The Academy, what’s it for?

Every major, and for that matter most minor, clubs have an Academy.

The implied aim of these Academies  is to foster the next generation of players, to nurture their precocious talents and provide a conveyor belt of top quality players for the club.

Having an academy is the “done thing”, it shows the club’s commitment to the local community, it shows that the club is part of the that community, it allows the club and it’s senior players to “give something back”.

I don’t know how many starry eyed local youngsters have passed through the Arsenal Academy but very few have made it into the first team squad and even fewer have become regular starters.

The most successful young players to make it into the first team squad have come from the academies of other clubs, Fabregas, Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain to name but three.

A succession of academy players have reached the fringes of the first team squad only to be sent out on loan and eventually quietly sold off, often to be replaced with more youngsters from other clubs.

Could Arsenal not have found a striker already at Arsenal who was better than Sanogo for instance?  If not it doesn’t say much for the current crop.

The under 21 side, as someone mentioned recently, seems more of a rehabilitation facility than a competitive team.  Somewhere that the likes of Diaby, Wilshere etc can regain fitness and get a bit of match practice.

A measure of the club’s interest in the under age sides is indicated by where “home” games are played.

These are some of the recent ‘home’ games.

Arsenal U18s v Southampton U18s Saturday May 2nd, Shenley Training Centre (behind closed doors)

Arsenal U21s v Brighton U21s, Monday  May 4th, Meadow Park.

Arsenal U21s v Wolves U21s, Monday May 18th , Meadow Park.

Following the recent fracas at an U 21 game involving Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ mother who, reportedly, assaulted Dick Law and threatened to “drag her son off the pitch” even more games are likely to be played behind closed doors.

Would it make sense to close down the Academy and spend the money thus saved in the transfer market?  Or should we keep it and hope that one or two diamonds will eventually emerge?

Written by Norfolk Gooner


45 Responses to The Academy, what’s it for?

  1. The Cockie Monster says:

    Thanks NG………but no !…….the academies are the Plan B for Mansour City and the Chavs in FFP !….yes they have not had great success in players coming through, but that`s not to say it wont happen in the future and they ( the academies ) are a possible income from selling players to help buy the already established stars and it defies FFP rules……you only have to look at Mansours City`s academy facilities, they make our once high tech London Colney look like the Hackney Marshes cow sheds !.
    That`s the only thing better than us as a club, they have owners who can literally spend a Billion on their youth, we cant or wont with just a majority shareholder !.

    Now some satire !.

    Am I the only one who has noticed what a great opportunity we now have to resolve some recent holes in our life ?……………Milliband, Clegg, Farage, Clarkson,Hammond and May……all out of jobs !…………………..Clarkson to be UKIP Leader, Hammond Labour Leader and May Lib Dem leader !… 5 years time they can make a coalition government up and go up to Scotland and sort out the massive hole in their economy !….Yes !….Clarkson can park his Chav bus in Sturgeon`s fanny !.
    Then we can have Milliband, Clegg and Farage as Top Gear presenters !…….Milliband could be the new Hammond and do all the dangerous stuff, that would be just desert`s for stabbing his Arsenal supporting brother in the back !…..had David Milliband been the leader they would have gained at least 100 million Nigerian votes !.
    Clegg could be the new May ….although driving with the loss of so many seats could be quite uncomfortable !.
    Farage could be the New Clarkson, he could change …” A celebrity in a reasonable priced car “…to…..”An immigrant in a reasonably priced electric chair !”………they could do the usual car run where they have a race to Poland`s most dense populated area………Boston in Lincolnshire !…………a drive up the motorway with Milliband in the far left lane, Clegg in the center lane and Farage in the far right lane !. hahaha

  2. The Cockie Monster says:

    I should make my self more clear !…..yes !….we should keep the academy, but to get on the same level as City and Chavs we need to have a one owner richer than the others Billionaire !.

  3. The Cockie Monster says:

    Gods birthday today !…..46 years old !…….how the fcuk did he make the world in 6 days and rest on the 7th day, twelve years after I was born ?.

  4. Jeremy says:

    Yes we should keep the academy. The rule that required youngsters to live within a certain distance from the club was a disadvantage as arsenal had to compete with all the other London clubs for talent. As far as I know this rule is changing soon.

  5. Bayonne Jean says:

    Thanks to QPR, there goes the goal difference possibility of taking second from City. Now need 10 points out of 12 to clinch second; it’s doable.

  6. Eddie says:

    This NG is a very good question. I have been thinking that myself – why bother? It costs a lot of money that is seldom recovered. Does a club have to have an academy or is it as you said ‘a done thing showing commitment’? If that is all they are we should most definitely close it down, immediately

  7. The Cockie Monster says:

    Women !…..know your place in the pecking order of priorities !.

  8. Gööner In Exile says:

    Evening all, busy family day done.

    Academies yes, they don’t seem to produce world class players on tap, but no we shouldn’t get rid of them. I doubt they cost much in the grand scheme of things, players can’t cross international borders until 16 as I understand it. So surely we have to at least try to find some for ourselves?

    I don’t see this part of our club as anything to do with community relations, that’s the school and coaching stuff that is done in the area of Islington.

    One of the limiting factors of the academy was the fact that players could travel no more than 90 minutes to get to the academy (that’s round trip). Thankfully our training base being on the outskirts of London meant we could sign Wilshere. Now just think about the areas we couldn’t recruit in….we got Adams and Parlour from Romford, could they make Colney and back in 90 minutes? Probably not by car. What about the inner London areas?

    When I trained with Brentford (U’14-u’16) I had a half hour train journey to Liverpool St then a long Central Line journey to East Acton to train on a cinder pitch for an hour then come home. (My Dad bless him would drive round A406 to watch, and take me home).

    That was one hour a week, how were we really going to improve in that time. Premier Academy rules now insist on a ridiculous amount of coached hours, that could only be achieve able under boarding school type conditions. So it is probably right that the rules change on the travelling because I can’t see how even a local kid could get the hours in.

  9. Working at the coal face of a football academy as I do, although it must be said this team play with a chicken on their shirt instead of the cannon that I love, the under 18’s are worked incredibly hard. Within the under 18 squad there are possibly four players that will be given professional contracts and some of there boys have been at a club like spuds or Arsenal since they were 8. That’s a lot of driving backwards and forwards to the training ground.

    The lot with the chicken on their shirt now train all together at their facility not far from my house. This means that at any moment a sixteen year old can be brought in to train with the first team. In fact the sixteen year olds have to clean the boots of the first team and do other chores at the training ground.

  10. Oops didn’t finish …….

  11. chas says:

    Cheers, NG.

    I’d vote for keeping the Academy. As you say, occasionally a diamond turns up. Also the lower leagues are full of ex-Arsenal Academy players, so we’re giving something back to football in general. It’s so difficult to spot which youth players will make the grade but some inevitably will.

    The Academy is just another name for the process which has seen many successful players come into the first team such as George, Brady, Rice, Adams, Merson, Rocastle, Davis, Thomas, Parlour, Cole, Gibbs, to name but a few and all more successful with Arsenal than Fabregas, Walcott and The Ox Though I’m hoping the latter two might achieve some great things in the next few season. 🙂
    Schoolboy forms they used to call it, I think.

    Starting players off when they’re 8 is too early I think, but as you say, it gives something back to grass roots football, so is good in that sense.

  12. Gööner In Exile says:

    The worrying thing about academies is that once a youngster is brought in they are not allowed to play any other football, school, club, etc. A friend of mine had a6 year old in Norwich academy, no other football allowed and he was then released at 8. That’s just a joke. 2 years when he could have been enjoying playing the game, ending with an event that could take his love for the game away.

    We’ve heard stories of Ozil learning the game in the cages in his area, players from Africa and SAmerica grow up hoping to have something round to use as a football and we struggle to produce 18 players for England who can control a ball without it bouncing off their shin.

  13. chas says:

    That’s shocking that a 6 year old can’t play football whenever and wherever he wants.
    Maybe the whole malarkey should be banned for uners10s.

  14. Eddie says:

    thank Dennis we played Chavs before they won the league and we don’t have to give them a guard of honour, yuk

    nice rose

  15. chas says:

  16. mickydidit89 says:

    Morgen Blogmeisters

    Been surf/camping, so missed things like

    Norfolk, thank you. Defo keep. Giving back and might get an Adams. One every twenty years would be an ok return.

    Exile, great pic of George with the “natives”. Lovely deep blue colour.

  17. mickydidit89 says:

    Loved the Zugspitzer pics. Was the second one taken by me?

    If so, damn my old sony machine had a good camera (miles better than apple). Must learn how to get all the pics off old blower.

  18. mickydidit89 says:

    Match Dat. Hooray
    I’m going to miss it. Not hooray

    Real shitballs, as I leave for London in 40 mins, and will be about four stops down the Piccadilly line. Would come and meet for a drink but my evening starts at 6, and even the dedicated hard core of you won’t be in the boozer early enough.

  19. mickydidit89 says:

    Shall I post Raddy’s mobile number?

    Then perhaps we could all phone him every few minutes for a “chat”

  20. mickydidit89 says:

    Ok finally Eddie

    You made a great point the other day about the Chavs. I have no idea why we all moan about their dire football.

    You are so right. Imagine them waltzing to the title playing fabulous football. Double yuk 🙂

  21. mickydidit89 says:

    best shave. later

  22. Eddie says:

    he kept this one quiet

  23. Eddie says:

    I am picking up my mate’s sons for tonight’s game. While I am there they will be trying to make me take one of the puppies – all black boy. I am praying for strength to resist

    What do I need to do to make it really memorable for the boys? Scarves, burgers, programmes…. ?? Or can I just rely on the team to deliver?

  24. chas says:

    What sort of puppies?

    Don’t get them a burger else they’ll remember it for the wrong reasons.
    A tour of the statues maybe, plenty of photies, a packed lunch and 6 pints.

  25. chas says:

    Spanish bluebells in your garden.

  26. Eddie says:

    gorgeous puppies – German sheppard staffie cross. They tend to make excellent dogs. would you like one? I would love one, but for once I have to be sensible.

    6 pints of lemonade ? They would costs some £50 🙂 Good idea about the tour of statues and photos, must charge the phone

  27. chas says:

    Yep, the second one was copyright DidIt Enterprises.

  28. Eddie says:

    yes, fooking foreigners. Thank to that micky geezer I hate them now! Never mind, I am moving out in a few months

  29. chas says:

    Love this photo

  30. Eddie says:

    amazing photo!!!

  31. mickydidit89 says:

    Well, we’re nearly ready

    Or to be exact, I walk in, suit on, grab tie, few things in a bag, ready.
    My Wife has had two fucking days on her own in the house and still can’t decide what to wear 🙄

    Still, perhaps they’ll hold the train for us if we’re a little late. ‘Course they fucking will darling

    I’m going to sit outside in the car and start the engine. That really really winds her up

  32. Eddie says:

    micky 🙂 🙂 🙂 that is simply classic 🙂 🙂 🙂

  33. Gööner In Exile says:

    Micky 2 days come now that’s the equivalent of ten minutes for a bloke to consider his outfit.

  34. Eddie says:

    oi GiE, that is sexism. Eddie is ready in 5mins, no fecking about 🙂

  35. chas says:

    Very brief pre-match sent to Nuts, so as you have something to put up.

  36. Chas – sorry for the delay I’ll do the post when I can. Rasp has no internet and I can’t get to my computer at the mo. It’ll be up within the hour.

  37. chas says:

    You certainly do not have to apologise to me. Ever.

  38. arnie says:

    ha ha ha ha. back to Sconny Botland. Matchday, is it? COYG. 🙂

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  41. benson says:

    Join our academy(midtown football development & education centre) and be scouted by Accrington Stanley FC Academy Recruitment Manager (David Bailey) as he visit our Talent ID Camp later this year. Call or whatsapp 08142350014

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