Written by Mean Lean on Thursday, 08 November 2007 14:40
Arsene had to make a choice, he had some big decisions to make. He had ageing stars like Bergkamp, Vieira, Pires, Ljungberg, Sol Campbell and more all coming towards the latter part of their careers. Roman Abramovich was pumping in millions of pounds into Chelsea football club and it was proving hard for Arsenal to compete with them.
Arsene Wenger decided not to continue buying 7 million pound, 26 year olds and decided to take a major gamble by capturing the very best 15-18 year olds and put them through the 'Arsenal way' training.
His thinking was that he cannot spend 35million on superstars so he decided to buy world class players before they got to that stage for next to nothing. While fans were screaming for world class international players, Arsene contnued going about his business, sticking to his master plan.
Alot of youngsters came into the club and alot of them didn't make the grade for whatever reason but alot of them have what it takes to make it at Arsenal. Cesc, Van Persie, Eboue, Clichy, Walcott are all established players in the Arsenal side and if they continue to keep improving then they will not be replaced. The trouble is that the likes of Traore, Denilson, Bendtner, Merida etc have a very difficult task in replacing these players.
At most clubs there is a mixture of youth and experienced players, so the common theme is that the experienced player gets to a point where he is starting to decline and the younger player is improving so they just change places in the squad. Flamini waited for his chance and he has displaced 31 year old Gilberto Silva in the starting line up. This is not going to be the case as often in this Arsenal squad.
How long is Armand Traore going to wait behind the improving talented Gael Clichy? Traore is a powerful and skilful youngster who is getting better every time we see him.
We have already started to see unrest from the likes of Nikalas Bendtner and Lassana Diarra and the longer this continues the more players are going to be lured by the interest of first team football.
So many of our players can be wonderful players if given playing time. Bendtner and Diarra are already international players who need to play regular football so they can continue playing for their countries. Denilson is a wonderful creative passer who probably has the hardest job in football right now and that is replacing Cesc Fabregas in the heart of midfield who is only two years or so older than him.
Justin Hoyte has the impossible task of replacing the impressive Bacary Sagna at right back who has taken the Premier League like a duck to water. Rumours are already circulating that he may be off to Everton in the January transfer window. Abou Diaby has talent in abundance but has never had a sustained run in the side.
I want all these players to become world beaters with us but the reality is that we are going to lose some very talented players over the next few years.