Arsene Wenger’s philosophy is not original. It’s about nurturing and developing kids from an early age in the same mold, making them play the same way from a young age and making them understand the playing philosophy of the club. So when the reach the first team they’ll have an organic understanding of where they should move an where their teammates are moving to. This philosophy also dictates that only players who understand how to fit in this organic system should join the team.
The greatest teams the world has even seen were developed this way.
Wenger gave it his own twist. All of the organic teams were formed, basically, by players from the same nation, sometimes even the same city. That tribalism is part of the strength of this philosophy.
Wenger thought otherwise. He thought, logically, that if he will chose the best players from around the globe and will form them into one organic matter through training and schooling, he will gain advantage. Â In theory it sounds logical. Picking your players out of billions makes a lot more sense than picking them out of millions. In England it is even less, as the “90 minutes rule” states that academy players must live within a 90 minute commute of their team. So Wenger brought the players from Switzerland, Germany, Spain, France and Â Mexico and tried to mold them into a formidable unit.
However, the level of commitment wasn’t there as Wenger himself admitted. We have stood up for these young players so it is down to them to pay us back. Stay together and show that we can be successfulÂ together. Or, our bet was wrong.
Cesc Fabregas, Gael Clichy, Niklas Bendtner, Carlos Vela and others may have been with Arsenal since their teens (Samir Nasri slightly later) and played together some nifty football, but they lacked the communal drive that true Arsenal supporters would have played with. It was clear that they cannot be committed to the club like a local lad. That’s because they came to the London club for egoistical reasons to improve themselves.
The conclusion should be that the core of the team, the spine, should be formed by players that understand Arsenal better. Players that the top of their ambitions is playing and winning in Arsenal colors. Players like Jack Wilshere, Emmanuel Frimpong, Kieran Gibbs, Henri Lansbury, Benik Afobe might be less skilful or sophisticated than Nasri, Cesc or Clichy but they are compensating for that with tones of motivation, determination and even national pride. These are forces that can’t be overlooked in today’s football. These are forces that Wenger ignored. He talked about commitment and values but some things can’t be injected to you at the age of 15, 16, 18 or 19.
Just like Barcelona should have a Catalan core, Bayern Munich should have a German core and Juventus should have an Italian core, Arsenal should have an English core.