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Arsene Looks To British Core

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is looking to his core of young British players to lead the future for Arsenal. With Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, Kieran Gibbs, Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey on the verge of new deals and Carl Jenkinson already signed, Arsenal have a core of young English players emerging for probably the first time since the beginning of George Graham`s reign.

Having watched young continental players, such as Fabregas, Nasri, Adebayor, Clichy and Song drift away, whilst the likes of Denilson, Bendtner and Vela didn`t quite make the grade, the Arsenal manager is confident his new British crop might be more inclined to stick it out in North London.

"I believe we have a good core of young English players. We couldn`t keep the good core of young foreign players but I hope we will be capable to build a team around all these young England players who can achieve something together," the boss pointed out following the 5-2 win over Reading.

"Somewhere the players must say 'let`s do it together`. If you educate players, the faith is in their hands. They must want to do it together at some stage."

One young Brit whose future looks less secure with the club is Theo Walcott, whose contract expires in the summer. Speaking about the player he signed as a 16 year old, Wenger said, "It is not my decision - it is Theo`s decision as well. If it is my decision it is quickly done.

"I believe he has been educated at Southampton and Arsenal and he has become a top player. I hope that when he considers his future he will consider Arsenal is the best place for him and sign for us.

"I do not want to come out on details of Walcott`s contract but simply say our desire and will is clear and he knows that. Hopefully we can get to a happy ending."

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

The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday December 18 2012

Time: 11:29AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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Bit of a fantasy but imagine if we had the clout and stubbornness to hold onto some of those players, Cesc, Nasri, Van Persie - and made some of the additions we've already made, would be a genuinely world class team.
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18/12/2012 11:42:00

No contract is valid for more than 3 years so to secure a player you have to start discussing the next contract by the end of the first year. Two things are important to player retention; firstly the financial power to compete which will depend on financial strength and financial fair play and secondly success on the pitch. The two go hand in hand but I'm not sure that without those things British players are necessarily any more loyal than foreign players.
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18/12/2012 11:45:00

Agreed, Cole and Campbell were just as “flighty.” Whilst they ultimately weren’t good enough, the likes of Bentley and Pennant didn’t stick around either. There again, they weren’t playing I suppose.
Little Dutch
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18/12/2012 11:49:00

It depends on the player obviously, Rooney still thought nothing about dumping on his boyhood club for the whory glory 30 miles down the road. I do think sourcing lads from say a 75 miles radius will offer the club a little more in terms of a continuity, a constant. If you have family in the area, your roots local, maybe even a history in your family with members supporting the club it does give a sense of pride and loyalty that someone from another country may not necesarily have. Sure they will get the club, they'll in the main enjoy their time here and possibly remember their time here with fondness (maybe not a good percentage of recent signings granted) but will they stand up when the chips are down? Will they fight for a cause they know is lost? Highly unlikely. A player like Jenkinson would though.
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18/12/2012 11:55:00

This is what it is, a feel good statement for the fans. The truth of the matter is that English players are worth more than the sum of their parts. The best are brand names rather than just footballers. English footballers will be key to our financial success and marketability in years to come. They are more likely to stay at a top English club than foreign born players, but there's no guarantee. Rooney didnt stay for love he held man u to ransom, but I'll bet they've recouped a fair bit of that from the Wayne Rooney brand.
Arsenales f.C
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18/12/2012 12:31:00

Wilshere is probably worth more to us in terms of marketability in our primary Market than the entire foreign born contingent of our squad right now. Probably close with Walcott as well. A team of 'great hope' English cavaliers markets itself a lot better than a team of 'foreign mercs'.
Arsenales f.C
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18/12/2012 13:08:00

Exactly my sentiments, depends on the players. Theoretically, it sounds like Brit players will stick around for longer, but there is evidence to suggest otherwise. One way to keep them together is to generate success (and even that didn't stop Cashley). There is too much about the club's strategy that is built on hope (1st it was a young core group, now it's a young Brit core group, then it's the FFP). There is no perceptible Plan B.
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18/12/2012 13:12:00

It doesn't make much sense to suggest that the club has apparently made a conscious decision to move from an international young core (they haven't of course as Eisfeld, Gnabry, Martinez, Angha, Toral, Bellerin and many others illustrate) to a British young core and then claim there's no Plan B. Wouldn't that be a Plan B? In reality of course the only alternative plan would be to do away with youth development altogether - or would that be a Plan C? What's frustrating for some is that AFC are sticking firmly to Plan A because so far nobody has a viable alternative that would change anything.
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18/12/2012 13:45:00

I'd say that this was the Plan A all along - to build a young British core to complement the young existing squad was always the plan, so we were told by Wenger. I only hope that people at the club have a viable alternative in case this doesn't work (what if scenarios in case Wilshere, Ramsey and Gibbs leave us after another 2 years). We seem to be reactive in this area.
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18/12/2012 14:04:00

There isn't a viable alternative other than to produce/develop as many players as we can ourselves and import those players we can't generate which is about as pro-active as it gets in football. Reactive would be going into the transfer market at every opportunity in the hope that you can find some one the money clubs that'll be good enough.
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18/12/2012 14:24:00

I understand what you're trying to say, Amos, but the club's plan was to blood a core group of youngsters for the long term which did not work with the departures of Cesc, RvP... the failure of Denilson.... we didn't go about trying to fix those issues in a planned/structured manner. The club looked a bit lost when their initial plan did not work, particularly in the transfer market.
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18/12/2012 14:51:00

Stopilla Sunzu. We are continuing our tradition of signing players with absolutely great names
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18/12/2012 15:32:00

The fact that we've continued to achieve at least CL qualification (and 3 cup finals) as well as modest though ultimately unsuccessful progress in most cup competitions while putting the club on a sound financial footing would lend support to an argument, at least as strong, that the 'project' hasn't failed. That it got us through a hazardous period in the club's history. Cesc might be seen as a special case whereas RvP wasn't a teen when he joined us. That we couldn't keep the core together over the last 2 or 3 seasons particularly has more to do with external pressures in the game allied to the change in player contract law. The team has been mugged somewhat prior to FFP and if that doesn't have any teeth it will probably continue despite improving commercial income but I don't think the club has looked lost at any stage. For better or worse it has stuck resolutely to plan A as carrying the best chance of enduring success.
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18/12/2012 15:38:00

To be honest we're 5th right now, having not competed in the league for a significant portion of the season. If we actually manage to click with this team we could still outpace our surrounding teams and that includes Chelsea. Don't get me wrong, I think Wenger was right to take a principled stance on the matter, but it did look as if Walcott was finally ready to play as a striker. I think the goal for England against Sweden jolted some confidence into his play, it's been unreal for him at times this season. It looks like he's finally hitting his potential. I like Gary Neville's pre-match analysis where he suggested a wage structured around bonuses, I think it could be a more progressively targeted waging structure for Arsenal; a way of highlighting a player's importance to the team and having a wage value that reflects that. Number of first team starts as a measure would jolt some life into those on the periphery and make them try that little bit harder to get in the team.
Arsenales F.C
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18/12/2012 16:20:00

The calmness with which he tucked that goal away with his left foot only arrived after that left footed screamer to put England back in the game against Sweden. He has taken a while to develop, but I think he looks like he could be a very good player now.
Arsenales F.C
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18/12/2012 16:38:00

But if we are prepared to capitalise on the market potential of our English players we do need to put in the work. look at what Man U have done with Rooney. A £5 million deal for 5 books, they have his twitter rigged to send out promotional pics of his team mates and of other England players to all his followers. It's a proper business. Giroud and even Arteta whilst good players will never command that value. English players are worth more in England, because they are simply worth more revenue in England. The valuation of the player should reflect it, it could be tied in to his contract, percentage of image rights, etc. I'm sure the player advisers if they're good ones will realise that could be very lucrative.
Arsenales F.C
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18/12/2012 17:18:00


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