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Wenger - Reasons for striker shortage

Arsene Wenger says European football must change the way it educates players if it is to start producing top-class centre forwards again.

The Arsenal manager believes there is a diminished pool of talented strikers because of the way the game has developed - but he thinks this trend can be reversed.

“There are a few reasons [for it],” said Wenger. “One of the basic ones is that, linked with the centre forwards, we develop less centre backs in Europe. Before, when the teams practised in the park on bad pitches in winter, we had to lift the ball, we had to go behind, and today the pitches are all perfect.

"In training there is only passing so we can only develop midfielders now. All the education is about passing on the ground on perfect pitches"

Arsene Wenger

“In training there is only passing so we can only develop midfielders now. All the education is about passing on the ground on perfect pitches.

“Before, when you watched training sessions and even games in the 50s, you had to kick the ball from the back to the front. You had to get in behind and fight with the centre back to win the ball to have a chance to retain it.

“That is not the case anymore and the fact that the whole conditions have changed means that we have not adapted in our education. We have just developed players who are good passers of the ball. We don’t have any more tough defenders or any more people who are willing to go into the fight.

“If we adapt our education then yes [it can change]. Maybe we have to create specific schools for strikers. You can coach it because you can coach everything.”

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