Kyle Bartley has signed a new contract with Arsenal, which will typically be ‘long term’ as we do with most of our players these days. I think it’s brilliant news; I’ve rated Bartley for a while and for him to go to a club like Ranger’s, start games and play in an Old Firm derby will only do his experience the world of good. My only worry is will he get his chance to play? With our current crop of central defenders being; Vermaelen, Koscielny, Squillaci and Djourou plus the up and coming Ignasi Miquel, you wonder where he’d fit in the side this season? On top of that we’re constantly linked with the likes of Jagielka and Cahill so will this mean he’ll end up on loan, leave us for a Championship in a year or two years and that’ll be it.
I don’t mean to sound pessimistic or negative but it’s only because over the last season we’ve seemed to get rid of a few decent youngsters I hope would break into the side.
What about JET?
On the subject of youngsters, I haven’t been as baffled as I am now on how we let the likes of Jay Emmanuel-Thomas leave the club. I heard rumors lately that JET lacked the attitude to make it at the club, whether they are true or not I don’t know however I don’t feel he had enough first team chances to make an impression. I can also say the same thing about Jay Simpson, who scored 2 goals on his debut, and looked like the type of English talent we needed. Instead of having the likes of Bendtner and Vela on the bench we could have had these players and given them a chance.
Arsenal is seen as the club where we give youngsters a chance, like a normal football club should do, but over the years we’ve seen to be buying more than allowing them to progress through the ranks which alarms me when I see players like Henri Lansbury who I’m dying to see become a first team regular.
Fans will argue that it’s time we won something now and that we should bring in the big guns to help get us over that finish line we seemed to fall down emphatically every season. To an extent I agree but when I look at Man Utd’s dominance over the last 10-15 years it all began when a crop of their youth team made it through to the first team. When were players like Giggs, Scholes or Neville embroiled in a summer long ‘will he or won’t he leave’ saga? They weren’t because they were born and bred Man Utd and would never leave as long as they were wanted. We need that.
Over the years Arsenal have always spent all summer trying to hold onto their foreign talent. As much as I’d love for Fabregas and Nasri to turn around and declare their intent to stay with Arsenal I can’t see it happen. As City are finding out when you have the best foreign talent in your squad you also get circus that surrounds them (not as big as the circus that floats around Balotelli’s head).
Whether we sell Fabregas or Nasri, or both, I still truly believe that we’ll still be challenging on all fronts this season. That’s because we have Wenger.