With many of the first teamers either on transit or resting after their long flight back to England, the focus falls on the younger shoulders of the club. Since Arsene Wenger took over the club, we’ve had a very decent success with the under-age squads. Winning the FA Youth Cup a couple of times as well as finishing top of the youth academy league.
Not that it is something new as Arsenal have always brought talents through the club. I’m sure you all remember the likes of Liam Brady, Charlie George, Tony Adams, David Rocastle, Paul Merson and Paul Davis. I’m sure there’s plenty more to add to that list but those are as far as I can remember off the top of my head.
It is just that with the changes being done with the youth setup and the influx of more foreign teenagers into our youth academy and how these players are being introduced into the Premier League, that has made Wenger’s name synonymous with the ability to pluck jewels out of nowhere. However, as we’ve found out already, Wenger can only provide the path while the rest is simply up to the players themselves.
Many have fallen wayside due to their unprofessional ways. Attitude remains a vital part in any prospective world beater in the making. I’m sure there is a certain arrogance that comes with the talent but it should always be tempered with reasons and humility as well as willingness to accept criticism. They say patience is a virtue and David Bentley is a prime example of how it can all go so wrong without it.
Wenger has long since made the Carling Cup as the stepping stones for these youngsters to stake a claim in the senior side. Without going into names, Arsenal has since profited from this strategy and it looks to continue, at least until Wenger says otherwise or when his contracts ends. It goes without saying that to produce a one-off performance of real quality in only 90 minutes is not easy. Therefore it is also to judge them on the basis of their performance in a single knockout game. The only way to really tell is for the team to progress as far as they can in the competition with the same set of youngsters being given a chance.
Most of the names who will have their turn this season are listed here. Brady is a real legend for Arsenal and if he is so bullish over the chances of these players, then we can only listen. One of those have already made an impact in this season’s competition. Henri Lansbury have already etched his name into Arsenal history books by scoring against Sp*rs but that would not be enough to satisfy him. Likened to Ray Parlour by Mr Wenger, this boy does seem to have the necessary engine that mirrors Parlour. It comes down to personal discipline and the desire to improve and be one of the best that will inspire Lansbury.
Lansbury and others will get their chance a fortnight from today at St James Park to showcase their talents. If they need any inspiration, they will only have to look at these pictures these pictures and realise how lucky they are to be playing football and not having their career being wrecked by thugs.
Good to see you again, Aaron Ramsey.