Saturday, July 19, 2008

They Shoot Horses, Don't They?

"Of course I am in a position where I can spend the money. But every time, we have done such a great job with the young players that you are concerned 'Do we kill a young player or not by bringing another player in?'"

- Arsene Wenger, on why he's probably not a homicidal maniac

Turns out, we're not in the business of killing young players.

It's comforting. I always wondered what happens to youngsters that don't make the grade. I know some of them find new home at lower level clubs. The ones we know about, anyway. I always feared that the really, really bad players are pushed out into a dimly-lit alleyway and put out of their misery by a kindly sniper. Or they're given a sedative-laced lollipop and pushed out in front of a semi-trailer.

It's what they do to horses, after all.

Wenger, however, patently doesn't like to kill young players. A lot of people are starting to query whether it's at the expense of killing us fans, but Wenger's pretty firm about this point. If there's a promising young player around, Wenger's not going to buy an experienced player who would impede their progress.

So, expect next season to be more like 06-07, not 07-08. With Song or Denilson to partner Cesc. And Nasri and Walcott on the flanks. And van Persie and Rosicky at the physios.

It's depressing when you consider Chelsea's about to drop 80 million pounds on Kaka. I know Wenger's got a plan, but sometimes, you wish he'd just kill a horse or two and buy Phar Lap. I mean, not every runt that Wenger signs is going to turn into Seabiscuit. And they do amazing things with lethal injections nowadays.

I'll leave with this quote from Wenger about Aaron "Rambo" Ramsey:

"Overall he can play wide, he can play centrally. I think in the future he will be a central midfielder. How is down to him and down to us on how well we work with him. In my mind though there are no restrictions on his development, because he has played a lot already."

So maybe I was wrong about Song and Denilson. Maybe this coming season, we'll see Rambo with his shirt off, muscles bulging, a strap of ammo over one shoulder and machine guns on each arm. Yep, the ideal partner to Cesc Fabregas.

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