Portsmouth Manager Harry Redknapp has confessed in his column in The Sun, that he is jealous of Arsene Wenger because of the Frenchman’s sophisticated scouting network.
Redknapp describes that network as “second to none,” and says it “has set the benchmark for all of us to try to follow.”
The latest batch of precocious footballing talent to come out of Arsenal has been extremely exciting, and Harry can barely conceal his jealousy. Redknapp wailed:
“Who spotted Emmanuel Eboue? Who unearthed Abou Diaby? Who discovered Gael Clichy and who found 17-year-old Armand Traore?And how did Arsenal manage to nick Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona of all clubs?”
“These kids werenâ€™t on anyone elseâ€™s radar yet Arsene has snapped them up, stuck them in a red shirt and the rough diamonds are shining as bright, if not brighter, than anything in the top flight.”
Redknapp also praised Arsenal’s chief scout Steve Rowley, and Arsenal’s vast network of scouts. Redknapp said:
“Crucially for Arsenal, they have placed staff in several countries around the world whose sole task is to go out and find new talent.They have personnel in all the major football countries but importantly I believe they also have full-time staff in many African countries and European back waters.”
Almost in disbelief Redknapp continued:
“Iâ€™ve heard Arsene doesnâ€™t just watch one tape of a player who could be fit to play for the Gunners but 20 or more.The final say will always be Arseneâ€™s. Thatâ€™s how it works for him although Iâ€™m sure he will listen intently to what anyone has to recommend.”
So, unlike Redknapp, who will take a gamble on some bloke he saw on YouTube once, Wenger actually analyses the players he wants to sign. Big surprise there, but we suppose if you have Marco Boogers in your transfer history you clearly don’t even watch one video of a player. Maybe Boogers’ deep breathing down the phone was sufficient for Redknapp to believe that he had the drive and passion to make it here.
There was only one check on Redknapps effusive praise as he drooled over the Arsenal youn ‘uns. Redknapp added:”The only unfortunate thing at Arsenal is that none of the exceptional talent is English â€” that really would be the icing on the cake.” The one chink in Arsenal, no English players? Maybe Emile Heskey’s Greatest Assists is next on Arsene’s blockbuster video rental list