Patrice Evra once said that Arsenal are more like a training school rather than a football club. Players get trained and developed at Arsenal before moving on to ‘greener pastures’. Now, I am going to discuss if this statement is true or not.
What Evra said is true to a certain extent. Players that left Arsenal made it big here at Ashburton Grove before moving on in search of money, fame and glory. They include Ashley Cole, Alex Hleb, Mathieu Flamini, Emmanuel Adebayor, Kolo Toure, Gael Clichy, Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas. A large portion left due to monetary benefits. At Arsenal, we have a long-time policy that caps the salary of one player and also due to the high taxes in Britain, this has made many players unhappy and thus moving towards the exit door of Arsenal. Players definitely leave for money, and up came the nicknames if Cashley Cole, Flamoney, Greedybayor and $amir Na$ri.
Should Arsenal blow a hole in their pockets every week just to keep a player at the club? I feel this is only true for a certain group of players. Perhaps Walcott and VanPersie fit that bill. The players mentioned above may not deserve it because they have proven not to be worthy of the high salaries drawn by many top players in their new club.
Glory and titles is another pressing issue leading to players leaving. Arsenal are currently experiencing somewhat of a trophy drought. No real major titles for the past 6 years have frustrated not only the fans but also a few players. Thus, many players such as Hleb and Fabregas and maybe even Henry left the club in search of titles that they cannot win here at Arsenal.
This I personally feel is a vicious cycle. If players dream of glory and keep knocking on the Arsenal exit door, we would never be able to build a solid team to challenge for the major honours every season. Thus, Wenger must convince our top players that glory and success is actually available here at Arsenal if everyone works together as one team.
Money or fame, Arsene MUST make sure we keep our top players to ensure Arsenal remain a big club in the many years to come.