Saturday, 6 August 2011

The need for a proper British spine

Something that I have given a lot of though to recently is the reasons for our failure to win anything in the past six years and I feel one large factor has been our lack of a strong British spine in the side. Take Arsene's double winning sides and the invincibles, they all had this British spine in the squad and this is what we have lost in the past few seasons. The reason for the importance of this British spine shall be explained.

Firstly I have nothing against foreign players, this is no tabloid rant of xenophobic drivel. However it is ludicrous to forget the importance of team spirit, leadership and togetherness. It is imperative if one is going to be successful to have a squad without divisions, a squad that gets on well together socially and that all speak the same language fluently, a squad that understands what Arsenal Football club represents and a squad of players that above all wants to die fighting for the club that they love.

In recent years we have seen too many players represent our club who do not have the right mentality to be Arsenal footballers, players who do not give their all on the field every week. We have also seen too many first team players become uncommitted to the football club. These factors combined with the lack of leadership from the club captain have seen our ship become rather rudderless. Gallas was an appalling captain, Cesc has been no leader, the handing of the captain's armband to the uncommitted Nasri was an insult to our football club. Players who do not want to play for our football club should not be made club captain and should not be kept at our football club, no matter how good they think they are.

The future of our football club is better off in the hands of players like Jack Wilshere than Cesc Fabregas. We need more players who love the club and who support the club. Players like this are far less likely to ever be tempted away by the big foreign clubs, they are also far less likely to be tempted to run their contracts down and shaft the club they support. Carl Jenkinson is a Gooner and one thing one knows is that he will always put his heart and soul into every single game he plays for us.

Players brought up at the club from a young age and who have the club's mentality instilled in them are far less likely to ever want to leave for big money elsewhere, they will be far more loyal and dedicated to the cause. Part of the reason for Alex Ferguson's success is that he has kept hold of his great players on the whole, the likes of Scholes, Giggs and Keane never wanted out. Generally British players do not want to play abroad, unfortunately many of our great foreign players have wanted to go to Italy or Spain in their prime.

It is also important that the foreign players we bring in around this core of British talent have this Arsenal ethos instilled in them, they must know that a lack of commitment is not acceptable, a larger British core would instill this in our squad and when combined with our technical excellence it would have the potential to be truly unstoppable. The players brought in must be of the right character and sort.

It is to Arsene's great credit that he has revolutionised our youth system and we are seeing a generation of committed British talent developing at the club. We have seen Jack Wilshere become a first choice starter in the last year, Ramsey can do the same, Gibbs can too provided he can stay fit. There are some other fine fighters waiting in the wings in the form of Frimpong, Bartley when back from his loan, Lansbury, Jenkinson and Afobe. It would be great for the long term future of the club if as many of these homegrown British players can make it as possible, they are not going to start pining for a return to their homeland at a later date, Arsenal is their home.

We have some truly excellent and highly committed foreign players who also give nothing short of 100% every time that they put on their Arsenal shirt. The likes of RVP, Vermaelen, Sagna, Song and Szczesny always give their all and fight for every scrap. We must weed out the uncommitted, keep this core of committed foreign talent, combine it with our homegrown fighters and then make the right additions to this group, then we have a chance. If we do not do this and persist with some of the uncommitted players who simply do not have the right attitude for Arsenal FC, then the rot will persist and the failure will continue.


Anonymous said...

Excellent article mate.. I am not british but I understand the spirit of the british people. Other top clubs have a british spine chelsea (terry, lampard, cole), Liverpool (carragher, gerrard), united (ferdinand, giggs, scholes). Only arsenal seems not to have a spine anymore, hopefully that would change if our current crop of youth players are given a chance.

wengersdad said...

name 4 british players who are good enough plus available please?
the invincibles were at least 80% foreign bro..
what we need is tall players,dont matter where they come from. strong players etc..look at wayne rooney he is english & that never stopped him leaving everton & then whoring with citeh.

Anonymous said...

Roy Keane is as Irish as I am, born and bred in Cork, just as I am.
He is not British.
Its an insult to Irish people to read this. Every day, some blog somewhere posts an Irish player as "British" or a "home-nation" member.
In these modern times, we are all trying to move forward from it, so the least you could do is be politically correct. If you cant, or dont want to, then at least try to be professional and accurate in your writing.
People are more inclined to take an article seriously if the information in it is all factual.

1979gooner said...

It is not about nit picking over minor details.

I am not saying we need eight english first teamers.

I think we need a strong core of 4 or so regular first choice players who have come through the youth system from a young age and who are 'domestic' players.

The reason I say domestic is that players like Cesc will always want to return home or go abroad at some point.

We also need young domestic players fighting for squad places ahead of your uncommitted denilsons etc.

It is not about this in isolation, we need commitment and leadership from more players all round.

Obviously some players will always bugger off for more cash a la cashley, but I think it's much less likely if they're honegrown Gooners.

Dan said...

Sorry mate, but you are barking up the wrong tree with this one. British players are only good for one thing in the Premier League, and that is getting away with murder from the refs!

If we had a few more Brits, we might get better decisions from the officlas!

Anonymous said...

4 British players for Arsenal, easy.
Gary Cahill (obvious reasons best aerial CB in England last year)
Adam Johnson (make weight for Nasri + 10m)
Jack Rodwell (would be a lot of money but would be great for us)
Scott Parker (loan to mentor our young midfield)
Add some continental flair with either Mata or Hazard and I wouldnt miss Cesc or Nasri

A midfield 3 of Wilshere..Rodwell..Ramsey would be amazing

Anonymous said...

Hey guys,lets not misunderstand this article.the post has said it all.the invincibles might be more foreign but have received insight into what Arsenal is all about from players like Ray Parlour,Martin Keown,Tony Adams,all English men,gladiators and gentlemen.d inner strength and steel possessed by these UK men is really missing in this present crop.

1979gooner said...

anon 1648 has said it all

the article has to be seen in context, I am not saying we must buy all British

but we do not to get the odd British player and keep the right attitude at the club overall

ignoring the importance of having a British component to our squad is not good and I think has been a key part of our failure in recent years

GOONERNW5 said...

Great article.. Yes lots of emerging young talent to look forward to!! BUT!

As Special a manager, as Arsene Wenger is!! He has failed to address Glaring weaknesses in the squad over the past 5 years!! No right minded Arsenal fan wants the Arsenal to Spend big for the sake of it!! But are the Fans to believe that better defenders than Jourou, Squillachy, Cygan, Senderos, and i could go on!!! were not available!! Plz, if the problem is that Arsene cannot pick a defender!!! Then get someone else to do it!!
The lack stability at the back is the problem that needs sorting!! As good a player as Gervinho turns out to be!! He is not a defender!! The midfield and the forward line are great, with or without Fabregas and Nasri!! And you always expect the Arsenal to Score!!! Especially if Robin van Persie remains fit!! It is keeping the Ball out of our net that is the problem!! The Board have to tell Arsene to Buy two Proven central defenders and the title is ours!! Simples!!!

Waleed said...

This is a bad argument.

Cashley is English. Cashley grew up at Arsenal. But he left.

The reason United held onto their players is because they were the dominant club in the league.

Perhaps English players do not like playing abroad but that doesn't mean they will be more loyal. They can move to a different club within the country.

As long as we have rivals that can pay more than us and possibly win more than us, then the danger of losing our best players will always exist. said...

Well, I do not actually imagine it is likely to have success.