Project Youth has backed Wenger into a ‘must buy’ corner

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‘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.’

Disappointed love?

I’m trying hard to disagree, but I can’t really.

I love my club. I’m disappointed.

Disappointed love.

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

Project Youth HQ

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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535 Responses to “Project Youth has backed Wenger into a ‘must buy’ corner”

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  1. Moray

    SUGA3, because it’s ACN year, I’m sure we’re trying to get some reduction on the asking price. Typical Arsenal!

  2. Henry14

    Gervinho sums up everything about wenger.

    its actually amusing.

    french/afrikan and league 1.

    Wenger will fuck it up next season – guaranteed.

    I’m just counting down the days till this clown is finally sacked and i can get back to enjoying football again.

    Hes sucked every ounce of excitment and joy out of me.

    Ask yourselves this……would gervinho be anywhere near chelsea/man u/ man city first teams?

    not a fucking chance.

    so why the hell do we want him!

  3. Henry14

    gervinho will never get you from 4th – 1st.

    ultimatley if we dont sign players good enough to close the 11 point ga whats the point in it all?

    my advice is dont renew – i havent.

    wait for this train crash under wenger to end then start worrying about it all again.

  4. Moray

    Ricky Alvarez and Gervinho? Sounds like the makings of a eurotrash party.

    Add in the signing of Wes Brown from Man Utd, the loss of Nasri, Cesc, Clichy and Arsha and you have the makings of a typical Arsenal closed season

  5. Dutchman

    Gervinho is a very goodbench sitter. Our B-team is fucking shit and that’s what we need to work on. Gervinho is a good player when nasri or someone need a rest. Although i have to agree that the ACN is again fucking it up this year. Wenger really need to sort that out, so we need areplacement for song too. But he won’t sign someone. Fuck wenger! 10m for Gervinho and 10m for Chamberlain = Cahill or Young….

  6. SUGA3

    Henry 14,

    ‘I’m just counting down the days till this clown is finally sacked and i can get back to enjoying football again.’

    same here! Wenger said something about the disappointed love, does he know where it leads?

    when you are in that state, you may still give your ‘lover’ a chance, but not benefit of the doubt, which leads to arguments being sparked by the slightest wrongdoing, real or imagined…

    really thin ice AW is skating on here!


    if we lose these players (maybe bar Clichy, he is gash, but Gibbs is as bad and has the injury record that puts Diaby to ‘shame’) we are totally fucked!

  7. Dutchman

    Moray, haha, yes, wes Brown. I will kill him if he signs another silvestre. But we all know wenger…
    He said PL-experience and tall, so…..

  8. SUGA3


    the fuck we do! put a proper defence in front of Szczesny, then watch him go!


    Wenger is going to royally fuck this all up in his ‘make or break summer’, watch this space…

  9. Dutchman

    But it’s not sure that we want Gervinho, guys. There are some bullshit ppl on twitter, who are talking about it. Put you can put everything on the internet.
    I still believe that he will go to newcastle or the spuds.

  10. Moray

    Dutchman, if Gervinho is being signed as a bench sitter then fine, it would also mean we could expect Benzema, Bojan etc etc to play up with RVP in the first team.

    We have all seen too much of Wenger’s transfer policies over the last few years to believe that Gervinho wouldn’t be playing most games, shit or otherwise…

    don’t big names also sell big shirts? And I don’t mean Jan Venegoor of Hesselrink (sic)

  11. Dutchman

    SUGA, well, that’s good news then. I want wenger out, so….

    About gervinho, there is nothing in the media to found about arsenal and gervinho, so… Bullshit!

    And the fucking media can’t stop with the fabregas rumours. no they are saying we have finally given up on cesc and set a 54m price tag on him. It’s obvious that cesc is staying, so the media has to stop with that bullshit. Last year, i think that cesc was going to Barcelona every day, and it begins all over again 😛

  12. Dutchman

    Yeah mora,y but wenger still lives in the ninetees.
    He thinks that no player is worth more then 15m. He is fucking stubborn and the only way we will spend big is when wenger leaves.

    SUGA, yes i think that nasri will sign new contract. My sources said so.

  13. Chop-Suey

    SUGA, the team needs a GK who would bail out our shit defenders more often

    i agree on WS but i couldn’t stand seeing Flappy between the sticks again

  14. SUGA3


    what sources? Wenger himself says there is a bit of a disagreement over the money and he will get £120K per week easily at Yoonited, because it’s peanuts in today’s market…

    once AW went public with that, there is more than 50% chance that he will not be here next season!

    Cesc’s heart is not in it any longer, he would be with the team at Craven Cottage otherwise, don’t be naive…

  15. SUGA3

    Chop Suey,

    there is no way anyone could bail them out more often, there is no such GK!

    but I agree on Fabianski, I always thought he was a shit buy…

  16. Moray

    SUGA3, it beggars belief that we sign up Rosicky, Denilson, Almunia and Eboue on long-term deals and let those of Nasri and Clichy run down…terrible contract management by Arsenal, that. The point is, we put ourselves in these situations. We create a blame “no responsibility” culture and then get angry when players like Denilson and Bendtner blame the club for them not winning a trophy…

  17. SUGA3


    it was the same with Flamini – why was he not offered a new long term contract after the 05/06 season when he played in whichever position he was asked to play in and pissed all over CL playing out of position is beyond me…

    shocking indeed!

    catch you guys later, need to take my car to the garage…

  18. Moray

    Wenger has no balls any more.

    He is so set on not killing the goose that lays him 6m quids worth of golden eggs every year, that he simply won’t risk a big signing flop.

    I believe he was forced into signing Arshavin as it was.

    So, we get sub 10m players often picked from obscurity who occasionally up their game, but who will never take us to the top.

    It is like Accountant managing – always hedging our bets to cover a smaller loss then accepting a smaller win. This would be fine, were our rivals not gambling with bigger chips. Simply a lack of ambition and fear of having to take flak for failure. Better for some to stay a small side overachieving than risk being a big club underachieving. unfortunately, so long as many of our fans think the same, this situation will remain the same

  19. Dutchman

    SUGA, so you think that wenger would let nasri and fabregas go, no fucking way. And i agree that 120 000 is nothing today. Wenger needs to stop with his rules that we have a maximum wage. The point is we give so much money on youngsters like JET etc. they earn so much money. We could easily gave other player more wages. We ahve the money.

  20. Moray

    I heard that C Ronaldo had paid for his signing to Real within a year through shirt sales…this is patently bollocks, however does anyone have any stats about this kind of thing? It would be interesting to think what we could make through merchandising should we snap up Benzema, say. Surfer?

  21. SUGA3


    D******n, Diaby, Rosicky, Bendtner – these could be easily replaced by two top quality players each of them earning the combined wages of two from the above list, the difference would be that they would not be fucking useless!

  22. Gooby

    no i don’t think it’s clever and i said it earlier

    was it in 2006? is it a long time ago?

    i don’t think nasri deserves 120k/w that’s just my opinion though, and it isn’t peanuts.

  23. SUGA3


    given what happened between 2006 and now (Chelsea, Shitty), it may not be long time wise, but realistically we are talking about two different eras and it’s not changing no matter how much OGL whinges about it…

    £120K is going rate for the likes of Nasri, AW does not want to give it to him, as it will result in Cesc asking for £200K, simple as that…

    I can live with Nasri on £120K, it’s D******n and the like being at the club (full stop) that offends me no end!

    really off now, laters 😉

  24. Moray

    While 120k per week is a ridiculous salary anyway, in terms of modern football, it’s not actually that much.

    I think we can’t afford to lose Nasri, I really dont, I can see Cesc and Arsha walking out this summer.

  25. gambon

    I agree with Suga.

    Does anyone really know Nasri is asking for £120k? No, he could be asking for £100k.

    I dont care if he’s on £20k or £300k per week, I like the player and want him in the team.

    However we really have to move forward in terms of wages. We pay kids too much and are constantly signing kids for £500k per time.

    We need to pay our top players more or they will keep leaving, and we will fall out of the top 4.

    Sell the likes of Almunia, Denilson, Diaby, Squillaci, Eboue, Bendtner, Vela and restructure how we pay these players.

  26. Rohan

    Please Arsene. Not Gervinho. Buy Ashley Young if you want, but not fucking Gervinho. It’d probably be a better idea to stick Bendtner on the wing.

    Loic Remy is twice the player which is not saying much really.

  27. gambon

    “It’d probably be a better idea to stick Bendtner on the wing”


    The quicker that mental cunt and his dad are fucked off the better.

  28. Rohan

    I quite like Kevin Gameiro though. Think he could do the job for us. If we’re not getting Higuain, I’d get him. Proper poacher and fox in the box.

  29. Rohan

    If Nasri gets 120k, then RvP and Cesc will both ask for 200k which will send us into a spiral and a massive inequality in wages which can’t be a good thing even if we offload some players.
    Ideally, I’d pay Nasri 100k and then give him performance-related bonuses.

  30. gambon

    RVP can shove it, he should be on a pay as you play deal.

    Cesc may ask for £150k pw, but as he says “we have to decide if we want to win trophies or develop kids”

  31. Wenger the liar

    Cesc wont be signing another contract with us.

    RVP can get £200k a week, pay as you play, should work out to around £80k a week.

    I feel like this when I think of Arsenal.

  32. SUGA3

    as for the inequality of wages, I don’t think it’s a bad thing, it gives the others something to aspire to!

    currently the wage structure is a leftie’s wet dream, there was this saying in communist Poland:

    ‘Whether you stand or lay, whatever the effort, it’s the same pay’

  33. Henry14

    Im sure i read an interview RVP did and i’m sure his new contract was £70K a week?

    If that’s the case i highly doubt Nasri is taking 120K

    Nearly double Robin? No chance.

    I would think Cesc and Arshavin are on £90K the rest less.

  34. Henry14

    Do you know the last time i remember the emirates buzzing – i mean truly buzzing?

    Jan 09 – Arshavin. The little man was dynamite in his first 6 months and he gave everyone a huge lift.

    Arsenal need 2 marque players that are going to put bums back on seats.

    All this crap about Gervinho and Odemwingie is exactly what is wrong with us at the moment – nobody gives a shit and actually it’s more a collective groan when you hear these names.

    Wenger is so far out of touch it’s honestly scary.

  35. SUGA3


    that’s the thing with ‘disappointed love’: you want the other side to go some lengths to win you back, repeating the same behaviour that disappointed you in the first place does anything but!

  36. Henry14

    I would also like to say i would rather give a £200K a week contract that Nasri £100K.

    Anyone that would rather keep Nasri than Cesc is crazy.

    Cesc is twice the player Nasri is and personally i would be suprised if he has as good a season next season.

    I think he’ll sign a new deal, be average next season and then we’ll sell him for £20M.

    Only my opinion.

  37. SUGA3

    as for OGL being out of touch, well, it’s the fans that created this monster in the first place!

    unfortunately, he has a very short memory: when we got dicked by Yoonited in the season before last, he sang out of the same hymn sheet he did after some failures in the last, did he change anything?

  38. Henry14

    Sell Nasri and get Young and possibly Hazard if he’s as good as people say.

    I would try for Micah Richards good player and a monster – big Arsenal fan i’m told.

    I still think Robinho would have been great for Arsenal.

  39. SUGA3

    Young is on his way to Yoonited, which is a shame…

    Micah Richards is a non-starter, why would he leave the club where he is more likely to win trophies and earns more money?

    especially after his recent comments bigging up Shitty?

    as for Robinho, well, we would need a manager with balls to manage this kind of character!

  40. Henry14

    Rohan – he might be that’s the thing, nobody has a clue!

    but when it was signed all the press here were reporting £70K

    I honestly doubt that we have any players on £100K basic wage.

    Possibly with add ons and image rights.

  41. Henry14

    Rohan – Micah Richards shit? lol

    He’s a 22/23 year old monster and he’s had a great season for City.

    He would eat Kos and his fucking family for breakfast.

  42. gambon


    You will never see any player telling the world what their salary is in an interview.

    I think most people are way off when they estimate salaries.

  43. Moray

    Why would Micah Richards leave 3rd place Man City for 4th place Arsenal? We don’t even have positional superiority over them any more…

  44. Henry14

    Suga – i know young is utd bound but why not hijack it?

    In the same way they do other deals.

    Come in and offer him more. He would be more effective on the left of front 3 than Nasri in my view because he can mix it up with crosses.

    He can also take free kicks and corners properly.

  45. Henry14

    I’m not saying he would leave – but they do have a shit load of defenders.

    The point is we never EVEN fucking TRY to sign any of these players.

    12 months ago this guy wanted to leave.

  46. SUGA3


    hijacking the Yoonited deal would be a sign of ambition…

    and that’s why it won’t happen with Wenger still in his job and that Yank twat being the owner!

  47. Henry14

    Suga – lol if you had told me that 3 posts ago i wouldn’t have bothered responding.

    If bendtner played for any other club but Arsenal – we would all think he was pony.

  48. Henry14

    Gambon – no i agree it’s just the press were reporting £70K and all of a sudden he’s on £100k plus on here.

    I doubt anyone knows but i also doubt the press will be out by much.

  49. Henry14

    I would play him CB – which is what i was talking about.

    But he can play both RB/CB anyway so good addition either way.

  50. gambon


    I would say hes somewhere close to £100k. In terms of pay per game hes the best paid player in the world.

    Our waqge bill is £120m.

    When you consider Wenger & Gazidis earn £8m, there must be some well paid players out there.

  51. gambon

    I dont think Richards will ever be a great CB, I think he could be an absolutely awesome RB though.