For every Wilshere, there are more Bentleys!

The Ajax team of the 70’s, Valeriy Lobanovskyi’s Dynamo Kiev of the early 80’s, Sacchi’s Milan of the late 80’s, Di Stefano’s Madrid, Cryuff’s Barca Dream Team, Manchester United of the late 00’s…

What do all these teams have in common?

They are all great teams that had sustained periods of success both domestically and in Europe. The fans of the respective clubs have fond memories of those teams and every team that was built right after will get uncanny comparisons to the aforementioned teams. We can attest to this as Arsenal fans. The closest we had to a great team but was dismantled too early to dominate and be regarded in the highest echelons of football was the invincibles.

The invincibles give me chills just thinking about them giving you a sense of nostalgia each time you watch you tube clips of them. We absolutely adored them; I mean who wouldn’t? They wowed us with skill week in week out. We would go to places like Stamford Bridge, San Siro, Anfield…and completely batter the opposition. Henry would get standing ovations at Anfield you’d be forgiven to think he was one of their own.

Fast forward the years to now and in comparison to that team our current team looks like a pale imitation. Supporters will often be heard saying ‘We want replacements for Vieira/Campbell/Henry…’ but no matter who the boss brings they can’t seem to measure up. Wenger/board has seemingly decided to not take the ‘spend, spend’ route but have decided to build a team from scratch.

Team building is a complicated process. It takes years to develop one that can provide a steady stream of players capable of handling the first team pressure. If you ask various supporters if ‘project youth’ has/hasn’t worked you’ll get two main camps at loggerheads with each other. I won’t get into this now but first I want to compare our youth system with Barcelona’s.

You must have already heard about Barca’s academy known as La Masia. They take players there at very young ages to train them focussing mainly on the technical aspect of the game. Like us they prioritise the technical aspect over the physical aspect with possession drills on 5 a side pitches a very common aspect.

Once you graduate there they take a player to their Barca B team which is plies its trade in the lower divisions of the Spanish league. This is the equivalent to our reserves but with a big difference. Unlike our players they face stiffer competition in the lower leagues which isn’t so apparent in the reserves matches. Most teams here loan out their most promising young players therefore depriving the reserves of some real competition.

Barca as a result can have the same players play in the same team since they were kids to the first team; case in point Cesc, Messi and Pique played through all levels together and were referred to as the class of 87. In England that is not the case since a club has to loan out its most promising players in the lower divisions to test them in a real competition. This is a major handicap in team building through this method in comparison to the Spaniards. We also face lots of difficulty in attaining players.

In England a youth player can only be recruited if he lives in a radius within a driving distance of one and a half hours. Considering how many clubs we have in London it makes it very difficult to acquire youth players. Barcelona on the other hand has only got Espanyol to compete with in a territory that resembles a country.

At Barca B they have a common roadmap for all promising youth players consisting of 3 phases: Phase 1, the player is placed in reserve; Phase 2, reserve-maturation; and Phase 3, being a key player for Barca B. All these phases are allocated 6-9 months each. At the end of each process evaluation is carried out. Graduates of this program get promoted to the first team. We on the other hand don’t have the luxury of having a team in the lower leagues to perform that evaluation in a competitive environment.

To compensate for this Wenger takes a massive risk whereby he promotes players to the first team at a very young age. With this move we expose our players to the spotlight too early. We then proceed to make millionaires out of youngsters. A young player has to have very strong mental attributes to be able to cope with this as our sports psychologist, Jacques Crevoisier, told the Daily Mail in an interview a while ago.

For every Cesc and Jack we have hundreds of Bentleys and Hoytes as a result. Bentley had talent but the spotlight made him think he is already a star. We pamper our youngsters too much making them believe they are established players. We have already seen this in our team this season.

We have recruited Jon Toral Harper from Barca who we are allegedly going to pay him 25-35 times what he got at Barca. He has also received guarantees that he will be in the first team by 2012-2013 season.

A Barca youth player on the other hand will have to bide his time before he gets a first team promotion. Personally I feel this is where we fail. Relying on youngsters who already think they are kings of the world has been our downfall. We choose to force youngsters through in order to vindicate the system.

Barca simply go out and buy established players if they feel their own aren’t ready or not good enough. The standards are so high and a player will have to work very hard to make the cut. Some gain promotion at 18 others at 23 but they never rush their players. I personally feel this is where we need to rectify the system.

Arsene has done a marvellous job with us so far as I have outlined how difficult it is to follow this route especially in England with so many challenges. I maintain we are close to having a great team but he needs to supplement the ones we have with buying players in positions the academy is ill-equipped to provide. The xavis/iniestas/messis were allowed to grow and develop in the backdrop of the likes of Ronaldinho/Deco/Guardiola and as a result they gained experience slowly under no pressure but are now fully developed challenging for honours.

This is the final step to what Wenger has been building towards. Let’s hope he is brave enough to take it this summer to ensure we have another team that will wow us through an entire season from now on.

Written by K-TR7

103 thoughts on “For every Wilshere, there are more Bentleys!

  1. rico

    June 23, 2011 at 10:02am

    Morning All

    Good one KT, thank you – I am not sure Wenger is brave enough, or bold enough to make the signings we need – if he was, surely he would have signed them by now?

    Just as another slips through are fingers, we should have bought Ashley Young….

  2. rico

    June 23, 2011 at 10:03am

    I’m back later…..

  3. Steve Palmer

    June 23, 2011 at 10:15am

    I must say what an informative post this is, when its laid out this clearly its very easily taken in. I must admit i can see now where we are letting ourselves down, the guide lines we use in this country does seem a bit antiquated and surely as you have stated, there must be better ways. I agree with the Barcelona method that if you do not have replacements ready, they go out and buy a player to fill the void, that appears to be the case here at Arsenal although we have young defenders nearing a call up, but it does seem a gamble to install them in, and hope for the best, surly a season where they are used now and again to get them acclimatised is the best way to achieve this. meanwhile we need to buy and the sooner the better.

  4. Joaquim moreira

    June 23, 2011 at 10:26am

    Good morning
    Interesting post.
    Barcelona has a system similar to Sporting, Benfica and Porto I think. Madrid and Atlrtico has more or less the same.
    Bilbau and Real Sociedad too.
    Is it very different to ajax model?

  5. Will

    June 23, 2011 at 10:33am

    As I have said many times, this buying someone will kill the youth is crap. You say to the youth, if you want to play for this team and become a famous player, you have to be better that the player in front of you.

  6. Lee

    June 23, 2011 at 10:40am

    Morning gooners, surely the right additions would incentivise the youth?

  7. Will

    June 23, 2011 at 10:41am

    Exactly Lee, if you have Bergkamp, you tell RvP, iif you want his place, be better than him and if you can’t, we will buy someone who can.

  8. Lee

    June 23, 2011 at 10:50am

    Spot on Will, we need to be miles more ruthless! If you can’t cut it, you’re jogged on, THE END!

  9. Will

    June 23, 2011 at 10:52am

    There is no consequence for being mediocre, just that a kid might come and take your place but then the kid doesn’t have to be that special.

  10. tatiana

    June 23, 2011 at 10:58am

    great post!

  11. terry

    June 23, 2011 at 11:38am

    The problem here is this youth that we have most of have been promised first team football and thats why they joined us. we have given them big money that they did not deserve. It is obvious that if weenger buys senior first team players these youth will fell betrayed and they will want to leave us.

  12. K-TR7

    June 23, 2011 at 11:57am

    Morning all.

  13. ArsenalDK

    June 23, 2011 at 12:11pm

    Morning everyone. Has anyone heard of any done deals? What happened to Gervinho?

  14. goonerstan

    June 23, 2011 at 12:45pm

    Oh to be a gooner…..I miss the invinsibles*sobs*

  15. K-TR7

    June 23, 2011 at 1:05pm

    Thanks Tatiana.

  16. K-TR7

    June 23, 2011 at 1:13pm

    Terry thats a good point.just look at JET and all his Mclaren’s and mercs.his ego must be pretty huge by now and it wouldn’t surprise me if his attitude is what has limited appearances in the first team despite his talent.

  17. JC-is Coming-soon

    June 23, 2011 at 1:22pm

    The author on young g’s say that we don’t really pay our youth more than any other top club. He also said the truth is that if we don’t pay them then they wont come to the club, they will go to another top club. So to get the top talent, you have to pay top dollars or they will leave the club. So if a player is 18 years of age and playing in the first team, their agent will say don’t look on the age, look on the contribution.
    To me its sad, id love for the wages of kids to be lowered, but its a day and age where money rules. Also for a 20 year old like Norvoidt and many others to leave a club in search of first team football is sad because in other clubs 20 is still a reserve age. So to get the best this is the trade off, higher wages and earlier time to get involved in the first team.
    A headline said ” Arsenal star Jay Emmanuel-Thomas arrested at the wheel of his new £100k (Mercedes McLaren) sports car”
    19 year old shouldn’t have such money.

  18. JC-is Coming-soon

    June 23, 2011 at 1:28pm

    so on one hand we are cheap with wages, and on the other hand we give youngsters good money at a young age. So by the time they sign new contracts, their wages increase. At their age a 20year old or so like jack wilsher can sign 3 contracts during his time at arsenal. So a 20 yearold getting 30,000 till 60000 like walcott till 90,000 nearing the peak of his carrier.
    in 2010 arsenal had the 4th highest wage bill.
    “Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City all have a wage bill in excess of £125m per year, Arsenal are fourth in the list with a wage bill of close to £105m per year, while Liverpool have a wage bill of close to £90m per year.”

  19. potter

    June 23, 2011 at 1:42pm

    It is a problem when the first team is so young that the reserves are no more than a youth team. Years ago we had the football combination to give reserves playing time and the South East counties to play youth. When these were in existence everybody got their share of pitch time and reserve matches often got crowds of 5000 or so. As these leagues got disbanded the playing time for first team reserve players has reduced and the developing players have had to go elsewhere to get a competative game. This disenfranchises them from the club and they realise that playing is just a means to an end and providing that the money is good , it really doesn’t matter who they play for. It is only when a young player has a short trip away and comes back quickly like Wilshere that the ( I was bought up here and want to play here ) attitude prevails. It would be better if the ones that have been here since 10 years old or so could have the opportunity to play within the club so that the spirit can be maintained. Bentley could have been a better player had his schooling continued at Highbury. Once he went to Norwich he saw himself as too big for them got lazy and stopped developing. hopefully Lansbury will come back with the right attitude that he showed throughout his loan period.

  20. Jai Prasanth

    June 23, 2011 at 1:56pm

    Barca B play in the second division which is equivalent to the Championship in England.
    They ended up third in the league this season and were not involved in the promotion playoffs to La Liga as not more than 1 team from same club can be in the same division.
    So, if Barca A get relegated , Barca B get relegated to the next lower division.

  21. K-TR7

    June 23, 2011 at 2:13pm

    JC Its really sad how football has gone into disarray.JET is just an example.

  22. K-TR7

    June 23, 2011 at 2:16pm

    I agree potter.ozyakup was stalling on a new contract recently as he wanted assuarances he’ll get a chance in the first team.he is only a teenager!e in the first team.he is only a teenager!

  23. arsenal fan

    June 23, 2011 at 2:24pm

    great post k-tr7,
    loved it
    ashley young is set to join manu i heard he passed their medical

  24. ArsenalDK

    June 23, 2011 at 3:04pm


    I hate reading how our rivals keep buying top class talent!

    Does Wenger not have the money?

    Man Utd have just signed Ashley Young. We have Jenkinson!

    I just want my club back! We have become a mediocre team with unsettled players. How many unsettled players do united have? Chelesa? Barca? :(

  25. Joaquim moreira

    June 23, 2011 at 3:13pm

    Chelsea are willing to pay an annual salary of 5.7 million per Falcao …
    (the termination clause is 30 million)
    It is possible that more players will get to Porto

  26. agirlagunner

    June 23, 2011 at 3:29pm

    Boo! Top write, KT. It is a delicate balancing act, youth and experience. I guess we are tipping over to the side of disastrous. BUT. As long as the transfer window remains open, we have to have hope. Go whip out that checkbook and buy as some class ones, AW!

  27. Merlin96

    June 23, 2011 at 3:32pm

    But the key is still that Wenger needs to build an English Spine like Barca has a Spanish Spine.

    And to instil in those youngsters the pride of playing for Arsenal……..unlike the presence of those french poodles and pretty boys just looking for a lucrative payday with Arsenal as a stepping stone to the next level of richness..

    None better to demonstrate our current maliase in Clichy and Nasri.

  28. Merlin96

    June 23, 2011 at 3:51pm

    Look at Wenger’s track record on his Youth Policy.
    How many of those 15 and 16 years old he had recruited and nurtured at Arsenal made it into 1st team as regular?

    1 – Clichy
    2 – Fabregas
    3 – ????
    4 – Djourou is haivng his 1st break-thru season but injury-prone. But not a regular if Wenger is going to buy 1 or 2 no. experienced CB.
    5 – Traore and Gibbs…not really up there as regular.
    6 – Szcesney – maybe but I rated him behind Fabianski.
    7 – Lansbury? May not even be in squad.
    8 – JET? Nay..not ready.

    Anelka lasted only one season…
    Cashley Cole was in the youth rank befre Wenger.
    Bendtner and Vela are bit-part players, squad member and not regular.

    Contrast that to Ferguson’s track record:
    – Norman Whiteside, Lee Sharpe, Fergie Fledgings and current side…..

    And since 1996 under Wenger, our “Youth Polciy” produces only 2 no. confirmed regulars in CLichy and Fabregas.

  29. allezkev

    June 23, 2011 at 3:54pm

    Great post KT, very interesting to compare different systems clubs use in developing their Kids.

    One thing we have to bear in mind, when comparing the differences in wages, and the way our youngsters behave, between now and in the past, is the advent of the leech….. er sorry, i meant agent..
    Clubs didn’t have to deal with these scumbags in the past, so millionaire teenagers in Mclarens wasn’t a problem. They all got on the Piccadilly line with the rest of us.

  30. Merlin96

    June 23, 2011 at 3:58pm

    What if Wenger buys a DCM?
    I feel that he is above average, decent but not a great player that we need as DCM.

    2011/12 season will bear out like a 18 year old Cesc – whether he will be in First-11 in every game.

    Summary of 2010/11 season?
    Wenger’s Youth Policy an abysmal failure in producing that marquee team we all expected. Instead, we got mediocrity, a team with no bottle.

    The fear is that 2011/12 season only affrim Arsenal is no more top-notch but a mid-table table that can’t attract marquee players to play for us.

  31. Joaquim moreira

    June 23, 2011 at 3:59pm

    AS Roma has proposed a seven million euros for Clichy, accepted by Arsenal and the player a contract that would pay him 30 million over five years, but left-back is more interested in moving to Liverpool.
    The team of the city of the Beatles also submitted a proposal of five million euros, despite lower might be the winner, given the will of the athlete.

  32. allezkev

    June 23, 2011 at 4:06pm

    7 million euros! 5 million euros! You can’t be serious?
    7 million sterling is cheap ffs.

  33. agirlagunner

    June 23, 2011 at 4:12pm

    I know Clichy is not everyone’s cuppa, but I do truly like him. :( I take the offers of these clubs as a personal affront. 😡

    I shall echo you AK: 7 million euros! 5 million euros! You can’t be serious?
    7 million sterling is cheap ffs.

    Hello, Merlin and JM. Not particularly rosy on the AFC transfer front, is it? :(

  34. allezkev

    June 23, 2011 at 4:20pm

    Howdy Agag. You OK?
    It gets more frustrating by the day, all we hear about, is the talent joining up with Old Red Nose at OT, meanwhile LeGenius drags his transfer business on forever…

  35. K-TR7

    June 23, 2011 at 4:27pm

    Cheers AK/agag.

  36. K-TR7

    June 23, 2011 at 4:30pm

    Hi seems to me that the club aren’t willing to keep all Aw interviews he only mentions keeping cesc/nasri.i like clichy but if he does depart lets hope we get an able replacement.

  37. Lee

    June 23, 2011 at 4:31pm

    Hi AK & AGAG, I really struggle to get my head round the valuations of some our players…barca dont think twice about splashing dough on players (villa & sanchez) in front of cesc, but his value has plummeted in their eyes!! Please pay what we want or fuck off, and stop keep trying to un-settle him….classless twats!!!!

  38. agirlagunner

    June 23, 2011 at 4:46pm

    I’m okay, AK. I’m even rhyming 😉 :) Not particularly happy with the players linked to us though.

    Hi, Lee. The Catalans are so full of themselves. The way they talk about Cesc at every given opportunity, you would think they had no midfielders. 😉

    Kt, I noticed that too. Clichy does not seem to be in AW’s plans. But if we’re not buying a good replacement, who exactly do we play in that position? Gibbsy’s had a disastrous season.

  39. allezkev

    June 23, 2011 at 4:46pm

    Hi KT, Hi Lee.
    What i struggle to understand Lee is how everyone undervalues our players, but Young goes for a big fee and it’s hunky dorey…?

  40. allezkev

    June 23, 2011 at 4:52pm

    Agag, i still think there’s a good player waiting to emerge from the injury car-crash that is Gibbo…
    I hear fans criticising the defensive side of his game. But i also recall Ashley Cole being criticised for the same thing when he broke into the team.
    If only Kieron could stay fit for a season or two, then he could mature into the left-back we all hope he could become.

  41. agirlagunner

    June 23, 2011 at 4:59pm

    Gibbs also seems to have confidence issues, AK. Much like Vela. I have high hopes for Vela though. They are both talented, but they need perhaps to play with a bit more bravado.

  42. allezkev

    June 23, 2011 at 5:10pm

    ” I hope the club will understand if i want to take the step up”……. Quote by Christopher Samba, as he prepares for his departure from Blackburn i suspect.?
    Let’s hope that at least one transfer saga concerning Arsenal is coming to a positive conclusion after days/weeks of humbug..?

    Agag, Vela is a funny one… In some games he looks the ‘dogs bollox’, then he’ll disappear next time.
    I know he’s still young, but i’d like to see him impose himself a bit more in games. It certainly looks as if Wenger wants him as part of his immediate plans for 2011-12…

  43. Will

    June 23, 2011 at 5:14pm

    There is an easy fix for this. Get all the teams in the league to have a reserve team and then set up a reserve league like the main one with promotions and relegations. That way, the games are competitive, all clubs that enter the league get someone for the main team, like a deal on wages or something and the clubs can charge £5 a ticket to go watch thus making even more money. What’s that, £300k for every home game?

  44. Joaquim moreira

    June 23, 2011 at 5:28pm

    According to British newspaper, the arrival of Andre Villas Boas on the Chelsea team can dictate the departure of many players in the squad, especially those of well known, that recently have done little to deserve the status of biggest stars of the constellation of Stamford Bridge.
    Aged and hard to find motivation after several years at the highest level, players like Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba and Michael Essien are just some of the names concerned.
    According to the same newspaper, Lampard could leave for around five million euros, the Ivorian striker for 10, as Essien and Florent Malouda.
    Salomon Kalou, John Obi Mikel and Anelka are the other target, as players whose salaries may not justify the sport performance for Villas Boas, more interested in bringing Chelsea to the younger players and their knowledge, as Falcao and Moutinho, two names most talked about in England.

    (Terms of cancellation: 30 million and 40 million euros). as I said a few days ago, the Port could receive 100 million uros cercade Chelsea (although a lack qu assistant coach also has a termination clause …) and speaks into the Hulk (100 million! !).

  45. allezkev

    June 23, 2011 at 7:32pm

    Will, that sounds a really good idea mate.

  46. Lee

    June 23, 2011 at 8:04pm

    Kev, blinding idea from Will and surely not that hard to get going? That means it’ll never happen….

  47. Lee

    June 23, 2011 at 8:07pm

    If you could pick one of the CB’s we’ve been linked with, who’d it be??

  48. rico

    June 23, 2011 at 8:09pm

    Good Evening….

  49. Merlin96

    June 23, 2011 at 8:13pm

    Good evening all.
    I don’t care who a slong as he is a 6′ 4″ of a brute that will intimidate opponents and goes flying in to win headers and not “light-weight” like DJourou eaisly brushed aside by strikers like Zamora……

    Samba, Cahill, Jagielka or Mertsacker…I wil take anyone of ’em!

  50. Will

    June 23, 2011 at 8:22pm

    Kev, you can have up till u16s as learning the game and technique and then from 17 on, have a reserve league that means something.

  51. allezkev

    June 23, 2011 at 8:23pm

    Lee, haha, you are so right mate, it doesn’t stand a chance.

  52. Lee

    June 23, 2011 at 8:27pm

    I’d like any of the above, and Cahill would be my preference, but I think it’s going to be samba we get….is baines going to be too expensive for us?

  53. allezkev

    June 23, 2011 at 8:29pm

    Evening Rico, hiya Merlin.
    Lee i concur with Merlin, i might add Dann to the list as well
    Who would you have Lee???
    Will, that sounds oh so simple, and blindingly obvious.
    They used to have the U17’s and U19’s and it seemed fine to me, but they [PL/FA] can’t stop messing about with it.

  54. rico

    June 23, 2011 at 8:30pm

    I just cannot believe we have yet to sign a defender, is Wenger back in the UK yet??

  55. allezkev

    June 23, 2011 at 8:32pm

    To be honest Will they simply don’t have enough games at Youth/Reserve level. A couple of seasons ago the Stiffs had only a single game in two successive months just after Xmas, if i remember right… That’s just not good enough, it stinks of poor organiation.

  56. rico

    June 23, 2011 at 8:33pm

    Johnson, Cahill or Samba, then, one of the two left aswell – that’s who i would love to see in red and white….

  57. allezkev

    June 23, 2011 at 8:35pm

    Lee, i don’t think Everton would sell Baines, for a price that would tempt Wenger, that’s why i’m not convinced by the Jagielka link

  58. allezkev

    June 23, 2011 at 8:37pm

    And like you Lee, i’d prefer Cahill, and if he goes to the Spuds i’ll be devestated.
    Rico, i’m starting to worry…help…lol

  59. allezkev

    June 23, 2011 at 8:39pm

    Rico, Wenger has probably been hiding at London Colney all summer…
    But i’m optimstic that Samba is on his way, now that he’s come out and spoken of moving ‘up’ to a big club…

  60. rico

    June 23, 2011 at 8:43pm

    AK, i have been worrying for a while now, i just wonder if we have tied up deals for overseas players and they will be announced on july 1st, when the window officially opens….

    I was so sure he would buy EPL ready players though….

    Moussa Sissoko is rumoured again with us….

  61. allezkev

    June 23, 2011 at 8:44pm

    What about Conner Wickham, anyone think he’d be a good signing?

  62. rico

    June 23, 2011 at 8:45pm

    Surely that deal would have been done by now though AK if there was real truth in it, unless wenger is yet again squabbling over a fiver 😉

  63. allezkev

    June 23, 2011 at 8:46pm

    Yeah Rico, i did see something about a £7million bid for Sissoko.
    Where’s KT when you need him?

  64. allezkev

    June 23, 2011 at 8:47pm

    A fiver……..! Do you think they’d push the boat out THAT much???

  65. rico

    June 23, 2011 at 8:48pm

    I think he would be a good signing AK, as long as wenger gets the experience we need too – but, at 6′ 3″, he’d not be a bad option from the bench….

    And of course, he was once at my local team, Reading :)

  66. Lee

    June 23, 2011 at 8:50pm

    Yeah I rate him Kev…maybe as people of said before on HH, the deals are done and dusted!!! There’ll be a grand un-veiling of all buys!!!

  67. allezkev

    June 23, 2011 at 8:51pm

    Reading eh….is he a Berkshire boy then?
    Seriously, Wickham would seem the perfect replacement for ‘Pinky Boots’.
    And it looks like he’ll packing his boots for Dortmund, if newsnow is to be believed [as if they’d lie, perish the thought].

  68. rico

    June 23, 2011 at 8:53pm

    Sissoko sounds like another ‘Diaby’…. 😉

    Moussa Sissoko (born 16 August 1989) is a French football player of Malian descent who currently plays for French club Toulouse in Ligue 1. He plays as a box-to-box midfielder capable of playing in either the holding role or as an attacker. Sissoko is described as a “well-rounded central midfielder” who is “tall, rangy, and strong in the tackle”.[1] His playing style and ability have drawn comparisons with the Malian international Mahamadou Diarra and former French international Patrick Vieira.

  69. allezkev

    June 23, 2011 at 8:53pm

    Maybe, like 1997 Lee, when Wenger un-veiled Overmars, Upson, Grimandi, Petit, Boa Morte, Manninger.

  70. rico

    June 23, 2011 at 8:54pm

    Ok, AK, 10p 😉

  71. allezkev

    June 23, 2011 at 8:55pm

    Well get Sissoko in then Rico, Colin Lewin needs the company…lol

  72. allezkev

    June 23, 2011 at 8:57pm

    10p….Last of the Big Spenders…eh?

  73. rico

    June 23, 2011 at 8:57pm

    Hi Lee, is that the Wickam deal reported as done and dusted??

    AK, he was born in Hereford but was with the Reading youth for 3/4 years..

    What a summer 1997 was, not like the Wright and Jeffers kind of announcement :)

  74. K-TR7

    June 23, 2011 at 8:59pm

    AK sissoko is a very good player from what i’ve seen.however i don’t think most gooners would want us to sign more players of French/African descent.

  75. Will

    June 23, 2011 at 9:00pm

    Kev, it is simple, the Prem and FA make it a rule that you have to have a youth team so young players can play a competitive game and still stay with their club.

  76. allezkev

    June 23, 2011 at 9:01pm

    Rico, that’s the summer that Wenger showed what he could do, and the club, prompted by Dein, backed Arsene, with some serious funds.
    It just goes to show what Arsenal can do if the Board show some ambition…

  77. Lee

    June 23, 2011 at 9:03pm

    No Rico, our plethora of other signings!! 😉

  78. allezkev

    June 23, 2011 at 9:04pm

    Yeah KT, i know what you mean about Franco-Africans, but if he was more Vieira than Diaby, i don’t think they’d worry too much.
    I kinda thought that M’Vila was the better option from what i saw/read.

  79. Lee

    June 23, 2011 at 9:05pm

    1986 England v Argentina on espn classic…..

  80. Lee

    June 23, 2011 at 9:08pm

    Cheating little fuck!!!!

  81. Lee

    June 23, 2011 at 9:12pm

    The real goal he scored, now that was special….

  82. rico

    June 23, 2011 at 9:13pm

    I thought he would have shown the same this wummer too AK, well, certainly by now, maybe he will still surprise us….. 😮

    Ah, thanks Lee, i hoped you meant Wickham 😉 😉

  83. rico

    June 23, 2011 at 9:15pm

    But if he really is like Mahamadou Diarra KT, he’d be ok, but surely we would have to let Diaby go – there is no place for both….

  84. Lee

    June 23, 2011 at 9:16pm

    Is wummer the opposite of sinter?

  85. allezkev

    June 23, 2011 at 9:17pm

    Will, i sense a post in the offing from you on the Youths/Reserves…

  86. Joaquim moreira

    June 23, 2011 at 9:21pm

    In July starts America Cup.
    i’m afraid of next season.
    We can finish on the middle of the table.
    I only listen “good news” from Chelsea, MU, Liverpool, M.City, spurs,…Barcelona, Madrid, Rome,Bayern…

  87. rico

    June 23, 2011 at 9:26pm

    Lee 😆

    I hope he does more in the wummer window than he did in the sinter…..

  88. rico

    June 23, 2011 at 9:33pm

    JM, Its not looking good…

  89. K-TR7

    June 23, 2011 at 9:34pm

    I have just watched career highlights of Marco Van Basten.he won the ballon d’or 3 times despite retiring at 28.its a sad story…

  90. rico

    June 23, 2011 at 9:36pm

    Great player KT, wonderful player……

  91. Will

    June 23, 2011 at 9:37pm

    Not really Kev but that just makes sense to me.

  92. allezkev

    June 23, 2011 at 9:39pm

    Saw Van Basten in the Dennis Bergkamp Testimonial, he just looked like a Rolls Royce of a player.

  93. allezkev

    June 23, 2011 at 9:43pm

    That’s a shame Will…

  94. Lee

    June 23, 2011 at 9:47pm

    Night all…… “ah signings!”…….. :)

  95. allezkev

    June 23, 2011 at 9:55pm

    Good Night Lee, see ya later.
    Righto, i’m offski, see ya Gooners

  96. rico

    June 23, 2011 at 9:56pm

    I’m off too all, thanks again KT

    See you all in the morning :)

    Night Night…..

  97. Steve Palmer

    June 24, 2011 at 8:46am

    Morning all, anything happened

  98. Will

    June 24, 2011 at 9:04am

    Barca are trying to rob us Steve.

  99. allezkev

    June 24, 2011 at 9:17am

    Morning fellas,
    The brown stuff has hit the fan on LG, great entertainment, wakes me up, gets the old grey matter churning…

  100. Will

    June 24, 2011 at 9:31am

    Don’t you want Gazidis to come out with a statement like “Are you taking the piss or what”?

  101. rico

    June 24, 2011 at 9:32am

    Morning guys :)

    New one is just going up, got a couple of things to do then I’ll join you :)

  102. allezkev

    June 24, 2011 at 9:35am

    Will, it’s all a game. They use The Press {Barca] and AFC keep a stiff upper lip and say bugger all…
    Look at how Ferguson reacted when Real came sniffing around Ronaldo, and he also wanted to go. wenger needs to stop acting like a French tart and give Barca both barrels… But he won’t, and our Board are pathetic…

  103. Will

    June 24, 2011 at 9:46am

    All I want is one of the top bods at Arsenal to come out on SSN and say, Barca are devious and piss takers and unless they give us market rates and a proper price, they can do one.

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