Is Arsenal A Feeder Club? by SV
Today, we shall play the former Premier League leaders and current outsiders for the Premier League title. There is no love lost between us and Man City (for, of course, I’m talking of them) so, by the time many of you read this, you shall probably either be extremely happy or extremely sad. The purpose of today’s article is not, however, to analyse whether you are more likely to be happy or sad (in other words, I’m not going to predict whether we will win or lose), but I’m going to look at an issue which has been niggling me hugely during the build-up to this game…
One of the reasons, I’m sure, why so many Arsenal fans hate City is that they poach many of our best players. The issue came up yesterday in an article on JustArsenal; City have, in their current squad, FOUR ex-Arsenal stars (Adebayor, Toure, Nasri and Clichy). This fact has prompted speculation over whether or not Arsenal are turning into a feeder club, and producing talented players only to have them taken off us by ‘bigger’ clubs. And, after several minutes of intense thought and conjecture, I came up with this answer: what a load of bullsh*t!
I admit, we cannot compare to the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona but, in my opinion, there is not a single other club which can. But if you asked me (from a completely unbiased perspective) whether an Arsenal talent would prefer to stay at Arsenal or to move on to City/United/Bayern etc, I would say that the talent would likely opt for Arsenal. Yes, the other clubs hold certain appeals (money at City, history at Utd, prestige at Bayern), but our club holds a great appeal for young players too. I hope that people still realise the amount of respect which Arsenal Football Club commands throughout the world, for its ethos, history, style of play and, yes, for the quality of our players. Let us also not forget that most players begin to salivate at the thought of playing alongside RVP or under the tutelage of Arsène Wenger.
In addition, all young players at the club (all players full-stop, in fact) have a solid belief that Arsenal will challenge for major honours every season. Even this season, after our squad had two giant Nasri and Cesc-shaped holes in it, the players believed that we were no worse than any of the other top teams. And I’m not talking crap; if you search the net, you’ll find numerous interviews – from earlier in the season – of many members of our squad saying that the Champions League and FA Cup could be brought to North London.
Yes, fair enough, we have had big-name departures in the past. The names Henry, Hleb, Flamini, Viera, Fabregas and Nasri will all crop up. But almost all of those players left pretty much when we would have wanted. For evidence, just look at the fact that none of them, besides the final two, have reached anywhere near their Arsenal form since they left the club.
However, I would say this: I think that the club needs to slightly change its wage structure – even though the current one has its advantages – as I think that the allure of big money could prove to be too much for some of our players in the future. I don’t think that we should go overboard though and change our whole transfer policy etc, as I don’t think that big money always means big success, as I hope that today’s game will prove.
If you’re reading this article after a terrible Arsenal performance and/or heart-breaking loss, I apologise… but let’s put Man City to the sword.
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