Tag Archives: Emmanuel Petit

Experience or Youth – It does not matter

Out of Emmanuel Petit’s comments last week about Arsenal “needing experience over youth” there is actually a debate to be had.

As I outlined in a blog over the weekend, Petit’s viewpoint on how Arsenal operate in the transfer market is living in the past.

Since 2012, Arsenal have moved away from mainly buying young players. The list of incoming transfers speaks for itself:

Podolski
Giroud
Cazorla
Monreal
Ozil
Flamini
Debuchy
Sánchez
Ospina
Welbeck
Gabriel
Cech
Elneny
Xhaka
Perez
Mustafi
Kolasinac
Lacazette
Mkhitaryan
Aubameyang

Obviously during that time we have signed some youngsters – the likes of Calum Chambers, Rob Holding and Konstantinos Mavropanos – but on the whole, we have mainly been signing senior professionals. Players with experience. The majority with many caps for their country.

In yesterday’s blog, I mentioned that it is not youth v experience that Petit should be question, but the overall quality of the players that have come in.

Where you can be highly critical of the club is the quality of those that have been bought in.

The likes of Shkdoran mustafi and Granit Xhaka. I am a fan of the latter, but I can see why both have been heavily criticised. Also the likes of Flamini, Debuchy, Welbeck, Gabriel and Ospina. We have bought the experience, but those who have come in are perhaps not the required quality.

As Aaliyah once sang; Age ain’t nothing but a number.

Dele Alli, Raheem Sterling, Ousmane Dembélé, Kylian Mbappé, Gabriel Jesus were already amongst the best players in the world when still teenagers. For them it is nothing to do with age, they had the quality.

Should Arsenal really not target Ryan Sessegnon, Christian Pulisic or justin Kluivert because they are teens?

Ok, we might not want to sign anymore young centre backs as we already have 3 in the squad. But then again, Caglar Soyuncu is barely 22 and we are heavily linked with him.

Soyuncu is probably the type of player Petit does not want us to sign. A 22 year old centre back. But then he has nearly 100 top level games, is capped by Turkey and has been first choice in the Bundesliga for 2 years.

The scouts at Arsenal do not care about the age of a player if they think that player is good enough.

By 21, Lionel Messi had been named the best player in the world. He had already been performing at the highest level for Barcelona for 3 years. Whilst he is an incredible player, we should not avoid signing youngsters because they are young.

Should Arsenal not be looking to sign the next Cristiano Ronaldo, Cesc Fabregas or Neymar for fear of ending up with the next Nani, Anderson or Yaya Sanogo?

It is the talent of the player we should look at, not their age.

What is more important is the squad also needs balance.

There is no point having a squad made up of entirely 28+year olds. This was perhaps the downfall of the invincible’s. All the players reached their peak together. And over a 2 or 3 years period, all of their top level careers came to an end.

What we did not have during that period was the youngsters in the squad backing them up. The likes of Ray Parlour and Edu were the cover in midfield, but they were the same age as Giberto Silva and Patrick Vieira.

Up top was Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Sylvain Wiltord and Nwankwo Kanu. A great crop of strikers, but not too much age difference.

Manchester United struggled post Sir Alex Ferguson. Patrice Evra, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Ryan Giggs, Michael Carrick, Robin van Persie. All the wrong side of 30. All their careers as top level performers came to an end at a similar time as when Ferguson left.

Likewise, you can have a squad with too many youngsters.

Arsenal’s downfall in 2008 was having too many inexperienced players.

When the going got tough after the Eduardo injury against Birmingham, the players did not have the mental maturity and experience to battle through and go on to win the league.

They were not helped out by William Gallas, the experienced captain, throwing a strop during that game. Or Tomas Rosicky, another experienced midfielder, being continually inured.

It is important to have the diversity in signings. The experiences pro’s mixed in with the youngsters.

What you want is a Thierry Henry upfront, and the next Thierry Henry coming through pushing him for his place. It is obviously easier said that done.

If we signed someone like Ousmane Dembélé, just 21 years old, he would be there not to just cover Henrik Mkhitaryan and Mesut Ozil but to compete with them. You could easily see a situation where by the end of the season, he is a first team regular, one of the best players in the world, despite being so young.

Football is all about balance, both on the pitch and off it. You want a balanced squad, a mixture of senior pros and young talents.

Arguably, in our current squad, we have too many players over the age of 25. We do not have enough top young players coming through who are of sufficient quality.

The opportunity to sign Dembélé, or Pulisic,or Yacine Adli should not be refused because of their young age.

Experience or youth, it does not matter. It is the quality that matters.

Keenos

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Jack Wilshere, Alex Iwobi, Transfer Gossip, Retro Kits and More

Jack Wilshere

Everything seems to have gone quiet with regard to his contract.

I feel his time at Arsenal could be up.

The fact that he was heavily linked with the likes Wolves and West Ham over the weekend probably shows his level.

Alex Iwobi

Delightful performance by Iwobi for Nigeria. The pass and then the finish, he was heavily involved as the Eagles went down 2-1 to England.

What was most impressive for me was they way he went deep to get the ball, and did not shy away from attempting to dictate the play.

I am not saying he will become world class, but it is easy to forget he is just 22. If he is given a staring role for Nigeria this summer, he will come back to Arsenal a more confident player.

He is more than good enough to back up Mesut Ozil, Henrik Mkhitaryan and one more.

Transfer Gossip

The gossip season is full swing.

In the last few days we have been linked with Ousmane Dembele, Abdoulaye Doucouré, Steven N’Zonzi, Jasper Cillessen, Benjamin Pavard, Yacine Adli & Gelson Martins.

I could probably find more names if I could be bothered to look.

As we learn with Luis Suarez, Gonzalo Higuain and more recently with Sokratis (it all seems to have gone quiet) it is not a done deal until you see the player with the shirt.

Do not believe the attention seekers on twitter, or the journalists who a fabricating stories for clicks.

Luckily it will not be a long summer, as the window shuts on the eve of the Premier League season.

Emmanuel Petit

I took some hammering for calling him a rent-a-quote gobshite in yesterday’s blog. I stick with what I said and challenge anyone to disagree with my criticism of his comments.

Petit criticised Arsenal for “only signing youngsters in the last 15 years”. This is plainly wrong and highlights what he was saying was without knowledge.

Since 2012 we have signed:

Podolski
Giroud
Cazorla
Monreal
Ozil
Flamini
Debuchy
Sánchez
Ospina
Welbeck
Gabriel
Cech
Elneny
Xhaka
Perez
Mustafi
Kolasinac
Lacazette
Mkhitaryan
Aubameyang

You can complain about the quality of some of these, but not their age or experience.

We have certainly moved away from the mid 00’s policy of buying young, and the above makes the obvious.

Petit was speaking without knowledge. Like when he mentioned the £60m budget.

I guess what sums up the situation is one critic of my blog said “people ask for Petit’s opinion…and not yours”.

You are right outlets do ask for Petit’s opinion, because they know it will give them a quote and headline for a story. He is a rent-a-quote.

Retro Kits

Unwilling to pay the £64.95 for the official kit? Following the trend of wearing old school retro kits from the 80s and 90s?

We have followed the success of the She Wore Shop (exclusive Arsenal merchandise) site and The Arsenal Shirts (real old school Arsenal shirts, signed and match worn) with a new venture, Retro Kits.

We have brand new England Shirts, used England items, National shirts from all round the world and finally classic shirts and kits from club teams. We have around 4500 items to add to the site, so it is still very much a work in progress

 

Keenos

Emmanuel Petit – Rent-a-quote Gobshite

Emmanuel Petit. He is at it again.

During the last few years of Arsene Wenger, he became an outspoken critic of the man who bought him to England.

Wenger’s departure from Arsenal show that Petit’s view was not about giving an honest opinion, and more about his realisation that criticising Arsenal can give him a career.

In a rant about Arsenal’s budget – where he criticised the club for only giving Unai Emery a £60m budget and showed himself up for not having a clue about Arsenal, or how transfers work – he said the following:

Petit: “They need to bring in top quality players. I want to say to the board, ‘Can you just stop bringing in young players for one year?’. We’ve had enough of young players. The club is full of them. It’s been like this for 15 years now, we need something else”

Firstly, why is Petit talking about “we” like he cares about Arsenal?

Before he was signed from Monaco by Wenger for just £2.5m, he was a journeyman centre back who has played just twice for France in 3 years.

After his first year at Arsenal, he won the World Cup for France, playing alongside Didier Deschamps in midfield – starting ahead of Patrick Vieira in the final.

He literally owes his World Cup winners medal to Arsene Wenger and Arsenal.

Two years after that World Cup won, Petit engineered a move to Barcelona. He only actually played at Arsenal for 3 years. So enough of the “we”. He isn’t an Arsenal legend. He isn’t Arsenal.

Back to the quotes.

He says Arsenal need to “stop bringing in young players for a year”. This highlights that he is nothing more than a clueless rent-a-quote gobshite trying to make a media career out of criticising Arsenal.

This summer, the two players we have been heavily linked with are

Sokratis Papastathopoulos (30) and Stephan Lichtsteiner (34).

In January, we signed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (28) and Henrikh Mkhitaryan (29).

Add Alexandre Lacazette (26) and Sead Kolašinac (24), and you are starting to get the point.

In January Arsenal did buy Konstantinos Mavropanos (20) for £1.8m. That is our only young signing in the last 12 months. And you’d have to be an idiot if you did not want a club to sign any young player with potential. I feel Petit is that idiot. Or pretends to be as he knows it will get him the attention he craves.

Even in 2016, we signed Granit Xhaka (then 23), Shkodran Mustafi (24) and Lucas Pérez (26). Xhaka has over 50 caps for his country, and Mustafi a World Cup winners medal.

All Petit has done with his comments is show how out of touch he is. With Arsenal, and with football.

He later stated that “We need talented experienced players. We need big characters & big personalities.”

Ignoring again the “we” word, the bloke must be seriously stupid. If Aubameyang is not a big personality, a big character, and targeting the 34 year old Swiss captain is not aiming for an experienced player, I do not really know what Petit wants?

Actually, I do know what Petit wants. Attention.

Emmanuel Petit owes his career to Arsenal and left as soon as he could.

He is now a rent-a-quote gobshite trying to make a career off the back of Arsenal.

Keenos