Who was the greatest home grown player we’ve ever had, and who is it now? Read on…

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So in this season where we have to start counting home growners, I started to cast my mind back to who were the greats, when I say home grown, I mean they had no other clubs before us and they joined as schoolboys.

I’ll start from my early days and the top of that list was none other than the great Charlie George, a real product of the North bank and a real ‘One of us’ Charlie of course still is, and a top, top bloke to this day, I know Charlie well, in fact Charlie was the subject of my ‘O level’ art GCE, so I have Charlie to thank for that, I passed! I painted him on the floor at Wembley with his arms outstretched when we done the scousers in the cup final of 1971, the year of our first league and cup double.

Many followed, with the next golden generation of Adams, Merson, Thomas and Rocky Rocastle, I loved Merse, but him being a self confessed Chav fan, set him back, Thomas, although he scored the greatest goal in the history of football, left us to join the enemy, Adams, a career player was up there, but he’s lost it a bit with his lack of judgment with the bottle and Rocky although very, very special, sadly didn’t make my all time number one.

So who have I missed out? For me the greatest of them all, Liam Brady. Liam is still at the Arsenal, he is a true gent, matter of fact he let me play through him at La manga club once when I was with Pedro, the same year we sold Petit and Overmars to Barca, we had a nice chat that day, not one he expected as I was a little peeved that our great manager sold our two best players, but he said, ‘you can’t keep unhappy players’ hmmm I thought, however, he had the sweetest left foot, his goal against Spurs was the finest I had seen and still sends a shiver down my spine, for those of you who never got to see him, I PITY YOU FOOLS! He was the real deal and gets my vote for the greatest ever Arsenal home grown talent, when he left us for Juventus, I was genuinely gutted, and didn’t feel good about the Arsenal until we signed Charlie Nick.

I remember going to Pat Jennings testimonial, and the biggest cheer of the night was reserved not for him, but for Liam Brady (at Sampdoria at the time I think), he wanted to re-join us and said so, but George Graham was having none of it, and he went to West ham instead.

Years later following spells with Celtic and Brighton, Liam returned home and become the new master of the next generation of young home grown talent, and that brings me on to the next best player I  have ever seen come through our ranks, Jack Wilshere, and his goal against West ham at 16 reminded me of Liam’s against the spuds all those years before, so Arsene, why is he not starting in our team like you started Cesc, Denilson, Flamini and Eboue? He’s better than the lot of them and if given the chance, he will stay for life, and he’s English, which for me is the cherry on the cake.

That’s all I have for today, sign who you want, sign as many frees as you like, but please, please make a starting place available for one Jack Wilshere, the new Liam Brady, and Liam, thanks for what you did and for what you continue to do, you are my all time favourite product of youth.

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A final word for our Spanish youth product, Cesc Fabregas, the grass isn’t always greener, the preperation you got from the Spanish coach did your team no good yesterday, you didn’t play and that is a sign of things to come, don’t take my word for it, ask Hleb, Henry and YaYa, Barcelona are a team of spoilt brats, and you know what? THEY DON’T EVEN PAY THEIR BILLS!

The new fixture list is also here… away at Liverpool!

Have a great day Grovers, today we can have a huge snigger up at the Spanish national team, ha, ha, ha!


Let’s have a go at signing José Manuel Reina Paez, Cesc, earn your wages!

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We witnessed another boring day at the world cup yesterday with the only thing that changed being the weather, should suit the northern european teams as they are used to it, we’ll see, Spain make their long awaited start today so we’ll see if Cesc figures.

The one thing that is apparent is, if he stays, his heart will be somewhere else next term, so what can we learn from that? Should we stop taking younsters from top clubs because they will always want to go home? Or is football such a mercenary sport these days that no player is ever sure to see out his career at one club, are the days of Tony Adams long gone?

I expect they are sadly, so what we need to do is to continually bring in good players like the Vermaelen’s, not the superstars like the Kaka’s or the Ronaldo’s, maybe we should admit that the best we’ll get are the Pires’s, (and I’d have him in his prime again in a heartbeat) and he was indeed a cracking buy, perhaps we should also wait to see what falls off the Madrid tree, they are bound to be buying this summer and we know that Maureen likes his fruit to be ripe, so if he does indeed go for the Lampard’s, Cole’s and maybe the Drogbas of this world, then some players like the Benzema’s, may be available at a good old fashioned cut price, a bit like Henry was.

It does seem that we are close to signing Laurent Koscielny, but I do get annoyed as we always seem to go after players that I’ve never really seen and who’s names are very hard to spell. Still if he turns out to be another Vermaelen, I’ll be very happy.

I still think we could do with getting in a winger, if there’s one thing this world cup has slung up, it’s the real lack of wing play that clearly makes a difference, when Holland brought one on, the game changed, so maybe Wenger has one of those on his radar, if you look at all his succesful teams, they have all featured nippy and skillful wingers, Freddie, Marky and Robért to name but a few.

The new kit was unveilled yesterday to a mixed reception, I did say I felt we were getting the junior designers on it, but as the day progressed, it grew on me, I have to say I think it’s an improvement and if the home kit is too, I’ll be happy, I just hope we don’t have red socks, if we do, I hope they have white tops, USA style or hoops, my personal favourites.

I’m already bored with the World cup and can’t wait for the pre season and our hope of winning some silverware with the Emirates cup.

If Joe Cole and Laurent Kosceinly are already in the bag, then all we need is a DM and a keeper, maybe and additional CB and an out and out winger, I know Wenger says no more than 3, but we often get conned because we have more leaving than we bring in, it seems certain that Silvestre and Gallas will go, Senderos already has so that’s 3, if Almunia and Denilson also go I will start to believe, but somehow I can’t see that happening.

I mentioned yesterday we are the only blog that doesn’t take paid ads, well the only one I know anyway, we do this for love of our club, we do however carry a free ad for Malaria, which is a particularly nasty thing to get and could happen to anyone visiting the tropics, a lot of people don’t know that only in the last century you could contract it in the east of England and in the marshes of Holland, so if you feel like a small donation, I’m sure they would be delighted.

If not send it in to me and I will buy beer with it! I was kidding!

There was also rumour about Van der Weill from Ajax, I would have him, he is very Gibbsy, that may be a way around not buying wingers for the boss, but I would still love to have an out and out winger as opposed to a forward turned winger.

We do have a lot of players that may never make it and I feel if we let them go, it would be fairer on them, and bring us in some cash allowing us to buy what we really need to sustain a long campaign and the inevitable injuries that go with it. Yes Arsene, we can’t keep crying bad luck, it happens too often, whether it’s the age, the size of the players or the way we train, as sure as eggs are eggs, it will happen and this season we need to plan for it.

Have a great day Grovers, I have mixed feelings as to whether I want Cesc to do well and get a big fee or do badly so interest will wane. What i don’t want, is to see him pick up an injury, as no-one will win then. So good luck Cesc, maybe you should be convincing José Manuel Reina Paez to join us instead! (the Liverpool keeper)

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Ivan, you have done more for Le Grove than I ever could, thanks for reading!

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So it appears that all the Arsenal blogs that agree with everything Arsenal, have been promised the new home shirt to give away in a competition, I’m guessing as we haven’t been given one to raffle, that means that Arsenal haven’t offered one, strange they give them to smaller sites that blow smoke up their back passages but the one site that is written by Arsenal fans, for Arsenal fans and has just about the biggest following, doesn’t get one, ha, ha, what a petulant snit that is Ivan.

By leaving us out of your little inner circle of trusted blogs, you are telling the world that we bother you, brilliant, what you fail to understand, is we get read because we refuse to settle for mediocrity, because we aren’t sheep, and we don’t kiss up.

The fact is I’m not who you think, I know many of you, and I won’t stop saying what I think because you won’t include me in your little group of butt kissers, you’ll get the truth on Le grove, and I’ll keep doing it until people stop reading it, when the fans have had enough, I’ll know and I’ll go, but thanks for making me important in your eyes and thanks for telling the world that too.

The difference between you and I mate, is I am a fan, you are an employee and will only ever do what you are told. When Arsenal decide it’s time to tin-tack you, you won’t be an Arsenal fan, in fact I doubt you are now.

Pedro and I will always be Arsenal fans, always!

Onto Arsenal people, well we at least got to see Robin and Nikki B yesterday, Robin seems to improve by the game and Nikki was no different to what he is when he plays for us, the result was fair, though I thought the Danes deserved more from their first half performance, you have to put that on Nikki, he did have a few chances, their centre back Kjaer looked half decent as well.

What I’m not going to do is say a word about a certain person who was dropped yesterday by his manager, enough was said about that at the time and I have much more interesting things to talk about. So sorry to disappoint any of you expecting me to have a little smirk up, it simply won’t happen. At all.

Good to see the Japs do well though, it makes me realise that drawing with the Yanks wasn’t the disaster it looked, we are however a very average side that has no chance, I mean why on earth would Capello take injured players in Ferdinand and King, when he had campbell ready and able?

Still I’m not interested in England right now, I’m more concerned with the Arsenal and who we might sign.

I sure as hell hope it’s not Peinaar or Robert (butter fingers) Green, I would have any of the Dutch boys and I still like Joe hart, Schwarzer didn’t cover himself in glory but he makes sense if our Polish kid is that good. Please don’t get excited about Ozil either, many on here, including us called for him back as far as last summer when he impressed in Sweden, now his price will be sky high and way too much for Wenger, also why now and not before the world cup? I think we can forget that one.

I really like Arsene’s comment that he wanted to buy Messi for £30mil, we did suggest that on here several times this month, Ivan, if you’re still reading, don’t give Arsene a shirt either, as he used our suggestion. Well done Arsene.

I have another thought for the powers at Arsenal, ask Barca how they can afford to buy our captain, when they still owe us money from the Hleb transfer 2 years ago, ask them why they act like a big rich club, yet they don’t pay for what they buy, fur coat and no knickers is we call that in the East end.

Talking of kits, the new away one is doing the rounds, I expect Arsenal will unveil it soon as it premiers next week.

Thing is, I think we must get the juniors at Nike designing our kit, whilst it has our favoured yellow, it’s ‘v’ necked with burgundy pin stripes, how boring, I reckon they must have taken all of 4 minutes to design that one, I hope our home kit had more time spent on it.

So far this summer Wenger has told the world he rates about 400 players, well after the world cup, we’ll find out how much he rates our own, so who he keeps and who he buys will be of great interest, I hope Joe Cole is on that list because everytime he plays against us, I wish he was in our team and not theirs.

I quite like the look of Vermaelen’s old Ajax partner and I quite liked the look at the Holland winger Elia as well, but the one I would sign is that Vuvuzelas, he’d raise the noise levels at the Grove, what do you lot think?

Enjoy the day Grovers, I think we get to see some of the flair teams from now on in.

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