Wenger Reveals Key To Arsenal's Successful Youth Policy

The Arsenal boss has revealed that the club's reputation helps when it comes to swaying parents that their child's education is best spent in north London...

Arsenal are a club famed the world over for their rigid policy in supplementing local kids with the most talented foreign youngsters.

It has been a project that has seen mixed results this season. The squad continues to get younger, and when results don't go Arsenal's way, the fans have been all too eager to point fingers: at the players, and at the manager.

However, it is also a policy that has attracted numerous plaudits. The 6-0 demolition of Sheffield United in the Carling Cup for example, was supposed to signal a new dawn in British football, as Arsene Wenger fielded six British youngsters with five foreigners.

Wenger believes that Arsenal's reputation for developing talent now gives them a better chance when it comes to competitive recruitment.


"Most of the time it is [down to] the first contact," Wenger explained to the club's official website. "The player thinks ‘he wanted me first’. That develops a kind of trust and confidence.

"In Arsenal’s case it is also our history. When we say to a player ‘we believe in you, we think you are good enough. Look at our midfield, the oldest one is 21’ the parents believe us. They know they will get a chance."

Wenger has also now revealed the downfalls, as the market for attracting teenagers has seen an increase in competition.

"I spoke to a friend of mine who is a coach in Tours in France," he said. "They are in the second division but he told me when they play at home they have on average 15 to 20 foreign scouts, clubs from all over Europe, it’s unbelievable.

"If that is in the second division in France then it means the scouts are everywhere. There is nowhere where you can be the only one on the ball. You could maybe be the first one on the ball but not the only one."

Alan Dawson, Goal.com