By Adam Clark
Arsenal legend Liam Brady says the 6-3 Carling Cup thrashing of Liverpool proved that a successful future beckons for Arsenal Football Club.
Brady, who made 294 appearances for the Gunners in the 1970s, is now the Club's Head of Youth Development and has been responsible for nurturing many of the young players who excelled in Tuesday's win. As such, the emphatic performance he witnessed was not one which surprised him.
"When I saw both teams I actually fancied us to win but not in the manner we did," Brady told Arsenal.com. "The manner in which we won was amazing and very, very exciting. Some of the goals were very, very impressive."
"It was a fine indication of how all the various departments at this Club are pulling together and showing that the Club is functioning very, very well in all aspects. You could see how well run and how healthy it is."
Although Brady oversees the seemingly endless conveyor belt of talent which arrives at Arsenal, he says he's not the man responsible for the style of play which is encouraged through all levels at the Club.
"Arsène [Wenger] changed the style of play to what it is now when he first came. They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks but I think [Tony] Adams, [Steve] Bould, [Nigel] Winterburn and [Martin] Keown all changed their style to go along with what Arsène wanted.
"It's a style of football I've always believed in, playing from the back through midfield, passing and moving, and that's how I want our youngsters to play."
"I was pleased to hear him [Wenger] say after Tuesday's game that the thing that pleased him most was the culture of the football we have running through all the teams."
Gunners fans may not have been familiar with all the names on show at Anfield but Brady is convinced they all have the potential to become the household names. One youngster who particularly caught the Irishman's eye was the 17-year-old left back, Armand Traore.
"Armand is an example of how our European scouting network works," said Brady. "We spotted him playing for AS Monaco in a tournament and he impressed us greatly so we took him on from there. Last night he showed he's going to be a top, top left back. He can play left midfield too. He's very quick and powerful and as an attacking full back at youth level he's quite amazing."
While Arsenal's expansive scouting network is scouring the world for tomorrow's talent, Brady was keen to make assurances about the Club's commitment to home-grown talent.
"Theo Walcott, Justin Hoyte, Matthew Connolly, Mark Randall and Henri Lansbury are an example of the English element at the Club. I'm very excited about what we have coming along. Mark Randall and Henri Lansbury are involved with England and we've got other boys in England youth squads as well.
"The aim is to keep the boys coming on. Some years are better than others but I'm certainly excited by what we've got coming along in the next year or two. The Under-18s are doing particularly well in the league and they're still in the Youth Cup. The Carling Cup and Youth Cup would be a nice double for youth development."
11 Jan 2007