Is Arteta’s ‘English Core’ going to be an improvement on Wenger’s?

Has the ‘English Core’ Returned in this Arsenal Team?

The Arsenal first XI now potentially has four English Internationals, what is the significance of Arteta recruiting English Talent?

Ramsdale, White, Smith-Rowe and Saka, all of which will all be in the contention for international first team places for the ‘Three Lions’ in the next world cup.

It really feels like Arteta is beginning to build an English core within the squad, similarly to what Wenger did during his tenure with Walcott, Wilshere, Oxlade-Chamberlin, and Gibbs to name a few.

In 2012 he gave all the young English players long-term contracts to secure the future of the club with a core of talented Englishmen, 10 years later they didn’t rip up trees; but could it be different this time round?

We paid £50 million and £30 million for White and Ramsdale last summer after seeing England reach the Euro 2020 final, paying an ‘English tax by buying great homegrown players from top English clubs.

Both have also gone straight into our starting 11 and Ramsdale is even being considered as one of the best signings and players of the season, having kept nine clean sheets which is second best in the league.

I think he should start for England.

If you look at form, Pickford only has three clean sheets this season after playing the exact same number of PL games. I know Everton are clearly struggling this season and that Pickford is class for England, but you simply must reward Ramsdale with the Number 1 shirt if he continues in this form.

White, on the other hand, is quality, coming from a defensively solid Brighton side, he has impressed Arsenal fans with his leadership and Arsenal legend Martin Keown even suggested giving him the captaincy.

Furthermore, Saka and ESR are having fantastic seasons with 14 goals shared between them, and look to be really pushing for their spots against a highly competitive England attack with the likes of Mount, Grealish, Foden, Sterling and Sancho. Some of the world’s best.

Yet Southgate played Saka four times in the Euros, playing a total of 272 minutes, and getting an assist. Compare this to Foden who only played three matches, 159 minutes and had no return, it seems that the England manager may prefer the Arsenal winger.

I’m not comparing the two youngsters on skill, both are some of the nation’s most promising talent, however it does seem for the first time in ages, we do have Arsenal players who play regularly for England on an International level.

The main benefit of these players is their youth, White is 24, Ramsdale is 23, ESR is 21 and Saka is 20. They are only going to get better with time, the more games they play together and more confidence they build.

It gives us longevity, and I love having Arsenal players to keep an eye on when watching my national team play, I remember the 2018 world cup where they only took Danny Welbeck from Arsenal who spent 11 minutes on the pitch.

Playing for the Three Lions is a huge honour, a national team with rich history and huge support, so I think the confidence that it can bring to this Arsenal team is huge and very exciting to see.

Surely this English core will be much more successful than the one we had 10 years ago.

Until next time Gooners,


Watch Mikel Arteta’s reaction after 10-man Arsenal keep Liverpool at bay

Tags English Core


  1. Wilshire , Gibbs and Walcott consistently finished in top 4 and won multiple FA Cups

    Smith Rowe and Saka are our best players in an arsenal team who failed to qualify for Europe for the first time in 25 years so they got some way to go to matching their standards

    1. Also those players played alongside Cazorla, Rosicky, Ozil, Koscienly, BFG, Adebayor, Giroud, Sanchez, some even played alongside Fabregas, Song, RVP and I can keep going on with names.. but that doesn’t suit your narrative does it?

      Now compare those players to the ones Saka had to play with before last season when we started getting rid of our poor players.
      Compare the squad Saka played with before this season to the ones those players you mentioned played with.
      Still doesn’t suit your narrative does it?

      1. Eddie I agree 100% with you and think , as I DO INCREASINGLY MORE OFTEN THESE DAYS, that Dans brazen and pitiful anti MA agenda warps and colours many of his views.

        Your correct point about the difference in the team mates that Wengers English core had the privilege of playing with, compared to the dross such as Mustafi, The Greek wrestler and other such complete rubbish – a large proportion(though far from all) of which is now thankfully GONE(HURRAY!!!) – bears no serious comparison whatsoever.

        Our present young English core, all carefully selected or nurtured , against the diatribe of many Gooners, about White and Ramsdale esp, is infinitely more talented, more likely to stay fit and far more effective.
        That is already extremely obvious, thus rendering this articles daft question of a headline, WAY out of date.

        1. I also respect Jon, as I do often these days, that you were a fan who said things would get better and can’t admit that we have factually regressed as a club
          You also were having doubts on Arteta last season which I can prove
          I deal with facts
          It’s a fact that as things stands Wenger’s English core finished higher and won more
          The question then is will they do better then that group .
          For example will they finish second ?
          What have you seen that makes you think that ?

          1. Interestingly Dan, isn’t it also the time that fans were saying we had regressed under AW, with the likes of Cazorla and Rosicky?
            When one reads the names of players that AW signed for, comparatively, peanuts and kept us in the top four with his English contingent, I can only hope that MA can do the same…. but bear in mind that Saka and ESR were all signed up when, it is said, Wenger had TOTAL control of the club, so saying that they are MA’s English contingent is actually wrong, as he carefully selected them and Freddie and Mertesaker matured them.

          2. DAN for wahtever reason of your own thinking , you are determined to confuse the subject in this article, which is the relative merits of JUST the English core in both squads, with the whole team, as you insist on bringing in the results of the relative whole teams of both eras! .

            It is not an argument between us that the rest of the non English core in Wengers squad at that time was vastly superior,compared with rest of MA ‘s squad when the current English core first played for us.

            WHY you cannot see the precise point we were speaking about but instead wish to muddy the waters with a separate disscussion, goodness only knows.

            Try sticking to the subject DAN AND YOU WILL THEN BE MORE LIKELY TO GET RESPECT.

            It is , as all thinking fans well know, a classic low trick, when beaten in an argument, to try moving the discussion goal posts to include a wider but separate and therefore irrelevant subject.

            1. Question clearly says will this English core be an improvement on Wenger’s one ?
              Don’t need an argument mate as it’s an opinion so therefore can’t be correct or wrong
              As for respect
              The people who matter to me , those are the respect I care about

              1. Ducked my point I note, with no surprise at all. When beaten in an argument, change the debate and try to confuse others by saying its just “an opinion”


          3. Dan you forget that under Wenger, it was a top 4 and not a top six. Man City were just emerging and were not this strong. (You can see how strong they are now). Tottenham, well, they were Tottenham and were vey far from the heights that they got to under Pochetino. Liverpool won the odd cup and were definitely not as strong as they are now.

            So the only real competition we had then was Man U and Chelsea. In fact the only real competition Wenger had in his hey days was United. You can see how difficult it became for Wenger to make top 4 when the competition increased. FGS there’s Man U, Tottenham, West Ham and maybe even Wolves vying for top 4 this season. I’m sure Leicester would be in the mix season. I can bet my pension on the fact that Wenger would not get into top 4 this season with that team. The regression you are harping about started under him.

      2. Eddie I agree with you. Walcott Gibbs and wishere played with world class players you can’t compare them with those saka Smith are playing with.

        1. Lenohappy, so suddenly Wenger had world class players…. the same players you have been calling “dross” etc for as long as I can remember!!!

          Why haven’t ESR and Saka got “world class players” around them?

          After all, 17 new players and over £300,000,000 has been spent since AW left?

          1. I agree Ken
            BFG , Koscielney , Ozil , Coquelin
            Players often mocked were now world class players

      3. It’s not a narrative mate
        He asked a question where you can only give two answers
        Will these core youngsters do better then Wenger’s ?
        So it’s a yes or no
        I think no
        So what you mean is if someone has an alternative opinion to you they have a narrative
        This is where I prove your logic is poor …..
        Tell me what I made up
        If you fail to name something it’s not a narrative , it’s you not liking what you hear

    2. Dan, multiple FA cups? I can only remember 2 and only JW and Ramsey could properly be counted as contributors. And before we could achieve those cup we had to buy Ozil club record at the time.

      And if you want to mention Walcot in 2005, that was invincible squad

        1. Dan, FACTUALLY incorrect to use “multiple” as simply more than one.

          In fact, it means many, which excludes merely two cups. I am a language expert and know precisely what basic English words mean. It seems you do not!

          1. Jon, as you have included the CS as part of MA’s trophy achievements, then one simply has to assume that the same goes for AW.

            Hence the use of the word “MULTIPLE” is precisely correct when used in this context.

          2. Jon I’m starting to question that lol
            A pre school child knows that multiple is more then 1
            So 2 can count as multiple

          3. Can I ask your qualifications you have to be a language expert ?
            Because often you can’t form an opinion without resorting to name calling and you contradictions
            Like my work got me to invited to do book and film reviews
            You often can’t write a basic reaction that admin approves of ?

            1. LOOK UP WHAT “MULTIPLE” MEANS IN A DICTIONARY. As someone who writes, you really OUGHT to know what basic words like “multiple” ACTUALLY means!

              It does NOT and never will mean simply, “two”. And this applies to you too KEN, as you seem not to know this either!

              1. Jon what is the antonym for the word MULTIPLE?
                I’m just curious. I’m not from an English speaking country, but I thought SINGLE is the MULTIPLE. Example: single comment or multiple comments. One denotes singular the other denotes plural.
                Please enlighten me.

                1. Soccer boy, Multiple means “many”, as in many choices or many decisions, many fans, many of anything.

                  But it does NOT mean two or one. If you had a choice of two pairs of trousers to wear, that would NOT be a multiple choice but if you had, lets say, twelve pairs to choose from , THAT WOULD BE your multiple choice.

                  Hope that helps you.

                  PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ASK ME ANYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ENGLISH, as I will always be keen to help you!

      1. Walcott scored against Villa
        The Ox got an assist
        The Ox was outstanding in the cup final win over Chelsea

  2. I’m not sure tbh if it is or not, its still early days for this bunch and we know how well the last bunch worked out.
    British core under AW

    Ox – injuries
    JW – Injuries
    Rambo – Injuries
    Gibbs – injuries
    Walcott – injuries
    Jenkinson – injuries

    its half the battle at any football club getting your players on the field, it was even worse for us as ut always’d seemed that by mid feb, our team had fallen off in every competition due to injuries

    ifthe current crop can keep fit for long periods then i see it being a success long term

    1. Out of the core only JW and Ramsey were unlucky with injuries, apparently both were the better players among the lot, the rest were just not good enough

      1. Walcott had thrice the injuries Ramsey had. Out at one time for a whole year. Walcott has about 110 goals for Arsenal as a Winger. Only few players in the history of Arsenal did. Walcott was a huge success and could have been more massive if injuries allowed him to build on.

        1. Have Saka and ESR not been injured since they burst on to the scene eighteen months ago?
          Your giving examples of players whole careers at Arsenal – Walcott was with us for ten years as a first team player for goodness sake!!!!

      2. Agree except for Ox which was a good player. For the others not at the level. jenkinson and to a certain extent gibbs were not at the level for a top club in PL. Role players

    2. I think we overplayed a lot of these players when they were young which may have been a causal factor in their injury problems.
      We also mishandled some by giving them large contracts and too large a role in the squad too early, which made them think they didn’t need to work so hard anymore – Walcott especially comes to mind (also denilson, although he’s not British obv). Ramsey also went from a grafter to thinking he just had to dribble and shoot, which hints at mismanagement imo.
      I look back on them as failures, but it wasn’t for lack of ability, which is sad

  3. This articles headline, beginning with a needless question, is already WAY out of date.

    The headline SHOULD instead read:
    “Arteta’s English core IS a massive improvement over Wengers way overhyped and disappointing English core”.

    Just simple truth and clear reality!

      1. You have to look at the team overall, arteta is now building a team, Wenger had an established one ,I don’t think the likes of keiran Gibbs added to that in fact he was a pretty poor defender

        1. It’s funny how you, Jon, etc are accusing Dan of exactly what you are doing, bending facts to support your views.

          What he says is correct, the current English core have to do better than Wenger’s core for them to be said an improvement.

          It is that simple and obvious.

          We don’t know yet if they will or not so this question is few years early.

          1. HH As with Dan, you too are confusing the subject of this article, which is PRECISELY the two relative English core groups, with the separate and different subject of the relative merits if both FULL teams!

            Stick to the precise subject HH, if tyou wish to be respected as a thinker, instead of as someone who, having lost the argument, wishes to widen and change the subject.

            1. No Jon
              The question says is the English core going to be better then Wenger’s ?
              You can go round the houses but that’s the question , are they going to be better
              Better as in achieve more for the club , win things , score goals , finish in the table , etc

        2. Yeah but we dont know how that team will progress ?
          So far it’s been 8th and 8th
          So the question was will they do better Wenger’s core that finished 2nd

          1. Also I might add, none of Wenger’s english contingent played in a squad that had over £25,000,000 spent on it in just two windows.

            Dan, I don’t see your articles as anti MA, just facts to put before the fan base.
            Some might not like reminding of those facts, while some find them negative…. I just believe they are part of our history and well done for keep reminding us…. but as Phil said in an earlier post, that defensive display was reminiscent of GG ‘s great defence, or even AW’ s Invincible defence.

        3. LOL daniel. Come on. Where did you see ramsdale and white finishing 8th with arsenal ?! I am wondering…. ecen smith rowe started being real member of the team (playing consistently only way after the beginning of last year)…. So this is the first year of this group together. At the time we finsihed second we had a strong back 3 of cech, kos and mertesacker. And sanchez and giroud at their best upfront. Go see the apperances that year from your english core that finsihed second lol… Wilshere played 3 games in EPL. Ox gibbs and Walcott were already not part of the first XI (26 combined appearances as starters that year). Only Ramsey was a starter. So you should check please facts before saying things that are not backed by facts and datas.

      2. No they did not!!! The WHOLE TEAMS finished in those positions. You simply refuse to take the point that asmall group of English players is NOT a team.

        You are either thick, which I know is not the case, OR deliberately moving the discussion goal posts from a mere discussion on a core of English players, to include a whole squad. It is deceitful and I DO NOT RESPECT SUCH FOLK DAN!

        1. Nah to be fair not sharpest pencil in the pencil case .
          Surely a language expert can come up with a better word then thick ?
          I don’t care about your respect ….Mind Over Matter

          1. DAN it is you, not I , WHO HAVING CLEARLY AND PLAINLY LOST THE ARGUMENT , now try to insult me with a description which any fair minded regular reader on here will laugh at as a ridiculous attempt an an insult.

            Neither of us, in fact, are at all thick. But only I am honest and insist on discussing the article and not changing the debate.

            It is plain to all fair minded people reading our debate, which of us is is telling the truth and which is not!

            1. To clarify I’m not saying I’m not the most clever of peeps lol
              Mind over matter is in terms of I don’t mind if you don’t respect me
              And telling the truth ?
              Too deep mate

      3. Of the few new English core only Saka and ESR who played only half of last finished 8th. So you are wrong again

  4. I think so. Wenger’s key players in his last years at Arsenal were mostly non-British, whereas Arteta’s are different

    1. GAI you should say say in all his years. The british one were the one inherited from george graham that helped him a lot in the succes he had. He tried a bit with chambers, theo, jeffers or Ox and was unlucky with wilshere injuries. But he also should at the time have trusted more experienced english players. That is also why arsenal lost their soul like he said, thanks to him, not only the stadium. I remember that we were for long candidates to take gary cahill or scott Parker amongst others, strong english players that we vould have afford and he did not… They went to Chelsea and spurs xhere they performed a lot. That was the stubborn side of AW

  5. Wenger English core were total disappointment, JW AND RAMSEY always injured, Gibbs and jekinson not good enough, I think most we agree that saka Smith white Ramsdale is an improvement on those Wenger core

    1. Not really
      A Ramsey , Wilshire , the Ox and Theo all get in this Arsenal team
      I agree Jenkinson not good enough , a bit like Eddie Nketiah and maitland Niles not being good enough ?

  6. Only a delusional fan would take Wengers ‘English core’ seriously.
    Apart from JW and AR (both unlucky with injuries), and a season flash of potential from Oxlade, the rest were just overrated players.
    Walcot, Jekinson, Gibbs we’re just not good enough or maybe they were given too much responsibility and pressure which led to their downfall.

    The major difference, one that will prove this lot will do better is EXPERIENCE. Compared to the last core, which were bought from academy or some small league teams, these set has got experience in EPL before they were brought in, though young but tested and experience at high level.
    2 players of the season award for a gk in 2 successive epl clubs isn’t a joke, that’s the pedigree of Ramsdale. That experience for a relegation threatened team, shown against Liverpool, how he use those dirty tactics to wind down the clock .
    Ben white was an established player already in Three lions squad before we got him, Saka with experience across the pitch like JW had with us, bar his injuries, same with ESR,

    1. And yet, as pointed out, we never finished below fourth.

      Now, improving on a self inflicted 8th will be seen as progress…. funny old game.

      1. Ken1945,
        funny indeed how some remember history. That bad core under Wenger managing never finished worse than 4th did they?

        Point out facts like that, and they will merely try to change the narrative.

        Also notice who they selectively include in Arteta’s English core: they repeatedly mention 3 (Saka, ESR, Ramsdale).
        Yet ignore Nketiah, Holding, and Chambers) while Jenkinson, Gibbs, and others under Wenger are included.

        Can’t help but chuckle as this current group is so hyped. Fighting for 4th for the first time since Arteta joined, already out of FA Cup.

        Who knows in time what they may achieve, I hope great things for our club. Saka is talented no doubt, but to dismiss Walcott’s goal tally so lightly is too much.

        I admit no a huge fan of Walcott, but he did contribute many many goals for our club.

          1. I agree Dan – never realised that we suddenly have “world class players” during Wenger’s lost decade 😂😂😂

            Amazing how things suddenly turn on their heads in order to support another argument… but, as always, facts and the truth prevails.

        1. Lastly I’d like to add that with Chambers and Welbeck to add to the list Wenger never finished worse than 6th, which ended his tenure.

          Arteta with a better core as some say can’t finish above 8th and Wenger finished 6th with all that deadwood!

          And some consider 6th place a success! What got former managers fired will get Arteta an extension likely!

          SMFH when some buy into that narrative, what happened to standards? Some people will buy into anything if it’s presented nicely!

          I’ll stick to standards, easier to be consistent in my opinions. To each their own though, believe what you will.

  7. Whenever we have articles on Wenger days I get angry, not at the writers or the article but Wengers last 10yrs. He really broke my heart with his arrogance and complacency.
    Don’t get me wrong AW is a genius and one of the top top managers but after the invincible he lost his willingness to compete and due to the fact that there were just him and maybe 2 other top managers in epl he turn the whole club to experiment labs.

    I am not and will never put the club failures on the lack of fund /stadium debt BS, it was AW that didn’t want to improve the squad because the target has always been top 4 from the ‘investor / board’. That isn’t the board fault, we all work in different organisations, the higher up will never give you unlimited funding , all they tell you is work within a reasonable budget/cut cost etc.

    How many times were we 2/3 right players away from proper team?, how many summer have we needed a striker but got defender ?
    In 2007/2008 we were 7points clear in December with a game in hand, just 1 injury to Eduardo and the season was over.
    The whole fan base, pundits and everyone would access arsenal weak link at the end of each season, he himself knows but wouldn’t mind.

    1. In 07/08 it was the injury to eduardo after the customary injuries to RVP and Rosicky that did us in, so we were left with adebayor to carry the attack on his own.

    2. I remember. His blind faith on Diaby meant we didnt get a defensive midfielder until 2016, and that was Xhaka! Diaby stole a living for 4 years before departing.

      Also remember when we bought Podolski, Giroud, Cazorla. I was excited, but they were only there to cushion RVPs departure..

      I also remember losing Fabregas and Nasri on the same month.. who did we replace them again? Cazorla/Podolski, year later..

      Then not re-signing Fabregas who went on to get 19 assists for champions Chelsea. Wenger rather had faith on the likes of Ramsey and Wilshere.

      1. Also remember Giroud being main striker, unchallenged, for 4 years straight..

        He went to Chelsea, played a huge part for them but he was never a starter.

        I dont even remember why we bought Danny Welbeck, lol..

  8. Walcott had thrice the injuries Ramsey had. Out at one time for a whole year. Walcott has about 110 goals for Arsenal as a Winger. Only few players in the history of Arsenal did. Walcott was a huge success and could have been more massive if injuries allowed him to build on.

    1. The problem with Walcott was that he would be brilliant in 2 or 3 game streaks and then disappear for a few weeks. He was also dreadful when he wasn’t scoring – like having filippo inzaghi on the wing to an extent.
      His record was pretty good really, it’s true, but that doesn’t tell the full story and he had the talent to be so much better imo.

  9. The sheer dishonesty on this thread by both DAN SMITH AND Ken 1945 is staggering and disappointing to read. Dans article was entirely about a core group of English player, NOT A WHOLE TEAM , but just a core .

    This applied to AW and MA teams!
    Both DAN AND KEN, when I challenged them, then tried to move the subject away from that small English core, onto including the whole team and then proceeded to compare the finishes of two different whole teams. But that was NOT the articles subject, nor a source of dispute between us.

    I never argued against the two non English parts of those two teams being better under Wenger, than under MA when he took over. I spoke ONLY and ENTIRELY about the small English core in each era. I KEPT TO THE SUBJECT THEREFORE.
    But, deceitfully, both DAN AND Ken evaded my point entirely, which neither misunderstood, as both are bright people and preceeeded to change the discussion. It was deceitful of both but sadly not a surprise to me any more. Sigh!

  10. In assessing Arteta’s performance fans often bring up Arsenal’s placings under Wenger in his latter years; including second place a few years ago.
    An interesting debate may be to consider how well that team (which placed second) would fare in todays premier league. What would be the likelihood of that team finishing second (or better) in this year’s championship?

  11. it was a British core as it included Ramsey. So here is our British Core now including 8 full internationals and 4 under 21s. Get them all on long term contracts


    Chambers Holding Ballard

    AMN White ESR Tierney

    Saka Nketiah Balogun

    Okonkwo, Norton-Cuffy, Monlouis, Clarke, Patino, Azeez, Nelson, TJJ, Hutchinson.

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