In comments that should surprise no one that has paid even the remotest bit of attention to Arsenal over the last 16 years, Arsene Wenger has said that, like Whitney Houston, he believes the children are our future. This time, though, he believes that English youth are the future, not the French kids from his initial few years at the club. He said:
"We have built a team [where] we have a lot of young English players, or British players like Gibbs, Chamberlain, Wilshere. We still have the case of [Theo] Walcott [and] Aaron Ramsey. You want them all on long-term contracts."
This is where we all get to talk about players not signing long-term contracts because Arsenal don't win things and about Arsenal's general lack of SPENDING ALL THE MONIES, right? Wrong. This is where I get to talk about how I hope that Arsene Wenger can in fact lock all these players in to long-term deals, and how Arsenal can grow a generation of English players to rival Manchester United's generation of Scholes/Neville(s)/Beckham/Giggs.
I don't know if that's even possible in this day and age of pretty much unfettered player movement, but as much as I hate to admit it, I have always admired Manchester United's personnel policies. They understand how to evolve from one playing style to another over the years based on the team they have, they know how to find and grow talent, and they know how to plug the holes they have in their roster. I want Arsenal to emulate that as much as possible, and locking the English Boys' Brigade into contracts for at least a few years would be a huge step in that direction.