A Team is Required for Youngsters
Arsenal have a very talented young squad sitting in the reserves, playing reserve football and occasionally sitting on the bench for a first team game.
Once we are out of the Carling Cup, Wenger will look to sending them out on loan, but even that is no guarantee of regular football. England under-21 manager, Stuart Pearce, has overlooked all of Arsenal’s youngsters, yet has chosen three Chelsea players who are on loan; his rationale is that they are playing regularly! We have sent players out on loan before, Gibbs and Randall both had spells on loan last season, but as they did not often feature, there is a debate as to what they really learnt and the long-term benefit.
The only way for these players to learn, is to play regularly under Arsenal coaching staff. The only way for this to happen, and to ensure we do not have to let players leave the club once they are 20 and haven’t made it in the first team, is for the introduction into the English game of “B” teams. This happens in Spain and it allows players to be nurtured in the ways of the club before they are thrown into “A” team action.
Wenger, Benitez, and Mourinho have mentioned before the introduction of nursery clubs, only for the press to shoot them down in flames without analysing the issue. A “B” team will add to the expense of a top club, but it means that a manager can take longer over deciding whether a player has a future at a club. Arsene might not have sold Seb Larsson or Fabrice Muamba or Arturo Lupoli under this system. The “B” will start to play in lower leagues but will not be allowed to be promoted to the same division as its parent team.
Will fans go to see this team play; the answer is yes, look at the number going to see Arsenal reserves at Barnet. Arsenal would come to an agreement with Barnet to play all “B” team games at Barnet.
Only through a “B” team will clubs like Arsenal truly reap the rewards of the Academy system. There is not doubt our “B” team would hold its own in the Championship and there players will still be trained and coached under the watchful eye of Arsene.