Arsenal’s Golden Conveyer Belt Of Talent Can Lead Them To Greatness

By on October 28, 2011

Arsenal is well documented on their youth policy. Ever since manager Arsene Wenger arrived at the club back in September 1996, in which he brought youngster, and future captain, Patrick Vieira with him, his stance on youth football was well established.

The Frenchman also revolutionised Arsenal’s current training facilities in Hertfordshire, in which there are three training pitches for both the first teams, reserve team and youth team. This more so than any other factor illustrates Wenger’s feelings on the importance of a youth setup. By dedicating the same facilities that the first-team are use, to the youngsters, a vital integration between the two generations can be made allowing the younger players to learn from the more established, senior players.

Despite the Gunners’ excellent facilities, considered by many as the best in the country, there has been evidence of a lack of British talent rising through the famed youth academy. Players such as Justin Hoyte, Jermaine Pennant, David Bentley all showed promise but were all eventually shipped out to rival Premier League clubs. Yet for the critics keen to knock Arsenal for their supposed “anti-British” policy it is worth pointing out that the likes of Ashley Cole, Ray Parlour, Jack Wilshere and even Kieran Gibbs to a certain extent, all of whom were snapped up by Arsenal at a young age, are or were considered integral parts of Arsenal’s history.

Yet, there is no doubting that Wenger prides himself on his scouting system, with former players such as Giles Grimandi and Daniel Karbassiyoon sent on extensive trips around the globe in order to uncover the best young talent. When promising players are unearthed, Wenger turns to his shrewd spending tactics to lure the most promising players in for mere pennies. Despite being linked with players like Sergio Ramos, Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku in the past, their inflated price-tags have seen Wenger turn to lesser, albeit just as promising young players in the market.

These players such as Fabregas, Flamini, Walcott, van Persie and the like are then all “blooded” into the first-team through continuous exposure to cup competitions, a notion that Wenger has become famed for. And while some players such as Amaury Bischoff, Jay Simpson and Kerrea Gilbert among others have failed to make the grade at Arsenal. Wenger and his coaching staff deserve an enormous amount of credit for building a squad capable of competing in four competitions year in year out for mere pennies compared to other clubs.

Arsenal also proved in their recent Carling Cup victory over Bolton that this golden conveyer belt isn’t about to stop any time soon. The talented Oxlade-Chamberlain, the ever improving Frimpong as well as Coquilen and debutant, Nico Yennaris proved that Arsenal still possess gifted youngsters even if the team are in need of more senior players. A look at the youth league will see Arsenal three points short of top-spot alongside famed academies such as West Ham and Crystal Palace. While the reserve table (where many of these youngsters learn their trade) sees Arsenal lying in third place, proving that the youth policy has its many advantages.

And with the future always on the horizon players such as Lansbury, Watt and Miquel have promised when selected. But the players that Arsenal fans should really be excited about are Afobe, Aneke, Miyachi and Daniel Boateng, all of whom have the potential to lead Arsenal to greatness.

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5 Comments

  1. Archimedes

    October 28, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    If argument true then reserve and youth league positions should be top with a big margin? If not the claim is hollow as youngsters in other clubs are better and they too become better players at 1st team level.

  2. chris from Cambridge

    October 28, 2011 at 11:55 pm

    What is this conveyor belt of golden talent you refer to ? Most of those coming through from our juniors end up playing for Nondescript Utd. Who are the big stars we have developed from teenagers ?

    Ashley Cole .. yes

    Fabregas of course – we pinched him from Barca (legally).

    Song is strong and quite skilful.

    Wilshere could be big time – if he stays on the rails.

    RVP was good before we bought him.

    Walcott ? Not in my book.

    Clichy – good footballer, poor defender!

    And Djourou, Bendtner, Senderos, Vela, Diaby, Denilson, Gibbs, Bentley, that other young Spanish bloke, Fabianski ? plus many, many others who have not made it anywhere near the top grade !

    It seems our junior ranks have produced about one big winner per 3-5 years. Otherwise lots of disappointments.

  3. Hallik Koahi

    October 29, 2011 at 12:37 am

    @chris from cambridge:

    You are an idiot, are you forgetting the players such as Thierry Henry at the age of 22(and before that with Wenger at Monaco), Nicolas Anelka at the age of 17, Freddie Ljungberg at the age of 21….so please shut up and do your homework before you comment, saying that some of the greatest players that the modern game of football has seen… are “Disappointments”

    • Hallik Koahi

      October 29, 2011 at 12:39 am

      Nice article by the way, maybe could have gone even further back to Wenger’s original signings…you would get less people having a go. Nice work

      • ZAK THE GOON

        October 29, 2011 at 9:46 pm

        I only see you moaning like a bitch, if you think you can do better then write an article yourself and not be so rude to someone who bothered to share his opinion.

        P.S Good Article.

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