Date:Saturday January 12 2008
Arsene Wenger insists he wants to start buying English football players in a bid to revive the England national football team.
The Arsenal gaffer is currently seeking the signature of 15 year old English'man' Luke Freeman, a striker from lower league Gillingham, who despite his very young age, has already made appearances for the first team.
Quotes from Arsenal.com cover Wenger's confirmation of his intentions to sign the young man and his intentions to buy British.
"I want to buy English,"
"I met the boy and I like him. He has personality and he looks alert. He`s a striker and to play in a first team at 15 years of age is something special.'
"We were quite well on the case and we are very positive that we will find an agreement with the club without going to compensation. We will pay them a transfer."
"Overall from 14 to 20 it is the best group we have had, we play a youth cup game against Burnley (Editor note:Arsenal won the game 5-1 with all five goals being scored by English players) and we have a very good side. They are all at a good level now.'
"Also we have two Under-14s players I watched play and technically they have nothing to learn.'
"Will they be professional footballers at Arsenal? I don`t know. The more you go down [in ages] the greater the margin of error. Sometimes you see a player at 13 and you think 'absolutely amazing` then two years later he has disappeared.'
"But our target is to produce good players and I believe we are on the right road with the way we want to work throughout the Club.'
"I know how much the English national team means here to people. To contribute to that would be a big pride as well. At the moment it is not my first responsibility.'
"But I have been accused of only buying foreign players and I would like to contribute to the quality of English football."
At first glance it would appear that Wenger has finally succumbed to the peer pressure and has seen the error of his ways, but make no bones about it, Wenger is currently on course with his long term plan and his latest quotes are merely a lesson in PR genius.
When Wenger first arrived in this country the state of the academies and youth systems were a shambles. The Frenchman duly went about rectifying this annomoly at the Arsenal and the Gunners now have the finest youth set up in Europe.
The Arsenal gaffer has always been vocal of his beliefs that the passport doesn't matter, but I also believe that it has always been Wenger's intentions to bring as many players from the country of the leagues origin as possible out of a true respect for the game.
However, and this is the part that anybody outside of our club has a real problem understanding, Wenger was not willing to compromise Arsenal's ability to challenge for major honours in exchange for a few complimentary back slaps from some blinkered patriots.
But now Wenger's long term plan is beginning to bear fruit, the grey-haired genius is letting everybody who has chastised him in the past believe they have somehow helped change his view point with regards to English football, when the visionary himself always had the country's best interest at heart, it was just he was the only person with the intelligence to know how to rectify it's mistakes.
The fact that Le Boss has managed to achieve this whilst remaining faithful to the club that pays him AND won a sh*t load of trophies in the process truly proves that Wenger is the greatest manager ever to walk the face of the Earth.
Date:Saturday January 12 2008
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City or Wigan In The Semi-Final - Cheers Wrighty (Sunday March 9 2014)
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Wenger: We Take The FA Cup Seriously (Sunday March 9 2014)
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