Serge & Mario, But It Loic’s Lie Remy As It’s Chuks Away For Aneke


If Brazil 2014 is the footballing gift that keeps on giving, in my little pun-riven world the transfer window is not far behind. Chuks Aneke left Arsenal to try his luck in Belgium with Moules-frites too tempting an offer to refuse. Zulte-Waregem will be his new home for the next few years and good luck to the young man as he forges his professional career away from The Emirates.

He joins a long list of departed of whom much was expected but never materialised. Potential has always been subjective, football is littered with players who went on to have careers the great and the good decreed they would never enjoy. I guess the question really becomes focused on the end product of the Academy; judgement is frequently passed on how many end up in the Arsenal first XI? There was a time when this was going to be the way forward when cash was not as plentiful as it is now. That brave new world would see Podsnap’s Technique bringing through a generation of Alphas to dominate the squad. It didn’t happen and it never will, an ideal sold as reality but unattainable without the decimation of academies at a more local level. Ironically, that is exactly what the national team needs, centres for excellence that give us a production line of international class footballers. The problem is that just because a club is deemed ‘big’, it is no guarantee that their youth academies are going to work; Arsenal know that and have acted to rectify problems. It’s a brutal truth that it is the same for all but a few clubs at the top of the professional game around the globe.

Money talks and it is bragging right now with Serge Aurier reportedly agreeing personal terms with Arsenal. Whether there is any truth in that remains to be seen especially as until a fee is agreed and a contract signed, talk of him joining remains speculative. As if to add credibility to the ‘chase’, Liverpool have £100m in their pockets that is burning faster than any building fire that Steve McQueen ever tried to put out. QPR and Swansea are also seen a potential threats to Arsenal’s successful pursuit of Aurier. Which is a bizarre combination, two top four sides slugging it out with clubs who many will tip for relegation this season for an Ivory Coast international. I suppose the Bony connection will feed into that somehow.

It sounds more likely than Mario Balotelli joining Arsenal despite reports this morning that his Mr20% is meeting with Arsène whilst the manager is in Rio. This, having met with the big cheeses of Milan in a week when the fee of €39m became a cash sale only, on the nose and with no extended terms, not even throwing in a €10m Joel Campbell will tempt them now. The twists and turns, eh? Still at least agents get to see the world and eat in nice restaurants.

More likely in all this is Loic Remy and his release clause which is suffering from the very deflation that the European Central Bank is trying to avoid across the continent. Starting the summer at £12m, the utter disinterest of anybody when it came to making a bid has forced the release clause down to £10m this morning. If Arsenal bid, it will probably rise to £15m.

If Arsène were able to draw himself away from all this activity, he would have enjoyed the Germany v Ghana game yesterday. It simmered for a while before reaching boiling point in the second half. Mertesacker didn’t enjoy the best afternoon for his 100th cap but Mesut Özil flourished in the open spaces offered. A draw was a fair result and keeps Germany on course to qualify. They face a daunting task though as the three-team USA!USA!USA! could seize top spot if they beat a Portugal squad licking its wounds about being asked so often about Ronaldo’s wounds, not to say the drubbing they received thanks to Pepe’s stupidity. A draw would not be the worst for either country and leave the final round of matches poised nicely.

Elsewhere, the stout defence of Iranians ran out of energy and in a flash, Lionel Messi broke their hearts with the game’s only goal. Argentina should have won more comfortably but could equally have lost with Reza missing two presentable chances in the second half. They’re through; Bosnia are out with England in good company. The navel gazing has turned into bitching with a large number of ex-managers revelling in Roy Hodgson’s relative failure by pointing out where it went wrong for England. The prefix “ex-” identifies the experience of these critics and their knowledge of failure makes them well-suited to comment. You would have thought that England were expected to win the World Cup judging by the reaction as opposed to being roundly written off before a ball was kicked.

The hypocrisy of it all is breath-taking.

’til Tomorrow.

71 thoughts on “Serge & Mario, But It Loic’s Lie Remy As It’s Chuks Away For Aneke

  1. Salut Ras

    Fete de la Musique was good., how was yours? Did you perform somewhere?…. had to go to a bar to watch the Germany vs Ghana game, but afterwards the party was good.

  2. For all of Yogis ‘little’ warriors, don’t forget it’s sunday morning. Just a little click on my name will whisk you over to the GunnersoreArse. Have a quick read and you can return to ACLF and Yogi won’t even know you went missing. 🙂

  3. Yogi

    Last nights game Germany vs Ghana was one of the best so far….. second half was exceptional.

    On the Transfers, Aurier does seem to be picking up again in the gossip columns. If he ends up at QPR or Swansea, well, it just can’t happen! Can it?

  4. Salut NB qui cetait bien hier soir a Montpellier.Li ya le monde partout. J suis naz- dead,j m repose tranquile. The Police arrived 3.30 en masse there was a bit of a stand off. Nobody wanted to move,you had 1000 people wanting more. You know le flic ici quand cest finit cest finit.

  5. Up with the lark this morning to dig my first early potatoes before it got too hot. Good crop of lovely white, clean spuds. gorgeous.

    Always enjoy digging spuds. Very satisfying for a man fill sacks with bounty like that.

    Morning all. Lovely day again.

  6. So if Roy was to go…… Which he won’t then look who is the man next in line,,… Mr Gareth bloody Southgate….England in the dulldrums for a while now even though we have some class players… Our managers won’t know what to do with them how Roy never used the only player we have who loves the ball I don’t know .

    Why is there no good English managers, I’ll tell you why because football in this country is a working class underclass sport, the people that play it just don’t have the academic credentials or intellect to manage successfully as to be a decent manager one must be a jack of all trades not just know about football.

  7. Morning Yogi, World Cup picking up nicely with exciting games, Germany vs Ghana match rates as one of the best World Cup matches so far. Nigeria also defied odds to beat Bosnia giving Africa something to cheer and brightening their chances for 2nd round should they get any result against Argentina.
    On transfer, Aurier would be a great replacement for Sagnal but will it happen?
    Loic Remy for me would be second choice to Mario Balotelli, Benzema and Mandzukic but what chance of any of these coming to Emirates. Many of us would give a lot to take a peep into Wenger’s mind to know what he is thinking about transfer but time will tell if he would finally get it right.

  8. Ras

    Yeah……… typical French police. On the Roche de Dom in Avignon, they arrive at 12:30 and start to clear the park, and won.t let you take your glass of wine with you.

  9. Nice post, Yogi.

    As much as the Balotelli talk appeals to the armchair manager in me, Arsene’s comments last summer about needing a more versatile striker to play with Giroud and not just instead of him continue to convince me there’ll be no traditional CF signing this summer. I can see Remy, despite Spurs being favorites to sign him and surely Joel Campbell deserves a chance to prove himself at the club.

    Maybe the powder is being kept dry for the DM we’re all crying out for.

  10. @chico4arsenal

    Hahaha remy would be second choice to ballotelli, benzema and mandzukic! Surely that makes him 4th choice?

    I would actually like us to buy 2 strikers rather than one and seeing as we could have remy and mandzukic for less than we can get ballotelli, and around half of what we would have to pay for benzema, perhaps that is the way to go. However, if puma are really putting some cash into it, if we sign balo, then that is what will happen. For me remy is a good deal can play all across the front 3, but I fear he would end up being a sub most of the time as he is not going to keep Walcott and cazorla on the bench and what about campbell podolski and chamberlain.

  11. Both of Germany’s goals were scrappy. Poor. Ghana are a team full of charisma. I’ll be genuinely sad if they go out.

    A tough day for those of us who go for the underdog, since Iran had heartbreak. They definitely deserved a point against Argentina. Their defending is the most impressive in the tournament.

  12. Hi all 🙂 Balotelli for mine is a definite NONO! As talented as he is, he’s too volatile and unstable. We’d be better served putting our efforts into Benzema, Higuain (again :), Mandzukic or even Wilfried Bony before Balotelli. Joel Campbell MUST stay! He’d be a great backup or even better option to Theo Walcott at right wing and makeshift centre forward, his physique is heavier set than Walcott’s AND he has pace to burn as he showed against Giorgio Chiellini Friday night when he should have won Costa Rica a penalty. He now also has experience as a title winner (albeit it being in Greece 🙂 and can say he’s played and scored against Manchester United (even if it was under Moyes). I could see him and Giroud forming a fearsome tandem up front and complementing one another beautifully, but at the same time know that we do need a world class finisher to come in.

    Don’t forget; we still also need a defensive midfielder (although the hiring of the German National Team fitness coach Shad Forsythe excites me, as he may be able to keep Abou Diaby fit after all this time haha!) Diaby at his best is an immediate starter in the French national team and as much has been said by Didier Deschamps. He’s now 27 and the right age to anchor the midfield and give Arteta and co more licence to roam forward and hit those long range strikes. Having said that, we cannot take a gamble and only rely on Diaby and Flamini – therefore Sven or Lars Bender would make me a happy man 🙂 Javi Martinez is a sook and a prima donna and we don’t need the likes of him at Arsenal, he’d undermine what Wenger’s trying to achieve and if Guardiola’s having trouble with him you can bet Wenger will.

    Aurier I like and hope the rumours are true about us having a deal in the bag-on which I’d also like to make another point-why are people panicking? EVERY man and his dog knows that Arsene famously keeps his cards close to his chest and even Ivan Gazidis said recently at a fan’s evening that-and I quote-“We are already deep into negotiations with a number of players. We are more than confident that we will get what we need this summer”. With the directors having come out and put pressure on Wenger in the Standard and other newspapers here, and Wenger himself stating that Arsenal fans can look forward to an exciting summer-I am excited to see what I hope will be a glut of names emerging as having signed once the window OFFICIALLY opens on July 1 (which is still a week or so away people, so relax! Everyone knows Jose ‘Ego-inho’ is a big noise and loves to trumpet his achievements, whereas Arsene is humbler, quieter and much more cunning. I think he’s going to shock us all once the clock hits 0:00 on July 1…:p

  13. Dejagah’s header and his clear penalty denied were even more significant than Reza’s misses, I think.

  14. Andre Petrology, I hope you are right about our advanced transfer dealings–but where can we see Gazidis’ comments? What fan event was this and anyone write about it?

    Also when/where are these directors’ statements putting pressure on Wenger? If I am going to clutch at straws to stay hopeful, I need actual and specific straws to clutch!!!

  15. Sorry Andre, your second name was autocorrected to the study of rocks–apologies!

  16. Great post yogi.

    Absolutely fantastic World Cup so far. The football has been great with just enough surprises to make it more interesting. Huge game today for USA!USA!USA! We could top the group and guarantee qualification for the knockout round. Some pretty heady stuff for the little engine that could. I thought Ghana was better then Germany. Based on yesterday’s game, I don’t see the Germans lifting the trophy. They need a CF. Argentina looked tepid at best and Iran deserved a draw but Argentina has Messi. Every team has games where they look poor and that’s why the best teams have a game winner who can create a goal by himself.

    I agree with your assessment of our academy. So many players such as Aneke who seemed so talented and looked like can’t miss prospects have come and gone. I understand how difficult it is to identify and develop players who are good enough to make the roster of a top 4 team. However, the really surprising thing is just how few of our academy grads actually end up even playing on any team at the PL level. You would think that with all the emphasis and effort that Arsene put into the academy and it’s youth acquisition and development that we could at least have found and developed a reasonable number of players would could make an impression on mid and lower table PL squads. A real head scratcher for me.

  17. The academy has produced Jack and Gibbs for Arsenal, which isn’t terrible. WS comes out of the cheap youth purchase strategy. Not bad. But not great either.

  18. Limestone.

    The academy was one of the center pieces of the project that surrounded the stadium. Arsene clearly has a distaste for the over priced and over hyped transfer market and I think he really believed that we could significantly diminish or even eliminate our dependence on the transfer market. Many of us including me thought the group of youth coming through in the 2007 – 10 era would mature together and dominate the PL. In retrospect that was never a realistic but it would seem reasonable to have expected more then just 3 players on our squad after 10 years. As I mentioned above its even more surprising how few of our grads ever made it to any PL squads much less becoming influential top flight players in any league.

  19. Lovely piece and full of wit today!

    Particular favourite was the ” Still at least agents get to see the world and eat in nice restaurants” line

    Mrs B at work all day today so it’s the seafront for me today. Sunny skies and crisp pints of Meantime’s Yakima Red with beautiful sea views from the pub decked chair. A few treats to munch down before two more WC games to take in. In your face Monday, cos right now I’m winning!

  20. Nice write up as usual Yogi. I don’t know if you are on autopilot or it’s your love of writing but it is appreciated.
    I always feel disappointed when an Arsenal ‘youngster’ moves on. I know its irrational but somehow feel like Arsenal has failed them. I wish Aneke well at his new club.

    I wonder if the choice is between keeping Campbell and signing Remy? If it is I think we should keep Campbell. He has been moved around like an unwanted foster child and seems to have built character and honed his skills.

  21. If we started our summer strengthening with Mario and Serge i’d be very happy with that…Serge especially as he’s versatile as they come, can play anywhere across the back 4 and CDM when required. He’s an athletic machine and the signing of the German fitness coach could see him turn the likes of Jack and Diaby into machines as well. I don’t think we’ll sign a CDM this summer, i think we’ll get a CF, Aurier and a winger. Imagine if we got Sanchez, Balotelli and Aurier, that’s a cracking set of players. Wonder what will happen with CB if Verm leaves though!

  22. Earflow.

    Why not keep Campbell and get Remy and add Balotelli or Benzema. The best teams have depth of attacking talent. Last season once Theo went down our lack pace and goal scoring firepower was our undoing. How can we expect to improve without a lot more depth upfront?

  23. @ Bill.
    I read somewhere that 3 is the nagic number in terms of squad changes. I don’t know how it works if more than 3 leave or if loanees return or turn up. So if it is 3 then Aurier and a DM make 2. One more to go so there are choices to be made.
    BTW does anyone know what are the most amount of new players Wenger has ever added to the club.?

  24. I agree YW. We were certainly led to expect more from it. I don’t expect we will abandon it, not should we, so hopefully the training of young players improves in results to match a club like Southhampton. In the meantime, however, we need to recognize that relying on the youth academy is no real strategy for winning in the foreseeable future. Alas, we must aggressively but top talent and proven players to improve our chances. Luckily we have the resources to do much better, if these are effectively deployed by the club.

  25. Fair points Bill. I think it has been underwhelming in its performance. It is clearly harder than might appear. We’re a big club so it should be a bonus rather than the basis of our approach.

  26. Continuity is helpful for a core of players and a few well chosen additions to add quality and competition to keep things from becoming stale. But a firm and fast rule of no more than three is too stringent. If it is so serious, then I would suggest we need to do a better job of keeping our players: we could have offered Sagna a good wage and third year in early fall, perhaps keeping him.

  27. Earflow

    6 in 2000/01 and quite a few occasions have seen 5 incoming. Rarer to see his optimum of 3.

    That number is a smokescreen though, it should depend only on the requirements to mount a title challenge.

  28. Morning all.

    The Ghana v Germany match was fun to watch, wasn’t it 🙂 I learnt two things from that match, German don’t like to shoot with their left pegs unless it is Podolski and Ghana were entertaining on the break. My concern for Germany at the start of the tournament was the ‘false 9’ and that hasn’t changed. Germany (my team) were far to casual and still should have buried the game. France apart no team has taken their respect Groups by storm. I mean I love that Costa Rica have two wins but their play has not been as dominant as France to date. Even the Dutch struggled against Australia, who if they had brought their shooting boots would have won that match, Still, bloody awesome world cup and the best for some time.

    Looking around the premier league and especially the contenders, then Arsenal’s youth return is positively mesmeric. Gibbs, Jack and even Wojo who joined just prior to his 16th birthday should all be Arsenal products. Wojo has come along way, with 4 years in the reserve and loan set up and of course the accident in the weight room that saw him fracture both his forearms. There have definitely been disappointments along the way, but that is to be expected. To be considered a homegrown player, by extension a club trained player they must have completed 3 years with the club between the ages of 16 and 21.

    Finally, one of those bloody rare days I’m agreeing with ‘bleak’ Bill, but “Why not keep Campbell and get Remy and add Balotelli or Benzema” seems sage to me 🙂

  29. All the talk of strikers and all, but whom is a realistic target at back up keeper? Seems some scuttlebutt has Macey as the third choice now, not sure where that leaves Martinez.

  30. Peddling homegrown numbers as a coup of our youth set up is a misplaced chimera. Buying a young player at 15/16/17 and developing them further is not youth development. It is a transfer strategy built around very young professionals. We’ve discussed this before. MA, and the youth academy is about 9-14 year olds when the technical foundations are established, by AW’s own theory. By his own standards, WS is not a youth academy player but a young professional developed by Arsenal

    Liverpool has Sterling and their LB. Everton has their CB and Barkley. United has Welbeck, Cleverly, anyone else? Chelsea has Terry. Arsenal are in the mix but not outstanding like Southhampton.

  31. Miami 🙂

    For the last 9 years we have been whining and moaning an complaining that the rich teams can afford to buy more players then they really need and that depth to withstand injury or poor runs of form is one of the main reasons we can’t be expected to win anything. Now we have a chance to do the same thing so what possible reason could there for us to avoid adding lots of players to the squad. Clearly Joel Campbell has talent but he is no where near to being a sure thing. Rationalizing that we don’t need another attacking player because we have Joel Campbell is the same as loading the gun that might end up shoot us in the foot. It’s nonsensical. It’s impossible to have to much depth in your goal scoring options. We don’t know if Campbell or Remy or Vela or Balotelli or Ox would really come good or if Podolski will be used and we don’t know if or when Theo will be back to the top of his game. The more options we have the more likely that 1 or 2 of those players will turn to be difference makers.

    Another argument for not buying more players is that we need to save some space for a couple of young players. However, saving space for young players and using them in the cup games is the strategy we have been using to develop young players for the last 10 years and we just talked about how ineffective that strategy has been for both the players and the club. IMO much better to develop young players like Joel Campbell using the loan system. (Obviously saying all of that we need to do what is necessary to be in compliance with the home grown rules.)

  32. @Lime

    Sterling for the record under your own interpretation of youth would not fit either, he signed from QPR for an initial 600k rising to a possible 5m. Jon Flanagan and Gerrard are the only two that came though the system at Liverpool. Welbeck (Preston North End). Cleverly was a United product. Man City have none and Chelsea has 1.

    So I want to understand this, a player needs to be at a club prior to the age 14 to have a claim as youth product? Arsene talks about technical quality and this is your ‘complete’ interpretation on a play developing in to a final product. Funny, a never realized a player was the final product at 14, can you name these internationals for world class 14 years olds? They may have fallen off my radar.

    And here is a question for you. Do you think Arsene would have produced more from the youth ranks 1st team players if they did not have the money to buy ‘proven’ quality? You tout the amazing Southampton, but it is interesting to note that the only teams producing youth talent at a reasonable level (if you can call it that, whatever the predetermined metric is) are those teams not blessed with the ability to spend millions every window. No correlation there at all, not for them, Everton, West Ham or Aston Villa the teams producing the youth movement for England at reverse and senior level.

  33. @Bill

    “For the last 9 years we have been whining and moaning an complaining”

    No, you have been. I have been complaining we have not done more to maximize our resources in the past 3 seasons.

  34. Miami


    The reality is we have all been complaining that the rich clubs have had an unfair advantage over us for 9-10 years. Assuming that your view that we really were as poor as we acted from 2005 -10 is correct, it makes our reticence to not use our resources to the maximum for the last 3 years even more difficult to understand, IMO.

  35. @Bill

    We all rationalize it in our own ways, I supported your view of this occasion because the biggest problem for me last season was the loss of so many players in forward areas. Bringing Campbell back to give him a chance, with the additional of Remy and another striker just means we have more depth to both rotate but also cover for injuries. It makes sense to me.

  36. @Bill

    I have said this many times, I do not understand, nor perhaps will I ever understand why Arsenal needed to produce profits in almost all of those years (I think we had 1 year where a loss was incurred). Football is generally not considered a revenue producing business model and looking around the world you can see it is about passion not profit. I get all of that. However whilst I don’t understand Arsenal’s need to be in the black every year, I did not want them mortgaging the club in the pursuit of spending beyond their means. That is why I cut them slack for the first 5 to 6 years, beyond that it is more than reasonable under my view to take a very hard look at the lack of investment,

  37. Excited about the match today against Portugal. Its interesting to see how many people get on the soccer bus during the World Cup and then don’t care at all about Futbol for the next 4 years. A lot of people make it about patriotism which I think is not the real issue. I am no more or no less patriotic then anyone. Just like supporting the sports teams in the city you live, it’s more fun when you can cheer for the home team. USA USA USA

  38. Is there a bigger fraud in football than Capello? Russia as uninspiring as his England side. His ratio of World Cup final points to (astronomical) salaries over the length of his international management career must be the worst of all time.

  39. MA, I was wrong then about Sterling. I didn’t do a full squad analysis; just an off hand run through of the English players that might gave been with the club. You could add Micah Richards to City’s list though he is just now this summer out of contract. So we have 2 compared to most of our competitors who have one or two. How is that phenomenal success, which is how you characterized it? You made it sound like we were soooo far ahead. We aren’t.

    You always try to put words into the mouths of others without really understanding their points and/or exaggerating greatly to caricature their arguments. You do it with others besides me. But I don’t always get involved and I do try to credit you with good points or persuasive argument or good information that I am not aware of.

    So I don’t say this with animus or hostility, but if you aren’t prepared to take seriously what some one actually says and consider it fairly rather than what you want them to have said in order it justify some of your less well-considered positions, then it isn’t worth engaging in discussion with you. I am prepared to admit my ignorance or to absorb a better idea. If you are open to the same possibility, I will explain again the distinctions that I think meaningfully can and should be made when we talk about academy players, youth and development. I’ll just leave you with one obvious example of your tendency and its harm to good football conversation: where did I say that young professionals cannot be improved brought training and coaching and thus develop under Arsenal’s system? I’ll tell you: nowhere.

  40. I do wonder what Ballotelli will do to us though. He will bring controversy and craziness that has not been seen since well, i cannot remember last time. All our players today are so sterile and serious and nice and cosy.

    I dont think Balotelli is like Rooney or Van Persie, egocentric and arrogant and up his own ass(well he probably is that too) but mostly he’s just eccentric and unpredictable. Like Picasso or Dali or something totally weird from a different dimension.

    He is as likely to do a Gallas “sit down” demonstration as he is to do a sublime and artistic RvP goal.

    I think it could potentially be very entertaining though. I mean when did we last have a nutcase? must be Mad Jens back in the day?

  41. @Lime

    Tell me what your point was because having read it 3 times, this is my take away. A youth is not a youth developed by a club unless that youth was trained in a technical capacity between the age of 9 and 14 years. Was I right in reading that much?

    I’ll await your answer before proceeding.

  42. Bradley needs to have a better game. Interesting to see how Portugal will fare with players missing and CR7 ailing. Scorcher in Manaus. Ghana need Portugal victory.

  43. @Lime

    I never intended to inflame your passions, certainly didn’t mean to words in your mouth. My apologies. The problem with writing is of course words don’t always translate as effectively on paper and tone is always going to be difficult.

    Perhaps if you can please just explain your definition of what a youth player is for him then to be claimed as a product of the club?

    See, I read your commentary and it would seem to suggest that unless the player was at the club between the ages of 9 and 14 then he cannot be claimed as a product of the club. If that is the case, and I am not going to say you were intending to be that definitive, what’s happens with their development beyond that age? Wojo as an example apparently cannot be considered a product because he signed prior to this 16th birthday on a scholarship. So I guess for myself, I don’t understand why Arsenal cannot get credit for any of his development whilst he spent the next 3 or 4 years on loan and in the youth set up. I mean he trained with the club. I don’t begrudge Mac City signing Richards at almost 15 on a scholarship.

    See for me, Wojo is clearly an Arsenal product. I could very reasonably claims Cesc as such as well and why you might ask? Well, for starters these players were acquired on scholarships with a view to a professional terms. Now, that does not mean that another club did not have a hand in their development of course they did, I would imagine it is very rare to see any player stay with the same club their entire youth career. If Jordan Brown makes the break through at West Ham, why should West Ham not be credited for his development beyond him leaving Arsenal?

    Now the development of these types of players is significantly different from the acquisitions of players like Theo and Oxlade (for example), where significant outlay was made to acquire their registration.

    I guess what I am saying Lime is I don’t understand your definition of what youth is, and the only thing I could gleam from it was again the characterization of technical ability between the aforementioned ages as denoted above. I’m more than happy to listen to your reasoned response.

  44. Good strike–Bradley really is on form tonight. Booing for CR, must be the US fans. Who are the Brazilians rooting for?

  45. How on earth do they let that happen?

    How!? I was actually rooting for them and they let themselves down.

  46. MA, it came across as more emphatic and tetchy than it should have. So I apologize myself and you certainly make a good point that scholarship players aren’t the same thing as young professionals. However, we have discussed this whole issue very thiroughly already and i bolstered my views about the staged if youth development with reference to AW’s own philosophy and its implications. Players who are 15-16 are a gray area. Of course Arsenal deserves credit for developing 15-16 year old into first teamers. But a very big component of the player development took place elsewhere. That isn’t, therefore, an indication of the health of our academy. It is like being a good college for football where good students already have the basic academic skills, the foundation. And that is a different case from young professionals who are purchased widely for little money in the hope that one in 30 or 40 plays for Arsenal and the others might be sold on. That is even further removed from a youth academy player. Yet usually these players are all touted and regarded as Arsenal youth/academy products by those who promote the “youth policy” over “transfer policy” when in fact the players of 16 and up are actually part of a transfer policy that just focuses on a cheaper and more youthful part of the market. And the strategy at the low and early end of the market may have been necessary and certainly is worth continuing, but not to the exclusion of addressing first team needs through proper recruitment at the top level to produce success since in the short term rather than in the distant future. And frankly the effectiveness and benefits of this low/early strategy have been oversold by the club. the touth puct was supposed to achieve far more of snnimpact. instead, it is arguable whether Arsenal’s academy and young professionals strategy has done signifixantly more for Arsenal than the academies and recruitment of young professionals of other clubs.

    We have done fine but not great and certainly nothing like what we were led to expect. Only a fool would suggest that the club doesn’t have a hand in the molding and development if teenage players, mostly professionals or nearly so, but this is not some major accomplishment of Arsenal’s youth academy. It is improving and refining nd training good players, not creating them exactly. And the two need to be distinguished to understand Arsenal’s approach and why we need to invest in proven and developed talent, if we genuinely intend to win.

  47. Mor, C and I discussed Bradley pretty extensively right in the eve of the first US game. Some if d it hard to believe that an American like Bradley could play for us, but he could have helped us last season. However, he isn’t good enough to be a long term option and clearly wanted a longer term move on a good contract, which he got from Toronto– we were only likkung ar a lian, and i don’t think he was ready to accept that.

  48. He was better because he wasn’t injured but he doesn’t have the technical quality AW would insist on. He has other great qualities-a decent long pass, energy, combativeness,–he’s a less technical version of Ramsey.

  49. US is proving hard to beat with just enough quality to score the goals needed to win. Jones’ strike was pretty fantastic.

  50. USA played an excellent game. Can’t believe they came back and took the lead after that terrible goal they conceded early. Then to be so close and give away that last goal is a killer. Now we have o play Germany with 1 day less rest after playing a game like that in the humidity of the amazon jungle that is that stadium. Despite everything I still think we can get a result against Germany.

  51. Shame for Ghana who will be missed from the next round. Their match with USAx3 could have gone either way and i feel that had they met later in the competition the result could have been very different.
    Nigeria at least played better although I don’t think they have been as good since they started wearing a high visibility green uniform in the mid nineties. Now Cote d’ivoire away looks how Nigeria should: cool, athletic and Nigerian and not a day outing of Lollipop men.

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