These Three Are Staying

Many have questioned whether or not Arsene Wenger would be able to keep his young players around long enough for his plan to work. The most difficult part of committing to a plan that has no guarantee of success is facing the music if it fails. There are board members and fans to answer to. Recognizing and acquiring young talent can be the easiest part. Keeping them together is the ultimate challenge – especially if they don’t have success early as is currently the case with Arsenal.

I’ve mentioned here before how Marc Overmars left Arsenal for (literally) the greener grass of Catalonia. Indeed Barcelona thought that they’d got a superbly versatile and effective winger at the peak of his career.

No!

In fact, it wasn’t until 2008 when Overmars played in his 100th league game after leaving North London in 2000. Injuries played a large part in the decline of this once elite footballer. It’s common knowledge however that many players’ careers have gone flat after leaving Arsenal. Thierry Henry being the obvious exception.

In 2004, Stathis Tavlaridis left Arsenal for Lille. Unless you follow Ligue 1, you would probably not know where he plays today. He left at the age of 24, having failed to break into the first team. Tavlaridis has only represented Greece twice to date. He certainly was not a great loss but he too is a player who’s career has not taken off after leaving Arsenal. And to date, Hleb and Flamini are looking good bets to add to that list.

Last week we signed three young players who could have fantastic careers at the club. Despite The Negatives’ feeling that Wenger is foolish to believe that young talent will stick around regardless of the lack of honors in recent years, the highly rated trio of Kieran Gibbs, Jack Wilshere, and Aaron Ramsey have secured long term deals at the club.

Take that you cynical twats!

Ramsey could certainly have decided that without a clearly dominant player ahead of him, he might have been given more opportunities to partner Cesc or even replace the number 4 while he recovered from injury. Hindsight can point to his performances (which weren’t terrible) and say that he’s still not quite ready however but I have no problem with payers believing in themselves.

Wenger’s no mug. He knows what he’s doing. And to be fair to our players who’ve decided to stay, they’ve shown that they trust the manager and that they trust the club. But despite the reciprocal belief there are maybe one or two amongst our players who would walk straight into any of the world’s top sides. Which is not to say that they aren’t good enough but that there are players of equal or lesser ability at such clubs who perform particular roles – all good teams have balance, not just good players. So why leave Arsenal?

Time will tell if either Gibbs, Wilshere, or Ramsey will defect at some point. For now, The Negatives have another hard pill to swallow.

What’s next, Adebayor stays and scores another 30?

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