This week has been a very interesting one as far as non-playing weeks go. We’ve signed another promising youngster who may or may not turn out to be special.
I really feel that we’re going to see an awful lot more of this sort of thing from other clubs now that the ‘home grown’ quota is looming, but perhaps the signings will be even younger so that they qualify as ‘home grown’ under the new rules.
We’ve always been a club that signs players very young with the belief that our academy will make them into something great. The Romanian under 16 captain Vlad Dragomir is no exception. There’s no real way of knowing if he’ll be a Bellerin or a Bendtner, but he’s got a good chance of making it from the academy to the first team because our youth setup is very good.
Current examples are Theo, The Ox, Bellerin and Gnabry to name a few. All count as home grown despite the latter two being from Spain and Germany respectively.
Chelsea & City are chasing ‘home grown’ players and I think we can expect more clubs to poach youngsters from abroad to find the best foreign talent who can later be classed as ‘home grown’. However they’ll have to improve their academies to compete properly with Hale End, otherwise their promising youngsters will turn into Championship players. In my opinion this is one of the reasons they currently pay over the odds for a half decent English player. They’re just not producing enough.
Chelsea currently have a scattergun approach whereby they loaned out something like 20 players last season in the hope that one of the them would be good enough. It didn’t work.
We’ve previously loaned out the likes of Jack Wilshere and Szczesny who have benefitted from game time, while Carl Jenkinson is doing well at West Ham. The point here is that although not all of our players who go out on loan come back, we don’t loan an entire squad of players in the vague hope that one or two will shine.
In any event, UEFA will eventually get sick of English clubs poaching all the youngsters and legislate against it. Everyone had better hope their academies are producing by then. Ours is.
Koscielny to Madrid
In other news rumours have begun to surface regarding Koscielny to Madrid. I’m sorry for lowering the tone here on GT with transfer speculation, but it has to be done. Keeping Kos is a must. He’s a world class defender and replacing him would be difficult in the extreme.
The question of whether we need to sell in this case is irrelevant. Despite being a ‘buying club’ now, the lure of Madrid and Barcelona cannot be overstated.
I just hope that if he goes we get a player in exchange. Benzema, Kroos, Ramos or Varane could all be put to good use in our first team.
One last thing…
Apparently we would have won the Premier League last season if Jose Mourinho was in charge, according Tony Cascarino.
While I understand the point that he took most of the points in the top four head to heads, probably because of his tactics, I think the assertion is over-simplified. Last season at Chelsea Jose had no genuine challengers because we, along with City and United weren’t ready. When I say that I mean that our squads were missing something. For us it was Coquelin and perhaps Cech, (I won’t go into the Manchester teams because nobody cares). If Mourinho had managed us last season he’d have had the same issue. Playing with a squad missing a component against a complete side. I don’t think he’d have fared much better than third.
I’m a lifelong Arsenal fan. I got my first kit at 3 years old and my dad put a nail in my wall and hung it there rather than in my wardrobe. Mum was furious.