Did Iwobi just prove Petit wrong about Arsenal problem?

The former Arsenal and France international star Emmanuel Petit knows a thing or two about what it takes to win a trophy, having won the league and cup in France with Monaco and in England with Arsenal, as well as having a World Cup and a Euro championship winning medals to his name.

He also has some very interesting things to say about why Arsenal are not looking like adding another trophy to the cabinest this year and why we seem unable to keep up a proper challenge for the Premier League title. Petit’s controversial theory is that it is the famous Arsenal academy system that is holding the Gunners back,

Or more specifically, he reckons that it is Arsene Wenger’s faith in the likes of Jack Wilshere and his insistence on playing them and using them to avoid having to spend big money in the transfer market that is stopping Arsenal from having a team full of the right type of characters, namely those with a burning desire to win things.

The Frenchman told Sky Sports, “Arsenal’s academy policy is very good, up until a certain point – there is a limit. There are a lot of players coming from the academy who are good but they have failed to improve over the last three or four years.

“This has been a big disappointment for me. Players like Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jack Wilshere are constantly injured and they are not improving.

“They are good, but not that good, that is why they need something else in the dressing room.

“If you want to exceed this limit [of the academy], you have to bring in experienced players – big names, big characters, players with winning mentality.

“They need to bring leaders into this team. They have quality, no doubt, they have big players but not enough. They need leaders, big characters and players that hate to be beaten and love to win – not only games but titles.

“There are only two options for Arsenal. Either they keep on doing what they’re doing, adding experienced players to the youth coming through, or they use the money they have.

“In the last few years we have seen Arsenal performing well on the pitch but not winning titles, with the exception two FA Cups.

“They fail at the final step every time, at this crucial time of the season. That means they need something to improve the closing stages of the season. That, for me, would be spending the money.

“Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich are all spending money on top players to improve their team and results.”

Is Petit right? I am not so sure and his timing is certainly lousy after Alex Iwobi put in a brilliant performance on his Premier League debut after becoming the latest starlet to break through from the youth system. Yes it has been disappointing that Jack Wilshere has not achieved his early potential but you cannot account for his terrible luck with injuries.

Walcott and the Ox, meanwhile, were in fact signed by the boss and he has started to spend more money on bringing the likes of Ozil and Alexis Sanchez in. Do you think Arsenal have got the balance right or is Wenger too reliant on the players Arsenal produce?

Tags academy Iwobi Wenger


  1. Of course he is right. He is basically saying what a lot of fans have been saying for some years…we have a large group of good to very good players, to which we have added world class players like Ozil, Sanchez and Cech, but we need a few more top top players to make us true contenders for the league and the CL.

    As it is, we are struggling every season to better our current ambition of 3rd to 4th place.

    It’s not rocket science, these are basic theories/opinions which many think would make us great, but the obstinate one will not do what other want him to because he is obsessed with proving sensible voices wrong by playing decent (but not great) players and playing in a stylish fluid manner, which other teams have worked out and which makes us largely one dimensional.

    Honestly? I’m sick of repeating the obvious.

    1. we needed reinforcements
      or a manager who could get the best out of what we currently have
      Leicester are an example of a team with inferior players to us but the desire is there

      its funny 12 years an man city an chelsea losing there edge (they win alotta titles – complacency is a mother) all we had to do was turn up . not 5th gear – just leave 2nd gear in games.

    2. Arsenal’s victory over the Toffees Looks shortLived…… No thanks to Leicester’s win over the eagles

      for the past three games, they have managed to scale through with Lone goals (3 pointers each)….its frustrating

      if they keep winnin while we winning, then the fight for the EPL will have been as good as over!

      1. They are doing the minimum possible to achieve their goal… means less injuries, less tiredness

        1. They could’ve easily slipped up today though … if only Delaney’s shot was an inch lower…..

  2. 100% agreed with what he said, if Arsenal wants to win big then they should spend. Let’s stop giving excuses of the likes of mancity who couldn’t win the championship in as much the money spent on players and look at the likes of Barcelona, Madrid or Bayern. Though we don’t have such money like them but at least try and but better players than we have, players who are real fighters and determined to win games not just lazy and injury players.

    1. I don’t know about everyone, many supporters who were fully behind Wenger over the last ten years have popped some blood vessels lately, and aren’t so sure of the man compared to other times. I think it’s because of top teams dropping off whilst Leicester of all clubs showing us how it is supposed to be done. Tott above us doesn’t help either. Actually I don’t think it might be due to this because I know for sure it’s the case.

  3. I can giveup on the league for leicester city for i can’t see them losing the Title with want i’m seeing from them, but one thing i can’t bear is for Sp*r to be ahead of me(Arsenal) in the league standings comes May.

  4. It’s funny, early in the season people here and the media had that one statistic of Walcott about 12 goals in 9 starts, and now look what he has done since.

  5. Iwobi can only get better with time and go from strength to strength! All the best to him! Coyg!

  6. Petit and many others are correct in that we need leaders on the pitch. However, my understanding of what Kroenke said is that he is in this business to make money, not necessarily to win things. This is different to Abramovich and Sheik Mansour who want to win. Hence fourth place gets manc and chelsea managers sacked whilst at arsenal they get a pat on the back, contract extension and a pay rise (as long as finances are good).

    We have signed Oziz and Sanchez, good for fan expectations. Last summer only Cech signing, because during April to September 2015 we had to pay £30m transfer fees due to clauses in contracts for players already signed. Hence in this period we made an operating loss of £3.2m so no money for the wc striker and cover for lecoq we all knew was needed.

    Lots of fans saying we need to change the manager, I’me not so sure it would make any difference, club policy is to make money, top four plus occasional cup is good enough. Club policy is at variance with fan expectations and (hopefully) player ambitions. Unless Kroenke changes his attitude and acts so that arsenals aims are to win things then nothing will change.

    Other scenario, fans start to reduce what they pay so there are empty unpaid for seats at the emitates, less spent on merchandise, less advertising revenue, drop in share price.

    1. Few things we need to learn from today till season end, (hopefully we will grab our 4th, watching West Ham against Chelsea realized that we should be looking over our shoulders, but these are the bullet points;
      1.- Donkey Giroud must not start again for the remaining of the season, whatever the reason is low confidence or he is just average the man is a disaster, same applies for Walnut.
      2.- Iwobi had a great couple of games, let’s just not raise our hopes too high and wait how he develops, we have seen wonder kids before just to flop at the end, this kid has game, let’s not put too much pressure on him awaiting for the next messiah
      3.- Elneny has heart and slowly is showing he also has game, came just in time because Le Coq has been shaky lately.
      4.- We need to stop pressuring SANCHEZ he will eventually find his game again, he not only saved us last year, he lifted Chile to win the Copa America, the lad is World Class no matter what, we desperately need him and Ozil if we expect to win the EPL some day
      5.- Nothing has changed WENGER must leave at the end of this season, finishing 4th AGAIN, Leicester winning the EPL and the SPUDS second (or viceversa), must say something to this man that his excuses are no longer valid, he is simply not good enough, not anymore. Also we need to conclude that is not Kroenkes fault, he is an accomplice YES but the failures of this team are exclusively attributed to Le Prof inability of inspiring and guiding a team with good to very good players, something that Ranieri did with much less resources WENGER is the only one to blame and he needs to go.

  7. Yes he’s right, as talented as Iwobi is he’s hardly a born leader. Maybe he will be one of those players who leads by example, not only are we lacking real leaders but we are lacking in those example type players too.
    There was an moment in the game when Iwobi should have played what was an easy pass for Ozil, he miss hit it, then he looked near the edge of tears because of Ozil’s disapproval.
    Iwobi is going to need protection. If we insist on giving youth a chance well then we need some proper leaders in the team. The entire youth system looks devoid of natural leaders, so buying them is our only option.

    I must say though, a big thanks to Iwobi all the same because I am now excited about other players coming through the youth ranks. We have a few decent looking prospects, who in my mind are similar to Iwobis potential. He’s one of our own, cant wait to meet number 2 and number 3.

  8. Till the substitution the match was poised nicely with the passing and movement was good but with the Giroud sub along with Gibbs who definitely look out of sorts and can’t pass properly with lazy movement is just bad, Arsenal really showed but with the game wore-on the players felt it was rather better to defend what they have rather than attack.

  9. Welbeck and Iwobi bring a smile to Ozils face, loving Elnenny too such energy, he truly has an engine 🙂
    Must admit we look better when Walcott, Giroud and Per aren’t playing and all this without Cazorla, Wilshire, Ox, Ramsey.

  10. I think Ian Wright got it spot on the other day Kronke is the biggest problem but Wenger also is a stubborn front man. The pundits suggesting we need to sign players almost makes him say ‘actually then I wont’.

    1. Then we should do the opposite?,for Wenger to sing players we fans and pundits must say we SHOULDNOT sign,we are okay..then he will PROVE all us wrong and sign….

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