I have often wondered why Arsene Wenger chooses young players over experience. The common thinking is that it all comes down to money. That the building of the new stadium has led to such financial restraints that Arsenal are now not competetive in the transfer market.
Another view is that ‘Wengerball’ is so much at the heart of his ethos that for it to work only young players can be moulded to play his way.
Don’t footballers develop their own style of play from a young age anyway and unless you get them before they’re 10 arn’t you flogging a dead horse? Don’t they need to be showing flashes of ‘Wengerball” for Arsene to be interested in them in the first place?
I think this could be why Arsene has a problem buying defenders – obviously I can hear you all groaning – because he wants his whole team to play ‘Wengerball’ when maybe he needs to break his team down into those that need to play ‘Wengerball’ and those that don’t. I love it when Toure goes on a run higher and higher up the pitch until he reaches the point where neither he nor anyone else knows what he should do next. Pass the ball I scream but he doesn’t because he doesn’t play ‘Wengerball’.
Do central defenders need to be good at ‘Wengerball’? In my opinion they don’t – they need to be good at defending and able to pass the ball out to the mid-field.
We do need players that can fit into the system – but too often we have new or newly promoted talented players that are played out of position and the ‘Wengerball’ suffers. Does Arsene feel that utilising young talented players in any position is better than actually buying a player for that position?
On current evidence the answer would seem to be yes; maybe this is what needs to change. In planting design we have an adage for successful planting ‘Right plant, Right place’. We have so many square pegs being shoved into round holes (- thankyou rasputin) – that I wonder how many players actually know their role.