Arsenal Is Winning The War For British Talent


Five years ago Arsene Wenger declared to the football world that the development of a British core was central to the future of Arsenal Football Club.

“I believe when you have a core of British players, it’s always easier to keep them together,

“The plan is to build a team around a strong basis of young players in order to get them to develop their talent at the club.”

In my last piece I detailed how, up to recently, the mainstream media and so-called Arsenal blogs and tweeters poured scorn and derision on the club and the manager, in particular, for the supposed failure of this policy. Apparently the transfer of Oxlade-Chamberlain was all the proof they needed.

In their cock-eyed vision Arsenal is the first and only club that had to sell a locally developed player. Apparently a  $28-25 million profit for a player who was not a guaranteed fixture in the starting XI and someone patently unwilling to remain at the club at the expiry of his contract is a sign of failure rather than a complete rinsing of the party on the other side of the trade.

Few, if any, of these hacks are willing to admit that Arsene and Arsenal made off like bandits in this AOC deal. According to Prof Cipolla in the laws of stupidity: There is no upper bound on the amount of stupidity that can exist within any particular individual.” No wonder they can’t let go of their “shambles” meme.

In that last blog I demonstrated, contrary to the fact-free nonsense of the usual suspects, that the British core is very much alive and well at Arsenal with nine such players listed in the 2017-18 EPL squad. What was not apparent at the time was how Arsene is willing to rapidly promote new British players into the 1st team. In the last three cup games (Europa and Carabao) youngsters like Reiss Nelson, Willock, DaSilva, McGuane and Nketiah were granted their 1st competitive Arsenal cap. I am yet to see a member of the mainstream media highlighting this massive development.

This bourgeoning growth in domestic talent is not only important internally but, compared to the so-called top-6 PL clubs, Arsenal is slowly but surely winning the war for British talent. Based on their respective EPL squads according to espn.com and data from whoscored.com, I was able to derive data as of September 18th, showing the ranking of clubs in terms of Number of British Players, Appearances, Minutes, Goals and Assists.

Top 6 Club No. British Apps Mins Goals Assists
Liverpool 9 709 45,210 100 78
Arsenal 9 615 39,444 110 87
Tottenham 6 438 42,889 135 70
Man United 6 700 56,533 47 46
Man City 3 137 15,504 42 30
Chelsea 2 292 25,291 27 7

According to the data, Liverpool’s british contingent equals Arsenal with nine players having played 45,210 minutes for the club. But Liverpool’s productivity is inferior to Arsenal’s with a mere 100 goals and 78 assists versus 110 and 87 respectively. Quite frankly, the Merseysider’s positive statistics is due primarily to Jordan Henderson who has contributed nearly one-third of the minutes and provided 20 goals and 28 assists. Moreover Liverpool has had to depend heavily on the transfer market to recruit British talent especially from their farm team at Southampton. As a result, for every Sturridge there is a dog like Ings, for a Llalana there is a Flannagan. In contrast, while Arsenal has relied on some transfers (Ramsey, Walcott, Holding and Chambers) five of the British members of the EPL squad are all graduates of the academy, some their from childhood. Of those academy graduates, Arsenal’s data is minus the contribution of Alex Iwobi who has had 41 PL games spanning 2,186 minutes and contributed 5 goals and 5 assists, which would easily bolster AFC over LCFC.

Meanwhile Tottenham, that darling of the English mainstream media, has a mere six British members of their PL squad and have managed only two-thirds the appearances of Arsenal’s. Absent Harry Kane’s 118 caps, 91 goals and 16 assists the contribution of their domestic contingent barely moves the meter.

It is striking that the biggest spenders in English football (United, City and Chelsea) are at the bottom of the top-6 with the least number of domestic players and evidently making a minimal contribution to goals and assists. It is as if they are merely around to make up the home-grown quota. Manchester United may have 6 players with 700 appearances and over 56 thousand minutes but that data is very deceptive. The majority of that data comes from players who are no longer part of Mourinho’s starting XI, i.e. Smalling, Carrick and Young. Between them they had nearly 500 appearances spanning over 40 thousand minutes and contributed a combined 28 goals and 33 assists.

Notably at the bottom of the heap is Chelsea with a grand total two domestic players. Their numbers above is due exclusively to Gary Cahill. Up to the time of writing, that great bastion of English talent, Danny Drinkwater, signed from Leicester, has yet to make a PL appearance.

The data is clearly suggesting that the big-3 spenders are increasingly dependent on the transfer market to recruit domestic talent. This is an ominous development. Based on the rising premium for domestic players, where an Oxlade-Chamberlain costs  £40 million in transfers and most likely earning £180,000 per week in wages, a barely decent British player is a severe financial drag on any club.

Take Manchester United for example, they made record revenue last financial year of £590M, up from £519M the previous year, which was also a record. But expenses rose equally as fast, going from £440M to £515M, an increase of £75M. Employee benefit expenses – the majority being players’ wages – accounted for £32M of the £75M increase. Similarly amortization costs, which is the accounting method of expensing transfer fees, was £125M in 2016/17, up £37M from the previous year. Without that massive increase in tv revenues, United would not have been able to afford such significant increase in costs.

In contrast, Arsenal made only £424M in revenues. Based on financial resources available, there is no way the Gunners can go head-to-head with United in the transfer market. That is why £7M in loan fees earned for Jack Wilshere, Szczesny, Calum Chambers and Joel Campbell, all of whom are “home-grown” players, was significant to the club. Unlike United, recruiting and developing British talent will forego any need to resort to expensive transfers to build a competitive PL-challenging squad.

In his statement accompanying the 2016-17 annual financial report Ivan Gazidis, CEO, underlined the importance of this policy:

The development of our own players through our academy remains a priority for our football club. Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Jeff Reine-Adelaide have progressed into the first team dressing room this season, joining the likes of Alex Iwobi, Hector Bellerin and Francis Coquelin who have recently made the same journey to become important members of our First Team squad. We have high hopes for other young players such as Reiss Nelson, Joe Willock and Eddie Nketiah, all of whom impressed on the pre-season tour to Sydney, Shanghai and Beijing.

The sceptics, the snarcs, the juvenile, prepubescent-like commentators in the msm, blogs and twitter have vomited their stupidity. Somebody else is having the last laugh, as slowly but surely Arsenal is gaining ground and acheiving a competitive advantage over its top-6 rivals as it develops and promotes home-grown British talent. Even John Bull would be proud.

28 comments on “Arsenal Is Winning The War For British Talent

  1. Another brilliant review of one of our traditions at ARSENAL. We have always managed to bring young players through and Arsene has been a catalyst to that, not a brake and would certainly look to promote from within rather than buy. It’s ironic that those same people who call Arsene a miser and criticize him for lack of spending are the same people who suggest who won’t bring players through. By that logic where do they think we get the players from, maybe our scouts run around the crowd before the game signing people up.
    Once again well done Shotts.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks Shotta.
    A quick glance around the league will show people how many players there are who have made a proper start at AFC in their careers, it’s a healthy number. Almost as if they believe

    If it looks like a football club, acts like a football club, then perhaps it is just a football club. And not a mafia/corporatist laundrette as espoused by the PR genius’/vacuous blunderbuss’ and their clever little shambolic memes.

    Or do these Experts on the Arsenal actually contend that it was AW who sacked GG?
    Is this truly their posture? If so that’s not stupidity, it’s craven.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. < almost as if they believe that they are some kind of football club…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My Guy- Shotta… Well done bro

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Thanks Shotta.
    No doubt we will see plenty more YOFF players if we continue progress in the Europa and whatsitsname Cups. Several more low risk games for them to shine in, or at lest get noticed in.
    Jack Wilshere’s rehab is very encouraging, and if we do get Santi back to the team in January we can have genuine hopes of a competitive season.

    Liked by 1 person


    Liked by 1 person

  7. Arsenal took on a dozen or so new Scholars as full time trainees, on two year deals, this summer, and all but one is English, Jordan McEneff is an Republic of Ireland youth international, all the rest are English, for the first time in a number of years the club did not bring in any youths from Europe or wider afield. So if any of these lads make it to our first team, the odds are stacked in it being another English lad. By the way McEneff was born and reared in Northern Ireland, but has declared for the Republic.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. DC I think the amount of youth we see will depend heavily on the fitness of the senior players, for the game during the week we were unable to call upon Debuchy, Chambers, Kolasinac, Iwobi, Coquelin, Iwobi, Ozil, Cazorla and Welbeck, if all of them fit and ready, there might very well not have been a youth in sight.
    Bielik also unavailable, as was Jeff, two of the youths further on in their development than some of the lads that got game time.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Arsenal women are currently playing away to man city ladies and one of the city players just caught lisa evens in the face with a high boot, lots of blood pouring from a cut just under her eye, yet not even a yellow given to the city player, its not only the mens team that get treated differently. Disgraceful reffing

    Liked by 1 person

  10. FT: Brighton U18’s 2-2 Arsenal U18’s

    Brighton took the lead in the 84th minute with a goal from Cashman, then moments later Olayinka makes it 1-1.

    Brighton then take the lead through Ljubicic in the 93rd minute but the same player scores an OG in the 95th minute and game ends 2-2

    Arsenal U18s v Brighton: Virginia; Daley-Campbell, Clarke, Omole, Thompson; Benson, M. Smith; Olayinka, John-Jules, Saka; Balogun.
    Subs: T. Smith, Medley, Swanson, Spencer-Adams, Okoflex.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Very informative Shotta. Truths deliberately omitted from mainstream media to paint Arsenal and especially Arsène in a poor light.

    Wasn’t it last year when José had a presser with a “list” of young British talent he promoted from academy? It got rather mixed reviews with some exposing it as him being economical with the truth, whilst others put their heads up his we-know-what.

    Arsène might get derided but him and us know what we know.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. FT: Man City Ladies 5-2 Arsenal Women


  13. Debuchy was back in full training today, Iwobi trained too as did youths Nelson and Nketiah

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Koscielny missed training today, suggests he will not be available for Brighton game tomorrow.


  15. Kozzer has had a recurrence of his Achilles problem, he won’t play on Sunday and probably will not joint the French team during the international break.


  16. No major upsets so far today, tots and manure both costed comfortably enough to pick up 3 points each.


  17. well if kos is out, that probably means a back 3 of Holding, Mustafi, Monreal, with Bellerin and Kolasinac in the wingback roles, Xhaka, Ramsey, Alexis and Lacazette to start too, Cech in goal of course, leaving just the one spot to fill, with Iwobi, Elneny, Walcott, Wilshere and maybe Maitland-Niles those most in contention. Depending on where Ramsey is selected, CM or in the Ozil role, it might alter who the final selection is.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. best guess

    Holding Mustafi Monreal
    Bellerin Xhaka Ramsey Kolasinac
    Iwobi Alexis
    subs Ospina, Per, Maitland-Niles, Wilshere, Elneny, Walcott, Giroud


  19. the teams unbeaten man utd have played so far this season


  20. a win by 5 goals or more tomorrow will see crisis club Arsenal go top 4


  21. I see the “Arsenal have priced a whole generation out of attending games at the Emirates” soundbite has taken another hit today, due to low take up of tickets for the CC game v Norwich, you know the game AFC price at £20 & £10 concession, Arsenal have given Norwich more tickets. They had been given 5200, and they sold out on 3 hours, so Norwich asked for more and AFC have given them another 3600. Meaning Norwich will bring 8,800 fans to the game.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Lewis‏ @LGAmbrose 2h2 hours ago

    City have already beaten Liverpool and Chelsea (two clean sheets as well).
    United play Chelsea, Spurs, Liverpool in their next four.


  23. We are proud to announce the completion of our brand new sensory room ahead of this weekend’s Arsenal for Everyone matchday on Sunday.

    The new facility, which contains a range of sensory tools and games, will give our fans with profound special needs the opportunity to enjoy matches with their families and carers at Emirates Stadium – in some cases for the first time.

    This was the case for seven year old Reggie from Camden – who was able to come to his first ever Arsenal game on Monday evening with his mum Carly.

    Carly said: “This is priceless. I’ve never been able to take Reggie to a match before. He’s always been supported by Arsenal through Arsenal in the Community and The Arsenal Foundation, but now he can actually experience a match with me. I used to come to Highbury with my dad and I’ve never been able to do that with my son because autism put up a real barrier for us, but now I can.”

    The new sensory room is credit to the Shippey Campaign, which was created by the parents of three children with Autism.

    Peter Shippey, who attended the official ‘opening’ of the room on Monday, said: “It’s fantastic that Arsenal have created a sensory room. This room will allow autistic supporters and their families to enjoy football, maybe for the first time in their lives. It’s an incredible facility and it is brilliant to see Arsenal taking care of their supports and opening a door that may have been previously shut.”

    This facility adds to our long history of providing the right facilities and services for our disabled supporters, dating back to the early 1960’s when we first introduced a commentary service for blind and visually impaired supporters, a service which continues to this day.

    We also provide an audio version of every home match day programme for blind and visually impaired supporters and we were the first Premier League team to install a Guide Dog Toilet facility. Other facilities and services which have been introduced include a Disabled Supporters Match Day Lounge, where disabled supporters can meet and enjoy a hot drink before games.

    The club also provides Changing Places Toilet facilities which includes a hoist and changing table enabling severely disabled supporters to come to games knowing that there is a toilet that they can use in safety and comfort.

    Find out more about Arsenal for Everyone

    Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to http://www.arsenal.com as the source.

    Read more at https://www.arsenal.com/news/arsenal-sensory-room-opens-its-doors#PcY3Y1UvfGWPyGQc.99

    Read more at https://www.arsenal.com/news/arsenal-sensory-room-opens-its-doors#3mFxDbP25Xd33i3W.99

    Liked by 2 people

  24. I am often frustrated by so called fans keep saying AW going to ruin player X, player y is being played in their percieved correct position, blah,blah.
    The players are not coached have not done
    or are not doing specific drills . as if they are on the training ground

    Young players fail at Arsenal but fail at a lower rate,
    proof we have more than avg in the first team now and have played for the team in the past

    Liked by 2 people

  25. New post up


  26. You are spot on again.

    Here us some more data to buttress your position.


    As one who has been going to Hale End and youth games due to friendship with the families of 2 players.

    I cannot emphasise enough how important Wenger giving youth the chance is in attracting and keeping young talent. This I know from speaking to the parents of these youth players.

    These parents get offered all sorts of incentives, by Chelsea especially, but they chose to stay at Arsenal because they believe Arsenal will give their child the chance if they are good enough.


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