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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Denilson / Bendtner attracting interest… | Jack talking up black arts | Berbatov & Drogba considered?

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Arsene Wenger taking a holiday in South America is about as exciting as it gets on the news front. Mind you , I’m not holding my breath, we always get excited about Arsene’s working holidays… Remember when he took his cheque book to the World Cup…? That was more disappointing than the surprise transfer of Silvestre. This Alvarez rumour doesn’t want to give up though… He scored again at the weekend and being a free transfer with an Italian passport has all the hallmarks of an Arsene signing.

I was excited to read that Sevilla are interested in taking a punt on Denilson. Almost as excited as I was to read that Sarah Palin is thinking of running for President. Shock and awe is bringing sexy back… Good times world, good times!

I can see The Emirates from Pedro's bedroom (Dream sentence)

Apparently we’re asking for £8million, roughly the fee I was slated for suggesting a few months ago. It would be a good move for the Brazilian and I hope it’s pushed through.

The infamous Thomas Bendtner has told the press his son is on the Market for £9.1mil a million miles off my estimate of £15mill and a fair price for a player I’m pretty sure will do well in a system more suited to his cumbersome style… Bolton say… who lost Elmander to Galatasaray.

FIFA are dominating the press for all the usual reasons. I’m staggered that all the football associations are so spineless about this damaging problem. Why can’t all the major nations club together and set up their own Governing body? What use is an unethical ethics commission presiding over corruption? Who needs the World Cup anymore, club football is king! Why should a corrupt Qatari (now suspended) and a corrupt Swiss be contending the most prestigious position in world football, when one get knocked out of the running for corruption, why should one man be allowded to stand unopposed for a 4th term! Why isn’t someone like David Dein or the countless other qualified people in world football throwing their hats into the ring?

Why can no one suggest a better candidate than those two muppets…?

Maybe because they all play the same game as FIFA. We booked a friendly with T&T as a favour to Jack Warner, we booked a friendly this summer to Thailand to win votes (a game we cancelled when the Thai’s shafted us) and we’ve also back numerous grass-roots projects in Africa and elsewhere for the same reason (especially appalling considering the lack of grass-roots funding we’re getting over here). The fact is, the game is rotten to the core at the moment and everyone is as bad as each other. If we want to be seen as pioneers in the game again, we should take a stance, rip apart our failing FA and start again.

We need to inject a bit of morality into the game again and lead by example… until we admit we have problems ourselves, we can’t begin to lecture the rest of the world on their wrongs.

So rumour has it Berbatov is available for £7.5mill… I appreciate from an attitude perspective he’s a no go but for me, he’s a super player who’ll want to prove himself… Worth a punt? Maybe! Talking of cheap options, I’m pretty sure Drogba and Anelka are up for grabs… If we’re looking for experience you’ll struggle to find better. Chelsea are close to tying up a deal for Lukaku… obviously we’re interested in his 15 year old brother. The man from Belgium is supposed to be a bit of a player, it’s a shame we’re not looking at him. His name has been bandied around the LG comment section for a few years now… Arsene, if you need some help, drop by, I’m sure the Grover’s would be pleased to share.

German Eurosport are reporting Diego Benaglio of Wolfsburg is subject of an Arsenal offer. It all sounded reasonable until they mentioned they wanted a deal the other way involving Almunia… now I’m not so sure. We need a 3rd keeper, I’m not sure an international quite works though?

Deals are out there to be had if the manager fancies it this summer… United will be busy as will everyone else, inaction is not an option… proaction is… or being proactive… or something like that.

Finally, Jack Wilshere has said what we’ve been saying most of the season… We lack the right attitude to win games. He even mentioned the fact we don’t hassle the referee during games (remember the hammering you gave me for encouraging the dark arts?)… Not something we like, though not something we can ignore is effective.

Jack has the right to stand up and say things like that… Trouble is we’re hearing the same things from all the players… It’s all a bit blame culture to be honest which is a sign of poor management. Players need to be told, trained and guided on everything when they’re so young… perhaps that’s why Wenger should take note and bring in some experience?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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Almunia spotted in Ibiza | Neymar / Hazard should be on agenda

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So… There I am, cutting some shapes in Ibiza and in rolls Mr Almunia, minus his stupid cat dog. He was pretty upset about his poor form this year but as long as he has a bottle of bleach and some accepting friends, he’s happy.

Farewell sir… It’s been painful.

News filtered through that Tom Cruise had been told he was surplus to requirements, I can imagine he’s going through a cocktail of emotions right now but if I’m being frank, winning a contract was always going to be mission impossible as he was hardly a top gun…still, hopefully another club will show him the money elsewhere.

I’m sat here taking in your applause before I move onto the next paragraph.

In other news, Sportingo, the site famous for headlines like…

‘Jeepers creepers, surely Arsenal wouldn’t spend £50million on this man’

… Have reemerged with a rumour that Roma are interested in taking on Clichy in a swap deal for Di Rossi. Now as much as I like swap deals, I really do struggle to see Arsene pulling off something as ambitious as that, or Roma agreeing to it.

I do get agitated that so many poor websites profit from
desperate football fans seeking out transfer news. I wouldn’t mind if they were providing top match reports and opinion during the season but half these sites on pop up only for the summer…

I read that Monaco found themselves relegated, what a fall from grace eh? One moment they’re sunning themselves in the Champions League final, then they sell Adebayor and it all goes tits up. Bad luck, I’ll miss them, but their spirit will live on in our away kit.

The transfer window opens tomorrow night from midnight and hopefully this will be an exciting one. Geoff referred to Neymar and Hazard and I can’t help but wish we’d go in for one of them,

They’re both incredibly talented, they both have consistency, achievement and youth on their side and I can’t help but think players like them don’t come around so often, if they cost £25mill now, there is a good chance that in 2 seasons time they’ll be worth double.

For me, they could be the catalyst for great things. Maradona was that man for Napoli, Eric Cantona moving to United sparked their revolution and more recently Barca took a punt on a man called Ronaldinho who brought back the glory days.

Wenger knows Hazard is a massive talent, he’s said so, if he’s available, we should be in for him. The same with Neymar. We either have the clout to compete with Chelsea like Wenger said last summer, or he’s lying…we need to make a signing of intent… A new Bergkamp for a stagnant side.

Well, we have 6 weeks to make that move.

Who has the faith?

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