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Promoting From Within: The Reason We'll Always Be Here

Every summer it seems that yet another star, a great player – be it our leading marksman or the steel of our midfield – that, thanks to Wenger, has grown into an icon for the club with a worldwide reputation of quality to go with that, leaves the club for what most of the departures describe as “a new challenge”. A new challenge where they get paid more. It’s become an annual tradition – a habit, if you will. If you asked me why it keeps occuring I couldn’t tell you, I will probably remain dazzled every time another one walks out the door, leaving some of us frustrated and angry while the rest of us (I’d categorize myself into this next category) are left with every fibre of our bodies heavily confused. Haven’t they ever heard of the Arsenal Curse? There might be more categories, but over-simplifying things is an underestimated tool, one I like to use to its’ full extent. For example: Arsenal – Good, Others – Bad. See, it has advantages. It reduces the need of thinking.

Fading need of using my brain aside, in the recent and not too distant years we Arsenal fans have had to deal with parting from once beloved and adored heroes such as Henry, Vieira, Anelka, Pires, Wright and more. Now they might have had their own reasons for leaving – I’m not writing this to air out the anger, sense of betrayal and frustration that I’ve grudgingly kept inside myself all these years that the players mentioned above have inflicted on me, I’m writing this to praise what we have left. Not because of the fact that they’re still here – the best possible indicator of loyalty there is, but because of how they got here and what it means for our future.

Wenger might have upset a Gunner or two with his quaint way of bringing players in during the various transfer windows, or perhaps his lack of bringing players in is a more accurate description. It’s an opinion that is quite commonly shared all over the world, even a few Gooners adhere to that myth which, unfortunately, leads to them complaining about it on the internet – probably the least successful way of dealing with the problem imaginable, not just because it has the potential to provoke a chain reaction of discontent and, sometimes, hostility towards Wenger (which is the last thing we need, trust me) but also because it’s extremely annoying to read.

But, if it’s true that “he never brings any players in, and when he does, there’s too few of them”, then my question, my dear doubters, is this: how can we still be where we are, playing the football that we do? The answer to that is in fact the very same method and philosophy that so many, not only the Arsenal fans, criticise every year.

When Vieira left Wenger ended up buying no one. Instead he promoted the young Fabregas who was eagerly waiting in the ranks, aching to prove his worth. When Henry left many were crying out in desperation for a replacement, but Wenger ended up buying no one – I didn’t count Eduardo, seeing as the only replacement worthy of mentioning would be another player of the same stature as the one who left, and while I don’t intend on having a go at the Croatian league, it’s hardly the kind of place Henry’s immediate successor would ply his trade in. Instead Adebayor, bought for less than my younger brother’s weekly allowance (who is only 11, by the way), stepped up and scored more than anyone ever expected. Apart from Wenger, that is. This year Flamini and Gilberto (and Diarra, kind of) left a hole in the centre of midfield and no one has been brought in to cover up.

But that’s not completely true. On 31 August 2006, Denílson joined Arsenal for a fee of £3.4 million. It sure seems to me that Denilson is doing exactly what Fabregas and Adebayor managed before him; taking over after a prominent predecessor without the need for Wenger to splash the cash. Against Blackburn at Ewood Park Denilson actually out-shined Fabregas throughout the game. Now, Fabregas was actually playing like a normal, mortal human being back then instead of in the scintillating way us Gooners have grown custom to,  but still an impressive performance from our Brazilian nonetheless. While watching the game I noted that the Denilson-Fabregas partnership worked in exactly the same way that Flamini-Fabregas did. They covered up for eachother and “took turns” going forward, with the emphatic scoreline 0-4 being all the proof of it’s success anyone could ever ask for.

So that’s pretty much what Wenger does. He buys young, he buys cheap and he buys people with bags of potential so when yet another one leaves us for pastures anew we’ll be fully set and prepared for yet another teenage sensation to step it up and dazzle us in ways that should be illegal.

The next time an important mainstay departs I’ll be worried if Wenger buys big, because that, above all, will be a signal that he abandoned his successful methods and that should worry you far more than the actual loss of an important player. I’ll be all smiles he if buys no one, promotes someone from within and buys another promising youngster if Fabregas ever leaves. Pretty much like saying ciao to Flamini, send him off to sunny Italy, where referee’s are for sale and women have chest hair, promoting Denilson from within and buying Ramsey. This will not disrupt the harmony of the squad and it will make sure that the club avoids the lure of spending astronomical sums of money for players that will never produce performances to match the inflated price tag. Buying like some of the supporters are asking Wenger to do will take us to the same path that Manchester United and Chelsea are currently walking, inevitably ending up in an abyss of doom and forced demotion. Watching a young player come to the club, develop and then break through into the first team is one of the high-points of my life – it’s also why I find the Carling Cup the most exciting of all competitions to watch. It’s also the reason why we’ll always be at the top while making profit. Our cheap way of persistent succession will be remembered for eternity. Buying players for £20+ million will not have the same effect and, most importantly, it will not by a long shot guarantee success in any way.

Our fellow title-contenders (and Liverpool too) really should adopt the same method to avoid bankruptcy. Imagine another top team using the same methods.

If Torres goes – who will be there for them if they don’t spend? N’Gog? You’re having a laugh. It would be impossible for Liverpool, Chelsea and Man U to keep the same level of quality within their starting lineup without spending as soon as an important player leaves. C.Ronaldo is United’s most important player and Fabregas is ours – who will be most equipped to deal with the loss of their star performer? I have no difficulties seeing Denilson keeping the same level he did against Blackburn, but I can never see Nani scoring more than 10 goals per season. And then Nani cost around £20 million.

The future is bright, the future is Arsenal. When our rivals will be forced to sell all their highly rated players we will still be here, running circles around our opponents and scoring brilliantly constructed aesthetic goals for fun.

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iJemz
iJemz
12 years ago

Brilliant post, Took long enough to read because I'm dyslexic. But love the post.

gt
gt
12 years ago

I still think the defense is a bit shaky yesterday. There were unnecessary scrambles in our penalty area, and against better teams we would have been punished. Both Denilson and Cesc will need to learn how to work and defend together, and the CM pairing needs a bollock. If that's taken care of things will be brighter.

echo123
echo123
12 years ago

check out ashleys statement in full. Very apt considering your post.

Danny
Danny
12 years ago

Best post I've read here.

Bloody brilliant!

Why be a whingebag…this young squad with players making the breakthrough in front of our very eyes…so exciting!

le sagna
le sagna
12 years ago

what a nice way to end the day. Totally agree with everything and we dont get
enough credit for what we do or what wenger does.

galvestongooner
galvestongooner
12 years ago

I agree 95% with what you've said, and I do love Arsenal BECAUSE they don't conduct their business like Chelsea and the Manchesters…I think though that there are times when the squad is SO CLOSE to being ready to sweep aside all before them that it would be beneficial to maybe bridge the gap between the departing player and the young gun. For instance, maybe Denilson is ready to step into the spotlight, but if it takes him 18 months to become a world class player, we may have more holes to plug. It just seems like buying experienced veterans… Read more »

Patrick - Malta
Patrick - Malta
12 years ago

And you came to this conclusion now, just because we beat Blackburn 4-0? You should have written this post in July not now. Then you would have been credible. And when will you English learn how to write English? There are no apostrophes in the plural of words. Jeez.

Gunner Jillu
Gunner Jillu
12 years ago

I think you are missing the master stroke that will be Diaby, he will shine and really believe he will be the one that will make the difference between a win and a draw when it matters, i have a lot of faith in him and he may take the position Denilson is currently occupying

Martin
Martin
12 years ago

First of all until we remove our prohibitive wage structure the fact is clear we will sell our best players or let them leave for freebefore the other teamshave to or choose to. Yes we'll have more money but you are left hoping for the more ambitious nad more successful clubs going broke for us to win anything. I thought we were a football club not an economic theory.

kieran
kieran
12 years ago

Beautiful Isn't this how a team is made and the main word here is team, the amount of times we hear wenger talk about team unity and team spirit i think sometimes we take it for granted, i have no doubt that there is something truely special about this set of players and people can be sceptical about the future and how its never gona come but i believe we are about to create something so so special soon and this isn't all about winning things its in the attitude and the approach, i mean we're not going see this… Read more »

Celery & Leek Gunner
12 years ago

Fair potatoes.

I agree with this and it's actually a documented fact that Wenger HAS read this article, and remerked “Yes, this is about right”.

Ah-thankyou Aqqe, great post.

spaz
spaz
12 years ago

The future is bright, the future is Arsenal. When our rivals will be forced to sell all their highly rated players we will still be here, running circles around our opponents and scoring brilliantly constructed aesthetic goals for fun.' sorry, but thats simply not true. dont get me wrong, arsenal are well run, creating nice youth players that break into the first team with ease, on their day fantastic, on bad days just not very good. i like that style- its what i always try to do in football manager (despite the board being total bassads) but if you think… Read more »

james
james
12 years ago

Amen!

aqqe
aqqe
12 years ago

I didn't mean that they will be forced into selling their players this year or next, but if they don't do something about their debts they (at least Man U&Chelski when Roman leaves them – the money is a loan, not a gift) WILL become the new Leeds and then sell their players. Regarding the Emirates stadium debt, you don't really think that Wenger and the Arsenal Board thought that they'd finance the stadium by selling players? Like walking into the bank saying: “Hi, we'd like a multimillion pound loan to build the most modern football stadium in the world.… Read more »

irishgooner
irishgooner
12 years ago

It is a wonderful phylosophy. Obviously some silverware would be nice but i genuinely believe that it's coming. Unlike some of the others, unfortunately we didn't see the best from Flamini. The alure of Milan and a hefty pay rise proved too much of a test for his loyalty.

Goonerinexile
Goonerinexile
12 years ago

I love the positive attitude taken here. The window is closed, so let's get behind the squad. But, to clarify the point of the transfer window critics, the problem isn't a lack of superstars, but squad depth. Remember what happens to people like Van Persie and Rosicky (who)? Now, we covered for them, but remember when Clichy and Sagna were out and United made us look like Derby in the FA? Injuries killed us down the stretch, because it became pretty easy to defend against a squad with only one goal scorer in Adebayor. You can't say you watched Saturday's… Read more »

Fabo[4]
Fabo[4]
12 years ago

Well said having an “experienced pro” to bridge the gap it take some of these youngsters to be ready will keep us right in the mix with big spenders.

Fabo[4]
Fabo[4]
12 years ago

Haha, don't like to pick holes in people's work but I have to agree to an extent.

Fabo[4]
Fabo[4]
12 years ago

Play Djourou! Arsene before it's too late. I can't understand why Arsene refuses to acknowledge the fact that we look dodgy at the back Gallas and Toure are great players but clearly aren't a great partnership. Djourou needs to play because he offers us what we lack (presence in the air of course). I think the player that should be dropped is Kolo I know this is controversial among many who dislike Gallas for various reasons but I think those fans are just being sentimental. Gallas for me, love him or hate him is our best defender therefore it should… Read more »

Fabo[4]
Fabo[4]
12 years ago

By the way apart from the combinations at the back I feel Diaby can hold the key to how well we do this season. I do think Denilson is a good prospect but he does at this point in time has a tendency to drop his head when things aren't going his way (Fulham springs to mind). Having said that I hope he goes on to prove me wrong because given Diaby's injury record he looks like he will play his fair share of games this season.

aqqe
aqqe
12 years ago

Well, Fabregas is not the problem, or the solution, depending on how you look at it. Arsenal played brilliantly against Real Madrid in the Emirates cup without him. Everyone sucked against Fulham, not just Denilson, and who hasn't had bad games while learning? Fabregas had too. What makes you think Denilson will play more games like that against Fulham? That was just an exception in my opinion.

Squad depth could be a problem, yes. But that's why January is there. =]

arsenal4ever
arsenal4ever
12 years ago

Aqqe you are a true gooner !!! Stand behind your team gooners!!!
You know Arsene knows. Brillant article mate which describes the Arsenal way.
Next big thing is Walcott and Wilshere!!! I love the way Ade plays everytime! He is a brillant team player with great vision and dont complain him of his offside mistakes on saturday. He is so dangerous and his style is tremendous.

Gooner4life

irishgooner
irishgooner
12 years ago

I completely disagree with you fabo. I think Gallas is the real liability in our back 4 and kolo should always be first choice. I believe he should have been captain what gallas got it.

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