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Fergie Defends Wenger Shocker

Fergie Defends Wenger Shocker

In a season of surprises, Sir Alex Ferguson is the latest to provide a shock to football fans all over the world by sticking up for his arch nemesis Arsene Wenger.

Le Boss has been often criticised for fielding teams made up entirely of non-English players, but his old buddy has defended Wenger's honour by claiming the English academy system is at fault and not the Arsenal gaffer.

In a time when success, and plenty of it, is key to remaining top of the tree for many years, clubs such as Arsenal & Man Utd can not wait around for the youth systems and academies to catch up with the rest of the world.

Speaking in an interview where questions regarding the lack of English players in our top flight were posed, Fergie stuck up for his old mate.

'Your obvious slant is towards Arsenal, Arsene Wenger is very strong on French football and African players.'

'Why should he not take advantage? The problem doesn't lie with Arsene Wenger, it's with the system.'

'When the academies were set up, Howard Wilkinson said England would win the World Cup within 10 years. Well, they have been going eight now and I can't see it.'

Despite being the Man Utd manager, he is of course correct.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Friday February 16 2007
Time: 10:29PM


Poor Graham Taylor today was bemoaning the fact that 60% of Premiership players where foreign stating that in Italy (a country where football corruption is rife and half the stadiums cannot open) its 27% and thats why they won the World cup. Poor Graham forgot to mention that during his tenure the % of foreign players was 20% during which England were humiliated in Euro 92 (1 goal and no wins) and DIDNT qualify for USA 94. If he keeps on digging like that he'll be able to tell us how many foreign players ply their trade in Australia!
16/02/2007 22:43:00
in the interest of competition and achieving the best, by the logic of england number 2 terry vegetables - we should put B class english players into our acadamys over the A class french/spanish/african players etc - why didnt we see this before? thats the way to win! thats how you become the best! you stop playing with people better than you and only play with yourself - makes perfect sense! if i start fights with 8 year old kids and 80 year old grampas and go on a rampage of 30 wins 0 defeats that means at the olympics ill surely win gold for england in the boxing
16/02/2007 22:46:00
Every time I hear these arguments I just point out that GREECE won euro 2004!
16/02/2007 22:57:00
Fergie makes sense, but I WAS suprised that he chose to use Arsene's name specifically, to make a point. In the short run, it is surely going to have an impact on england coz they will lose out to more talented players from other countries. but in the long run (and im sure academies have been set up keeping the long term in mind), the english players will learn to cope with the competition.
16/02/2007 22:59:00
don't be too surprised Prits, it has come to light that they are not at each others throats as much as we all assumed, and i always felt they'd a large respect for each other. After all, they've been the two heavyweights for th e past 8 years til maureen and Roman the Russian came along. Fergie probably gets fed up with all the tosh being talked in the press too, about how good the players are in this country. »»Arsene Knows««
16/02/2007 23:20:00
The basic problem is I think what has been described as the 90mins rule. There was the classic case of Dean Bowditch who Ferguson wanted but lived in Suffolk, so couldn't join Man U and ended up going to Ipswich. Now no disrespect to Ipswich but you do wonder if his talent would have been realised at the Man U academy. What is daft is that Spurs can pick up someone from Prague, but not a similarly talented young player playing in Bristol. I think my criticism of the Gunners has been when journeyman veterans like Cygan and Alumina have been brought in and youngsters like Stewart Taylor and Matthew Upson moved on. Whilst no-one such question talents like Fabregas and in the future Denilson and Diaby, there have been one or two players who have impeded the progress of some of the English players you brought along. Hopefully the new EC/UEFA rules will force the FA to slacken their regulations and the country's top youngsters can go to any academy.
16/02/2007 23:31:00
Sir_Harry, i think that in the case of someone like cygan, the reason he stayed at arsenal the lenght of time that he did was that he was more likely to be amiable at not playing every game, whereas someone like upson would have felt the need to at some point break through and show what he can do. I think this is one area where Arsene has shifted and refined his policy most, he recognised a while ago his shortcomings in allowing the younger players the chance top prove their worth, and moved to rectify it, it was a problem he admitted he was sad to have been guilty of not realising and rectifying earlier. As for Almunia, he has proved an able deputy for Jens, not sure he'll ever make an Arsenal numero uno, but a good keeper to call upon. He can definitely feel that he's not let anybody down this year when called upon... »»Arsene Knows««
16/02/2007 23:44:00
Almunia has, in recent weeks proved that he isn't just here to make up numbers, indeed I would be happy to see him as our number one when Jens goes, where as Taylor can't get into the Villa team and there is a reason why no big clubs wanted him.....why should we keep him just to satisfy a quota? The case with Upson and Cygan is entirely different. Wenger wanted to keep Upson but he wanted to go for first team football, where as Cygan was happy to sit on the bench, again there is a reason why Upson now plays for West Ham!
16/02/2007 23:59:00
I can definietly see Almunia as our number one next year. His appearances this year have seen him become so more commanding, and assuring in the box. But surely AW wont let someone like Almunia be the first choice, not once this season have i seen him try and push over an opposing striker, or run 40 yards to moan at the referee cos Kevin Davies looked at him funny! God bless you Jens, i'll miss you if you leave!! As for the English lads being given a chance, in the past he may not have given the youngsters enough time, but was this down to their impatience? Granted it may be annoying to get sent out on loan for a year, maybe two. But go learn, and come back stronger. Justin Hoyte looks a lot better than he did before he went to Sunderland. As for the rest of the lads that he let go, if they are good enough they will succeed elsewhere and it will be AW's loss. Just because they are English does not mean they have the right to be given longer to prove themselves, or more chances-sadly though i believe this may begin to be the case.
17/02/2007 00:11:00
Fergie is right. I wonder what manutd fans and the english media would say against Fergie. Fergie's statement has effectively ended their rants. Arsenal not buying/having english players is not the problem of the national team, the system is at fault. GREECE ARE THE EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS AND THEY DIDN'T HAVE TO DEPEND ON THEIR LEAGUE TO WIN THE COMPETITION
17/02/2007 00:47:00
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