In an excellent and candid interview with the Irish Examiner’s Tony Leen, Liam Brady has bemoaned the lack of intelligence shown by certain young players who have ended up scuppering their Arsenal careers.
Some of them built up social media followings that far outweighed their contributions on the pitch, and despite advice from Brady and his staff, failed to concentrate properly on the football, to their obvious detriment.
Asked by Leen about the likes of Pennant, Frimpong and others, tipped for big things, Brady said, “Jermaine did very well to get as far as he has from the background he came from, he did bloody well.
“Other lads are too headstrong. They can’t be told. Social media, unacceptable behaviour — these are all problems of modern society. Arsene won’t put up with that and I tell the young lads if their behaviour is, in any way, erratic or unreliable, either they change their ways or change their club.
“Unfortunately, there’s a lot don’t have the intelligence to hear what people are telling them.”
Although Brady himself doesn’t mention Frimpong specifically, he’s a clear example of young man whose fame was based more on his Twitter antics than what he could do with this feet. And as of this moment, with the new season set to start, he’s without a club. Food for thought.
Interestingly, the former Arsenal and Juventus star talks about giving the same advice to Wojciech Szczesny, a player he brought to the club as a teenager.
“I was instrumental is getting Szczesny from Poland and I’ve said to him on occasions, ‘I played with two of the best keepers of all time, Pat Jennings and Dino Zoff, and they never said a word’.
“They never wanted to say anything in the media. All they wanted to do was keep their goal intact and their defence in shape. And they played their careers at the very highest level.
“Listen to what I’m saying. Wojciech could be one of the best, because in goalkeeping terms he is very young.”
Szczesny too had something of a Twitter following, but quit the social media platform and subsequently cemented his place as the club’s number one goalkeeper. One who listens to good advice, obviously (even if he does like a bit of Sp*rs baiting from time to time on his Facebook page).
The rest of the interview is an absolute must-read into the world of the Arsenal youth set-up and the challenges faced by the club and young players alike.