Date:Monday January 23 2006
Ex-Arsenal bad boy, Jermaine Pennant, has issued a warning to Theo Walcott, that Arsenal's youth policy may not be as good as it looks.
Pennant, now with Birmingham, seems to think that coming through the youth system at Arsenal means automatic failure, and had this to say.
'I've never seen Walcott play but I've heard he is a good player and the big teams have been in for him so he must be good. I wish him all the best - but it is not going to be easy.
'Are Arsenal the best club to develop at? Things didn't work out for me so it would be hard for me to say but the club has got a lot of faith in him and they will try and nurture him as best as possible.
'It didn't work out for me and hopefully it will work out for him.
'When I was there, my FA Youth Cup team won the competition two years in a row and there is nobody to show for it playing now at Arsenal.'
He went to to (wrongly) slate Arsenal's youth policy and said.
'Only Ashley Cole has come through from the youth ranks so I don't know if the youngsters do get a chance but we will see what happens with Walcott.'
He said: 'You go to Arsenal, you just want to play football, you are so excited and you have a honeymoon period.
'Then as soon as you know you are not playing you start thinking 'what have I done here? why am I not playing? what's happening?'
'There are good times but if you know you are not playing every week, like Walcott has been playing regularly at Southampton, then it can take its toll.
'It is going to be difficult but I'm sure Arsenal have got faith in him and he will come through.
Players who have come through the ranks at Arsenal have gone/going on to had/have great career's, Cole, Fabregas, Bentley, Himself, Clichy are but a few.
Pennant added a word of advice for Theo.
'Have I any advice for Walcott? It would be 'just be patient, train hard and make sure your attitude is right'. If he is good enough as everyone is saying, then Arsene Wenger will give him his chance.'
Attitude??????? That's rich!
Date:Monday January 23 2006
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