Do young players stagnate at Arsenal because it’s too comfortable?

by .


Cuuuuute (via Daily Mail)

Happy good Friday to one and all.

First up on the breakfast plate this morning is a bit of good will Jack has undertaken (here). There was a boy called Archie who turned up on This Morning. He’s not very well. He loves Arsenal. He loves Jack… so Jack’s mum said, hey, get down there…

Jack basically breaks into this kids house, kicks up a fuss about the unauthorised autographed framed shirt on the wall, rips down the Nik Bendtner poster he spies behind the bed then storms out bemoaning the lack of hard liquor  on offer.

Just jokes. What happened is Jack answers the door and Archie is standing there. The music is all X Factor, but the kid doesn’t really react. I bet he was thinking…

‘I’ve seen cameras outside other kids houses… what the fu*k has dad been up to?’

It’s a cute video. The cynical in me says he’s looking to boost his image (the question at the bottom of this Mirror article isn’t favourable), the soft side of me says he’s a Dad and he’s doing something nice with all the spare time he has on his hands. It’d be nice if footballers did more of this… no… it’d be nice if we saw more of the things like this the footballers do. I know Bacary used to do a heap for Charity but he had to keep it on the low in case people thought he was doing it for his brand. I’m sure Jack has other things he does but keeps on the downlow.

Anyway, a heart warmer for first thing in the morning.

So in football? Well, we have Boro this Sunday. A game of massive importance. The FA Cup is out best chance of silverware. We win here, it’s a pretty smooth run in to the final. I mistakenly thought it was for a semi final entry. It’s a quarter final. But really, there aren’t many teams in there that we need to worry about.

I think the big news tomorrow will centre around the keeper. We know Wojciech is the cup keeper. We know he’ll start. But do we know he’ll continue at number one? That’s the big challenge that Wenger is going to have to deal with.

There’s lots of debate back and forth about who should be number one. But it’s all pretty pointless. The lead story here is that neither are fit for purpose if we have aspirations of major trophies. There shouldn’t be a debate about the quality of your keeper. One of our keepers isn’t the right size for the league, the other is just, well, he’s just a bit average…

It’s not like there aren’t great keepers around. De Gea (and look, I didn’t rate him for time, so sorry there), Lloris and Courtois are all champion keepers. I’d even take Forster and Begovic over the two we have at Arsenal. We need to invest in a proper keeper.

It’ll also be interesting tomorrow to see how many players we rest. I’d love to see Chuba land a run out. He’s shown he can mix it at the highest level, so surely he could land a 70minute stint against a lower league team?

Some good news on Aaron. He’s only out for two weeks. It’s amazing how he’s sunk into irrelevance this season. Is it a jerky season of poor fitness or has he found his level? If Morgan comes in from Southampton, you’d have to worry about his long term future.  Wenger has some interesting decisions this summer. Jack and Aaron cost about £220k a week. Are they delivering value for that? Could you find players that offer more for that? Big questions… painful ones as well. I love both of them. But they’re really not delivering. When you look at how players like Coquelin and Bellerin have come into the side, motivated, full of passion and fight… you wonder what’s gone wrong with Aaron and Jack?

How can you coach those two back into form?

Part of me wonders whether the whole youth system thing works. When I say that, I mean, when you bring in players from the youth team, they hit 7 years of being in paradise (Arsenal is apparently total luxury even compared to other tier one teams), do they lose a bit of edge? We’re having trouble with Wojciech, Jack and Aaron… all of them have been here for a long time. All have talent. All haven’t really seen much else.

The players we built our ’98 team around had generally all been to other clubs, experienced bad times, then landed at Arsenal at the start of their prime. We bring players in 7 years before their prime… then they hit it and they get the 7 year itch, or ditch.

No science behind that. But in real working terms, if you’ve been at a company since you were 16, by the time you were 23, you’d be looking for a move, right? It’s human nature…

Final LOL of the day. Liverpool are launching an app called Q that allows you to browse food and drinks on the menu. You order from your phone to speed up the halftime scrum. I love this, take the maths away from the staff. The reason it’s funny is that the same article also mentions Mecca Bingo Croydon adopting the tech. See Liverpool have gone all out to create a bespoke system here! Not to mention the fact you almost NEVER get 4g in a stadium. Anyway, I’m more for contactless payment. Take cash and confusion out of the system. I’d also be game for this idea… make loads of beers up before half time, rather than pouring them at the moment. It’s a pretty simple idea, but would make a massive difference.

Right, have a flipping great day and go easy on your lunch time bison burger, yah?

Arsenal vs Middlesborough: Sunday, 16:00


222 Responses to “Do young players stagnate at Arsenal because it’s too comfortable?”

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  1. Willow Wilson


    £200 million quid old shovel face has spent. Incredible. It’s a good job lady lucks been smiling. Be interesting to see what happens when this luck deserts them.

    As for Rooney. I don’t care where he has been playing, not a single shot on target in 2015 is pathetic.

    The 49 year old colombian must be wishing he was back home working away with his mates at the Borrachero trees. Perhaps he’s be supplying Rooney and that’s why he’s forgotten where the goal is?

  2. BacaryisGod

    I think Pedro undercuts his argument about young players having things too easy at the club when the first two players he cites who are performing well (Bellerin and Coquelin) are also players who came through much like Ramsey and Wilshere.

  3. luke

    Great post today, Pedro. I think a big part of our youth burnout has to be down to Wenger’s poor player management. In the 2010-2011 season, lil jack had 35 league appearances, 31 starts. That mixed in with a handful of league cup games (we went all the way to final…), fa cup, and UCL games at the age of 18/19 is absurd and Jack has never been the same since he got injured the following preseason. I don’t know where I read it, but apparently ankle injuries can severely affect form too.

    Ramsey was broken in to the squad nicely in the 2010-2011 season coming off the bench with good appearances. Since he’s returned from his Shawcross run in, Wenger has run him into the ground.

    I know it’s easy to just point the finger at Wenger and call it a day, but in this situation I am really tempted. I’d also love to see some proper older players that ramsey, jack, coq etc. can learn from. I can’t imagine arteta and flam are inspiring teachers having won feck all.

  4. Proffa


    ‘Missus spoiling me rotten right now…my birthday and all that

    Duck & Waffle for lunch, deeeeecent massage at Moody Cow, Shoreditch, then were off out somewhere around Mayfair tonight.

    Update to follow…’

    If it is actually happening and it’s that great, why are you on a blog?

  5. salparadisenyc

    Really are some miserable cunts in this space.
    Work day done, i’m going to have a pint and toast Archie. Regardless of PR motives, the kid loved it.

  6. Cesc Appeal


    Get ready for him to have a stormer then be proclaimed the solution to all our problems, ‘if he’s good enough he’s old enough’ and all that stuff.

  7. kwik fit


    I know we’ve heard it all before with others but this kid seems to have something. Cesc played at an exceedingly high level at 17 and there’s every possibility Belik could do the same. Would rather see him than Flamini if i’m honest.

  8. Cesc Appeal


    I would just rather we bought a proper, established, commanding CDM for now, instead of beginning another cycle on the ‘project youth’ loop with a player.

    Nothing against Bielik at all, how could I have, never seen him play. But we’ve all been here before. Would love him to progress into something special, but I don’t Arsenal to bank on it as we always do.

    Ignore today for a tomorrow that’s still only a big fat maybe.

  9. kwik fit


    I agree but if things go to plan we could have schneirlein in the summer so midfield would then be taking a decent shape.

  10. kingHenry

    Dortmund losing again… just a complete lack of killer instinct, as well as falling asleep defensively for the goal.

    Kapino having a good game though

  11. Goonergirl


    Schneidelin would be great but I’d also like another CM. Wilshere and Ramsey can’t really be counted on unless they fix their injury issues.

  12. GuNZ

    Stunning sunny morning here in the Waikato. That Giroud’s not so bad after all. I had a shower before I went to bed last night, splashed myself down with some Hai Karate I found in a draw, rubbed some margarine spread into my hair, strapped a dildo over my nose (I’ve got a big conk but it’s not in Giroud’s class), and got the missus to call me Olivier. She was all over it like a rash, I can tell you.

    Happy birthday to Carts. Cricket World Cup opens today. Go the Black Caps in Christchurch and England in Melbourne.

  13. GuNZ

    What’s worrying me this morning is that when we switched roles, I enjoyed it just as much. And there was me thinking that the erection I got whenever Giroud missed a sitter (so I was fairly constantly aroused) was my body involuntarily supplying me with a playstation-like joystick with which I could help steer in his next attempt. I am very confused today although the missus is wandering around with a big smile on her face humming the Marseillaise .

  14. salparadisenyc

    And Wengers humming Oh Gloria Immarcesible….

    “Top physical strengths. Hugely efficient. He is the kind of player who can make room for himself in the box”

    Thats my kind of striker Kwik.

  15. Cesc Appeal


    For sure.

    But to be honest our options then would be Schniederlin and…ummm…Coquelin maybe?

    Wilshere and Ramsey, Wilshere especially are just awful with their injury records…as well as of course arguing their value to a side supposedly challenging for top honours in terms of inconsistency.

    Arteta, Diaby and Falmini should have no future at Arsenal.

    So as I’ve said for ages I think we need two top class CM buys this summer, a CDM and then a distributor, B2B type.

    But as always we will no doubt take the easy route, renew the contracts of Arteta and Diaby, count them as options along with Wilshere and Ramsey and have to suffer hearing about how we are ‘overstocked.’

  16. Cesc Appeal

    Someone compared Dybala to Eduardo earlier and it peaked my interest…loved me a bit of Dudu.

    Why is everyone so excited about this child and does he have the sex appeal of Eduardo?

  17. Ustynobaba

    I love to see Gabriel and that Bielik dude play on sunday if not starting but from the bench for Bielik,just like it said earlier we need a proper DCM in order for Bielik to learn his trade gradually and not to be lump into the first team and he fails and we cricicise him

  18. Cesc Appeal


    But as I say, out of that list:

    Schniederlin, yeah, great.

    Coquelin, doing great so far, but jury is still out for me. The fact he’s gone from zero to hero is testament to himself but also our crap CM options.

    Bielik, child, untested, unknown.

    Ramsey, inconsistent, most important sick note.

    Wilshere, as above x 10.

    So, considering we’re always sold the bullshit about challenging at the very top, pretty shite really.

  19. salparadisenyc

    Thats’s two wins in a row for Dortmund, into 14th. Table so tight 3 points from 10th.
    All be it having played the first of the weekend.

    Reus is a beast, scored, created, assisted on 2. Had a hand in all 4.

  20. kwik fit


    Points taken but what about bastian schweinsteiger on a free. Good age coq and Beilik could learn from him and if jack/ramsey can stay fit they would have real competition. Diaby/Flam and Arteta must all be off loaded.

  21. Cesc Appeal


    Surely Munich aren’t letting him go? Thought he was monumental at the WC.

    Ramsey, and Wilshere in particular will never stay fit…just isn’t going to happen.

    I really hope that with Ramsey out Wilshere plays his England role beside Coquelin and actually contributes to the side. Won’t hold my breath, but would be great.

  22. kwik fit


    Jack was in decent form before the united game but I agree its hard seeing him staying fit.


    Can’t see Bastian ‘risking’ coming to Arsenal with Giroud about.

  23. SteveO

    On Jack and Aaron, do we really think they’d be this ineffective under Jose Mourinho? Jack in particular seems like the type that would absolutely shine with some tactical discipline, and having the ridiculous freedom to “express himself” tossed out the window.

    It’s easy to look at the players and find faults with them, but a good manager would have benched them both long ago for their indiscipline. Arsene, though…

  24. carts

    Ladies & Gents, thanks for the bday messages. Ended up in Novikov. Big time over there wouldn’t even let me see the bill -___-

    Not quit sure what the missus has been smoking lately, but she definitely went in today.

    Wagyu dim sum *looks to the sky* proper tasty that.

    @ Proffa – come on pal, you’re better than that!

    Considering a sociable day is 12 hours long; as well as lunch and dinner being either end of the day, pretty much, surely its not impossible to pull your phone out and brag a little between leaving one joint to go home, chill, change then back out again, no?

  25. David Smith

    See our keeper has been voted keeper of the decade at Brentford. Does that mean Brentford have better goalkeeping coaches than we do……sadly that is a distinct possibility……..what top tier club would employ Gerry Peyton?

  26. GuNZ

    Sri Lanka off to a good start – 37 for no loss after 8 overs. Knew you’d all want to know that. That reminds me, haven’t had a bet on anything yet this weekend, better do that now.

  27. GuNZ

    Sri Lanka still looking good for a bet. Only one wicket down after 17 overs and a decentish run rate. Should make the NZ run chase exciting later on tonight. I’ve seen Wenger on TV at the Hagley Park Oval in Christchurch talent spotting. Got money on NZ to beat Sri Lanka, Aussie to beat England (sorry, wish it were different but can’t see any other outcome), Arsenal to beat Boro 3-1. Leicester to beat Villa, and Ireland to beat France in 6 Nations.

  28. bhenChode

    If any one can chase a score down like that than its Sri Lanka but really impressed with NZ … can’t wait for Pak vs India having parents from both sides I always sit in the fence with that one!

  29. GuNZ

    Comfortable in the end for NZ – first bet comes home. The England Aussie one’s not as one sided as I thought it might be. Think I’ll head into Hamilton tomorrow for the South Africa vs. Zimbabwe game see what all the SAFA hype is about.

  30. tunnygriffboy

    If monsieur Wenger wants to play the Angel Gabriel and Kos ( needs fitness test on shoulder) then we can play a high line without worrying about Per. We can then press effectively. Oh no, guess what. Ox, Sanchez and Ramsey are missing. Welbeck and TR7 can do it, but Giroud and Walnut ?

    Seriously, this could be an option in some games once the Angel has settled.

  31. GuNZ

    Far out, what an end to the Aussie innings!!!!!!!!! Game on at the MCG. England going to need to pull something damned special out of the bag tonight.

    See the Arsenal website full of bollocks about having done the homework on ‘Boro. We’ll see. They are going to come out and throw the kitchen sink at us. Hear they’re thinking about filming the next season of the Walking Dead at the Arsenal as some players don’t need the make-up and the lurching about bit with limbs all fucked won’t need any drama coaching.

  32. tunnygriffboy

    Boro will be coming to us full of confidence on a 10 game unbeaten run. They play good football and used the counter attack well against City. City did create loads of chances though. They will be better than Hull and Villa.

    Bit of praise for Coquelin and the job he’s doing. In 2015 he has 26 interceptions, more than anyone else in Europe. He has 20 tackles the most by any player in the PL. I fancy his passing is improving as well. We’d be hugely solid next season if he could play alongside Schneiderlin or Khedeira in certain games.

  33. GuNZ

    Just cast a realistic eye down our remaining fixtures. I reckon we can expect to pick up 26 out of 39 points giving a season total of 71. Enough to make CL next year?

  34. tunnygriffboy


    We play about 8 sides in the lower half of the table. We have Lpool and Chelsea at home and go to man u in 3rd last fixture. Man u having easy run of fixturs now..

    In mid march, early April the play Toots (h), lpool (a), Villa (h), City (h), Chelsea(a), Everton (a). If we can be level when they hit those fixtures, we have a chance of pulling away from them. Lpool have some difficult fixtures as well. They have to play us, man u, Man City, Southampton and Chelsea.