Are we actually building for the future? by dgr8xt
“We have the youngest team in the league”
“We have a lot of potential”
“We are building for the future”
Do these statements sound familiar?
What do they have in common?
Are there any merits to them?
Unless you’ve been living in Kuvuki Land, holidaying in Wakanda or travelled to Krypton for a few years now, you would certainly have known that these statements are associated with fans of The Arsenal football club. But how valid are these statements? Let’s have a look:
Hindsight is a good thing they say. Using that, I think it would be difficult to point out a team which followed the steps we’re laying out and achieved success:
- Gather young players with potentials
- Coach them to become better
- Keep them together for years to improve their team understanding
- They enter their primes at relatively the same period
- They win many trophies
The above steps are very achievable (if you’re a football manager enthusiast), but things do not exactly follow that pattern in real life. This is because steps number 1, 2, 4, and 5 are actually possible. The problem is step number 3.
Can a team keep their good, young players for years without basic necessities? I don’t think so. These days, young players need at least one of the following:
- Plenty of money
- Regular Champions League football
- Likelihood of winning trophies
- A world class coach
Arsenal can offer plenty of money but fall short of the others. That should be enough to keep our young core, right?
Other big clubs can offer money as well and even more than we can, but we cannot offer Champions League football, major trophies and we certainly do not have a world class coach (even though the one we have is doing what he can). How long before the Saka to Liverpool or Man City links actually become serious? How long till Juventus takes their eyes off our Magalhaes and Martinelli? How long til the Tierney to Real Madrid and Man City links begin to have any real substance?
How long before our young players begin to have their heads turned due to interest from bigger clubs who can offer regular Champions League football and win trophies while also paying them what we can and cannot afford? This is the problem. How long til we actually start achieving what these players want while their loyalty is still intact?
I’ve been trying to avoid saying it, but I can’t help but mention that this will never be possible while we celebrate fifth place as progress and overachievement. I’m surely not a supporter of Arteta, but that’s not why I’m writing this piece. We need experienced players to better ensure consistency as the constant signing of young players may likely come back to bite.
And what if we actually go through the five steps and succeed? What next? Back to step 1?
I will end this piece by saying that if we finish outside the top four next season;
- Saka will trend on the transfer mill, and he may actually want the transfer especially given that Salah is likely to run down his contract (and Liverpool seem not to have much problem with that as per reports)
- Martinelli will not want out, but will not refuse if Juventus come calling. Same with Magalhaes.
- Ødegaard may have gotten better and will have bigger champions league clubs calling, and given his potential, he might start feeling like a big fish in a small pond.
- Tierney, might also want out (to play Champions league football) especially if he receives offers. If our history is anything to go by, giving him the cursed armband will only facilitate his exit.
We need to start achieving else we can say goodbye to some of our young core. And where will that lead us? Back to another project? We’ve been down this lane before. The conclusion of this piece is left for you. I’m tired of typing…
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