‘For our fans the frustration was that we were so close to convincing everybody of how football can be great, but in the end not being able to deliver.
I would call it disappointed love. It was cruel and sometimes you get excessive responses to that. I share that and understand it.’
I’m trying hard to disagree, but I can’t really.
I love my club. I’m disappointed.
Sad thing is, Wenger only seems to have grasped that this year and I’m still not sure he fully understands the depth of the disappointment. Wenger spoke of the 5% we’re lacking, which guess is still better than the 2% he mentioned last year but still a total failure to acknowledge his team isn’t good enough by a long shot.
Wenger is like gambling addict who blows the family Christmas fund on a horse race, apologises, but secretly rues the bad luck and the what ifs. It’s those what ifs that keep the gambler coming back. The euphoria of finally winning out against the odds, earning the bragging rights and completing on the vision of a seven year obsession that has driven everyone away from him. That’s what will keep him walking the same down trodden Project Youth path.
Wenger’s sympathies are hollow… that’s disappointing, but blindingly obvious. He’s a gambling man who’s had the backing of the house for 6 seasons,that trust is running out fast and pretty soon the house is going to take that trust away along with the untarnished legacy.
That’s the most disappointing part about it all, he’s too arrogant to see it coming.
Apparently financial difficulties are causing the Nasri contract hold up. Like Geoff pointed out earlier in the season, if you’re foreign and you can pick up £40k a week extra elsewhere, why would you stay? Especially after half a good season under your belt! I’d love to know what the deadline is on this. Every week we wait is another week we’re closer to missing out on our targets. We could pruchase Ashely Young if Nasri went, 3 weeks time might be too late… He’ll be Fergie’s.
Guest Post: Project Youth…
Submitted By SurferX
I’ve been thinking about the PL Squad Rules, and the impact of ‘Project Youth’ ageing.
As a refresher –
- Clubs register a squad of up to 25 players, which must include at least eight ‘home-grown’ players, at the end of each transfer window.
- Home-grown players do not have to be English; home-grown players are defined as those who “irrespective of nationality or age, have been affiliated to the FA or Welsh FA for a period of three seasons or 36 months prior to 21st birthday”
- Clubs can supplement squad with unlimited number of players under the age of 21.
Last year, we only submitted a squad size of 20. That was in part because of the large number of regular squad players that were under 21. Next season, if we say that AW won’t let anyone leave (god forbid) – we simply wouldn’t be able to register any more players. That’s because 5 players who could have played as under 21’s need to be registered from next season.
- Carlos Vela,
- Theo Walcott
- Kieran Gibbs
- Armand Traoré
- Mark Randall
So the first thing to state, it’s a 1-in 1-out policy for next season.
Unlike previous seasons, if he wants to buy, he has to ship someone out. He could do it on loan- but what’s the point? The situation will only get worse over the next couple of years.
The following season, 6 players will be crossing the under 21 rule –
- Gavin Hoyte,
- Henri Lansbury
- Jay Emmanuel-Thomas
- Aaron Ramsey
- Wojciech Szczesny
- Craig Eastmond
So of course, none of those have to be registered for the coming season; but they will the season after.
Which means, over the next two seasons we will see a minimum of 6 players leaving the club, plus a number equal to the amount of players he buys.
So, for example, if he brings in 3 new faces each season we’ll see 12 players leaving the club from those listed above or those already registered in last seasons squad. This is huge, we haven’t seen a shake up of the Arsenal Squad on this scale for a long time. So when AW says he will be active in the market, it could be that he’s finally had it with a few of them. More importantly, he has to have a shake up regardless. I think this is playing a crucial factor in his thinking.
The good thing about Project Youth (whether you like it or not) is that we should comfortably always meet the 8 player home grown rule. This is something that some other PL league clubs will start to have trouble with (and the reason why you started seeing the likes of Chelsea also trying to buy up the best talent before they hit 18). Unfortunately, if we take the people from the current registrations that look most likely could leave (Clichy, Bendtner, Denilson) they are all home-grown. Which would only leave 3. Obviously the 5 coming through are all home-grown too; but I wouldn’t expect Traore and Randall (gone) to be playing a big part (or probably Vela).
So, assuming that those 6 above leave this close season, it means (getting back to our 1-in, 1-out) at least 2 of the new arrivals would need to be home grown (effectively you would be then at 13+4=17 non-homegrown players which is the maximum).
So the second point is, whilst project youth has been a success (from the viewpoint of ensuring a supply of players that can make up the 8) it looks like he’ll still need to supplement it by buying a couple of homegrowns in. That makes Cahill more likely than Sakho I’d guess! Again, first time I can remember him doing this for a long time. If he decides that Mannone is surplus, plus Cesc leaves, the number he needs gets worse.
So, Project Youth & the 25 man squad rules is somewhat of a ticking bomb for AW. On the one hand, it will provide him with a stream of youth players to supplement the main squad. On the other, these players eventually need to be registered. So, for the first time in memory, AW is going to have to be a little more proactive at clearing them out if they’ve not made it. If he doesn’t, he simply cannot register any more players.
If you’d like to view the spreadsheet, which I’m sure you all do, you can access it here.
Many thanks to Surfer for his excellent contribution.
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