In his twice daily attempt to justify his existence to the scheming Tottenham board, Martin Jol has claimed that Tottenham’s youngsters, bred like fine cattle, with advanced coaching techniques and the rarefied pure Tottenham air – are at least as good as Arsene’s young ‘uns.
Although Spurs are currently languishing in the basement of the Premier League whilst Arsenal are at the top Jol insists his crop of youngsters are equalled only by Arsenal’s. Jol told The Sun:
â€œI feel we have more talented players at Tottenham than any other club. Maybe only Arsenal have the same but their approach is different to mine.If you were fickle you would say it is the same for both clubs, but it isnâ€™t. Itâ€™s totally different.”
“Gael Clichy has been playing at Arsenal for years, getting used to his role behind Ashley Cole before he moved on. Then he comes into the team after a couple of years of preparation.Cesc Fabregas was there for three or four years. They were all on the bench and came on when things were going well.If your team is in a position where you are playing well and then you bring on, for example, Kevin-Prince Boateng or Adel Taarabt, itâ€™s an easy decision to make.Sometimes you have to play them no matter what.I felt I had to play Gareth Bale because he is a good option. The same goes for Younes Kaboul. Against Middlesbrough I played Michael Dawson, 22, Kaboul, 20, Bale, 18. That is probably the difference with the big clubs.”
Perhaps Arsenal aren’t the best example, Wenger has selected teams this season with an outfield age of 26 in the Premier League. Couldn’t this boasting have a detrimental effect, after all Arsenal are playing their youngsters all the time?
Jol then laid it on thick with some finely crafted excuses:
â€œItâ€™s been a bad start, but itâ€™s not as bad as it seems. Nothing is as it seems in football.I have to combine the results with the development. Even at Arsenal that is not the case.â€œI can mention five or six players who chose to come to Tottenham ahead of other clubs. When you buy players, especially young players, youâ€™ve got to play them.”
Arsene Wenger must be puzzled by these claims that Arsenal do not have to combine results with development. And even though Tottenham have a wealth of talent, a host of them were brought in with big money moves (Bale, Kaboul, Dawson) rather than through the youth system or the bargain-previously-unknown-teen route that Wenger has mastered. When you pay a pittance for a youngster you can get away with giving them a few years to develop, when you shell out 8-10 million you probably need to get them in the side.
This is one boasting session that might rile up the board even more than before.