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Reason To Believe

Arsene Wenger is, without question, a pioneer when it comes to developing young footballers. No other manager in the game has the same ability to spot and nurture talent to quite the same extent. You could argue that Ferguson has done the same over the years at Manchester United, and that may have been true in the Beckham, Giggs, Scholes and Neville era, but it certainly is not the case now.

Almunia/ Sagna/ Toure/ Gallas/ Clichy/ Nasri/ Cesc/ Denilson/ Rosicky/ Adebayor/ RVP

That team is arguably our strongest XI for this season; and of that XI only Gallas, Rosicky and possibly Nasri can be classed as having been top class, joining us as well known world players. The rest are all products of the scouting system that Wenger has developed during his time at Arsenal. Players that today would walk into most sides in the world.

Van Der Sar/ Neville/ Ferdinand/ Vidic/ Evra/ Hargeaves/ Carrick/ Ronaldo/ Rooney/ Tevez/Berbatov

In comparison, how many of the current Manchester United team can be classed as having been 'discovered' by Ferguson? Only Gary Neville, every other player has had big money paid out for them, and all of them were global superstars when they arrived.

It's clear that Arsenal and Manchester United have very different policies when it comes to building a team. Manchester United have undeniably more spending power than Arsenal have had over the last few years, and as a result they have been able to build a squad of superstars who will challenge for all competitions this season. Arsenal on the other hand have spent less money on their team than United did on Rooney and Berbatov, and yet are expected to challenge on the same level. By spotting their talent young, and then moulding them into the type of player that they want Arsenal and Wenger have managed to put together a side that is only going to improve with time. Every player in that team, with the exception of Gallas and Rosicky, has yet to hit their peak. Experienced players have slowly been weaned out over the last few years and been replaced by a younger model. Henry with Adebayor, Vieira with Fabregas, Adams with Toure, etc. Any player deemed to be past his prime is cut out of the fold.

The problem is where does this end? The squad has been getting younger and younger every year, and one begins to grow concerned as to when this process will end. How long can we keep going making ourselves younger?

Wenger takes great joy in seeing players that he discovers becoming superstars. Is the joy he takes from discovering a star greater than that he gets from winning the Premiership? Will his pride stop him ever getting a side together that will stay together for some years and grow into something truly special? I don't think it will, but it does seem to be the concern of many Arsenal fans at the moment.

Our current squad is only going to get better. That is a fact. If the current crop of players really want it, and develop as well as they are doing currently I think we will see something very, very special. Not just a few titles and maybe a Champions League, but I think this team could become one of the all time great sides. But only with patience - and faith.

Fans are getting impatient and think that Wenger won't ever let the cycle stop, will continue to replace players with younger ones, until we have a nursery on the pitch. Many are asking for his head if we don't win something this season. Looking for the short term fix if you will. Maybe Alonso was that short term fix on transfer deadline day?

In the short term it does appear that Wenger has allowed his pride to halt the progress of the club...but in the long run it looks as if he's ensured big, big things for this team and our club. If this team is supported and believed in they will produce great football for a long, long time. Although this season may be to early for the team (we'll see if that's the case in 10months) is it worth jeopardising the chance of dominating European football, something that this squad have the chance to do over the next 5-10 years, just for the sake of one title this season?

I think not.

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The Journalist

Writer: Regiboy Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday September 3 2008

Time: 3:38PM

Your Comments

The squad isn't really getting younger. The average age is obviously affected by the departure of Lehmann, Gilberto, Hleb and Flamini but there is compensation as the teens of the last year or two move into their 20's. If we can retain them, and in part that depends on achieving some success sooner rather than later, then we will feel the benefits as they mature further.
Whilst I agree with developing for the long term, I also think that the future is non existent and constantly planning for a team that only exists in an abstract vision of the future is extremely risky. There is nothing wrong with Wenger's vision, but he is surrounded by young footballers and few of them are visionaries like him, youth is impatient and will easily be tricked by the grass is greener ploy. The problem wit visionaries is that at some stage they have to rely on others and therein lies the weak link. I think that at times Wenger is perhaps too focused on a future which may or may not happen, this is what happens when one man expects to build a winning side from scratch with a relatively small budget, develop a youth policy, develop players, play beautiful football and compete against rivals with far deeper pockets and who have managers with one simple agenda - win - Wenger is trying to do the impossible, if he achieves it then in my eyes it will be the greatest achievement ever, but juggling all those factors with something so erratic as youth is as close to impossible as you can get.
Professor Calculus
It isn't a fact that this team will get better. Wenger had virtually completed the cycle and last year we really looked like something special. Now it's been ripped apart, not all of that is the manager's fault, Hleb and Flamini cases in point. But the refusal to bring in replacements means we are now thrusting junior players into senior positions, which will lead to another couple of seasons adjustment before it all comes to fruition, at which point we will probably lose Denilson to Barcelona, Song to Madrid and Walcott to Milan, not replace them and start over again. I see the points you are making in the article and many of them aren't wrong at all. But the fact is, this article could have been written in 2005 and it wouldn't be far off. I desperately hope another one like this doesn't appear in 2011, because that's my fear. Make no mistake, the transition cycle is starting againFrom where I'm sat, the transition of youngsters is starting all over again when a couple of senior pros to help them along wouldn't have gone amiss. We could have waited for Hoyte to turn into a good right back, we bought Sagna instead. Anyone disagree with that decision?
Little Dutch
It's not only a question of whether Wenger will let the cycle stop. I'm sure we pay good money. But it's also amazing that Wenger keeps recruiting people like Clichy, Cesc, Kolo, etc. who of course work for money but also for their ambitions, a great footballing education (see Nasri's latest interview from Clairefontaine) and the rare and stylish brand of football we play. Players of this kind are harder to steal for other clubs. But increasingly we're facing the threat of keeping the good players together against the inflationary factors - Bosman, TV money "fattening" so many clubs, foreign ownership. I'm feeling more and more like Arsenal is an exception in terms of how firm (stubborn) our board and manager want to keep running the club the proper way. I'm totally proud of that but I'm getting more worried if we're doing a Don Quixote here.
Lou the Gunneress
The article could have been written in 2005 LD, that was probably the start of the process but the players written about were 3 years younger then. Van Persie, Fabregas, Djourou, Adebayor, Bendtner, Clichy, Diaby, Eboue all made first team appearances then. Are they not for the most part better players now?
I remember posting a comment once talking about "SUSTAINABLE" investment on players and got criticised. Sustainable means we are buying due to need and at the same time not jeapordising the future. Say we bought in someone like Silvestre last season, with experience and at reasonable price, we would have gone quite far. Instead, we burnt out Toure and relied on Senderos in CL. In recent seasons, I believe we were only about 10-15 mil away from winning the League or the CL but we never did what was right.
In fans eyes every team that narrowly misses a trophy is just 1 or 2 players away from doing so. Doubtless if Chelsea had simply spent another £10 or £15m last season they would have won the PL and CL instead of ManU.
just hope for the best. pray hard.
So which Arsenal fan is confident that the great young players we have now won't leave the club to go and play for the usual suspects once they have developed and made a name for themselves at Arsenal?
Professor Calculus
I understand and agree with your statement Amos, but in truth Chelsea spent the money in every position and played the way they wanted. They weren't beat by a weak spot in their team, they were simply beat by a superior team. When you look at the Arsenal I feel it is the exact opposite. On our day with our first XI last year no one could touch us. The football was obviously the best in Europe. But we did have weak spots. Not enough strength in depth and possibly a different CB partnership. We weren't beat by a superior team we were beat by our weaknesses. My concern is I don't feel we've actually remedied our weaknesses. I don't feel it is an issue of just spending another 10-15 million or having one or two more stars - it's an issue of properly using available resources to build the strongest team possible in a sustainable fashion. I hate to sound negative, as I really am not. I know that I am going to enjoy some amazing football and I'll feel the highs and lows. I'm just disappointed because I believed after last year that we were ------><-------- that close to having our finished product with more youth following behind to bring success for years to come. Now I really don't believe we have the strength to push for the PL and CL. Wenger is human and allowed to make mistakes and keep my support. I just hope this season isn't one of his mistakes. Either way I'll still be in the Red and White. (sometimes yellow. and yeah, I even have the much maligned white) ;)
You've got a point Amos but how agonisingly near we were last season? During the transfer window, everyone were yearning for a CD because of the African cup and we knew it Toure might not sustain for so many games a season. Two seasons ago, when MU were short up front, they bought in Larsson to solve their short term problem and won the League. The gap of winning and not winning is so small now that these subtle fine tuning may make or break a season.
What does anyone think of the possible free transfer of Stephen Appiah. Only 27 with experience, and a pretty good player too. I think he would be a very good addition.
@smithdj74. Spot on. If Man Utd, Liverpool or Chelsea lose then it will be because they were outplayed or beaten by a better team on the day and their fans will just have to accept that, but for us there is always that sickening feeling that we will outplay the opposition but our default handicap of having to play without enough players who can do the job, will be exposed. It feels like we are battling against our own infrastructure before we even take on the other team.
Professor Calculus
Appiah would be very welcome - Sky Sports has him linked to us
I can't understand why so many fans feel we can't keep hold of our players. In most instances we sell players when AW feels he can replace the player with a better or equally good player for less money e.g. Pires for Overmars. Or when he thinks a player is getting old and he needs someone younger e.g. Cesc, Adebayor, Clichy for Viera, Henry, Cole. I'm sure we could have kept hold of Flamini if we wanted to, but AW didn't feel he was worth whatever he was demanding. There are some exceptions such as Hleb who will want to leave regardless, but every club has that, look at Man U with CR. I'd be lying if i said i wasn't concerned a little about our DM position, but there are plenty of options. The reason we bought Sagna was because Hoyte is rubbish and was never going to be good enough. When AW finds that we have no players coming through of sufficient quality in a certain position he is prepared to spend. I'm sure AW would have preferred to get an extra DM in, but as he said, it wasn't crucial. I'm prepared to trust his judgement. We're going to have a lot of players at their peak either this season or next, plenty to be optimistic about.
Also the reason we struggled at times last season, wasn't because our squad was too small. It's because our second string players, the likes of Hoyte, Giberto, Senderos, Traore weren't good enough or have the necessary experience. Our second choice players are more experienced and of better quality this season.
legacy of Arsenal, of Arsene Wenger, and of the Emirates Stadium. The facts are this - this youth experiment Arsene Wenger has acknowledged by his comments to the Independent is entering its fourth year really and Mr. Wenger has suggested he is looking out to 5-6 before this team hits its peak. That suggests we could be looking at 9-10 years before without a Premiership Title possibly, and with Arsenal losing at least one player a year on a bosman to avoid expending the wage structure and wage bill, really undermines any such experiment possibly fatally, and gives rise to the spectre of Arsenal being a team in perpetual transition of chasing glory and closing on it but never quite catching it again, and that would be a shame if that became the
Never one to take Wikipedia as a confirmed news source, but check out the info about Appiah there: "At 18:40 BST on the 3rd of september it was announced by Stephen Appiah's agent that the 27 year old had joined arsenal on a 3 year deal worth £6,000,000. Appiah had been linked to Arsenal a year earlier and had described it as a dream move. Appiah moved on a bosman free transfer and will wear the number 23 shirt." Either a Wiki contributors' wishful thinking, or perhaps an early leak...
It is becoming more apparent that foreign investment is where the Premier League is heading. Arsenal can fight it and boast stronger morals than their rivals yet every season the team is being asked to produce miracles on the pitch to keep up the high standard demanded by the club. The youth are promising but to allow Arsenal to compete with the rest they must be exceptional. I understand that the stadium will allow the team to spend a little freer in 2-3 years time but I just do not see Arsene Wenger doing that.
The facts are this - this youth experiment Arsene Wenger has acknowledged by his comments to the Independent is entering its fourth year really and Mr. Wenger has suggested he is looking out to 5-6 before this team hits its peak. That suggests we could be looking at 9-10 years before without a Premiership Title possibly, and with Arsenal losing at least one player a year on a bosman to avoid expending the wage structure and wage bill, really undermines any such experiment possibly fatally, and gives rise to the spectre of Arsenal being a team in perpetual transition of chasing glory and closing on it but never quite catching it again, and that would be a shame if that became the legacy of Arsenal, of Arsene Wenger, and of the Emirates Stadium
I will always stand by wenger whatever he does because in 5-10 years time when wenger,sir alex furgeson (excuse the spelling) and roman have gone chelsea and manu will be left with masses upon masses of depth so the concequence will be they WILL have to sell their stars and will slowly wriggle down the table season after season while we with no debt will only be able to get stronger.*ARSENE KNOWS* (best believe that)
And what if you're wrong Gunner 24 - what if that doesn't happen ? There is no guarantee these clubs will crash and burn anymore than there is that Mr. Wenger will be able to keep this team together indefinitely. I'm sorry, but the idea of usinning in 10 or 20 or 30 years or after I'm dead gives me no comfort when we don't win now when just a bit more investment could and should see us win more now without going broke.
True CTMartin. If the team manage to perform the miracle of winning the title this year then the club's rivals will invest to ensure they are all stronger the following season. Manchester United and Chelsea are under alot of pressure to stay successful and must bring in talented players to challenge for trophies and ensure their individual financial futures. Arsenal on the other hand must be frugal for future financial stability.
CTMartin i dont know if its gonna happen or not but i believe in wenger 100% of his dream fot the club and will happily put our future in his hands
so LD would you be happy if we end up signing Appiah now? i haven't seen much of him, and the only thing i know is that he has got a huge physical presence. so can anyone tell me more about this dude?
Appiah was brilliant in 2006, but i have not followed him over the last 18 months. Very industrious but not like Flamini as he's not a DM by trade. Him coming would be another body but I fail to see how he fits into Arsene's game plan. It also smacks of feeding of scraps which may well be the case. What annoys me is the club regularly talking about the treasure chest, the money pot to buy any player in the world and yet we couldn't find a DM. I'd be much happier they told us that we have no money, we are leaving within our means and this is our lot. For the past few season AW has been making a profit on transfers, we have the highest prices in the football world and yet we can't buy anyone that's worth a bit of cash. What is worse is we can't even keep one of our best performers of last season and build on it.
what diff 6 months to a year makes, defoe cud not get a game with us now our top 2 are gone, diarria great DM left for regular games now flamini gone an ye crave a DM an he wud of been perfect to partner cesc.
In 06, Appiah played with Essien in the ghanean team. Appiah overshadowed Essien somewhat and was the driving force behind the team. He did a lot of carrying the ball, taking responsibility/leadership and orchestrating the offence. He also had a lot of energy for defensive duties but not a true defender as he likes to get forward too much. He likes to run the show. Could be a substitute for Fabregas but not a DM in my opinion.
But whose to say Adebayor, Fabregas, Clichy and van Persie are gonna stick around for another three years whilst we wet nurse Denilson and Song and turn Eboue into a midfielder? The players you mention were part of the transition, will they want to be part of another one? It comes to a point when these players will just say, 'oh sod this, I'll go to Milan or Real or whoever the in team are.
Little Dutch
Appiah's a player I've not seen much of, but heard a bit about. I've no idea if he'd be any good or not but he has to be better than the big gaping black hole that exists in that position at the moment, even if only as a stopgap.
Little Dutch
I back LD on that point. No matter how much love they claim they have for the club, they will be fed up of losing and seeing lesser players rake in all the trophies. Fabregas deserves a winning team.
I know this is random but ive just been hearing that that new man city owner wants to buy ronaldo fabregas huntallar ronaldinho villa torres henry eto gomez and messi next season plus he wats to win the pl next season and win the champions league the next. That is one of the funniest things ive heard all week he must think football is just a walk in the park. what do ulot think about this. If he succedes in doing this then football is really dead as a sport.
i heard thats aswell, 24 crazy stuff an commetns but how did they manage to get robinho, also he has a lot more money then roman ambra...
You know, when you look at the players page on .con, we don't look half bad; we have 3 keepers, 9 defenders, 9 midfielders, and I think 6 or 7 strikers!! What more do we need?
I know, I know
Don't worry people. When the international break is over, we will stuff Blackburn 4-0, follow it up by stuffing Kiev 6-0, before hitting Bolton 7-0. Then you'll begin to feel much better. And Eboue is going to be a revelation, I tell you!
gunner24, it just shows you that these zillionnaires know FA about football. Abramovich at least had the intelligence to buy a club that was already in a CL spot, that had finished in the top rankings every season of the PL at that time. All he did was inject tons of cash into an already achieving club. It's something else entirely to buy a mid-ranked club that hasn't achieved anything in decades and suddenly propel it into the top rankings of the domestic league in one or two seasons -- let along win the CL in the same space of time! Just buying big name players haphazardly, mindlessly, doesn't mean success -- it'll only mean disappointment. And just exactly who among these big name players who are already in big clubs in the CL will willingly go to City, even with all that money thrown at them? Who among them will want to live in Manchester v. Milan or Barcelona or Madrid? Robinho was desperate to leave Real -- had Real accepted Chelsea's lower bid (with a lower salary), Robinho would've gone to Chelsea even with City's offer of more money. Just as Dinho chose a pay cut when he went to Milan instead of choosing City's higher bid early in the summer. (His choice has shocked Brazilians, btw). And can anyone see Mark Hughes conquering English football (let alone Europe) within 2 years? Good manager, but world class? City's new owners will be disappointed at the end of the season, fire the manager and splash the cash for a big name manager. Thus continuing City's continual instability.
I have a feeling Man City will indeed be challenging within 3 years for the title. I dont think we quite understand how much money they have. 560 billion pounds. They can buy anyone, and they will get big names. If they break the top 4 this year or next, players will flow in and out of the club.
The consortium that has taken them over has unabashedly called themselves an investment company. That means they want something out of it, Man City is going to hell in a little rowboat. It looks good now but I'd be very interested to see what shape they are in in ten years time, if indeed they exist at all. As Mr. Fielding once said, make money your god and it will plague you like the devil.
Little Dutch
I don't think any investment fund will buy an overpriced player for £32m and expect a return on investment unless they sell the club to another billionaire. This is football after all. Jaelle, i do think that if someone spends the money and buy all these quality players, they will have a very good chance of a top 4 finish with any manager, and certainly the title if they have a good manager. I rated Man City before Robinho as a top half club so they aren't that bad. Chelsea were close to bankruptcy before Abramovich came and while they finished 4th, they would have paid a high price had they not got a benefactor coming in. Abramovich splashed on 5-6 top players and straight away they were in our face. Luckily we had an unbeaten season because had we lost twice against them they would have had the title. Top players don't need that much coaching or gelling as one on one they are better than the opposition.
Exactly. This investment company which is owned by royals and the richest family in the world will not run out of money. Even if they put in 0.5 percent of what they own, they will be able to buy the best players for the next 10 years.
But they explicitly referred to it as "investment." Which means they are investing the money and banking on a return.
Little Dutch
LD, return on investment can take many forms. for example, im sure robinho's shirt is selling like hot cakes at the moment, and so will the shirts of other big names that they will sign in the future. and as a club, u have to admit city now is a much more attractive prospect to market around the globe then they were before. here in asia, it was amazing to see the increased number of people wearing chelsea jerseys after the abrahmovich takeover and subsequent influx of players. the same will be for city. i think this "investment" consortium has done a coup. they bought a relative bargain, transform it into a big four much like chelski, and will reap the rewards the team undoubtedly will get, through trophies of any kind. remember a team doesnt have to win year in year out to keep fans, as long as they are attractive to a a particular fanbase. i think city's target fans will be those who hate and despise manure and believe me there are plenty of those around.
regiboy, great article mate. you got it spot on. as the song says "dont try to keep up with the joneses, they got more money than we". therefore, wenger knows this years ago and has put a system in motion of developing youth. i keep reading our fans asking when will this cycle of youth development stop? if ever? but their alternative is to get a stopgap. so i ask when will that stopgap solution ever stop? because then we will end up with a whole bunch of eclectic stopgaps who eventually become fringe players and lose value. at least now we are developing players and creating value in our team, something the likes of chelski, madrid and barca would be envious of. undoubtedly players will leave (get over this fact sooner and you will be much happier), so let them. some players are desperate to get into real madrid (ronaldo) whilst other are desperate to get out (robinho), its not the club but the individual player's situation (financial or otherwise). so you cant say that its our club or our system of youth development that is causing players to leave but its their own individual situations. i think wenger is trying something special at the club and WE NEED TO BE PATIENT!!! after all, its less than 5 years ago we shocked the footballing world by going an entire season undefeated. with all the money splashed around has any other club done that since??? i would love trophies but im just as happy to watch the beautiful football our lads play week after week. this season will be exciting, perhaps more exciting than last season, and watch for eboue this season, i have a feeling this guy will have a massive impact. our lads like him, its about time we did too.
Well said supersof. Aesene is no fool. like he said, buying is not always the solution. What guarantees are there that any new signing(s) will perform as expected. I have complete faith in Wenger's methods and the team. I also agree that Eboue will be a revelation this season, as Flamini was last term.
Warri Gooner
Amos and Jubair echoed some of my humble opinions on this issue and I'd just like to add a little more. AW can easily choose to "appease the public opinions" and spend big $$$ on a big name players - at the end of the day it is the club $$$ and it is not like he will take home less pay as a result. But he chose to risk incurring the wrath of his very own fans by not splurging the club cash on player(s) that may not necc improve the current squad. Some of us may argue that he has all the time in the world -3 months to be exact to find the right player at the right price. Right player, yes but right price? Can anyone say that the kind of trf $$$ in EPL is anything close to fair value? The market is quite simply - the best players go to clubs bankrolled by the Romans, Glazers and now the Abu Dhabis. Would AW not consider including the likes of Mascherano, Essien, Robinho if these players are available at price that is fair and within our means? That leaves us with the players that were not considered "sexy" enough by the likes of Chelsea, Man U and now Man C - imho AW doesn't feel they are exceptionally that good enuff over the current crop of players we have on hand albeit at an inflated price. We have been saying that we do not welcome "evil foreign elements" such as the Romans and Abu Dhabis, but I got a sense some of us would secretly wish we have that kind of seemingly unlimited cash to splurge. That's hypocrisy, isn't it?
Arsenal fans are losing the ability to see any kind of middle ground here. Some of you are saying let's not look over the fence and try and get what the Jones' have got, but I'm not talking about that. I don't give a flying ***** what City and Chelsea are getting, I don't want involvement in that vulgar circus, but that's a moot point. I'm not talking about massive names at massive prices, why do people keep saying that unprompted? I've not made any mention of Chelsea or City, yet most of the responses do refer to those clubs, so who is really looking over the fence here? I'm not talking about Robinho or tosspots like him, I'm talking about losing three central midfielders and not replacing any of them. Had we sold Adebayor this summer would you all have been happy if we hadn't bought another striker with the money? If Wenger came out and said relax, because Eboue is a shooting master, he will play upfront. I'm not deriding the youth policy, but why have we all become so convinced that a couple of reasonably priced, quality additions would be such an awful thing? Again, I refer you to the Prof's example a couple of days ago, we could have persisted with Hoyte at right back and waited a year to turn him into a decent right back, we bought Sagna instead and improved the team. Hoyte wasn't good enough to displace him so off he went. We all, quite correctly, said when Bentley and Sidwell and the likes went that if they're good enough they'll come through and if they're not then they can go. Why is the situation different for Denilson and Song? If they're good enough, they'll displace a quality central midfield player. If they're not, we have no use for them at the club, just like we had no use for Bentley, Hoyte and Sidwell. The focus on youth is in danger of becoming precisely a stopgap solution, because they keep leaving the club and not being replaced, one generation comes through the transition, only to see the other players leave and the transition start again. There is nothing wrong with adding good players to a squad, there sure as hell was nothing wrong with adding Eduardo and Sagna to the mix, even if it limited Bendtner and Hoyte's appearances. And like I keep saying, if Wenger really couldn't find anybody at a decent price, which I don't believe a man of his astuteness could not do in three months, then why let Gilberto go? Surely hang onto him until you've got another ion in the fire?
Little Dutch
"The fact is, this article could have been written in 2005 and it wouldn't be far off" - Says it all, LD. Says it all.
I think it is the precisely middle ground that is being lost here. One extreme is that we break the bank to buy a big name the other is that without another midfielder the squad is threadbare. The reality is somewhere between. Wenger agreed that we would benefit from another quality midfielder and as you say he is astute enough to have been able to find one in 3 months if one were available better than what he already has. He didn't so presumably, in his eyes, one wasn't available. As for Gilberto, hard though it maybe to accept, we would get more out of Eboue playing CM this season than we would have done from a player in a rapidly fading phase of his career. At this level that was already all too apparent at times last season.
Agree 100 percent with LD. No one is saying splash the cash. We have lost our 3 best defensive midfielders, so it is logical we need to bring someone in. The fact that in the last 3 seasons we have made more money from transfers than laid out on new players, means its obvious the money is there to spend. When you have one of the best playmakers/creative midfielders in the world, you need to partner him with someone who complements his style. Is anyone here confident we have a player that can do that?
I think thats slightly harsh on Gilberto Amos. He showed the year before when he was playing week in week out with the starting 11 how good he was.
That's precisely the point paul. The year before Gilberto had played well enough, last year he had declined markedly, this year he would have declined even further. Where do we get this idea that old players don't decline and young players don't improve? Writing about Van Persie, Fabregas, Djourou, Adebayor, Bendtner, Clichy, Diaby, Eboue &amp; Song in 2005 isn't the same as writing about them now. We haven't lost three of our best defensive midfielders - we have lost one - Flamini. Diarra and Gilberto were irrelevant last season - just footnotes on the player stats. I am not sure that we have adequately replaced Flamini but neither am I sure that we haven't.
Gilberto has always been a player who needs a run of games, he'd be first choice now looking at what we have, no doubt in my mind. We could have had another decent enough season out of him, as it happens I was comfortable with the decision to let him go, believing he would be replaced. But at the moment, I would rather have him than nobody and I believe he would be a better choice than a deputy right back who will need at least one season to get used to the role.
Little Dutch
You of all people aren't going to tell me that players have a position from which they can't be moved! And at Arsenal of all clubs! Our deputy left back Flamini stepped into midfield last season (though I guess that was his 'natural' position). I can understand a preference for the more familiar figure of Gilberto playing back up but the less familiar one of Eboue when called upon to do so hasn't let us down. The midfield pairing of choice depending on injuries would probably be Cesc/Denilson and Cesc/Diaby. Depending on injuries Rosicky, Nasri, Song, Eboue would step into whichever CM would be appropriate. This season Eboue would be just one back up option.
Of course they can, but given the choice between a quality, experienced defensive midfielder and a back up right back who has never played there, I know who I'd choose and I think I know who the manager would choose in retrospect. Would Gilberto have been on the bench against Twente in favour of Ramsey? Would Gilberto have been on the bench behind Eboue at Craven Cottage? I think not. With the squad as it is, Gilberto would be no back up, he'd be first choice ahead of Diaby, Denilson, Song and Eboue. Which in itself shows our lack of options, but that's just how thin on the ground we are in there.
Little Dutch
sorry to butt in guys but my 2p worth - Amos - i wish more ppl had your confidence in the squad and altho i agree with alot of what you say, theres no denying a central midfielder would have really added some much needed depth to that area but Eboue or Gilberto ? Come on you do our Brazilian maestro a major disservice by suggesting Eboue can step immediately step in and do as good a job as he has done for us.
thats ex -Brazilian maestro and "by suggesting Eboue can immediately step in and do as good a job as he has done for us."
I understand opting for the Gilberto we carry in our memories seems a safe bet - old slippers are always more comfortable than new ones. The fact is though that so far, compared to last season, Eboue has stepped in to do at least as well as Gilberto did.
Ok Amos, i accept your points. But let me ask you this. We have 3 difficult away games, the Bolton &amp; Blackburn games espcially will be hard physical battles. Do you think that Eboue in DM will dominate a midfield, stand up to crunching tackles, stay cool headed and put himself about? If you had the choice, would you not feel more comfortable having Gilberto, Flamini or Diarra there? I can see him rolling around looking for sympathy, getting booked or sent off for a retaliation tackle. Time will tell
Yes, we've got 3 away games coming up, 2 up North against Bolton and Blackburn where we'll see how our midfield cope, i too hope that Eboue can keep his cool and don't pick up yellow or red cards, as everyone knowns that it's easy to get under his skin. And of course there's the trip to play Dynamo Kiev to think about as well, hope we send a strong team to try and secure at least a point or even 3pts. well done on your article Regiboy!
Depending on injuries I wouldn't expect to see Eboue in central midfield in the next 3 games. I would hope and expect to see him on the right though. But based on what I have seen so far I would pick Eboue ahead of Gilberto and Diarra but not Flamini.
the past is gone, the future is unknown, enjoy what weve got now, were in it the long run, and im sure wenger is too, so lets just get on with it, and bask in every victory we get, and reflect every loss we get, lets now to the fullest, be the best supporter we can be, thats why its called the PRESENT
I don't know why we're arguing over whether Gilberto should have been kept. He was poor in far too many games last year (did play well in a few games towards the end), games just bypassed him. I'd much rather have Song or Denilson instead of him in the team. The thing is, AW could have even kept Flamini if he felt he was worth it. He obviously didn't think he is better than our current options in that position. I'm prepared to trust his judgement until the likes of Denilson and Song let us down over the whole season. For me, it's not the end of the world if we don't win anything this season. The odds are against us, it's hard for any manager to compete with the financial muscle of Man U and Chelsea. We're in the toughest league in europe, AW is doing an amazing job keeping us in the top 4 and challenging for honours season after season. We wouldn't be able to spend anymore than the likes of tottenham and liverpool anyway, how much success have they had?!
I think there are alot of arsenal fans who visit the emirates nowadays who completely forget what following football is all about. It`s about getting behind your team and realising that the club has been there for years and will continue to be there for years. It`s not about throwing millions of pounds at it to ensure a few years of success at the risk of it all blowing up (take Leeds for example). People have to realise that the way Arsenal conduct their business ensures that our children, and proabably grand children will be probably be going to watch Arsenal in fifty years time and we`ll still be a top flight outfit! Can you honestly put your hand on your heart and say that Chelsea and Man City fans could say the same?! I`m a season ticket holder and have people sitting behind me at the emirates booing the team when we go one nil down!! Have they forgotten how far Wenger has brought us from the boring days of the 80`s?! If you`re going to boo your team.... save your hard earned cash and don't bloody go anymore! These narrow minded idiots are what is driving the normal working guy away from football. They simply want success in their life time and screw further generations. Where would we be right now if our grandparents had the same attitude? Watching fourth division Arsenal probably! To all fans who boo the team.... Go away and watch the yids if you want to see your manager throw money at a lost cause and still win **** all.

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