Arsenal Debate – How do we define a “World Class” signing?


Hey everyone, this transfer window being the usual… huh? Smoke and mirrors from the boss, what’s not to like?
So we’ve only signed a 33 year old Czech Republic goal keeper, shirt 33 who’s played 333 games in the premier league, and we’re going steady. People though believe we should sign another two top players to challenge for the league .I don’t know if that’s right or wrong but that’s their opinion.

My question(s) today is simple. Who is a world class player? I mean why is one player called world class and the other not? What does the world class player do differently from the one who isn’t? What does one have to do to be called world class? Well, the whole point of the article is to get your opinion on who a world class player is, but let’s start with my idea.

I’ve been a soccer fan for 10-12 years now, so despite not being the most experienced, I’ve seen my fair share of players come and go. The one thing I’ve seen though is that not every highly talented player is world class, or can be world class. I also have studied that a player just can’t be world class for the whole of his playing career by what he does on the pitch.

What makes a world class player? In the argument of potential, I see lots of people slate Arsenal players in the comments section with statements like: he doesn’t have the bare ingredients of a world-class player; he’s too injury prone to be world class; he’s just over rated. And I struggle to understand those arguments. What are those ingredients? In my view, to make it at any top flight club around Europe proves that a player is very talented and I doubt that this is just my view. Every other 18, 19, 20 year old you see break through at Arsenal, Sunderland, Hoffenheim, Lorient, Nantes, Ajax, Celtic or wherever in the top flight has talent because they’ve fought it out with hundreds of peers in the same position – who are probably working at a grocery store now or playing in a lower league side .

All that talent does, is sieve you. Who starts out at Barcelona? Who starts out at United? Who starts out at Chelsea? From there I believe its sheer dedication. Gilles Grimandi some time back (I think it was an interview with Arseblog news) mentioned that he had advised Wenger against signing Frank Ribery in the earlier days of his playing career because as much as the talent was there for all to see, he wasn’t the model professional. Grimandi mentioned things like; he didn’t stretch right, he didn’t take his warm ups seriously, had poor off field discipline and he thought his career wouldn’t go far. He, however, stated that he was happy for Ribery, and admitted the loss because since those early days, Ribery has tried his best to get better off the field and we’ve seen the results on the field. Cristiano Ronaldo is another great example. Anyone who was watching the game when this kid joined Man United will know he was talented from the go but he had to put end product to his game, and that meant hard work on the training ground. He had to practice body balance, shooting, freekicks. See, the thing with talent is it gives you a head start, but then, what you do after getting that head start determines where you will fall in the ranking. Cesc Fabregas, as well, was one of our very own. He came through our ranks and is considered a world class attacking midfielder but then everyone ignores something about his game. Since his days at Arsenal, this guy only plays for six months and turns completely useless for the other six. This is further confirmed by the statement Barcelona made as to why they released him, and his contribution to Chelsea last season.

So then I pose the question. If world class is not about talent, time, or where you play, then where does the tag come from? I believe real world class players are guys that have talent (potential to be world class), but depict it consistently and should cease to be referred to as world class players the moment the consistency goes. Neymar can dribble and do skills, so can Wellington Silva. What is the difference? Neymar puts more time in training, and can do something more after the skills, and do it every week.

Secondly, I believe the rest of the world class players are made in the media. This actually applies to most players that carry the tag. How is Paul Pogba world class and Ramsey not? I haven’t bothered to check the stats but I’ve watched both and they are in the same bracket. Many argue that the kids at Arsenal will never make it because they are not consistent. Well, it isn’t just the kids at Arsenal. It’s kids all over. Just the media hyping them and making them look bigger than they actually are. We all agree they are talented, but their talent lacks the consistency required to be called world class.

Finally, the other misleading trait in the ‘world class argument’ is excitement. More exciting players tend to be labeled world class much easier than the efficient ones. If one had to choose between Nani and Walcott a couple of years ago, they’d have said Nani was much better. I doubt the stats would support them. I’ll choose examples from my own country. Our most successful export in recent times is the recently retired Ibrahim Sekagya from New York Red Bulls. He happened to play in the Uganda national team with a more exciting David Obua who also played in Europe for Hearts. The latter being a winger, the former a center back/defensive mid. The winger was obviously very exciting yet the center back was the more accomplished of the two. Shifting to one still playing, Martin Kayongo Mutumba has since 2004 been one of the most exciting players to watch in the Swedish league till he recently left. Occasionally tagged the Swedish Ronaldinho, but what held him back was failure to see what’s important. He put Nemanja Vidic and Antonio Valencia on their asses with some deft dribbles, but there wasn’t much he could show for all the talent he has till he now ended up in the Iranian league .

As I started the article, I end it with the question. What? Who? Where? …is a world class player and why are they that?

Have yourselves a good day, greetings from Kampala

Joe out!

Tags Fabregas Neymar Ramsey


      1. So sad, times have changed. Just imagine this: Arsenal’s main striker is a guy called Giroud. _______How good is he??? He f**king plays for Arsenal, must be “world-class”, right??? Right???

        1. Stop moaning you whinging little girl and support a player who puts 100% effort when on the pitch. Support a player although not exceptional is a good useful player scores brings others in to play and most importantly plays for YOUR team Arsenal. Pathetic the way fans slate players.

    1. Have you guys noticed that in order for us to play qoquelin, we need to play both giroud and mert for aerial duels…imagine a team with the qoq, walcott, carzola, jack, monreal, bellerin, sanchez, etc defending a manc or stoke or chelsea corners or fks without these 2 guys???..thats how we’ve not lifted a major trophy in ages…Damn you wenger for putting us through this kind of hell…now we have to stick with annoying giroud and slow mert in big games..DAMN YOU OLD MAN JUST DAMMNN YOUUUUU!!!!…you are busy proving maureen words right and suprisingly i dont feel bad for u like i did before…THNX LORD FOR SAVING ME FROM THE ENCHANTMENT OF THE OLD MAN AND MAY ALL THE OTHER IMPRISONED GUNNERS BE SAVED

    1. Alexis,ozil,cazorla, cech,and boss are what we call world class players. If we sign two more players and one of them a world class we would be serious title contenders

    2. World class players are players for their respective positions in the class just below Messi and Ronaldo. Unofficial btw and more of an opinion.
      A++: Lets say those two are Super world class or legendary status. Messi and Ronaldo
      A: World class are your Aguero’s, David silva, Suarez, Neymar, Zlatan, Ramos, Robben, Rooney, A. Sanchez, Hazard, Alvez, Benzema, Ribery, Reus, Pogba, Koscielny, Yaya Toure, Costa, De gea, Courtois, Vidal, Hummels, Cech etc. Although from this group guys like Suarez, Neymar and Hazard are more likely between A and A++. They can still take it to the next level more than the other players in that category.
      A-:Then you have almost world class: Cazorla, Mata, RVP, Lacazette, Griezmann, Ozil, Oscar, Ramsey, Lukaku, Scneiderlin, Coutinho, Alba, Sterling etc. They need to solidify their class to be tagged as world class.
      B++: Solid class with potential to reach world class: Oxlade, Walcott, Jack, Depay, Barkley, Kingsley Coman, Firmino, Adam Johnson. More about proving it.
      B to B-: Stable class: Mertersacker, Gareth barry, Arteta, Charlie adam, Peter crouch, Diame etc. These players are ever present and offer something above average players.
      C: Average class: Giroud, Naismith, Steven Ireland, Jonathan walters etc Average players with the ability to raise their game to the B level from time to time.

    3. Yes, along with Vidal. A player that can make a team tick at all moments against all opponents

  1. Lacazette and VidaL OR Griezmann and VidaL ……. And it will be a happy summer window…..where’s the damn warchest?

  2. So minus Cech, we haven’t really signed anyone of note so far……. They will all say its only just 13days

    1. Greg I agree he could be so awesome at arsenal and we don’t even mind that his injured a lot we are use to it

  3. A world class player (in my opinion) is someone who:

    – Possesses great vision – Who see’s opportunities/ openings/ plays before others
    – Consistently produces moments of brilliance both individually and collectively for the team
    – Thrives under pressure
    – Is statistically proven at the highest level over a number of seasons
    – Has achieved at the highest level
    – Hates to lose with a passion far greater than most love to win
    – Leads by example and elevates the team when heads are down
    – Turns a good team into a great team

    Most of all a world class player has something hard to define, other wise known as the ‘X Factor’. Note – I’m not talking about the televised karaoke contest, though let’s be honest if I were, Alexis would still be “world class”.

    1. Only one player then is world class at Arsenal and that is Sanchez. We have three world class players…Cech and Koscielny are the other two. But Sanchez is the best of the three.

    2. pressure is a tricky one…even zizou has lost it at times,,,,and man i saw that guy play live….he is above even Messi and crsitiano

      1. You’re right Gigi, I remember spells in his career where Zidane was way off his usual standards… All players, world class or otherwise dip in form at some point. Though for the most part I’d say that the great players have longer spells at the top of their game and for the most part thrive on the biggest of stages.

        On that note, it’s hard to see what genuine world class talent is out there to buy at the moment. Add to that the fact that Wenger often appears to be passive/ secretive when it comes to transfers and you have a whole lot of worried Arsenal fans. I for one just hope the club are being proactive and ambitious behind closed doors.

  4. OG and DW is world class but anyone above them are geniuses

    To sign a world class you need money and to sign a geniuse you need passion and big balls, unfortunately we at Arsenal don’t have any of the above including money (they would have us belive)

    1. You really decided to type in that onto an Arsenal forum instead of looking on and finding out yourself. Good call

  5. Top quality strikers:
    Messi, Ronaldo, Suarez, Aguero, Ibrahimovic, Lewandowski, Benzema, Costa, Muller, Cavani,
    Tevez, Martinez.

  6. Crystal Palace are saying that they’ve signed a world class in Yohan Cabaye……you might disagreed that Cabaye is WC.

  7. Look at work rate, commitment, talent, consistence, energy, off pitch calmness, discipline, fighting spirit and strong psychological and emotional edge. you got your world class – See Messi

  8. This could be the best written article in the history of sports journalism, but I stopped reading in disgust when I saw the words “Soccer Fan”.

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