WTTGT Writer: Basudde .I. Travis
The average age of Manchester United’s starting XI against The Spuds was 23. They had a teenager at centre-half and a 21-year-old at right-back. The man playing instead of Dimitar Berbatov was 21, the goalkeeper was half the age of the guy at the other end and the little fella in the centre, trying to show that United can get by without Wesley Sneijder or any other superstar midfielder, was a 22-year-old starting only his second senior match for the club. The young players acquitted themselves well, sometimes brilliantly.
With a degree of honesty, if it was any other team I would have bothered less, and would still have faith in a young Arsenal side. But after watching Man U’s performance, I have to admit, Arsenal MAY be a mid-table finisher by the end of the season; and the consequences very unbearable.
But there might be questions about the team that lost to Liverpool at the weekend. By the end of the match, the Arsenal line was very similar, though age-wise to the same team that defeated The Spuds, therein, questions arise which is the central focus of this article.
Arguments may be brought forward that the team lacks mental strength to match that of ManU, but how would a team this young respond to a series of pressure coming from each direction? With half of the starters on queue towards the treatment table and losing the best midfield pair in modern football history (in Fabregas and Nasri), you would never expect better.
The twelfth men at Old Trafford have never lost faith and will generally applaud the hoard of youngsters that Fergie has brought through the system. Ferguson manages the pressure on these youngsters’ shoulders and the crowd follow his lead by patting the backs of their young team. This light praise comes in handy, uplifting spirits, but yet Arsenal’s crowd instead boos and jeers these youngsters. They’re often heard saying ‘buy experience’ and ‘not another youngster’. Arsenal do need experience, correct, but managed correctly, youngsters are equally as successful if used in the right manner – dare I say allah United. The criticism from fans and even more importantly the media destroys our own young team. It kills motivation and possibly damages careers in the long run.
A preview of the bench for ManU was more mouth watering than the starting line-up. Berbatov, Hernandez, the legendary Ryan Giggs, Carrick, all of whom are battle hardened Premiership material ready to give a push to the inexperienced youngsters. This is motivation for United’s raw side. In contrast to Arsenal’s bench at the weekend that ridiculously had only one defender on it in Miguel Ignasi. Get the balance right and flushing your team with youngsters is not an issue. The mixture of youthfulness to experience is a morale booster unmatched in the Premiership.
Sir Alex Ferguson, just like any other typical Scot, is reputed for “going an extra mile” to grind desirable results. He is ever anxious and supervises the proceedings with every guile he can muster. Therefore, his youth characteristics are a mirror of his own philosophy; they will always want to eat the opponents’ heart out and they will work their butts off to put a smile to their boss’ face. Wenger’s boys are talented and silky, but they want everything on a silver platter which has led to the English football community to label the side “weak,” thereby attracting bullies in each of our opponents. Whilst the lads fight more our manager is facedown in shame!
Arsène Wenger needs to rejuvenate his old self. He was the tactful master of the game capable of using both experience and youth almost in poetic motion. Manchester United are excited by their youngsters, yet Arsenal slate theirs. If Arsène and the board can get some experience, you might well see that the youngsters they’ve already signed are indeed the future, and indeed title contenders.
Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/WTTGT