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Who played for Arsenal in the Markus Liebherr Cup games, and what it tells us for their future.

By Tony Attwood

Arsenal have now played their opening friendlies of the 2012/13 season.  So what do the line ups tell us of what is to come?

Anderlecht 0 Arsenal 1

In one sense we can readily say that the line ups don’t really teach us much at all, since the players who were involved in the Uefa competition, or who have been picked to play for the Olympics, won’t be playing.   Benik Afobe has also been playing in the under 19 competition for England (where he scored in the last game).

But even so there is an insight or two to be had.  Here’s the team from the first game…

Damian Martinez

Carl Jenkinson; Daniel Boateng; Ignasi Miquel; Kieran Gibbs (c)

Nico Yennaris; Craig Eastmond; Henri Lansbury

Thomas Eisfeld; Sanchez Watt; Marouane Chamakh

The substitutes were…

  • Vito Mannone
  • Andre Santos
  • Martin Angha
  • Johan Djourou
  • Sead Hajrovic
  • Kristoffer Olsson

Martinez is our young Argentine keeper, who has already sat on the bench for a full international for his country.  Some suspect he might be our second keeper next season.

But we know that some players might be here prior to loan, some on parade because the club is looking to sell them, some perhaps because Mr Wenger simply wants to see where they have got to.

In the second game (a draw against Southampton with them winning on penalties) we played

 

Vito Mannone

Jernade Meade; Kyle Bartley; Johan Djourou (c); Andre Santos

Craig Eastmond; Kyle Ebecilio; Francis Coquelin

Henri Lansbury; Chuks Aneke; Gervinho

 The subs were

  • Damian Martinez,
  • Martin Angha,
  • Sead Hajrovic,
  • Kristoffer Olsson,
  • Thomas Eisfeld

So…

Miquel has been talked up for a loan spell, Ebecilio is highly rated, Eastmond got involved in both games, Coquelin is still clearly in the frame, and we see again the return of Lansbury (although he only lasted 16 minutes in the second game).

Eastmond has done his loan spells at Millwall and Wycombe, and has already played in the first team.  Is this his moment?  Sanchez Watt has been at Leeds twice, Crawley and Sheffield Wednesday.  Like Eastmond he has come through the academy.  Again – is it time for him to step up?   Chuks Aneke has played for Preston North End and Stevenage.

With all the players like this, one gets the feeling that unless there is a loan to a top Championship or a lower Premier League club then their time with us will be up.

I must admit I am at a profound disadvantage here in that I have not seen the games, so I am really asking you, if this gives you an insight into who is going to be involved, who is going etc etc, please do let me know.

One thing I would say, for those who were not involved in Europe or who are not in the Olympics, this is not a good sign, if you are not even in the openers.

——————————————-

Publication on July 20th: Woolwich Arsenal, the club that changed football.

The book that re-writes the Arsenal story.

33 comments to Who played for Arsenal in the Markus Liebherr Cup games, and what it tells us for their future.

  • Dexter

    I am always hopeful and overly optimisitc when it comes to our youth players making the grade at Arsenal.

    I have watched Coquelin for ages and think he will be a great asset to the 1st team, likewise Gibbs, although he should be considered rather senior now!

    Of those in the “unsure” bracket, I can’t see Mannone, Eastmond or Watt staying and I think they will be released (back into the wild of the football leagues!).

    Lansbury hopefully will be retained, but most people don’t seem to rate him as I do, unfortunately. Although it’s the boss’ and coaching staff’s opinion that matters and they rarely get it wrong in deciding who is good enough or not.

  • Alan

    The Verminator didn’t play in the Euro’s, or in these friendlies. Is this not a good sign as you suggest?

  • Arun

    @Alan, I think Tony referred to the players who aren’t regular in the first team.

  • Ong Bing

    The real new comer was Kyle Abecilio, Damien Martinez, Daniel Boateng, Thomas Eisfeld, the others already get involved in first team before, in the match I mean, not only in training.

    And Martin Angha, Sead Hajrovic, Kristoffer Olsson in the sub is also new comer for first team. CMIIW.

    I am very happy and proud we have this young players, it means we still in business. Our club doing very good job in “generate” players for first team.

    Damn, that’s why I am proud to be Gooners?

  • MJB

    I’ve seen the Gervinho goal, on Arseblog I think, which was pretty good. I hope he starts scoring like that more often this coming season!

  • WalterBroeckx

    I’m waiting very impatient on arsenal player to produce the highlights of both games so I can have a better look on the performances.
    I have seen the goals and they were well taken.
    Good run in to space from Lansbury and good finish.
    The Gervinho goal reminded me of the Lille-Gervinho. Some dribbles and then suddenly a shot. Nice goals.

  • SouthernGunner

    Think Bartley can be an asset to the first team this season, see him mainly playing in FA & League Cup games. Glad he’s getting a chance though. Saw him play in a few games for Rangers and he’s certainly a huge strong lad, good in the tackle and won quite a lot of headers. He mainly played in the defensive midfield for loan team, so was out of his natural position. But he didn’t do too badly in the games I saw him play in (mainly against Celtic). Hope he does well this season.

  • Joe

    : i think we should give lansbury the chance he deserves next season, he always seems to grab a goal. we don’t have a goal scoring midfielder anymore and i think he can do what ramsey was supposed to do last season. i have a mate whos a hammer and he said the only problem about lansbury last season was that he wasnt started enough. its time for him to step up now and i really hope he has a good pre season to put him firmly into arsene’s thoughts for next season. of course theres the chance that he has a good pre season and then gets sold at the end of the summer like jay simpson. obviously hes alot better than jay simpson though. thumbs up to give lansbury his chance this season and thumbs down if you think, good player no doubt, but he should be sold on.

  • Joe

    Last season we were never in the running for a major trophy, not even amongst the also-rans. For me, that was the way it would be almosr before a ball was kicked. Why? A squad that was clearly inferior to the best both in quality and depth. The Head-in-the-Sanders come up with a dozen other reasons – no time to bed in the newcomers, no Jack, lots of injuries, etc, etc – anything to avoid the painful truth: the players we had simply weren’t good enough to win anything. To tell the truth, they over-achieved. Or (to be even more accurate), our rivals for third spot – Chelsea and Spurs – under-achieved. Now, for sure, both are going to strengthen. Massively. So will the two out-of-reacher – City and United. Massively. As will Newcastle and Liverpool. Massively. Arsenal? Well, Plod and Giroud might just about make up for Robin (if he goes). As for the rest, it seems we’ll be making do with what we have. Where does all the money go?

  • GoingGoingGooner

    Why do critics always say that the other teams under-achieved and that we are shite? After 38 games your position in the table, barring conspiracies, is where your play has put you. We finished 3rd last year ergo we were better than Chelsea, Tottenham, Liverpool and Newcastle, full stop.

  • Domhuaille MacMathghamhna

    Joe………Your AAA credentials shine through again….the overuse of hyperbole, the whining negativism and critical head up your own arse opinions that are based on selfish moaning and gloomy pessimism….and these are your best qualities!
    No teams in the EPL can compete with Shitty and Cheatski’s bottomless coffers, other than United BUT we did achieve that which no other EPL team did, coming from 17th to 3rd and a CL spot 17 years in a row. This, of course, in your ignorant little universe, counts for nothing. It took great players,spirit and courage to do this but you’d rather groan on and rant about how bad everything is at AFC….all Wenger and the Board’s fault. I know the Spuds are desperately seeking fanboys like you so off you go to Whitheart Lane.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Amidst the the media / Usmanov driven clamour for marquee signings, bringing in French midfielders etc, does no harm to have a look at what we have, there are some very good prospects coming through. Many are raw, and will need time and experience to help them through, but some have great potential.
    As for pointers as to how this team are evolving, we have just signed 2 strapping 6ft plus forwards. We have an Ox ready and waiting. Goonerholic recently speculated we maybe moving a bit away from tippy tappy Barca style – in the direction of Wengerball ver 1. I think there could be some truth in this -look at our new assistant. Could we be embarking on a mission to mix raw strength with skills, pace in a devastating pressing game? We are now in the post Cesc Nasri era well into a new cycle. We still have players with great passing skills, and vision to go with it,so we will still be able to have that side to our game, especially in Europe. But maybe, some of the players we already have may be more suited to a new version of our game than in the Cesc era? Maybe there will be a different emphasis on coaching. Maybe we do not need a Verthongen, just Bould to really bring on who we already have – and we have some monster defenders! Just speculating, but I cannot wait to see some of our youngsters coming more into the team. Maybe in the past, we have relied too much on youth, but now, there is plenty of experience in most areas to help them through. Do not let the media / doom mongers / would be owners fool anyone, we have a very very exciting future whoever we buy or sell. This team will be skillful, creative, powerful, and will not be so easily out-muscled by certain teams with help from certain refs.

  • Joe

    @dom….we have been: trophyless for 7 years!! AFC are the current holders of the very prestigious markus liebherr memorial cup. A tournament held in Southampton involving 3 teams and played 45 mins a game? Each team faced each other in three 45 minute matches, with Arsenal running out eventual winners, after beating Anderlecht 1-0 and drawing 1-1 with Saints. Sluggish Chamakh showing why he is still useless one on one with keeper Proto still cannot find where the goal is, Gervinho running and running for no reason and purpose but a fluke goal courtesy of Saints mix-up in the midfield did the job. However Lansbury showed Lampard is not only one who plays in the centre and shows strikers how to pick passes and stick it passed defenders and the keeper. Miquel and Nico ensured the right side and left side of the goal were risk free making the 45mins safe. Gibbs was played in his natural role as a winger and did well except track back. Against the Saints Santos was moved away from defence up the left side of midfield but did not deliver. Bartley covered the incompetent captain while Coquelin and Lansbury controlled the midfield covering DJ. The goal by Southampton showed again how poor AFC is in adopting and trying to play Barca version of 433. The LB was not covered and the defence went ball watching. Saints did put AFC under pressure with Bartley clearing off the line after Vito fumbled a fierce free kick and upfront AFC were poor. If you cant control the Saints how will the PL pan out? Wenger still stubborn, still a failure and still lacks a strong team. AFC was not structured and both teams took the midfield and defence apart at times. Saints were unlucky and AFC were lucky but come PL AFC will not have luck as the game will 45×2.But at least the boys have done the board and wenger proud by winning a trophy enough to ensure the reign of wenger prolongs. Win 1 loss 4?

  • Joe

    We are not like you who cover their eyes at every wrong doing by winger and his co. heneeds to justify his six million a year salary

  • Joe

    On August 5th, Arsene Wenger will have overseen the longest trophyless period of any single manager in Arsenal history, exceeding the previous record set in the early 1900s by George Morrell.

  • Joe

    Thank God for all those In Arsene we trust people. They remind us all how great our manager is. Without them, the simple bare truths of his trophy-laden recent history would be forgotten. How dare we question him or show our discontent.

  • Joe

    What amazes me is that posters on here are slagged off by certain posters for defending wenger/Arsenal and labelled sheep/deluded etc for believing him/them but the same posters are then taken in hook line and sinker by a complete PR stunt to bolster a certain Dutch nationals bank balance, you couldn’t fucking make it up.

    Let’s face facts here – rvp is not intending signing a new contract. Whether he makes that statement or not will not change his intentions. The fact that he is intent on leaving (forget about his statement for a mo) saddens me in the same way that it saddened me when Cesc, PV4 etc left but doesn’t anger me in the way that flamini’s, cashly’s, greedyisawhore and petite pute did. As far as I am concerned there is no direct link between rvp’s statement and his intentions – in other words I don’t care if he goes for the money now or not cos when he is gone he is gone regardless of the reason.

    Maybe I am naive but I do believe that the decline and lack of ambition and investment in the club has accelerated the departures of key players like rvp and Cesc – 10 years ago this type of thing wouldn’t be happening and def wouldn’t be happening every fcuking summer and for me there is a distinct link between our players deciding to leave and the drying up of our trophy accumulation. To me,and thousands of Gooners like me, it is heartbreaking to sit idly by as the club we love now set 4th place as their target for the season and celebrate it like winning the world cup Personally it angers me how so many fans are appalled by this yet some unwilling to support any type of action that will publicly send that message of anger and frustration to wenger and the board It is for this reason above all else that I am pleased by rvp’s statement as it has brought all the issues that we have been incensed about into the public domain and could finally rally the supporters into taking action against the club and whether he believes in what he said or not is irrelevant.

  • Domhuaille MacMathghamhna

    Joe….it seems you were at the ML Cup games but you didn’t notice that 98% of the first team were not playing! Yet you still slag off those that did not meet your vaunted expectations, other than Gibbs,Lansbury and 2 other defenders. The ordinary fan, despite your enduring and blinkered insistence to the contrary, is neither an AAA nor an AKB aficionado but rather, like me, somewhere in between.
    We know the BoD and Wenger are well aware of the lack of silverware, are trying to do something about it,in a seller’s market and against all odds. Unlike you I saw Podolski play in the Bundesliga for two years and can tell you that he is a true steal! He carried a very poor club over that time and showed spirit,leadership and a poacher’s talent for scoring.He is physically very athletic and tough, can take and give equally and reminds me of Vermaelen in his attitude and temperament. I never saw Giroud play live but he looks like the genuine article as well based on games I saw on TV (about 8 in all). These are not poor imitations of true ¨stars¨ but genuine International, world-class players who AW got at a bargain…as he did with RVP,Cesc and all the rest. Just because he didn’t pay 30mEuro per player doesn’t mean he’s got shite, 3rd rate transfers. Look at Carroll (30m), Torres (50m), Lukaku (18m),Downing (20m),and Henderson (16m)…where did their ¨star-studded¨teams end up: Liverpool 8th…and CC, Chelsea 6th….albeit CL winners, Arsenal 3rd….CL Group stages again…..and with players like The Ox, Koscielny, Szcesny, Vermaelen, Sagna, Song, Arteta, Wilshere, Walcott, Ramsey, RVP, Miyachi, Rosicky, Gervinho and our two new additions so far….we will challenge provided injuries don’t scupper us once again.
    Be careful what you wish for when dealing with Jabba the Usmanov and his dog, Dein. I do wish the Club was majority owned by its fanbase but that same supporters group is so divided that it would tear the Club apart if it did have 51% control. Why don’t you try and calm down, take your medication and hold off your attacks until the real Football starts. then you can unfurl any banner you want at the Emirates, scream your indignation against Wenger, his ¨shite¨ team selection and players and Gazidis’ incompetence, the Board’s greed etc. to the rooftops and see if anyone cares.

  • patrick

    Domhuaille – We conceded almost as many goals as the bottom teams, yet we continue to score a slightly impressive number of goals each season; is that not enough indication that we need to focus a little bit more on the midfield and the defence?

    When the season kicks off, I always preach the need for fans to be positive and show less negativity. I haven’t had too much time to read posts on here in recent weeks, but I am sure all those perennially negative folks are saying very little right now, which is the time they should be vocal so things can change at the club (as they always say). When the whistle goes for the first match in the season, we should all be in full support of the team (manager and players) as that is the card we’ve been dealt and I don’t see too many teams doing better when their fans turn against them.

    I am not a football expert/manager, but as a fan who regularly commutes thousands of miles each season to make the long trip back home to watch the games, it is doubly painful for me to see this sort of approach from those who are paid for their expertise! Are the following points not glaring enough –

    (1) In Flamini’s last season at Arsenal, his work ethic and firm control of the midfield showed quite clearly what Arsenal can be, going forward, if we have one or two reliable folks in the middle of the pack.

    (2) Fabregas solved similar problems with his incisive passing and the overall percentage of the ball he saw.

    (3) Vieira also addressed a similar problem with his tackling, long-range balls, burst of pace forward and his overall demeanour (always eager to win)

    (4) Our defence has been awful for over seven seasons now and, so far that still hasn’t been addressed. We’ve bought some players already this summer, but, as always, nobody seems interested in talking about defence!

    (5) We need one decent goalkeeping backup. We have one decent goalie, but no backup!

    (6) We seem hell-bent on building a team with no backbone and, year in, year out, we all talk about the same issues but always get distracted by the sale of one of our key players. Last season it was Fabregas, Nasri etc. Let’s stop talking about van Persie right now; we’ve gone and bought Podolski and Giroud. Let’s keep the emphasis on what matters most: the players that are staying. Do we now have a midfield? Do we have a defence? I don’t think so!!!!

    The handwriting isn’t even on the wall anymore in our cases; it’s become so bleeding obvious, the handwriting is etched on our foreheads! A team without a core (midfield) and backbone (resilience, which can only come from reassurance that if we’re firing blanks, at least the back is shored up and we wont be conceding goals at such an alarming rate and to teams who should dread playing us).

    I don’t think this topic requires a lengthy article, so I’ll end here: just weeks to the new season kicking off, is there a single Arsenal fan out there who now thinks we will win a trophy this season? That really is an indictment of the current ownership structure we have in place! These are really sad times for Arsenal.

  • bjtgooner

    This was a nice start to the pre-season. We put out two largely experimental teams, with many reserves and young players given a chance to play. The should be congratulated for their performance.

    It is typical that the AAA sewer rats are sent out to verbally attack the club and detract from the gallant young players who performed so well.

  • Dexter

    Joe
    iots sad how easy it is for you to make excuses for other clubs, yet cant do the same for the one you purport to support.

    Losing Jack was massive, not to mention the impact Ramsey’s injury has had on his development, form and confidence. Those arent excuses, they are facts.

    You casually say the likes of Liverpool and newcastle will massively improve their squads based on what? And why even mention them? they aint our rivala.

    As for the chavs and spuds, they have managers of limited and dubious PL experience, so spare me the waxing lyrical about opposittion teams FFS.

    We will be a lot closer to the mancs next season. The squad is loads stronger; we have an excellent keeper and defence, the midfield is quality and so are the attackers.

    I expect to see a couple more additions and then I think we can challenge.

    But you stick to being a miserable twat.

  • Dexter

    Patrick;

    You clearly are not an expert, no need to say that man.

    The defence has not been awful for 7 years, only a simplistic moron would suggest it.

    The consistency has been lacking; we havent had a top class keeper since Lehman left, IMO. Now we do again. WE didnt have the right blend and quality of defensive personael, now we do. Arteta has brought discipline to the midfield, allowing Song to be more creative.

    I think us being linked to M’Villa and the manager confirming his interest makes lots of sense. As does AFC making the best signing of the summer;

    Steve Bould

  • Arun

    Everyone seems too much busy to say that our 3rd place finish was down to luck, but then so was Chelsea’s CL win and Mata’s ‘ghost goal’ against the totts in FA Cup. Chelsea conceded 46 goals in the league last season ,just 3 less than what we did. Out of our 49 goals, 14 were conceded in the first 5 matches when the new signings hadn’t settled well.
    Meanwhile, media were at their best again recently: Publishing fake interviews. Last year they did this with Cesc, now with Podolski. The interview which was published by ESPN and then quoted by some of the newspapers in UK says that Podolski is urging Van Persie to stay at Arsenal. After it was declared to be fake by Podolski on his facebook page, it was removed from ESPN on their website.
    Even after this, it quite amazes me that how some people still believe whatever the media publishes.

  • Stuart

    Arun,

    Our 3rd place finish may well have been down to luck at the end of the season however the other teams who were in the running were also lucky that we had such a poor start to the season.

  • arshavinsbarber

    I don’t have any dislike for Ivan Gazidis, I actually think he’s done quite well; he’s stuck between an owner who clearly couldn’t really give a flying one, and won’t give him any help, and an extremely stubborn, iconoclastic, borderline megalomaniac in Wenger. I think that what he is employed to do, ie. give soundbites and sort out commercial deals, he has done well at – he is not employed as a football man and it is pointless to judge him as such. The jury is still to an extent out with regards to his negotiating nous (not contracts etc, that is Richard Law’s area of expertise) and we will see with our commercial deals but his work in negotiating contracts and international partnerships is so far encouraging.
    We’ve been crying out for someone to try and take advantage of our woefully under-utilised international fanbase for the past decade or so and it is good to see Gazidis doing so. To expect him to come in and change our footballing system is mad – he was chosen by Wenger who is clearly not going to employ someone who will put pressure on him to modify his ‘project’.

    I also feel no anger towards Wenger – simply pity. (controversial for this place) I emphatically maintain that he has made huge mistakes and should have been sacked a long time ago and I am very confident he will never turn things around, but I don’t hate him. I just feel pity for what has happened to him, even though it’s nobody’s fault but his own.

  • arshavinsbarber

    Pretty sweet goal by Gervinho against the Saints, it has to be said. I know that many people don’t rate him, but he came to us with a very decent reputation and his stats backed his ability. Despite what people think, I believe he did well for his first season. Maybe people were expecting a Nasri clone, but he’s a different type of player. More direct and always looking to hit the by-line and feed runners. Our league is tough and most players need time to adapt – even Henry needed time. His ANC blues hampered his later performances, I agree, but I’m actually expecting big things of Gervinho next season and I back him to fare a lot better next season than Hazard does. Let’s get behind him and hope that he can play his part in what we’re trying to achieve. In fact, I expect the likes of Per and Santos to also improve next season and establish themselves as solid squad players. We still need a couple of extra quality signings, but it”s not as bleak as most of us believe.

  • Valentin

    Anybody who has followed Arsenal reserve and U19 football for the last couple of years would not rejoice at the appointment of Banfield and Bould to shore our defence.
    Bouldy said it as such in an interview today’s defending is completely different from their playing’s days. Different laws (back pass, offside, violent tackling, …), different tactics (4-4-2, 4-5-1, 4-3-3, 3-4-3, …), better physical conditioning, better pitch (go and watch some past games that look more like mud wrestling than football pitch), bigger pitch (unless you are Stoke and then make it as small as legally possible, being out of position by five yards was much more difficult at the narrow Highbury than it is at the Emirates), different players attitude (diving already existed, but simulation and exaggerated fall had not reached today’s level) meant that their experience as players is pretty much irrelevant to today’s game. If that was not the case Steve Bruce would be a great defending coach which he is definitely not.
    Moreover most of our problem were not with our defenders per se but with the team overall defending. We conceded a very large number of goals on the counter-attack when our full-back were caught upfield and none of our winger help tracking back.
    Until the very end of the season, Walcott and Gervinho seldom run back when we were under attack, the result was that often Song and Arteta were trying to plug a hole on the side leaving a bigger one in the middle.
    What needs to change is a change of attitude by the attacking players. They are our first line of defence. Conceding goals like we did will make their life more difficult as well. Team will know that parkingvthe bus would a viable tactic. They are all in it together.

  • Domhuaille MacMathghamhna

    Patrick…….none of us on UA are experts or experienced professional football managers/coaches/administrators/players or officials but that doesn’t stop a lot of people from pretending they are and that they know better than the real professionals.

    In answer to your rather critical and pessimistiuc evaluation of our defence;

    (1) In Flamini’s last season at Arsenal, his work ethic and firm control of the midfield showed quite clearly what Arsenal can be, going forward, if we have one or two reliable folks in the middle of the pack…..Rosicky, Wilshere, Ramsey, The Ox and Benayoun weren’t good enough last year? I guess we need to spend some real money (60-80m Euro?) to get Xavi or Iniesta in according to the pundits mentioned above?

    (2) Fabregas solved similar problems with his incisive passing and the overall percentage of the ball he saw….Song, Arteta, Rosicky,took up the slack last season and with Podolski and Giroud both being great defensive strikers…we will see!

    (3) Vieira also addressed a similar problem with his tackling, long-range balls, burst of pace forward and his overall demeanour (always eager to win)…Viera played in a different league than AFC now competes in. Shitty, Cheatski, Newcastle and the Spuds were, at best midtable teams. Liverpool and United were on an equal footing with AFC….that has all changed….we cannot compete with Shitty but we can take on the rest.

    (4) Our defence has been awful for over seven seasons now and, so far that still hasn’t been addressed. We’ve bought some players already this summer, but, as always, nobody seems interested in talking about defence! We all spend countless hours talking defense Patrick…but if you feel Sagna,Kos,Vermaelen,Per ,Santos and Gibbs are universally awful then you had better change sports or at least teams.

    (5) We need one decent goalkeeping backup. We have one decent goalie, but no backup!…Agree there….I am sure AW has something up his sleeve.

    (6) We seem hell-bent on building a team with no backbone and, year in, year out, we all talk about the same issues but always get distracted by the sale of one of our key players. Last season it was Fabregas, Nasri etc. Let’s stop talking about van Persie right now; we’ve gone and bought Podolski and Giroud. Let’s keep the emphasis on what matters most: the players that are staying. Do we now have a midfield? Do we have a defence? I don’t think so!!!!…..Provided everyone stays healthy (I know that is wishful thinking) and AFC bring in a few defensive-minded squad players, we’ll be fine…we have a very good midfield and excellent back 4, as well as a rapidly improving keeper…the transfer season has just begun so take your medicine, take a holiday and start whining when the real games start!

  • Gooneraside

    Reading some of these comments makes me wonder if I too could be clever enough to foresee the coming season from two 45 minute sessions played by mostly non-first-team players.

    No thank you, I’ll wait a while yet.

  • Joe

    Looking at the squad we are (IMO) likely to start the season with – that is, one without RVP and Theo and with no major signings (apart from Plod and Giroud) – you would have to question whether there are any players in it better than any you’d expect to find in your average middle-of-the-table club squad. Now I realize that this won’t go down well, but the honest answer is: probably not, depending on how you define middle of the table. Mine would be 5th to 12th – which (promoting Chelsea, Champions of Europe) would include Spurs, Newcastle, Liverpool and Everton, who all seem to have players which match up very well to ours. The point I’m making is that a year ago that would NOT have been the case because none of them had players comparable to Fab or Robin. And to make the matter even clearer, Man City have Tevez, Aguero, Silva, Kompany, and Man U have Rooney and Vidic and Chelsea have Torres, Mata, Hazard. And to make it clearer still, our stand-out player (second only to Robin) was Arteta who plied his trade for years with Everton. Yes, I know we have promising young players (Wilshere, Ox) and high hopes (Plod, Giroud) but the reality is that we do not have a top-of-the-table squad.

  • rusty

    lol @Joe — never too soon to start despairing at an inevitable lost season, eh?

    And is “Plod” merely a repeated typo, or have we begun providing our players with derisive nicknames before they’ve suited up for a single game?

  • americangooner

    I dont think so it tells anything about arsenal, its current players and its future. these two matches can be just a fluke. and there is no pressure: the trophy isnt prestigious, the other teams aren’t strong. and a 45 minute a match tournament does not really reveal the true potential or the capacity of a player to play in a highly competetive PL, FA or UEFA matches. we should all forget how good or bad these players played in that tournament.