Are Arsene’s Kindergartens ready or still in their nappies?

Are Arsene’s Kindergartens ready or still in their nappies?

October 29, 2009 by marshallalwaysmatters

Around the district of N5 London, The Carling Cup is now known as The Kindergarten Cup as last night’s match provided another opportunity to showcase their talents including senior members who are well out of pre-school.  As League Cup ties go this was a high-paced, high-octane game, with Arsenal and Liverpool showing evident signs that they are in dire need of finding the keys to the trophy cabinet and dusting off the cobwebs!!!

Wenger constantly persists with youth in the competition as an opportunity to gain valuable experience (and to keep that trophy cabinet locked!!).  This was eventually proved the right choice in a 2-1 win as the Young Guns Merida, Gibbs, Gilbert and debutant Craig Eastmond all shone, but the gold star went to Aaron Ramsey.

At 18 years of age and into his 2nd season with Arsenal he is beginning to show maturity and promise which warranted his moved from Cardiff in June 2008.  He has been involved in every team squad so far this season (a complement from Wenger as a testament of his growing development) and has recently opened his Premier League account with a goal against Portsmouth.  He showed quickness in vision, positional play and skill that has a scent of Eau De Fabregas about it!  A class apart in the mealy of the midfield, although tiring in the last 10 minutes – a big thumbs up!

The key question that remains as the competition draws closer to ‘Wembley Way’ will Wenger sacrifice youth for experience in order to bring silverware to The Emirates Stadium? Or remain stubborn as he has in previous years and let go what could be Arsenal’s best opportunity to win a trophy.

Recent seasons have shown that Arsenal lack a core ruthlessness backbone, a cutting killer-edge to put opponents to the sword. A naivety to play football ‘for show’ and not put the result out of doubt? and hold on like a boxer waiting to hear the bell.

A serious level of Ego? Arrogance? Stupidity? Or do they simply not have the desire or hunger to win trophies?

The future of Arsenal is very bright and the long-term ethos is shared throughout the club, but what about the fans? Can they afford to wait another year whilst rivals Man. Utd and Chelsea seem to achieve success season in season out?

Or has football pressures and our society meant that we no longer allow a process to adhere? Is patience a thing of the past? Are billionaires the only way to win trophies? If so does Mr. Kroenke hold the key?

Free thinkers welcome.


17 Responses to “Are Arsene’s Kindergartens ready or still in their nappies?”

  1. Henny Says:

    Arsenal have a good bunch of young players – as do most of the other PL teams – except we get to hear more about them because of Mr Wenger’s policy of using a pretty much “youngsters” only team for the Carling Cup.
    Whereas I agree in principle, I think it damages them because everyone else will field their top 2/3 youngsters – not 7/8 of them!
    So when they get knocked out by a full, senior, international PL team – it blows yet another chance of silverware for them.. and if Wenger puts his seniors in at the later stages of the cup, then surely that’s gutting for the others that have battled through to get them to that stage…???

    • David Bury Says:

      I disagree Henny,

      Wenger is right to play that many young guns! Why? To give them valuable experience and limelight to play for one a big club. I am not a gooner but admire Wenger for patience and policy to blood quality.

      If the better players have to come at a later stage that is for the good of the team, if they are good enough the 60 year old Champion’s League Virgin will play em.


  2. Chirag Says:

    Good points Marshall – totally agree in that Wenger needs to mix some more 1st team players in with the talented youngsters in the team as the cup goes on – as a man utd fan, winning the carling cup a four years back against wigan after not winning the league or european cup for a couple of years was the catalyst for the success we have had over the last three seasons as it helped instill confidence in the younger players and also some of the more experienced guys that we were still good enough to win trophies and that is something no amount of money can buy! (even chelski kicked off their trophy spurt with a carling cup win in Mourhinho’s first season) I think that is enough evidence to suggest the importance of taking the competition seriously!

  3. Meir Doga Says:

    Good coverage Marshall – especially the points you made to pay the necessary attention to competition and preperation!

  4. The Professor Says:

    Yes Marshall & co. some very valid points raised, but I still believe in Wengers policy. Each season we come agonisingly close, but arguably ‘not good enough’. I recall the youngsters getting to the Carling Cup final about 4 or 5 seasons ago and Chelsea fielded their strongest squad, we lost 2-1 but I thoroughly believe that cup was the youngsters to lose.
    Fact of the matter is Arsenal is playing every 3-4 days these are hard physical games he cannot risk a first teamer, this is why you have a big squad. No club/manager can pacify a real top quality player with occasional football that’s why the Carling Cup is perfect for the youngsters and the fringe players hoping to break into the first team. Everyone trying to impress, the Arsenal vs. Liverpool game last Wednesday bares testimony to that it was a fantastic game.

    • Ivan Penton Says:


      you show too much patience of an Arsenal Fan, sure you not Tottenham in disguise??????

      We get to the late stages of Champions League, FA Cup and every other cup competition and what do we win?? The flippin’ Emirates Cup. I forgot that is one of the big four to win.

      Do yourself a favour Arsene, take the competition serious, play a strong side and win the darn trophy!! Its silverware

    • marshallalwaysmatters Says:

      Hi Professor,

      Professor of what I am not sure of??? But thanks for your comments. Wednesday was a fantastic game, but with now Man City in the last eight when is Wenger going to say ‘time to win it’. Its only so far the kids can go! Arsenal are in desperate need to win a trophy. Arsenal have a good track role in the Kindergarten Cup, reaching latter stages in each of the last 5 years.

      Still haven’t won it though!!! Like Brits at Wimbledon!!! Any silverware is good silverware, as Chirag mentioned it can be the Catalyst to something bigger.

  5. Devorah Gardes Says:

    Hi Marshall!
    Loved your style, it makes people to think and lives us with thirst of knowing more 🙂

    Go my friend GO!!!


  6. John Purcell Says:


    The blog is good, actually very good, but are you just another moaning Gooner who has yet to realise that Arsenal are just a team churning out decent youngsters who will get flogged at a cheap price quicker than watching The Antiques Roadshow!!!

    Good luck, your boys will need it

  7. Stephen Gale Says:


    Arsenal need Stan’s big money and allow him more control of the football club! Its too traditional. U don’t want patience, not loads of pups, raw hard cash buy a top class goalie and another centre half. But I not going to tell you who you should buy your a South London club!!!


  8. Barnet Boy Says:

    Now listen Mr Marshy,

    I learnt a lot from this, Arsenal’s show off skills can be compared to the process many of us go through. We want to show what we can do… Instead of just doing it. I don’t know what it is those youngsters really need to take the game beyond the reach of their opponent. Maybe, fear of not being as good as they could be. But if they’re missing that fear, how can it be instilled, except with fierce but inspiring management? And yet that management has to nurture and stay open and really care too. Such a delicate balance. Nice column Marshy. You obviously have a passion.

    • marshallalwaysmatters Says:

      Barnet Boy,

      thanks for your comments. Quite right, Wenger needs to handle the kids gently, push them when they need to be motivated and also wrap them in cotton wool when they need protecting. The team will be more effective when they just score goals, (Sounds obvious) As opposed to scoring JUST pretty ones, guess what they worth the same value!!!! No prisoners!!! Don’t leave it to someone else to score, take responsibility and be the greedy assertive player!!!!

  9. Jen Says:

    Asene is a genius and I read his two interviews earlier this season. He understands art over efficiency. They play without fear and his method is very good. He’s brave.

  10. arvin Says:

    Arsene is great in building a team of good young players. What he is unable to do, excuse me to say, is to teach them the value of good moral conduct. Meaning, no greed, no infighting, no jealousy, no disrespect after you leave, .. Overall being a good kid. The only one at present who is exempt to that is Theo walcott. The rest are all after personal glory. Until this is corrected, sorry to say, arsenal is not goin g to win anything.

  11. Anna Says:

    Arsene’s consistency with his young players is great. They get good first team and competition experience preparing them for the future. He is looking at the bigger picture. Some silver ware is worth fighting for and some…

  12. stephania Says:

    clever and witty, marshall

  13. Larry Thompson Says:

    Well written and I am very suprised by the way you come across on these articles. Very good read. Think you have a future doing this kind of thing. Good luck mate.

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