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The final list of players registered for the new Premier League season came out yesterday and there were a whole host of questions being asked about Arsenal’s list, not least a paper which said our list was a farce. Before we go through the rights or wrong, here’s the list.
Nicklas Bendtner, Gael Clichy, Johan Djourou, Cesc Fabregas, Vito Mannone and Alex Song
Non homegrown :
Manuel Almunia, Andrey Arshavin, Marouane Chamakh, Abou Diaby, Emmanuel Eboue, Lukasz Fabianski, Laurent Koscielny, Tomas Rosicky, Samir Nasri, Bacary Sagna, Robin Van Persie, Thomas Vermaelen and Sebastien Squillaci
Benik Afobe, Chucks Aneke, Nacer Barazite, Kyle Bartley, Francis Coquelin, Craig Eastmond, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, Emmanuel Frimpong, Kieran Gibbs, Conor Henderson, Gavin Hoyte, Henri Lansbury, Havard Nordtveit, Aaron Ramsey, Mark Randall, Wojciech Szcescny, Armand Traore, Carlos Vela, Theo Walcott, Sanchez Watt and Jack Wilshere
So there you have it. The entirety of the list as per shown here in the official site. Note that those 5 players highlighted in blue in the U-21 list are all out on loan. Frimpong will probably not play until the start of 2011/12 season. As for the others, it depends on how far Arsenal progress in the Carling Cup before loan deals are negotiated for them. Of those that does not imply to the likes of Gibbs, Ramsey, Vela, Walcott and Wilshere who are considered part of the first teamers but are still young enough to be classified in the U-21 category.
I am proud of the fact that the 6 players in the homegrown list are actually brought up and grown in Arsenal. Comparatively to those listed in Chelsea, neither Frank Lampard nor Ashley Cole were brought through via the club’s youth system and yet both are named as part of the homegrown category. The same goes for Manchester United who have Rio Ferdinand, Michael Carrick and Michael Owen classified as homegrown. I’m pretty sure that they came through Leeds, West Ham –> Sp*rs and Liverpool’s youth systems respectively.
Now, I fully understand that the rules did not dictates that those homegrown players must come from the youth system but instead it depends on the amount of years spent in English football in general. I share Arsene Wenger’s thoughts that football should be about talent and skills but not the passport. The are quite a number of teams that have struggled to fully fill the total of 25 players for the new season.
Even now, the Football Association of England are thinking of new ideas to implement to the league. This is based on their insistence that the current rules still consist of loopholes for the clubs to take advantage of. Then again, given what the country have gone through in terms of international matches, they do have to make changes to their system. However, giving players more chances to feature on the basis of fulfilling a quota will not achieve the FA’s target. If they are good enough, no foreign players should be able to take their place in the squad.
Tomorrow we see why we won’t see many more of Vermaelen’s goals. Have a nice day.