Arsene Wenger has stressed again that he will stick to his philosophy of promoting youth through the Arsenal ranks, despite calls to spend in the chase for silverware.
Wenger has come under tremendous pressure to splash out on established talent to end the Gunners’ trophy drought but insists promoting from within is “one of the values of our club”
Since moving to the Emirates in 2005, Arsenal has not lifted a single trophy and has come in for criticism from supporters in recent times for not spending big in order to help turn them into contenders both domestically and in Europe.
And as he embarks upon his next 1,000 games in charge of the Gunners, Wenger is sure the club must continue to stay true to their tradition of promoting youth, something which has been viewed as at risk due to big money coming on stream to buy world-class players.
“It’s one of the values of our club [promoting from within],” Wenger told the club’s official website. “We want to be very successful without neglecting the need to give a chance to people.
“I want it to be part of our tradition and I also want to develop a spirit inside the club that makes the young players be faithful to this club.
“It has to work in both ways but we want to be the ones who give [youth] a chance.”
At Monaco, Wenger earned a reputation for spotting young talent, and he has remained focused on developing a youth system; his clubs develop young players instead of buying expensive, experienced ones. He has faced criticism for sticking closely to his principles. Nonetheless, Wenger has been described by BBC Sport as a coach who “has spent his career building teams that combine the accumulation of silverware with a desire to entertain and attack”.
However, the Arsenal boss does acknowledge that there has been a shift within the game in terms of longevity at the top level, and that experience within his side is still important.
“Football has changed,” he added. “It’s quite amazing because football is like a fast train on the evolution side, which forces the players to adapt to the evolution.”
The nickname “Le Professeur” is used by fans and the British media to reflect Wenger’s studious demeanour. His approach to the game emphasises an attacking mentality, with the aim that football ought to be entertaining on the pitch.
“I believe that the players are better prepared now, and they last longer because they take care of their health much better.
“The medical environment is much better than it was 10 or 15 years ago and the individualised injury-prevention training is much better than it was before.”
Wenger’s men currently sit fourth in the Premier League standings, having collected 64 points from 32 games.
The Gunners face a vital clash against fifth-placed Everton this coming weekend.