Thomas Lemar


We moved away from ‘the youth project’ for several reasons. Firstly young players suddenly started going for near as much as established talent. Secondly like you say, we waited for them to reach their peaks and when they did they all left. Thirdly we have a bit more money to buy starters now.

You’ve also missed a few, as we try to bring them in for peanuts, so there’s: Bellerin, Toral, Sanogo, Zelalem, Holding, Adelaide, Fortune, Mallen, Crowley, Joel Campbell, Eisfeld, Nwakali, Dragomir. People will laugh at names like Sanogo but he outscored Morata at the under 23 Euros. Eisfeld was more highly regarded than Gotze in Dortmund’s youth set up. Toral looked more talented than Bellerin to me. Some make it some don’t but in the youth era maybe more would of got chances. Nelson is probably the next to break through.


That’s the problem though, we won’t know the answer to that question in an Arsenal shirt.


Not enough work has been done on this front. We should’ve been all over a talent like Dembele but we were not, nor have we been fast enough to poach on any of this wave of talent from France, which is a genuine, fair critique. We are like Barça with the young talent in Spain–too late, and empty handed.

There is no excuse for the lack of young strikers we have bought over the years in trying to fill that position, nor CMs. We have had a crisis at the positions of the 6 and 8 for years now and Bielik is the only signing we have made there, and he turned out to be a CB. We had one summer where we sought to make a concerted effort on the youth side in signing Jeff, Fortune, Malen, Dragomir, etc., but since then nothing. Youth signings and finding young players has to be a consistent, concerted effort, not just a one summer fling in reaction to terrible results that season at youth level, or else it doesn’t work. As it is it’s unlikely we’ll see any first-team benefits from that group, which isn’t surprising, as this is the very reason you can’t just be doing this like that in a reactionary effort, and have to be consistent in your efforts.

Speaking of Jeff, I see we even failed to get him a loan. Not only is our youth recruitment policy incredibly patchy at the moment, our development, especially re: securing loans, would seem to be rather weak as well, just look at the half season wasted last season for Zelalem, Bielik, etc. when we bafflingly decided not to loan out practically anyone.


I’d love to know wtf was going on with Bielik this summer, he had multiple loan deals breakdown and then gets injured playing for the u23’s, won’t return until at least December. And we’ve kept Akpom at the club for whatever reason, no doubt he’ll take u23 minutes away from Nketiah


I honestly believe AW has lost his mojo around decision-making… he just seems paralyzed and ends up with all these random “hangers on” and unresolved situations… he is like the Anti-Fergie that way but I don’t think he was always this way.


I agree. At some point he lost his convictions and his belief in himself and his ‘beliefs’, even if he portrays himself/convinces himself otherwise. Lack of success will do that to you, though, he is human. I think the failure of the 10-11 team, and the fallout afterwards (Cesc, Nasri, later van Persie off) was pretty damning to him in and in retrospect he never recovered. He’s been kinda lost and trying new things without having any real coherent ideas since.

Fergie too left United in a dire state, for the record, so some of this is just attrition/the pitfalls of having an older manager that has been around so long and necessarily can’t bring a fresh/unique perspective on things from the outside and then apply it, which is the way of basically all trailblazing managers at first.


This is what worries me about this situation.

We have an old squad, with the best players leaving and going into next season having a rebuilding job that this club has never seen before.

He says he is going to bid for Lemar again, but what’s the point?
I’d rather a new manager was given that money rather than Wenger, who seems to be like one of those old people who go upstairs only to forget what they went up there for.


Yeah Fergie did leave the squad in a shambles - that is true… but he won the league that year - some fans of his (my best man at my wedding is a die-hard ManU fan) think he almost did it on purpose, or at least he completely stopped thinking about the future in prep for his departure.


Their is a clear distinction in the list @Titou14 gave and the majority of the players that consist of the list you gave with some players like Fabregas, Campbell and Bielik giving some overlap.

Most of the players Titou mentioned were in the 18-23 age bracket with first team experience and we haven’t been active enough in that segment.


When Ferguson left their CEO also left (David Gill). I feel like taking that pin out of the organizational structure did them more damage than the state Ferguson left his squad in. Look at their activity on the market that season.


Eh, either way, Ferguson boasted about how the club was set up for the future, and the pieces he envisioned as important ones (Zaha, Jones) were pretty crap, and there wasn’t much there outside of them.


I remember them having multiple younger players. De Gea, Rafael, Welbeck, Smalling, Kagawa. But you can argue about their quality.

I think adding people in the organization and a good coach will be more important for us than Wenger leaving us with 5 great talents tbh.


Yeah that was a pretty big deal - also, ManU can go spend 200 million in a window and fix their issues… while Moyes wasn’t given that much, every other year I think they have invested quite a bit. No question that squad was diabolical though - Fergie left at the perfect time (for him).


How great of a manager must Ferguson have been though that he managed to get to 89 points twice(!) with the same squad? I reckon that squad did harbor some quality.


Exactly, apart from De Gea and maybe Smalling all of those players were pretty mediocre talent which Fergie overrated (especially Kagawa, I think). And even if those players turned out better that’s not really a core of a team.

It’s not an either/or. We’ll need top players and top coaching to succeed in the coming years, because that’s what our competitors have.

Good managing combined with Premier League being at a total low in terms of quality both managerial and player. Those teams harboured some quality, named Carrick and van Persie, both at the end of their careers.


Obviously we need both. But I don’t think we’ll get proper players in the next two/three transferwindows. That’s why I think we can’t blunder with our next appointment for a coach and somebody up top to actually give some direction to this football club.


That goes without saying…

The point is, in the meantime, while we’re stuck with Wenger, to hope that he doesn’t set us back in terms of assets/squad-wise before we finally replace him.

The fact that nothing can genuinely change until we change the manager and the organisation up top is clear as day to practically everyone, I think, by now. That doesn’t mean all that happens in the meantime is irrelevant, though, the poorer Wenger’s management of the squad the more work the eventual successor will have to do.


Oh. But I believe that damage already has been done. We, supposedly, got at least 3 players in the squad who were flirting with a departure (Bellerin, Mustafi) or decided they wanted to leave (Sanchez). Other clubs offer more attractive propositions right now. Jadon Sancho is just one example, but it’s telling imo he went to Dortmund. We either need to overpay or players need to really, really want to work with Wenger. I think both are slightly improbable.

Come to think of it there might be so much work next season it seems unlikely he’s going to leave this squad in a ‘good’ position anyway; Mertesacker and possibly Cech retiring, Sanchez is gone, uncertainty surrounding Ozil, Giroud and Ospina, Cazorla leaving on a free possibly…


Dortmund just signed a player from league 1 put him in their starting 11 and turnt him into a £150m pound player, Sancho is his replacement, He wouldn’t be silly to turn down that opertunity to sign for any club be it us at or current worst or even when we were at our peak of developing young players


Overpriced and overhyped English talent? Weird how that always seems to work out.