Superb Young Footballer? Sign for Arsenal.

Last night I watched the youth get hammered by a superb Chelsea team in the FA Youth Cup.

Chelsea won the Cup for the fifth year in a row and had some truly outstanding kids showing remarkable poise, skill, tactical awareness and above all pace. Arsenal tried hard, gave their all but Chelsea were just too good.

I was left with this thought …

Why would a brilliant young player player sign for Chelsea?

Do they have a history of bringing players into their first team? How many of the team from 5 years ago are in the current Chelsea first team?


As far as I can tell there are no players from that team in Chelsea’s first team squad. That’s right – None. How can this happen?

Let’s come back to Arsenal. We got hammered and have not been at the top level of youth football since 2007 when Wilshire’s team won the FAYC. However, we have brought young players into the first team. Bellerin, Iwobi and Wilshire all came through the ranks

Waiting in the wings are M-N, Nelson, Willock, Eddie and a host of others. They will get their chance. Of these Maitland-Niles seems the most mature and ready for a long Arsenal career but who knows, he may fall by the wayside like so many others.

A few seasons ago we focused upon Project Youth, it didn’t work. In the PL experience is essential, apart from MU’s wonder generation, you cannot rely on kids. But how do the youngsters get experience? Bellerin was fortunate insomuch as Debuchy got injured and we had no experienced replacement. We have seen that Holding and Chambers, who were two of the most lauded youth players in English football, have struggled after initially impressing. I believe they will develop into quality PL players but they must have game time and when making the inevitable mistakes, should be given some leeway.

Fans want instant success, they do not consider that a player is finding his feet, they just look at the stupid series of errors and condemn the player. Chambers is going to be a fantastic CB, but will it be at Arsenal? Will the fans give him time? I hope so.

So … Chelsea thrashed us and their players will rightfully thrilled, but if they want to have a career at Chlsea they tare sadly misguided. They should have signed for Arsenal.

written by Big Raddy

69 Responses to Superb Young Footballer? Sign for Arsenal.

  1. fatgingergooner says:

    Christensen (first team), Musonda (Celtic on loan) , Loftus-Cheek (Palace on loan) , Abraham (Swansea on loan) , Solanke (Liverpool) , Brown (Brighton on loan until he got injured).

    I think the path into the Arsenal team is quicker and easier, but it’s wrong to suggest Chelsea don’t bring players through. They still have some quality youngsters it’s just that a lot of them go on loan. All those above were involved in FAYC Finals in the last few years and I’d happily have a few of those at Arsenal as they will become very good players. No doubt some of them will go back to Chelsea and become first team players.

  2. mickydidit89 says:

    Really interesting post, with some big talking points

    Hope to get a chance to get stuck in later

    Thanks very much Erik

  3. GoonerB says:

    Excellent post Raddy. I kind of agree with FGG on his thoughts, and I feel that possibly Chelsea are undergoing a slight change of attitude in how they approach things, (i.e not just purely spending their way to success anymore), and we may see more of their youth players hit the first team in the near future. I wonder if this is the early phase of a grander plan of theirs that we will see materialise in the near future.

    Also sorry to take a negative slant but players like Iwobi, Holding and Chambers have all regressed after getting into the first team. I don’t think it is as simple as just giving them time anymore.

    Young defenders like Holding and Chambers cannot become top defenders in the environment of a team that is so poor defensively in most areas, and that seemingly does not appear to value much focus on the defensive aspect of our play. It doesn’t look like we pay much attention to shape, understanding and discipline and I question whether we have been operating at unprofessional levels (for a club of our standing) in our coaching.

    Players like Holding and Chambers are on the cusp of being lost in the ether due to a poor education period in defending at a critical point of their development. Maybe a new direction at the club can bring them through and see them progress into top defenders.

    It is a tough call whether we have actually been a better fit for a promising youngster over the last few years rather than Chelsea. Yes we get them in there quicker but on the flip side, at face value, it seems no young player improves in our first team environment anymore. If anything they arguably go backwards.

    Maybe many young players will start to balance that quicker access to our first team against how well they are likely to develop at us. We certainly seem to have lost a few more promising youngsters than we would normally do recently, and maybe they are looking at the career pathways of previous young players coming into our first team like Walcott, AOC, Iwobi, Akpom, Afobe, Gibbs, Le Coq, Frimpong, Crowley, Chambers, Holding e.t.c.

    What is happening with players like Zelalem, Jeff, Bielik and the many others that we had a sense of excitement for over the last few years?

    I am hoping that the new era continues to see us give youth a chance but brings something new to the equation that actually allows these players (or at least some of them) to realise their full potential.

  4. Sael says:

    If they had signed for Arsenal, they wouldn’t be the players they are today?

    Aso if you’re 8 and Chelsea come for you, it seems like a good move to go there

  5. Rasp says:

    Great work, thanks Raddy.

    I’m afraid the answer to your question is a simple one … and not as Sael asserts, but that old demon MONEY again!

    The chavs offer ridiculous sums to the families of good young players to sign for them … this I know for a fact … and it is known amongst all the aspiring young players in the academies across the country.

  6. Rasp says:

    Our top prospect Emile Smith-Rowe has been offered silly money to join the chavs … at the moment he is resisting.

    If our new manager can transform us into an exciting, progressive club that is genuinely going to compete at the top again, we will be able to hold on to more of our up and coming players.

  7. GoonerB says:

    The latest rumours are that is is Klopp’s right hand man they want. Could all be bollix though.

    What do we think?

  8. Rasp says:

    Personally I’ve never heard of him …. is the suggestion that he is the man that makes Klopp look good? (matter of opinion)

  9. Eddie says:

    rasp – he doesn’t. His haircut is even worse than Klopp’s

  10. Rasp says:

    🙂 Eddie

  11. Big Raddy says:

    Christensen signed at 19,

    Seems this was a subject few are interested in yet IMO we stay being AFC and a club which encourages youth development or become like MU/PSG and buy success.

    GB. I disagree about Holding and Chambers. Bet you a seal flipper that one of them becomes an AFC stalwart.

  12. mickydidit89 says:

    On mobile so sadly can’t join in

    On youth thing, I’d only have players born within two miles of ems as all the rest have crap genes and will only bugger off if they’re any good
    Plus afc then putting back into local community

    On Klopp’s brain
    Yes yes bring it on. Always thought there was something fishy about the Dortmund Auba Miki thing
    I’d be very happy with him as manager and of course we’d weaken Pool in the process

  13. chas says:

    Cheers, BR, belter of a post.

    Typical Chelsea, stockpile all the decent youth players with no intention of using them just so that no-one else can have them.

  14. chas says:

    I can’t see how someone they bought in from outside, several on loan at shite clubs and one sold to Liverpool is proof that they bring players through.

    The truth is is that they don’t.

  15. chas says:

  16. chas says:

  17. fatgingergooner says:


    I’m not sure what you’ve seen but Christensen signed at 15 on a freebie in 2012.

    I’m not sure I agree the word ‘regressed’ applies to youth players like Chambers and Holding. That would almost suggest that they were playing a high level, came to us, then went backwards. I think the reality is more that they showed promise in lower quality football (Bolton and Southampton), we signed them to try and develop them, and as of yet they haven’t progressed as much as we hoped. Is that down to training and the environment? Could be, but it could just as easily be down to these players not quite being good enough. Not all young players improve to world class level, regardless of what they show at 15-18.

    In some cases players need a different environment or need to mature a bit first before reaching potential. Kevin De Bruyne and Mo Salah are prime examples of this.

  18. fatgingergooner says:

    Bellerin was 16 when we signed him, Christensen was 15 when he went to Chelsea.

  19. fatgingergooner says:

    If anyone listens to Alan Davies’ Tuesday Club podcasts they did another last week.

    If you don’t listen then you should. Shame they don’t do them weekly anymore.

  20. Eddie says:

    Raddy – I read the post, but could not agree less. So I’d rather not comment 😬
    However, I applaud you for yet another Stirling piece of work, well done

  21. Rasp says:

    I was critical of Chambers at the start of the season, but now I’d say he has progressed significantly lately …. he’s hardly put a foot wrong in recent games …. I wish I could say the same about Mustafi. CBS have to be calm and solid first and foremost, at the moment Chambers fits that bill better than Mustafi.

  22. Rasp says:

    I like this Rodriguez fella of Bayern …. brilliant passing from midfield …. he’d find Auba and Lacaz with the ball.

  23. Big Raddy says:

    Eddie. That’s what I thought when you wrote about PV4 😀

    FGG. Re: Chambers and Holding. You want to take the seal flipper bet as well

  24. Big Raddy says:

    Cracking game in Madrid. BM should be ahead but for some comedy defending

  25. Rasp says:

    Yes …. come on Bayern … let’s see 2 club’s lose in Madrid this week ….

  26. Big Raddy says:

    Terrific game. Wrong team won.

  27. Aaron says:

    Bayern just got uefadridlona’d!

    Who would of guessed??

    Handlball: as clear as s sunny day in CaliforniA.

    Lets guess who will win the final, shall we?

  28. LB says:

    I fall into the category of not being able to agree more.

    Good read, thanks.

  29. chas says:

  30. chas says:

    Next season’s away kit

  31. chas says:

    Name the ground

  32. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    7.08 Must be Didit with the smallest pole.

  33. Big Raddy says:

    I would guess Stamford Bridge but the yellow railing raise some doubts. Brentford?

  34. chas says:

    It is the Bridge..

    Smallest pole 😂

  35. mickydidit89 says:

    ha ha, and which is Erik? I’m going for the bondage chain leash 🙂

    Damn sounds like I missed a stormer in Madrid last night. Out of interest, why is the sentiment on here more pro Bayern than Real?

  36. chas says:

    From what I saw, Bayern played the better football.
    They put the ball out when a Real player had cramp in the 82nd minute even though they desperately needed a goal. It’s cos they still feel guilty about the war.

  37. chas says:

    Madrid have won 3 of the last 4?

  38. mickydidit89 says:

    ha ha ha the war 🙂

    It’s actually very true. The guilt complex there runs deep, unlike the scousers 🙂

  39. mickydidit89 says:

    Talking of my pole, I fancy a blog pole

    I have a meeting now, but will think of ideas

    Surprised there weren’t more comments about that Klopp . assistant story

  40. Eddie says:

    didit – we left the specultions to you

    Bovic is a candidate, like many others. They will probably have a shortlist, interview, ask for references and check their twitter/fB accounts to make sure they didn’t disgrace themselves lately

    Then they will consider each and every one of them and chose the cheapest. Enrique is allegedly asking for £25mil a year, moron.

  41. mickydidit89 says:

    ha ha, brilliant Eddie 🙂

  42. Eddie says:

    …when girls looked like girls and men had deep voices

  43. Rasp says:

    Morning all, this relates to Eddie’s comment ….. news or fake news? … you decide …

  44. chas says:

  45. RC78 says:

    Good morning all – hope you are well 🙂 Long time so hope everyone is doing wonderful. Just a quick note on Arsene Wenger’s replacement:
    1. My vote goes to Ancelotti with Vieira as an Assistant
    2. The Board wants to:
    – Keep our football brand
    – Not pay much money
    – Have better results
    SO Luis Enrique is out of question and trust me, he is not what we need.

    If Ancelotti does not come, then I favor:
    – Allegri (Juve)
    – Jardim (Monaco)
    – Zarri (Napoli)
    – Marcelino (Valencia)

    Over and out

    Here is the recruitment for next year as well:
    – A GK – mandatory -> Donnaruma
    – A RB – if feasible -> Lichtensteiner
    – A LB – mandatory -> Sessegnon
    – A CB – mandatory -> Koulibaly
    – A DM – mandatory -> Gueye, Wanyanma, Ndombele
    – A CM – optional -> Illaramendi, Seri
    – A FW – mandatory -> Fekir, Zaha
    – A ST – optional ->

  46. chas says:

  47. Big Raddy says:

    Looking forward to this evenings game. If Roma score early it could be a cracker but they were completely outplayed at Anfield and I give them little chance

    RC. Good to see you and hope all is well in Paris.
    Sessengnon looks an excellent prospect.
    A Gk is a must. Butland? Would Donneruma come to AFC?
    Gueye would be great but there must be others out there. Someone from Germany?

  48. Eddie says:

    guy at the allotment cheered me up yesterday. He is convinced we are going to win tomorrow. As an example of us going to a game as the underdogs he referred to 26/05/1989. Nobody gave us a chance, yet we won.

    I promised to weed his plot for a season if we win.

    I make a lot of promises I never keep, but a win would be good

  49. Big Raddy says:

    Eddie. Don’t we all 😀

  50. Eddie says:

    not sure about all, i guess some more conscientious AAers deliver on their promises.

  51. GoonerB says:

    Sorry chaps but to further the debate from Raddy’s great post regarding whether we are a better place (football wise rather than financially) for a promising young player I thought this link might possibly put some further perspective on whether Arsenal is the best place still or not.

  52. Big Raddy says:

    GB. Thank you. Very interesting and proof of how difficult progressing through the ranks can be.

    It seems injuries hampered so many of the players, that and massive stupidity allied to over-inflated egoism (Frimpong).

  53. chas says:

    Why on Earth would I want to read that?

    It might disavow me of the notion that Arsenal FC were the greatest football club in the world.

  54. mickydidit89 says:

    I’ve been wondering 🙂

    With a better manager but the same squad, do we think we could be as good as Pool, both in terms of results as well as style of football?

  55. mickydidit89 says:

    Bog standard purist scoreline

  56. chas says:

  57. chas says:

    Walking into the Wanda Metropolitano…..

  58. mickydidit89 says:

    6:35 Cats are King. Fact

    Morning. I am very excited and really wish I was in Madrid.

    Dear God that 1886Gunner’s food looks awful

  59. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Some time since we saw a slider.

  60. mickydidit89 says:


    I’m struggling to work out why it was we didn’t leap on the idea of going to Madrid

    Did I make a feeble excuse?

  61. mickydidit89 says:

    Intrigued to see your team for tonight

    Are you going to casually chuck in all our best players, or deploy some kind of strategic thinking?

  62. Eddie says:

    7:6?? was it really, blimey, some result
    now i hope scoucers are thrashed by RM

  63. Eddie says:

    At long last someone spoke some sense. Danny Murphy clearly is not just a pretty face:

    Danny Murphy thinks such an appointment would be a ridiculous decision.

    They have been some stellar names linked with the upcoming vacancy at the Emirates.

    Luis Enrique, Max Allegri, Thomas Tuchel and Brendan Rodgers to name just a few.

    Despite Buvac working closely with Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool, the Bosnian has no experience of being a No.1 whatsoever.

    “I would find it unbelievable to appoint someone who has never, ever managed as a number one at a club like Arsenal,” Murphy told The Debate on Sky Sports.

    “I think that would be ridiculous for a club like Arsenal”

    Danny Murphy
    “It doesn’t matter how intelligent he is or what he’s done because doing it as a number two is nothing like doing it as a number one.”

    And while Murphy does not doubt his talents as a coach, he believes the top job at a football club brings very different pressure.

    “Just because you haven’t been a number one doesn’t mean you don’t succeed,” he added. “There are exceptions to the rule.

    We’re talking about Arsenal Football Club who want to get back to competing with the big boys. There’s a hell of a job to be done there.”

  64. mickydidit89 says:

    Hi Eddie

    The lunatic fringe talk about a Paddy Vieira sort with perhaps an old git to guide the young buck, so perhaps the plan could work with this Bosnian fella in the same way and a director of football sort brought in

    I do see the massive risk though and I’m reminded of the Clough Taylor team and how it worked so well, but individually, a disaster

  65. Good Morning all

    We have a New Post ……………..

  66. RC78 says:

    My team: Ospina – Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal – Maitland, Xhaka, Wilshere – Ramsey, Ozil – Lacazette

  67. Eddie says:

    exactly. Can we really afford to fuck about for a while longer? Piss off more fans, waste a couple of more seasons sliding down the EPL talbe?

    I really think not. They must get it right or there will be war in N5. I have me marching boots ready

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