’t learned the lessons from the first time we tried this.

The lads will need real tactical guidance, and to actually play in their best positions. They’ll need to know that complacency isn’t acceptable, we have to be ruthless with them. And their involvement can’t be used as an excuse to not go into the transfer market if we can bring in real quality players. No more “But if I signed them, I would have killed Song, Diaby and Denilson” BS!

atom
atom

Yes – the real problem with project youth was Wenger refused to bring in competition for fear of stunting the younger players. at some point the players need to face competition.

Daniel
Daniel

No, the real problem was that every time one of those players developed to be a leader on the pitch, he was sold, to pay for the stadium…
I still believe that if we were able to hold onto those players back then, we would have won something more, built something more. A winning team.

John C
John C

No, there was a letter on football365 this morning detailing just what a load of shit you’ve just written is. We had plenty of money, in fact we made record profits after paying for the stadium year on year it just wasn’t reinvested in the team.

We have been grossly mismanaged for the last 10-15 years, and the blame lies with the board of directors and Wenger!

atom
atom

@daniel – the players who left did so b/c they no longer believed in Wenger/project youth. Selling them wasn’t really our choice – they all made it clear they wanted to leave vs. us trying to fund the stadium.

Van Persie, Nasri, Fabregas, Hleb, etc.

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

There were many issue with Project Youth 1.0.

One of which was we chose a “staggered” development approach. Basically we weren’t using Project Youth all the time. We would develop a player whilst another player is in his peak, and tell him it’s all good. Peak player knows by the time youth players are ready, he’ll be done, so leaves.
We would then replace him with a younger youth, whilst the previous youth is now at his peak, leading to the same problem as before.

If anything, it’s even more argument for us to do a concurrent Project Youth 2.0 now, rather than stagger it again. And we’ve seen a concurrent project has worked in the past; Ajax, Monaco and ofcourse even Barcelona.

Eddie doesn’t have to worry about waiting for Smith-Rowe to peak, as they’re doing it together.

John C
John C

The problem the first time was many of the players weren’t good enough.

You can get away with mass youth projects in France and The Netherlands because the quality of the league is poor and they’re not physically demanding. This is not the case in England where you see the likes of a young Fabregas or Denilson just getting repeatedly brushed off the ball, we see it even now with maitland-Niles and Guendouzi.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

While I think Wenger genuinely cared about their development (to a fault even), I also feel it was an excuse to not spend money when we really needed to. Partly because of the owners and partly because of Wenger’s insistence on doing things his way.

John C
John C

He took Abramovic and Chelsea’s spending very personally, it appeared to me that he was obsessed in showing everyone he could do it without money to the detriment of the club. Barely a day went by that he didn’t moan and complain and their financial doping.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

Exactly this

James
James

I see your point, but the last time we tried this was still a better place to be than right now. Champions League status, beautiful football, and something for us to be proud of compared to our bigger spending rivals of the time. Sure, the defence was leaky, but it’s no different now with our experienced professionals. I really loved that 07/08 team. They tried, they failed: but it was a beautiful failure. This is just a directionless, mis-firing mess.

Peter Story Teller
Peter Story Teller

The way for young players to learn is to play in the Premier League every week. They will make mistakes but should, while still developing, learn from the mistakes. Playing someone who is 30, paid millions relying on their reputation, to stroll around like nothing matters in the world is complacency.
Unfortunately, it is deep routed in this club at the moment.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

The 07/08 team was very talented tbf, just lacked depth and “a little bit mental strength”. They’d batter this current Arsenal side (which isn’t hard tbf, Leicester and Wolves managed it recently let alone Chelsea). But I don’t know if our current youngsters will have the same quality as Fabregas, RVP, Rosicky etc.

I’d also say that the premier league is more competitive now then it was back then. Today there’s at least 6 teams regularly fighting for CL places, plus you’ve got ambitious Wolves and Everton sides not too far behind. Even Leicester look like they could be competitive with the right backing, they’ve certainly got the scouts for it.

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

Just because Wenger mishandled certain things about it (namely the culture), doesn’t mean its a flawed system. It’s worked with Liverpool, Spurs, Monaco and Ajax just to name a few squads of the recent years).

I’m not even cautious about a new Project Youth 2.0, only because I fear how the fans will treat them.

John C
John C

Do the fan’s who pay the world highest ticket prices not deserve better that the cheap option? This is why patience ran out the first time and that Wenger removed all the physical, experienced players and replaced them with light weights.

As Emery rightly points out, you can’t compete in England on talent alone, you need physicality and both Liverpool and Spurs have that in Van Dyke, Henderson, Alderweireld, Vertonghen etc etc, we didn’t and still don’t have players in that mould.

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

Your latter point has nothing to do with Project Youth. Some of our physical players right now are Holding and Iwobi, and I’m willing to bet the likes of Eddie, Beilik, Nelson and co can hold our own. In fact that’s one of the impressive things about this youth, and we can add youthful physicality to it.

As for the ticket prices thing, what do you want? You want arsenal to spend millions? Well we don’t have it. That’s a fact, no amount of moaning is going to change that. You want Kroenke to invest or sell? He won’t, that’s also a fact, no moaning is going to change that.

Quite frankly, if fans don’t want to go because they don’t want to see a new project youth, then that’s fine. Let economics regulate things; prices will reduce and those who don’t mind Project Youth 2.0 can start going, maybe leading to a better atmosphere with less vitriol, which will mean a more forgiving atmosphere for the youth. Also reduced ticket sales may also grab Kroenke’s attention.

But I don’t see what getting angry and making our environment hostile to youth is going to change, it certainly won’t get Kroenke’s attention, as he’s never there.

John C
John C

Well we have to disagree, first of all Holding and Iwobi are 23 and are not youth players and certainly in Iwobi’s case is clearly not a top 4 player. Eddie has to get past the only real top quality players in our squad in Lacazette and Aubameyang and it’s the only area of the pitch that is actually functioning. Beilik has the size but making the step up from League 1 is a bit of an ask. Nelson didn’t impress me the season before last when he played a few matches and for me he would have had to have made signification improvements to become a regular, same goes for Willock.

Ticket prices? Yes, you charge Rolls Royce prices you have a reasonable expectation to receive Rolls Royce players or the downward spiral is going to continue. Like it or not but Arsenal is, and always has been a Rolls Royce of a club. And as things stand Kroenke has a club worth £2bn+, at some point he’ll have to ask himself if putting in a couple of hundred million of his own money in is better than cutting that value in half and whilst it’s clear he knows nothing about football he does know something about making money. We can only hope and pray that particular penny drops.

These last 2 paragraphs make no sense to me and just seems a continuation of the managed decline of Wenger’s last 10-15 years in charge, that is not acceptable nor necessary, this is the time to show some balls not roll over and have our belly’s tickled.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

Spurs I’ll give you, but calling Liverpool “Project Youth” is a bit of a stretch surely? They’ve spent and sold well but most of their best players didn’t come through the academy or at a young age. TAA, Robertson, Gomes I guess. You could argue buying, developing and then selling Coutinho, but that’s an isolated case. Most importantly for them, they’ve brought in real quality in VVD, Alisson, Salah, Fabinho etc. None of them were cheap.

Monaco is more of a cautionary tale than anything considering they’ve finished the last season in 17th place after winning their league only a couple of seasons ago. Ajax are about to lose at least two of their stars so it remains to be seen how they cope with that.

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

Who said Project Youth only entails academy? Neither Fabregas, Nasri, Adebayor, Hleb, Rosicky, Denilson, Diaby, Flamini, Sagna, etc. were from our academy. And Guendouzi and Torreira aren’t either. Youth is youth, we can buy youth to support our academy.

Coutinho isn’t an isolated case, it’s part of their business model. Solanke is another. Salah cost the same price as Xhaka and Mustafi. If he goes, he’s going for £100M+, same too for Mane and Firminho. The model still stands.

Monaco is cautionary but doesn’t invalidate the Youth Project. They simply sold their players and refused to re-invest it, unlike Liverpool and even Spurs.
Ajax will be fine. As stated, it’s part of their business model, and they’ve been working towards it since Cryuff’s second round at the academy. They’ve created players, will sell them for silly amounts, and will re-invest in the squad by getting sellable assets and/or academy prospects again. They’ll be in the CL again, and the returns on that has justified everything they’ve done.

And I ask, what is the alternative? Spend money we don’t have? Expect Stan to invest into the club?

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

I mean it really depends on your definition of young right? Salah came to Liverpool at 25 I think, and he’d already played over 100 games for Roma, Fiorentina and Chelsea at the highest level. I wouldn’t consider that to be a youth signing anymore than I’d consider Xhaka or Mustafi to be a youth signings. And I’m not quite sure how Liverpool got £19m for Solanke but fair enough.

Selling our best players and refusing to re-invest is our MO and basically our unofficial motto during the Kronke era. It’s a huge part of why Project Youth 1.0 failed and part of why I’m not sure things will be different if we give it another go now.

As for alternatives, I like Liverpool’s model, but I just don’t consider it to be a Youth Project. They have much better scouting than us, they only buy players that will probably fit what they’re doing at the club, and they take risks on them in transfer market. They’re very willing to invest in the side. But as long as Kronke is in charge I fear we’re going to be all kinds of stuffed, trying and failing to compete with much more ambitious and intelligent sides. For example, faffing about with Dennis Suarez, a player with zero ratings, while Leicester snapped up Tielemans on loan, who’s now linked to Man City.

Our best bet might actually be getting bought out by some amoral son-of-a-bitch with more money than sense and an even bigger ego. Failing that, maybe a gulf state?

Faisal Narrage aka Project Youth 2.0
Faisal Narrage aka Project Youth 2.0

I’m pretty sure when Project Youth 1.0 started, Kroenke wasn’t even at the club. I think this is revisionism at play, because all the accounts is out there for all to see; we sold players to pay off the stadium debt.

I can’t stand Kroenke for the life of me, but let’s not start changing history to claim he was the reason why we didn’t re-invest when PY1.0 was in motion before he was even the club.
There is no reason why we can’t do what Spurs do (people seemingly pick holes at me using Liverpool as an example, but totally ignore Sp*rs).

And maybe that’s the case we have to sell to arab oil, but I find it sad that so many fans on this site 10 years ago, where the same fans praising Stan for not getting involved, claiming they didn’t want more of Usmanov’s money, and looking down on Chelsea and City from our high horse, are all now begging we get bought by the same types of people we once hated.

I’d rather we explore the Spurs or Liverpool model first, before we start crying out for Gulf State money.

John C
John C

The revisionism is we sold players to pay off the stadium debt, this myth has been regularly debunked by analysing our accounts.

Between 2008-2013 Arsenal made £289m profit AFTER paying off the stadium loan repayments. There was absolutely no reason that we didn’t invest in the squad other than we didn’t need to whilst we were riding the Champions League gravy train. It was just bad policy that left us venerable.

The architect of the “socialist wage structure” is mainly to blame for this as it tied numerous players who weren’t good enough on wages they didn’t deserve and good players were massively underpaid. The ability to do what Liverpool and Spurs have been doing was pulled from under the clubs feet and we’re reaping the rewards of that now because player transfer inflation has put the top players out of our reach, that wouldn’t have been the case several years ago.

And another point, the stadium debt still hasn’t been repaid and will not be for many years!!

Caligunner
Caligunner

Which project youth at Liverpool? Spurs have become very lucky where their youth players exceeded expectations and I think that’s exception than the rule.

Ajax isn’t fair model only because they are the biggest clubs in the Netherlands. They have access to all the elite youth players in their country.

I think PL is just to competitive to try that now compared to 5 years ago. Liverpool is back, Spurs are peaking, manU has unlimited funds and lives to spend, Chelsea and man city the same.

The business model that kroenke wants to use makes sense to just become a stepping stone club smh, who doesn’t love seeing youth players develop into productive senior players? Would we be able to keep them long enough and win trophies before selling them? Most of the time youth players don’t develop. what’s the safety net to keep the club from tanking and getting regulated. I think the 2nd tier and 3rd tier clubs in the PL are also very competitive now.

I can’t imagine what kroenke would donif the club got regulated lol sell??? Lol

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

“Spurs have become very lucky…” I wonder how many seasons must we keep telling ourselves this. It’s like the whole “Kane isn’t good, he’s just a jammy bastard” line that went on for how man years.]
Guess it’s hard to just accept Spurs have a better strategy than us, instead just claiming it’s “luck” even though they’ve been better than us and keep improving year on year whilst spending less than us.

And who said we have to keep them long enough to win trophies? The purpose of the model isn’t always that way. I AMN doesn’t become world class, that’s fine. We can sell him for £30M+, which is 30% RoI, same Iwobi. That money can then be used to scout smarter and invest better. It’s literally what Liverpool did to get Alisson and VVD.

OnlyBeingHonest
OnlyBeingHonest

All for investing in youth, still want the majority of the current bunch to leave, senior team that is, no faith in them at all, some one will say that we should keep them to compliment the younger bunch, but I wouldn’t let our “senior players” near the current crop, awful examples. gutless cowards.

Laca-Sead
Laca-Sead

You’re running out of time mate. You just have another year to explain your ideas and be strong in your way! Disappointing season. You failed to deliver. Will you rise like a phoenix or crumble like a Moyes?

Peter Story Teller
Peter Story Teller

Worrying if the guy meant to be the manager doesn’t know what the targets are for next season.
The only positive is the suggestion of bringing in the young blood but if you do that send them out on the pitch don’t just sit them on a bench to watch Ozil, Xhaka, et al do bugger all for 90 minutes!

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

He’s not meant to be the manager, he’s meant to be the Head Coach.

Peter Story Teller
Peter Story Teller

Just corporate semantics.
He picks the players and sets the tactics so he manages the team.
If he doesn’t know what the team are trying to achieve how is he going to guide them?

zhord
zhord

I fear Newcastle are going to catch up with us thanks to their potential new owners and ours. And I’ll stop bragging about The Arsenal.
I don’t trust anything Emery or the board does will work. I hope not.

John C
John C

With all due respect if Iwobi and Maitland-Niles are the standard of players we are producing I expect us to fall further down the league next season if that’s the route we’re going to take.

We need a serious improvement of quality and i can’t see that coming from the U23’s.

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

And yet Iwobi in his short time did more than what £350k Ozil did. And AMN, bad as he was 2nd half, was still better than Kola.

And if the standard of our academy is guys like Bellerin, well what’s the problem? I’m happy with more Bellerins. Do you want more £40M Mustafis?

John C
John C

And yet over 150 games he’s been on average terrible, being better than that waste of space Ozil is neither here not there.

All of Chelsea’s goals came down Maitland-Niles side, none down Kolasinac’s. The first he didn’t press the crosser, the second he gave the ball away and they exploited the space he left, the third he gave away the penalty getting caught on the wrong side of the ball, the forth was another cross from the left, maybe you want to revise who had the terrible game?

I understand people want our academy players to succeed but lets not pretend that he was the victim of a Hazard masterclass because he wasn’t.

And yes, i want more Bellerin’s than £35m Mustafi’s but that’s not the only option is it?

Caligunner
Caligunner

This is true. Like AMN and AI hustle but they aren’t quality. They are squad players at best.

ESR, Nelson, EN, KB, etc etc need to prove themselves still. All of them if they were integrated into the squad would be 2nd team at best.

That doesn’t solve our 1st team problems. Without a concrete formation being used how do buy players to fit your system. Today’s players are more specialized than before. Kola can’t play fb but is decent wb, what do you buy Competition a wb or fb? Do you buy expensive wingers if half the time you use a back 3? Is laca or auba experiment as a winger finished or still going to happen in year 2 under emery. Or is back 3 the main formation?

With limited funds you don’t have room for many mistakes.

Peter Story Teller
Peter Story Teller

With limited funds you cannot solve the 1st team problems either.
We all agree that a cull is required to cut expenditure and try and improve quality but the reality is the other teams in the top 6 we are trying to compete against have bottomless funds with perhaps the exception of Spuds who have been extremely lucky with their current squad.

Tribe
Tribe

It’s pretty clear to see what are the players in his words.
Players that need to improve: Guendouzi, Torreira, Holding, Niles, Mavropanos, Iwobi, Chambers maybe (if he stays).
And young players that he mentions: Nketiah, Nelson, Saka, Willock, ESR…
So that will be the target next season with maybe two signings.
Remains to hope that Auba and Laca stay and the rest is hoping for the mentioned players improvement.
I’ve said many times, if Emery stays he’ll need 2-3 seasons to make his print.
We can all draw conclusions and predictions based on this but, that is it, more or less, exciting or not. That’s reality.

Jai
Jai

Pochettino made his print in 1 season at Spurs. With a terrible squad. Remind me why Emery needs 3 seasons again?

Homer
Homer

No he didn’t.

His first (2014) year he ended up in 5th – behind Arsenal.
Second year (2015) he ended up 3rd – behind Arsenal.
Third year (2016) he ended up 2nd – besting Arsenal for the first time in decades.

He’s won absolutely nothing. Ever.

Poch. They really only started playing better football (if we must admit that) in his second/third.

Selective memories, eh?

Tribe
Tribe

Thanks, Homer.

Tribe
Tribe

I don’t want to stay short on this but seems like you don’t see the general picture Jai.

1. I think that whoever coach that we can grab and put on Emery’s place wont make any difference. The comfort level that Arsene built is a questionable thing. And how on earth do you think you will overachieve a situation that was permanent for over a decade? Wasn’t Emery the one that at the start of the season made a 20 games unbeaten run? Isn’t that an immediate print?
Then, he lost some players on a long term injuries (that I believe could make the difference). Also, inherited a team that was bad for a couple of seasons (even though that team, more or less, won FA cups). This team is hot and cold. My opinion is that the current team can be firstly improved by getting rid of dead wood and mediocre players. Second level of improvement, integrating youth. And in my point of view transfers are third. You should first rebuild the team from the inside, create a new levels, new spirit. It’s pretty simple, how do we want to change the world if the changes don’t start with us.

2. In recent weeks Wenger was a guest on some tv station (cant remember what). I’ll try to paraphrase more accurately, he was speaking of players and coaches. He says, coaches doesn’t win games, players do. And he reffered to Barca and Messi. He says, Messi will play great with any coach, but you can pull off Messi from Barca and bring a dosen of coaches it will not be the same. And I totally agree with the man, nevermind his Arsenal in recent years.

3. I don’t know when will Arsenal F.C start to consider that there are players that are maybe good and maybe world class, but they don’t seem to work in current structures of a team. I’ve spoken about this. Cazorla is a great example. We don’t have a great use from Sanlehi’s and stuff, but we need a man that know what player remains and how to build around him. Example, Torreira and Guendouzi are fast improvers and if that is in the manager’s eyes then he can build the midfield towards them. Auba and Laca are world class but to flourish they need to be supplied – we need wide play. Sokratis is good, Holding is good, Bellerin is good, so if that’s the case, build the defence on their basis.

4. Jai and others that don’t look at the general picture – we are speaking about Emery and the team – put aside the Kroenke’s fools and others. What Emery did in his first season is an indicator that he wants to build the team in his own way and there are a couple of things that point to that. He started the season with top strikers and added Nketiah to the squad to train with them. The man had hope in Iwobi and Welbeck as wide players and maybe counted Mkhitaryan for a back up wide option. Iwobi didn’t turn up much, Welbeck long term injury. He added to the midfield straight away (Torreira, Guendouzi) and we can’t say they are not good players. He had Bellerin and brought the old man Licht for whom I think at the start of the season Emery counted as a back up, just in any case. Bellerin went injured and that key position went downhil. Centre of defence was there in numbers. Holding started to grow – long term injury and that opened space for Mustafi and the rest we know. Monreal didn’t turn to be good as couple of seasons ago. He bought Leno and we will all agree that he is great. So he started to seal some holes and could’t predict all of this (no manager can).

So to cut this shit short – every reform, every transformation needs time. The situation around us is transforming too – there were teams in the past that were at our place too. I don’t like what is happening too but that’s the reality.

And not to mention the club above Emery and the players. Thats another story.

Dave
Dave

Sell everyone except kos, papa, torreira, leno, laca and auba and just play them kids. At least they should have more hunger than this bunch…I’d rather be excited about the development of the kids than disappointed about our senior players being toothless and clueless…also, emery should either be braver (play attacking football, you should when you have auba and laca) instead of that shy football he have showed us before

Berlingoon
Berlingoon

Players I’d like to have in the squad next season:
Leno, Mavropanos, Holding, Chambers, Bielik, Medley, Bellerin, Maitland-Niles, Torreira, Guendouzi, Smith-Rowe, Nelson, Willock, Iwobi, Nketiah, Saka, Aubameyang, Lacazette
Cut the wage bill as much as possible, give the youth a chance, sell 1-2 of them if they develop dramatically and can generate funds and then rebuild over the next 3-5 seasons. It’s the only way that can bring us back, with a bit of luck. With top earners that perform like they did yesterday on a regular basis and with wages that makes it impossible for us to improve the team in other positions, we’re completely fucked if we keep on going like this.

Drew
Drew

Nelson, Nketiah, Willock, Beilik, Smith-Rowe, AMN, Medley, Chambers, Holding, Amaechi, Martinez to Return or get promoted for no money! – Mustafi, Ozil, Elneny, Jenkison, Kos, Monreal, Chech, Ramsey, Welbeck, Asano, Ospina, Lichsteiner all to go. Free up the wage bill and maybe get some transfer values in and buy a few experienced players to augment the youth, plus a couple of exciting prospects like Martinelli etc and I could certainly get behind that project. Obviously there is no way that will happen but I can dream can’t I?

Mpls
Mpls

We have an older squad built now by our standards. And that’s part of the problem with our transfer losses as well. A bunch of the players we’ve acquired for a high price in recent seasons are or will be past it when they move on, or are waiting out a Bosman for their last big payoff (Ramsey, Welbeck).

I would have liked to see some more of the youth, but I can’t blame Emery for taking what is normally the logical tack at trying to get us into the top 4 and a Europa trophy by taking fewer chances. And you know what? It almost worked on both fronts.

ON the other hand we’ve seen a lot of AMN this season, we saw Reese Nelson a bit before he loaned, Holding before his injury, Iwobi’s not ‘youth’ anymore but still at pre-peak years and Emery played him a lot especially a little earlier, Guendouzi of course, and Torreira especially for a DM is on the pre-peak side.

Sure, they’re not 18 year olds, but Cesc, Jack, and Aaron aren’t players that come along every day, and they were as much out of necessity.

I don’t think we can ONLY go project youth, but I welcome a good dose of it if we are sure to make a couple of key replacements with known quality. Like Koscielny. We need a new top quality CB with tenacity and decent pace.

If Emery thinks Willock is ready to generally fill the role of Ramsey (he’s not going to be like-for-like), I might be game. Otherwise that’s another role we need a real solution for.

But if we manage to move Ozil and Mkhi, those holes can’t both be plugged with youth promotions.

Santori
Santori

People tend to over react and get too emotional.

We need to intergrate the team with youth proportionately.

As much as people wanted Wenger out with this “anything is better than Arsene, can’t do much worse” attitude, they are now not thinking and believe we should just count on youth.

Much of this is unfounded and yes we could get a lot worse from where we are now.

The likes of Mavropanos clamoured by some as better than say (Mustafi) were half baked at best an positionally still very raw.

Whilst Willock certainly did no shame to himself, we have to be careful to induct these players with sufficient ready made capability as well.

I would say of the young hopefuls, the following should play a bigger part in first squad :

1) Nelson- We lack natural wide players and those with technical skills to beat players one on one are far and few in between (I count maybe Lacazette and then Iwobi for sure)

Even so with Nelson and Iwobi providing width (other than reliance on wingbacks), we will need one more ready made player in his prime from market IMO (say a Ziyech, now difficult with reduced transfer budget)

2) Smith Rowe – I don’t think his loan was well served. BUT I do think with Ramsey gone, Ozil the way he is, Mhkitaryan on the wane, we should be blooding the young chap now.

He’s got great natural instinct to gamble into the box and again good technical skills (courtesy of our Academy)

I won’t be reliant on him but certainly he should start to play a much bigger role.

3) AMN – Important to realise this is his first full season at Rback. He’s had to jump in with Bellerin injured and of the options we have (Lichsteiner never avaialble, Mustafi slow, Jenkinson just crap), he is the best.

I don’t think we should be hunting for a Rback this summer bc we have far greater priorities in other areas with finite resource to throw at.

(It should not be a numbers game for us remember but qualitative but we need at very least 3 critical positions at Cback, CM and RW filled)

So AMN needs to continue development in this position.

In this regard, his strength is also his weakness (relaxed). BUT he can improve exponentially at his age (22yrs) much like Bellerin did.

I love his recovery speed but he has to polish up his positioning. Going forward, he makes things happen.

4) Potentially Nketiah with Welbeck also likely gone.

My only issue with Nketiah is we could benefit from a bit mroe height up top for ‘plan B’ scenarios.

Whilst Aubameyang is not short, he is poor challenging for the ball in the air. Very poor.

Lacazette and Nektiah both 5’9 are slightly handicapped by height.

BUT Eddie has great instincts and I don’t see why he should not be given a good run (Even if we gamble on another young striker who is cheap and on a punt from market)

Therreafter –

5) Mavropanos – I feel he is best served to accelerate in development on a strong loan next season. He has great potential but needs a solid run of games with a team that can teach him a thing or two about defending.

Holding will come back into first squad so if we add from market we have Sokratis, likely Monreal for another season (more as cover for Lback so we don’t have to distract ourselves with filling that position as well) and definitely a new Cback.

Thereafter we retain one more in either Mustafi or Chambers depending on who gets better price in market (and of course who wants to stay and play third fiddle)

6) Bielik. – Should have an assessment as well this season. He’s at an age he can contribute but whether he is at sufficient level is hard to say given lower level of competition he has been involved in.

7) Willock – He’s done nothing wrong and I can’t see even if we get a fourth CM (which we should) why we won’t continue to blood him from the bench.

BUT I won’t rely on him just yet, he’s still got a learning curve ahead of him.

One thing I did like about his play (yesterday) is he wasn’t pussy footing and (prob with instructions from the gaffer) went route one with a bit more urgency for us. A bit more composure (with time) and he would have potentially got reward.

8) Saka – Very impressed with this young man but I think he’s still got time on his hand. Again I won’t rely on him rather continue to introduce him in increments with peripheral competitions (League cup). Very exciting prospect for us.

We should not distract ourselves though from the need to reinforce from market and fill in outstanding needs in the squad arguably for 3 or 4 seasons now not addressed by Mslintat/Raul or their predecessors.

This critical needs again at – Cback (Still a problem even without Mustafi…no surprise except to some people), CM (We need someone to control the ball better like Santi did, Torreira is not it), and as mentioned at Rwing/Lwing.

Over to the owner to show some ambition. If he takes the expected route cutting on injection of funds to tailor according to our lesser achievement (not getting into CL) we risk a vicious spiral buying lesser quality players and not being able to catch up with the teams ahead of us.

If he adds a bit more fuel to inject more quality into the squad for Emery, we have better potential to push higher.

Mark
Mark

There is not going to be much new money to spend since we didn’t make champions league, but what does that matter with some of the players we’ve wasted so much money on of late like Mustafi, Xhaka, Perez, Chambers (who can never seem to not be loaned out), etc.. The big name players aren’t going to want to come to Arsenal and this year showed that we need to get younger (esp on defense). Biggest thing that will help this Summer is to offload so many of the overpaid, underachieving players to open up playing time for the young promising players as well as incoming players. Players like Mustafi, Xhaka, Ozil, Miki, etc. getting off of the wage bill would be huge even if they don’t bring in a ton of money on the transfers.

I’d be able to handle a year like this much better if I knew it was leading to a more promising future, but certainly don’t have that feeling now.

Jai
Jai

Hasn’t Emery said that the reason he likes it at Arsenal is because there’s no pressure?

Jai
Jai

We’ll waste another season when the mistake we made last May should be rectified now. We went with boring and bland, and that’s what this season has served up. More of the same unless the cunts managing this club wake up

Jai
Jai

He’s our Bruce Rioch, except Bruce improved Arsenal immeasurably and laid the foundations for Wenger.

End this nonsense.

kas
kas

Didn’t Bruce sign Bergkamp, nuff said. All the top teams in Italy (even the ones in Champs league) are looking for new coaches. But nobody is talking about Emery being binned? Does anyone feel confident he can be successful with ‘Project youth’?

doug
doug

So have we become a Southampton type club now? We will just rely on a youth team setup and then have to sell when they hit it big? Mildly depressing thought

MateKiddleton
MateKiddleton

Still feels better than Ajax who sell players that usually end up in the top 10 players in the world. I would be endlessly disappointed having to see the likes of Bergkamp, Suarez and Ibra leave every season. And more recently de Jong and de Ligt.

para
para

For some reason i dont think we wanted to win that final. I could just hear Kronke:
“What, more money for transfers? you won a cup god dammit, what more do you want?”

NorthernGoon
NorthernGoon

I remember when this board once had sensible discussion. Damn.