It’s all about German
players at Arsenal at the moment. Mesut Özil the most talked about but also our
two youngsters Serge Gnabry and Thomas Eisfeld who did a great job over the
last week by scoring against West Bromwich Albion and Swansea City.
I guess you read a lot
player profiles and stuff about these two so I won’t go into detail on that
topic. The interesting question is what makes Arsenal the hub for young German
players? The answer to that is mostly other German players such as Lukas Podolski
or Per Mertesacker. Agree, but that can’t be the main factor as they only have
a partial influence by helping them settle at a new club in a foreign country.
There must be more.
manager I hear you scream. That’s what I hear a lot when I speak to German non-Arsenal
footy fans. And there must be something true in it. Arsene Wenger had the
tendency to buy French players during their World Cup winning days. It was
basically down to his knowledge of French football and the dominance of French
football at that time. The same dominance of Spanish football didn’t lead to
the same amount of Spanish players at Arsenal. So Wenger’s language skills seem
to be a decisive factor besides the fact that German players are on a very good
level at the moment.
From my point of view
the main factor is the similarity of Arsenal youth and first-team structure to
those in the German academies. The German football association has been working
on a perfect youth system for years and they were quiet successful with it over
the last few years. They did build a system where a player is brought through
the ranks with being familiar of the structure of German football. The need of
being capable to compete on a high technical level combined with adaption
skills. When you look at the Spanish national team you will see a system which can
be filled with different players, all knowing what to do. The same kind of
system Ajax was famous for several years ago. Change a player without changing
the system. That’s what the German youth development was all about in recent
years. Getting a certain standard each national coach can easily work with on a
minimum level. And that’s what Joachim Löw has worked on over years. All this
leads to the opportunity to get young players used to the high-level football
in a competitive team.
When you look at
Arsenal that’s basically what the youth system does as well. Encouraging one
touch football, quick passing, and movement off the ball and offering the
chance to break into first team football via the Cup competitions. Plus of
course Wenger is the manager that gives the young players a chance and not only
talks about it. In my opinion that’s the main reason for these many (young)
German players at the club.
All in all it will be
a mixture of all said and probably much more. But I don’t think we are in any
kind against lots German players at the club as long as they bring us what they
did over the last weeks.