Do Arsenal now have the perfect mix between youth and experience?

During Arsenal’s financially tough times when the new stadium was being built, Arsenal had to suffice with the purchases of young inexperienced players and the sales of some of the club’s very best talents. It was a dark period for the club, but a necessary one for the club’s future. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was famously told ‘You’ll never win anything with kids’ as he saw many of the club’s top talents leave, only to be replaced by players in their early twenties. But years on many of these same players have matured to become important players for the club and many have been pivotal in our recent successes.

The way to sum this point up perfectly is to look at the career of Laurent Koscielny. Arsenal had gone from the experience of Toure and Gallas, to an unknown French defender in Laurent Koscielny playing regularly in the centre of defence. Playing in the lower levels of French football, the player made an instant impact at Arsenal by getting himself sent off on his debut. Even after his return, things looked bleak for the Frenchman and many questioned Arsene Wenger’s decision to purchase him. It was clear at that time that Arsenal weren’t going to be able to compete for major honours with the quality of players amongst our ranks.

A few years down the line however, as players like Koscielny have matured, Arsenal now look strong in all areas of the pitch and are ready to push on to compete for major honours once again. Arsene Wenger has to admit that he will never win anything with a team of kids, but does Le Prof now have a perfect balance of players to make the Gunners successful again?

It is a topic of debate that has been raised to Arsene Wenger in a recent media release, of which Wenger was clear to state that he believes the club now has a great balance of youth and experience, instead of before when it was simply all youth.

In a report by the Metro, Wenger is quoted saying: ‘To be a real football player, you need to be 23 years old because before you have learned your job, you can have a great game and after, sometimes an average game. You can have one or two exceptional talents, like at the moment we have Hector Bellerin and Alex Iwobi, but the core of the team has to be from 23 to 30. If you look at the national teams, you never win a tournament with a young team, because it’s more mental at some stage to win something big. You need to have a certain level of experience.’

There were moments in the past where it looked that Arsenal might achieve something with their young side, most notably between the years of 2009-2011, however the one factor that was missing from a successful title charge, was having the experience of knowledge on how to remain consistent towards the end of the season. After the likes of Fabregas and Nasri left, it then meant that even our great young players were beginning to turn away and Arsenal were left with little chance of success at all.

Looking at present day, Wenger is absolutely spot on about how he has implemented a squad that allows youth to continue to push through the ranks, an aspect that he and Arsenal as a whole are very proud of. But that the team also has its fair share and core of players who are experienced and drive forward for success. Looking at our back line alone, you see that we have both experienced players in Monreal and Koscielny, as well as young players in Mustafi and Bellerin. It’s a perfect combination and its a combination that can be seen across most positions on the pitch.

The current Arsenal squad in my opinion is the best since Wenger’s last real successful period of the early 2000’s. It was of course 2005-6 that that symbolic Arsenal team began to break away and this team is in my opinion the closest Wenger has come to replicate a squad that is capable of achieving similar success.



  1. Twig says:

    Let’s give the team till December… if they hold up till then, then we can begin to compare them to the 2000’s Arsenal teams…

    1. RSH says:

      Once they win a title they can be compared to our best squads

      1. Break-on-through says:

        We can compare them to our FA cup winning squads. The win against Hull was a great match, seeing Santi score at the whistle you just knew how important that goal was gonna be. My favorite oldie but goldie was the one P Vieira almost won single handedly v utd, we played very poor, defensively awesome, and seeing how much we fought for that cup was poetry itself.

  2. Alexis the Great says:

    We certainly have more depth thanever before but until I see more fighting spirit on a consistent basis I refuse to believe in them.
    We’ve beaten Chelsea convincingly, but we still have to do it to Man City Tottenham and Man United to be crowned at the end of the season.
    Don’t count your chickens yet

  3. Break-on-through says:

    I think if the sugar daddy clubs never arrived people would be asking is Arsene Wenger the greatest manager of English football ever. It was dreadful timing for that type of money to enter the game just as we had to tighten up with finances. Fergie won famously with kids when you know who said he couldn’t. I believe we would have kept going neck and neck with utd and the titles would most probably be going to these two clubs. It”s about time Arsene has admitted failure with this strategy. He was forced into this being the obvious choice but once he began with it he wanted to prove he could win with kids even when he had more money and options for a spell. It’s good hearing him admit it, I think our team is gonna keep getting stronger and stronger from here on out.

    1. herbdawg says:

      Wenger’s strategy was not a failure. He kept Arsenal in the top four using players that no other top manager would have used.

      He accepted the hand he was dealt, and performed miracles….season after season.

      Now he’s created a strong foundation, a foundation from which success will be launched.

      Arsene did more than manage the team, he carried the entire club, all whilst being disrespected by our own fans.

      We………all of us owe this great man an unrepayable debt.

      Up the Gunners!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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