Is playing for The Arsenal enough anymore?

I've never been obsessed by Arsenal having English players in the squad.

True, we provided a record seven players in the England team who faced Italy at Highbury in 1934 - but we were also the first English club to field an entirely foreign squad for a game and got chastised by the jingoists for doing so.

But when you look at what has happened since Arsene Wenger started trying to develop more English players, you can see why he sticks to overseas talent - and it's not just down to transfer fees.

Ashley Cole, who should have become Arsenal captain, who should have been as long-standing a player for us as David O'Leary or Tony Adams, chased the money and ran, and I won't do him the service of dragging that affair up here again.

Sol Campbell, great player though he was for a number of years, went AWOL; Jermaine Pennant got into too many scrapes; Francis Jeffers continually disappointed; Richard Wright believed he was better than he is; David Bentley thought he was David Beckham before he'd got a dozen games under his belt...

Their attitude was all wrong.

But the problem lies in the reputation of the club, especially with the lack of stability we have had in the past few years.

We simply cannot expect overseas players to revere the club or understand its place in English football in the same way as those who have been brought up in England, who are more likely to understand that, of all the big clubs, we have been the most consistent, with 89 unbroken years in the top flight.

In order to entice players, the club has to pay decent salaries that will help to convince talent that Emirates is the place to be.

Of course, we cannot complete with the lottery figures Chavski can spend, but even so, we need to ditch this reputation of being poor payers.

Safe Hands, aka David Seaman, warned the club yesterday that things could get tricky if the wage structure doesn't change.

He said: "You knew that you could get better money elsewhere but you were playing for Arsenal. As players you accepted that.

"The wage structure's always been like that at Arsenal. Now a lot of them seem to be going for the money because they're not winning things."

Coming on the day that director Danny Fiszman defended ticket price rises, there's a fine line between trusting Wenger and the board and wondering if we've got any chance of winning something next season.