Cesc wins BBC Sports Personality of the Year / Exploding the Barca Youth myth

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Twas a day I felt proud to be a Gooner, seeing Cesc up there with his hands on the BBC Sports Personality of the Year trophy… I didn’t care that he was only presenting it, in my mind he had won it!

The Ryder Cup team won team of the year and Colin Montgomerie got captain of the year, oh and Beckham got a lifetime achievment award, I must have missed England winning something then? I expect his next appearance will be best man at his new friends wedding in the summer, move over Harry.

Well the latest rumour is we are going to let Denilson go in the window to Wolfsburg (and Barca!) and use the £10million to bring in out of favour Jolean Lescott from City.

First of all I would pay £10mil to get shot of spinning head but it won’t happen, Wenger loves him way too much and it will be admitting he was wrong, as for Lescott, he is miles better than the two we got from France in the summer, but not good enough for us. I think it’s all just a press frenzied rumour though and it won’t happen.

Interesting debate on here yesterday about Barca’s fantastic youth policy and how they have proved it works, and that’s why we should continue. I said if their youth policy was so good why are they £450mil in debt? Anyhow, as the debate went on, I thought I would do some research.

Danni Alves, David Villa, Seydou Keita, Gabriel Milito, Eric Abidal, Jose Pinto, Adriano Claro, Maxwell, Javier Mascerano, and Victor Valdes all came from other clubs for money, even Pique did 3 years at ManU and one at Zaragoza. So 11 out of the current squad of 19 (their website) are not from their youth set up, hmmm some policy, then you add the kids they signed after they were 16 and there’s even less, how many came as boys? Well 3 actually, Messi, Iniesta and Xavi were the only ones that didn’t join from other clubs. And they only got Messi because they can get South Americans at that age and we can’t. So that leaves 2, the same as us, Wilshere and JET.

Oh and for the record, one player they tried to get and couldn’t, is Benik Afobe, who Steve Bould reckons is the best young player in the country! Whoohoo and up yours Barca!!!

Enough said about them and how wonderful they are, if you add to that the players of ours they took, Overmars, Petit, Van Bronkhurst, Henry and Hleb and if they go ahead and buy Cesc and Torres in the summer, the rubbish talked about their youth system policy, will be even more rubbished.

Swiftly on to us and what could happen this year, apparently we are considering a bid for the next Theo Walcott, one Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, the son of former England player Mark. So what does that mean, we’ll pay him £60k a week to under-perform? Or does that mean he is super talented?

I believe Theo will be great one day, but he should be a forward, now if this kid Chamberlain comes in as an attacking midfielder and Wenger plays him in goal, it will be a waste of time, so why bother? Anyway we have an army of kids that may never make it, so should be concentrating on what quality there is in the window that we can bring in and help us push on.

Remember the days when we bought Gilberto and Hleb for little? And Petit and Kanu? Surely he remembers those days, and surely there must be players out there that are of that age and are good enough?

We’ll see and don’t call me Shirley!

As there were no games this weekend we can only speculate as to what, if anything we’ll do in the window, it’s a week until we play the chavs so we can hope that Everton beat the Northern chavs tonight and don’t go above us in the league.

Good luck Everton!

Have a great day grovers, it’s going to be a slow week and we’ll be speculating, so other than talking about the snow covered pitch, that will be the theme!

Watch out for snow leopards

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514 Responses to “Cesc wins BBC Sports Personality of the Year / Exploding the Barca Youth myth”

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  1. Pedro

    Top posting Geoff! I think there are a 4 you missed on Barca… Puyol, Busquests, Jeffren and Pedro.

    The Beckham award was truly vom inducing… Rio saying he should be knighted is even worse!

    This is going to be a long snowy week eh!

  2. BigRed1

    Arsene, I know its Christmas but spare us any more talented cherubs fot the future,
    and instead can Santa bring us one talented grown up that can be of immediate use around the house instead of us tripping over some unproven kids toys?
    We really have had our Christmas fill of that over the the last 5 years………

  3. nuudles

    No way will Barca be buying Torres and Cesc in the Summer, where will they play? Or who will they let go?

    If they buy Torres then they must let Pedro go, I cant see him being content with sitting on the bench the whole time. And where will Cesc play? Just maybe they will play him in sort of a DM role slightly in front of Busquets, but as we all saw last season he is much more effective if he plays more forward.

    It is hard to pin down their positions because they drift all over the place, but:

    That will never work because then they can only play 3 in defence. So one of them would always have to start on the bench, possibly alternating between Torres and Cesc. Cannot see them going there unless they are guaranteed of starting in at least 70% of the games that they are fit? Or do they miss home that much?

    And that is not even touching on your point of their massive debt!?

    Not happening unless they sell a lot of players, inlcuding some regular starters (like Pedro).

  4. Gbenga

    Funny………….Youth policy does not mean that a player must never play for another club, rather, the player must be developed in the culture and tradition of the club.

    For Barcelona, players like Puyol, Pedro, Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, Valdes (His dad is a stakeholder in Barcelona),Pique etc cannot be recognised with any other club than Barca.

    If you remember, Tony Adams, Henry, Cesc Fabregas etc played at different levels for another club but they are only identified with Arsenal……..

  5. nuudles

    By the way, i like the snow on the blog, nice touch!

    BigRed1, I agree, please please get us a decent DM. Is that really too much to ask? If Arsene is feeling generoud he could also get us Santon (both LB and RB backup) and/or a solid CB (but I dont see that happening because we have TV, JD, Kos & Squill and Arsene does not take into equation injuries when counting his players).

    And sell Bendy & Almunia & Denilson and potentialy Vela, although I really think that if he worked as hard as Nasri & Theo did over the summer break he could be phenomenal because he has the pace and the touch.

  6. Mark C

    One thing that amazes me, is when I match Barca, I always see the same players.

    Dont they get injured?

    The team that played Real madrid was the team that played Espanol on the weekend.

    Cant the spanish league players foul them properly?

    Wenger needs to align his training strategies so the players stay fit. Remember most of them played in the world cu final

  7. gambon

    Lol, gbenga bending the rules of what youth player means.

    Henry was 21 and had played 4 seasons at Monaco and half a season at juve…..he was a big money signing, not a youth product.

  8. Gooby

    iniesta signed for barca at 13, messi came as a 12 years old.

    the rule is 3 years at the club between 16 and 21.

    or 15 i can’t remember

  9. Geoff

    Pedro, no I didn’t, read what I said, all the players you mentioned came to Barca from other clubs, go and read their website, the ones I mentioned were all at Barca as kids.

  10. gambon


    Cesc came over, spent a year in the ressies then into the first team squad. As far as I’m concerened if you don’t play in the u18s you aren’t a youth product.

  11. Geoff

    Puyol started at La Pobla de Segur, went to Barca at 17. Busquets from Jabac, Jeffren from Venezuela at 16 and Pedro from CD San Isidro.

    So none of them in at an age younger than Cesc, and all from other places before, I call a youth set up like a JETor a Wilshere etc, from a young age and straight to the club.

    I hope that helps.

  12. goonerT1m

    joy, i used to love the transfer window, it now repulses me and magnifies the shortcomings of the manager even further (in recent years). its about time he took his head out of his arse. Merry Christmas everyone, thanks for all the great posts and banter this year. Keep Believing !!?

  13. BigRed1

    Just checked through Official Handbooks from 2001/2 and its staggering the amount of promising juniors and apprentice professionals that have come and gone without getting a sniff of first team football,
    not only here, but anywhere else after they`ve been rejected by us. What a total waste of their time and our resources, our whole youth system needs steamlining or scrapping,
    We had more success with George Graham when Theo Foley was with him.
    We didn`t need a youth system to nick Fabregas or Anelka.

  14. Geoff

    Kush you have to be kidding, Lescott at least plays for his country, Kozzer was a mistake and will never be an EPL player, Senderos was better.

    I bet Wenger bought him on Grimandi’s say so and never saw him before Grimandi sent the video.

    I bet Wenger thought Grimandi had unearthed a gem, he got a pup.

  15. Big Dave

    Can you imagine an Barca blog how boring it must be.

    Jose. “Yeah we won again the weekend”

    Jose b. “Yes it was good” zzzzzzzzzzzz

    Jaguar Jose. “Bloody manager is a retard making us let a goal in on saturday.”

  16. Gooby


    as far as you’re concerned maybe but as far as th uefa rules are concerned he’s an arsenal trainee, he was too good for the u18 anyway

  17. Geoff

    BigRed that’s what I’ve been saying for years, 13 years of Wenger and what? Jack Wilshere, the only one to make our first team.

  18. Gooby

    every big clun “steals” young talents from other clubs when they’re 14/15/16 . that’s how it works. didn;t bara steal messi, iniesta? or the chavs kakuta?

  19. melvyn

    AW’s at it again:

    On not winning anything for the last five years, he said:

    It depends on what you call a title. I think we have built our team with very young players and managed to stay at the top. Don’t forget that in the last five years we have been in the Champions League final, in the semi-final and in the quarter final.

    We just lost in one or two occasions the Championship and in England competition is very hard so overall I believe we lacked a bit maturity but we are slowly getting there.

    The longer that lasts the more pressure we face from outside to deliver. I can understand the expectation level but on our side it’s more important to focus on performing and playing the football like we want to play it and that’s the best way to delivery trophies.

    We will never win another meaningful trophy under this self deluded manager – but i am sure we are comforted by the fact that AFC and AW will be a lot wealthier !

  20. Big Dave

    Sapnish league is 2 teams only. No one gives Barca a game what so ever, yes they got beat this year but this a one off. Barca are a great team but give them some competition ffs.

    English league is better, very rare to see a top side win 5-1 away from home. When top plays bottom they can be close matches.

  21. BigRed1

    Exactly Geoff and you mentioned Grimandi who I hear is stil recommending we pay 13 million quid to Lorient for Gameiro, does his family own that club…………

  22. feedbaQ

    i personally dnt care if barca youth policy is a fraud or not, as long as a good number of the first starting 11 played together at youth level, in the reserves, the national team and are good friends with similar personality and morals thats what makes barca a special club, and u can refer to arsenal as a poor mans barcalona while its evident arsenal have a good youth policy but lack similar traits and characters in their team, they ar like the united nations players frm all over the globe including japan now and arsenal expects to have the same flow and cordination like barca, take a leaf from man utd and their british presence in the team and learn how they roll on the snow 18 league titles and still counting or better off just peep in spurs training ground and see the british presence there, harry has done a great job while wenger and his foreign child soldiers will be massacred at the new camp and blame the pitch!

  23. BigRed1

    Barca might be mega millions in debt and we might be ever so financially sound but I know who`se got the happiest supporters at the moment………….

    And don`t come back with “ah, but not for long”, please……………

  24. Geoff

    Melvyn and in that final we had Henry, Gilberto, Cole, Campbell, Pires, Lehman fuck me they were hardly young were they, Wenger twists conversations to suit himself doesn’t he?

  25. Rocky7

    Merson, Rocastle, Adams, Thomas, Campbell, Keown, – all products of a world class youth system long before wenger. They all had something installed in them at a very young age at the arsenal… Winning mentality… And that was helped by keeping them hungry making them earn their first team pay packets. Imagine merson and Adams on 30k a week at 18 , you think they woulda been the same players??

  26. Geoff

    It wasn’t that long ago that Barca had Figo and all the top Brazilians, and Eto’o, Henry and YaYa, fuck no wonder those cunts owe money.

  27. gambon

    The first team should take priority over the youth team at all times, do we all agree on this?

    Yet I don’t think wenger does. In the last few years we have ignored obvious need for experienced, top class players, but we sign kids left, right and centre.

    Off the top of my head….Martinez, McDermott, Miguel, Bartley, Nordveit, Angha, Botelho, Edge, Ebecilo, Coquelin, Galindo, Ozyakup, Freeman, Wellington, Sunu have all been signed in the last few years, yet during that time we have been desperate for a replacement for jens, a top class CB and about 4 other first teamers.

    As a club we prioritise youth success over senior success, which is embarassing.

  28. Franchise

    choy nice article. In the past when we argued on here about la liga being more competitive, I have brought up a few of those points

    you can add to the list that la liga has produced more winners and finalists in the europa league over the last 10 years (only Liverpool have won UEFA Cup as an English team since 2001)

  29. Rocky7

    And not to forget wenger built his original team around what he already had ,one of the best defensive units in european football, Plus berkamp and wright …b4 he arrived, He had already signed veira so he identified our problems and done all his research whilst in japan , dein went and signed players. Recently toure was his best defensive ‘discovery’ but Another thing worth remembering is when he signed kolo toure wenger played in him every position before settling him at centre back.

  30. melvyn

    Arsene’s spin would even embarrass Mandleson !

    O/T – anyone else see that great Gooner Ray Davies at South Bank (aka as Clock end !!)last night – absolutely brilliant – he can still produce it in his 60’s.

  31. Gooby

    geoff haha

    he did inherit a top back four but when they gt old he replaced them with quality and they became the best defensive set up in modern english football (cambell, toure, cole, lauren) i don’t know what went wrong after that (gallas, silvestre, sol back at 36, selling 3 top DM…)

  32. Rocky7

    And gbenga, are you a spud in disguise ?? Tony Adams never played for any other team other than The Mighty Arsenal…. (1980 – 2002 / 504 senior appearances / 32 goals / 66 caps)

  33. gambon

    That desigunner article is awful.

    For those who haven’t read it, we don’t need to sign anyone because jfk said a few things before he got popped.

  34. goonermichael

    I watched the last 10 minutes of the real game last night. That di maria is a fucking cheating cunt. the football is boring. When they showed the table I thought it was the spl.

  35. Gbenga

    Rocky, without resorting to unwarranted name calling, can you reason with the point i raised that almost all players in the World played for one team or the other at a point in life……………..Yes TA played all his first team matches for Arsenal, but you should know that he played youth football/conference games etc for some other teams……

  36. Wenger the Liar

    Gambon –

    What did JFK say before he got popped? Did he say Denilson was statistically the best player on the planet or did he say that Bendys Pink boots are a sign of his greatness?

    Please tell me, I need to know!

  37. BigRed1

    Nobody will ever convince me that a team of mercenaries, cos like it or not that`s what we`ve become, armed to the teeth in gloves, snoods, thermals, trench coats, will ever get the better of a team of home grown Englishmen armed with horse liniment and short sleeve shirts………..

    aah, if only………………..

  38. arsenal4ever

    we are going again for a youngster ala walcott? Will we ever go for ready made players again until Wengker retires? FFS barca will destroy us with this current squad!!!

  39. skandibird

    Geoff; just to say the picture of the ‘snow leopard’ is very reminiscent of my cat when she spots the neighbours cat outside the patio door; she goes ballistic!!! A bit like how I feel when we loose games and not buying the players we (Arsenal) should be buying. Ah well, come January, back to the Valiums then I expect….

  40. Franchise

    I agree Gambon that article stinks

    building a successful team is not rocket science

    Money which we now have in abundance is obviously the most important factor

    because you need mature quality players who cost a few bob. IMO that is the most important factor. QUALITY PLAYERS

    the coach or manager is there to get the best out of players. he will never kick a ball in a game unless he is a player manager. that is a minimum of 3420 (90 x 38) minutes in a league season that a manager can only but influence games by his team’s preparation and tactics.

    IMO over 80% of the onus lies on the players. That is why even with a management team of Pep/Mourinho Qatar can never win the world cup

    it is however possible that a manager can not get the best out of his players

    I dont understand why people try and complicate simple issues

  41. Big Dave

    These players will now have a 13 day break since their last match, so should all be match fit (yes even you Cesc) and raring to go come the chav match, and then Wigan 2 days later no excuses

  42. Kushagra India

    Thinking that Lescott will solve our defensive problems is a myth he couldn’t do it for England couldn’t do it for Man City(they are selling because he is not good enough) won’t do for Arsenal.Koscielny’s poor start is more due to our porous midfield rather than his own ineptitude

  43. Rocky7

    Sorry gbenga didn’t wish to offend , but I was asking if you were a tottenham supporter , – spud , not a potato . I agree with your overall point for sure , but just pointing out that tony Adams didn’t play for any other ‘club’ football team, except as it was just rightly pointed to me, his prison team. If I get my facts wrong I appreciate being corrected…. Especially if it’s quite a big fact .

    But I apologise again if I offended you.

    And totally agree we need more winners.

  44. bade the gooner

    one statistic stated that barca only second for big rival real in spending money on players, with real splashing around 1 billion euro in the past 10 years & barca “only” 713 mil’!!! now the third ranked is city with already around 400 mils!
    you might be also interested to know that barca didnt get any silverware between 1999-2005 albiet loads of money thrashed on squad players.
    for me it is so obvious we’r gonna beat them this time, till the ties we will up our from & theyll drop … last year it was the exact opposite with us playing with our most important players in the three positions out (cb,md,fr) & with silvestre & almunia. even then we were 1-0 & very close to 2-0 (ah diaby shame u didnt pass it to theo). enough said

  45. Kushagra India

    Lescott Wickham??? and many more have been pointed out by others
    and I agree we need a solid defensive player who can play in midfield as well as defense but I don’t think any new signing will make a difference unless we start defending as a team which seems to be a inherent problem more than anything..

  46. gambon

    Lol bade……

    Sooooo obvious that a team that has already lost 5 will beat the worlds best team?

    Delusion is the gift that keeps on giving!

  47. Franchise

    bade the gooner what measures did barca take to ensure they turned it around?

    Newness, freshness

    you cant teach an old dog new tricks especially a stubborn one

  48. Kushagra India

    yep in few days time many will be craving for Caroll who is of no use to us as he is mediocre with feet and we don’t know how to cross!!

  49. Ojaimo

    Have you all heard? Avram Grant’s West Ham is planning a January transfer swoop for Emmanuel Adebayor??? What has he done to himself????

  50. Gooby

    lol ojaimo, i wouldn’t be surprised to see adebaywhore back to a shit french team hhahaha. but i reckon he should reconsider a pay cut hahahhaha

  51. arsenal4ever

    wenger at most likes frenchy players!! So if we get players it will be another french ones :-(. Fukking deluded bastard needs to go now!!! Would love a president like Moratti who fires a manager which couldnt fullfil his dreams!!!

  52. Gooby

    7 days without arsenal is going to be a tough time, Christmas might be a welcomed distraction.

    why don’t you get a decent avatar on gravatar while you have time you lazy bastards 😆

  53. Rocky7

    It’s strange what happened with chamakh this season…. He looked very Good initially – strong in the box, always pressing the centre backs, leaping like a salmon, pretty much free scoring. Then slowly but surely you see him out of the box more, going deeper ‘linking’ play, looking more tense in the box and less free flowing in general.

    Anything to do with wenger you think ???

  54. bade the gooner

    hey gambon, the last time we met real, juventus in 2006, and milan in 2007, that what people said, ilusions … so let’s wait n c, i’ll be here around, would be then too ?
    the main thing was about how much those *** spend & how they always try to tag themselves as the club for youth …

  55. nuudles

    Ramsey only played the final 16 minutes of Nottingham Forest’s 3-0 win over Crystal Palace because their manager said he did not want to risk Aaron due to the poor pitch conditions. Do you think the loan is conditional on Ramsey not getting hurt or they will have to pay a penalty? Or how does it work?

  56. Kushagra India

    more due to exertion and our inability to cross and yes he is behind RVP..and should have scored against manure.

  57. incesc


    I think Chamakh needs a rest, its his first season in the premier league and he has run his socks off all season on his own up front.

    Its hard enough adapting to the premier league but hes a lone striker for arsenal coming up against 11 man defences all season that hack you to pieces…

  58. bade the gooner

    franchice, keep in mind barca were spending & got nothing for 6 years in a row
    its not about teaching old dog new tricks, dont forget AW bought a lot before 2005
    i dont agree with everything he’s doing about the transfer market, though i blame the players more than the manager, playing with no real motives though they got paid loads of money, we should sack few of the squad & we’ll get better even withput bying any

  59. incesc

    seriously if chamakh is already this good, think what wenger did with henry, anelka, adebayor, jeffers 🙂

    he has a record of turning good players into great strikers, lets hope he does again!

  60. This is England

    Just saw the worst ever dive in football on Sky News.A player ( Greek i think )was waiting to take a throw in,someone threw a snowball which hit the football he was holding.The twat went down like he had been shot in the head.If anyone can find a link put it up.

  61. gazzap

    The only team to beat Barca this season was Hercules a newly promoted team who went to the Nou Camp and played a 4-4-2 formation. they closed down the space and defended well and hit Barca on the break twice and won the game 2-0.
    that is the only way to beat Barca. Anyone that tries to play barca at their game will get humiliated.

    but wenger will use the 4-3-3 and hope to outplay them.

  62. BigRed1

    Bendtner looked the real deal at Birmingham because he was played as a normal centre forward,
    Rocky 7 pointed out Chamakh`s game was changing already and surprise surprise he`s starting to take up the same non-centre forward positions that Bendtner does, i wonder who`se behind that master plan?

  63. gazzap

    Sagna JD Verm Clichy
    Nasri Song Cesc Gibbs
    Theo Chamakh

    Pace and strength in attack plus good defending and delivery from the wings.
    I wouldn’t use this in the prem every week but I would us it against the big teams including Barca.

  64. patthegooner


    Cesc presented an Award at the British Military Awards on Friday too.

    Given his nationality, I think that was very decent of the man.

  65. Jimbo

    Gibbs against Barca?

    no thanks!!!

    Also, just to point out, Sagna will be suspended for the first game against Barca, and we’ll be out of the tie by the 2nd anyway.

  66. jacob


    I hear what you’re saying mate! That Wenger hasn’t got a clue. He destroyed Anelka and then wrecked Henry’s career. Bergkamp became a shadow of himself under Wenger… and had Wenger not personally broken Eduardo’s legs we may well have witnessed the destruction of yet another sublime talent! As for Chamakh, what can one say? He was world class before he turned up at Arsenal and now he is rubbish and it is quite clearly Wenger’s fault…. The useless man!

  67. gazzap

    Wouldn’t have to be Gibbs, as long as you had a sound defensive player on each wing who would protect the full back as well as can get forward to good effect. Someone with good energy levels who can close down for 90 mins – thats why possibly Rosicky and certainly Arshavin wouldn’t make my line up.

    Eboue would have to come in for Sagna but providing he is well protected it wouldn’t matter. Hercules dont have brilliant full backs either.

  68. chris

    Good Post

    Chamakh has been perfectly capable so far though –

    He’s another good-and-bad type guy but without him where would the team be?(not just his goals, he’s been the only option for large parts of the season and even right now would you play RvP or Nikki B if you could have Chamakh?)

  69. Arsene Nose Best

    do you know what dave,i can see us fucking that one up aswell,quite amazing really why would anyone pay 10 mill for denilshit,madness

  70. nuudles

    Please please Arsene sell Nikki B in Jan, you already said that Theo can easliy play in Henry’s role, so then you have RVP & Chamakh as first choice, plus if they both cant play/need a rest Theo should do fine, and then there is the not so small factor of JET who looks promising for the future. (and Vela although he is not an out-and-out striker I believe he should do fine alongside someone else in a 4-4-2)

    With the Nikki B cash (and Nortdveit, Almunia and Denilson cash) we can get a good backup LB/RB plus a top DM.

    Is Mannone loaned out until the summer or will he be back in Jan? Because with our injury problems we might need a 3rd goalie since we will only have Chezzer and Fabianski if we sell Almunia (Shea cant be ready for the big time backup can he? or we can use Lansbury as backup, haha)