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October 2016
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Arsenal’s “25” in the Premier League and Champions League, and a few local difficulties.

By Tony Attwood

We’ve been through the rules about the Premier League’s “25” and the European equivalent so many times I am not going to recite the rules again.

Instead here is the list of the 25s and the extras, and then just in case you have nothing better to do, a little commentary on the issues one or two clubs have had with their transfers of late.

The Premier League 25

  1. Arteta Amatriain, Mikel
  2. Campbell, Joel
  3. Cazorla, Santiago
  4. Cech, Petr
  5. Coquelin, Francis
  6. Debuchy, Mathieu
  7. Flamini, Mathieu
  8. Gabriel (Armando De Abreu, Gabriel)
  9. Gibbs, Kieran
  10. Giroud, Olivier
  11. Koscielny, Laurent
  12. Mertesacker, Per
  13. Monreal, Ignacio
  14. Ospina, David
  15. Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alexander
  16. Ozil, Mesut
  17. Ramsey, Aaron
  18. Rosicky, Tomas
  19. Sanchez, Alexis
  20. Walcott, Theo James
  21. Welbeck, Daniel
  22. Wilshere, Jack

Under-21 players (Contract and Scholars)

In this list the players in bold are already first team squad members, and the players in italics are players currently on loan, but who could, of course, be recalled.  The loanees and fringe players are important – we only have to think of Coquelin and Bellerin to realise how they can emerge from seemingly nowhere, be covered in the usual shit that some people who call themselves Arsenal supporters throw at players they don’t know or don’t match their criteria, and then become highly valued members of the squad.

Of course I don’t know who might emerge but having watched the youngsters  this season from the non-loanees I would rate Krystian Bielik, Yassin Fortune, Alex Iwobe, Jeff Adelaide, and Ben Sheaf.  Here’s the list.

  • Agyei-Tabi, Marcus
    Akpom, Chuba
    Bellerin, Hector
    Bennacer, Ismael
    Bielik, Krystian
    Bola, Marc Joel
    Bola, Tolaji
    Chambers, Calum
    Chatzitheodoridis, Ilias
    Crowley, Daniel
    Da Graca, Kristopher Santos
    Dasilva, Pelenda Joshua Tunga
    Donovan, Harry
    Eyoma, Aaron Jordan
    Fortune, Yassin Enzo
    Gilmour, Charlie Ian
    Gnabry, Serge David
    Hayden, Isaac Scot
    Hinds, Kaylen Miles
    Huddart, Ryan David
    Iliev, Deyan
    Iwobi, Alex
    Johnson, Chiori
    Kamara, Glen
    Keto, Hugo Oliver
    Macey, Matthew Ryan
    Maitland-Niles, Ainsley
    Mavididi, Stephy Alvaro
    Moore, Tafari Lalibela
    Mourgos, Savvas
    Nketiah, Edward
    O’Connor, Stefan Ramone Sewell
    Osei-Tutu, Jordi
    Pileas, Kostas
    Pleguezuelo, Julio Jose
    Reine-Adelaide, Jeff
    Robinson, Tyrell
    Sheaf, Ben
    Tella, Nathan
    Toral, Jon-Miquel
    Willock, Christopher
    Zelalem, Gedion

Champions league 25 plus the “B” list

The B list players are interesting, because clearly the intent is to take them to games and maybe use them in a sixth match where the result is not of consequence.  These players are young men who clearly are at the upper reaches of the pecking order in their section.  Remember this is where Bellerin came from.

Goalkeepers: Petr Cech, David Ospina, Matt Macey, Deyan Iliev (B)

Defenders: Mathieu Debuchy, Kieran Gibbs, Per Mertesacker, Gabriel, Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal, Calum Chambers, Hector Bellerin (B), Tafari Moore (B), Stefan O’Connor (B)

Midfielders: Tomas Rosicky, Jack Wilshere, Mikel Arteta, Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla, Mathieu Flamini, Francis Coquelin, Jeff Reine-Adelaide, Glen Kamara (B)

Forwards: Joel Campbell, Olivier Giroud, Alexis Sanchez, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Danny Welbeck, Theo Walcott, Alex Iwobi (B), Chris Willock (B)

Interesting on the goalkeeper front particularly with our third choice keeper not listed because of his loan.   And interesting in the forward line, and the re-emergence of Joel Campbell of late.

Anyway, let us move on. The news from Tottenham Hotspur is that they have refused to name Emmanuel Adebayor in either of their squads for the Premier League and Europa League, but they are still going to pay him £5,200,000 for the year.

The problem comes from the fact that West Ham had taken the maximum number of four loanees, and so needed Adebayor to sort matters with Tottenham and become a free agent.  He didn’t so they couldn’t.

According to an extraordinarily bizarre piece in Guardian yesterday Adebayor demanded a £5m pay-off from Tottenham to join West Ham.  If that is so, why would Tottenham not pay up, if that would save them £200,000 and the embarrassment of everyone laughing at them with Adebayor hanging around?  The answer is said to be, “he might go to WHU and score against us.”  If they believe that, then they could register him.

As for Saido Berahino, he is in the WBA 25 man squad.  West Brom are saying that Tottenham apparently bid just £5m up front with the remaining £20m spread out over another five years.  If that is true, it is the most outrageous hard man tactics yet from Tottenham’s renowned chairman.

What will happen if Saido really does go on strike? asks the Guardian.  Well, then he is in breach of a contract which has a time span built into it.  This means he can have his pay reduced to anything the club wish, including 1p a week.  They don’t have to sell him, he can sit there, and watch his career go by.


The anniversaries

  • 4 September 1975 – Walley Barnes died aged 55.  Towards the end of his playing career he was also manager of Wales, and then moved on to work for the BBC, and was  commentator on the very first edition of Match of the Day in 1964.
  • 4 September 1979: Arsenal’s biggest league cup win beating Leeds 7-0 after a 1-1 draw at Elland Rd.  Alan Sunderland got a hat trick and Liam Brady scored two penalties, Nelson and Stapleton the other scorers.

From the Pre-season files

The Untold Books



18 comments to Arsenal’s “25” in the Premier League and Champions League, and a few local difficulties.

  • Usama Zaka

    Looks like D.Levy of the Totts mistook Berahino for a car or property or something, to be paid in installments. 😀

  • Pat

    Our long list looks exciting. As you say, Tony, we could have another Bellerin and Coquelin in there somewhere. Our loan players seem to have already made an impact where they are. Interesting, too, the ones who haven’t been sent on loan, like Alex Iwobi, who’s already had a hat trick in the under 21s.

  • Come on Tony Jazz it up even the faithfull are losing Faith !

  • Kronke is he the right man to lead us on ?

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin.

    Apparently, Victor Wanyama and Saido Berahino have all been denied a better move deals to other Premier clubs which the Saints aren’t ready to offer them. But to think of it, they’ve allowed Morgan Schneiderline to move to Man Utd for a better deal. I think the Saints should take another look into their transfer policy generally to see if there be any bias treatment to some players on racial prejudice grounds. Because despite the reported installmentally payments signing deal offered to the saints by Spurs for Berahino, he still want to go to Spurs. As I have digested some thoughts in my head, and I remember a playing style formation I’ve not heard the Boss used before. And since the Gunners have appeared to be having some difficulties with the 4-2-3-1 playing formation as of now. I wonder if the Boss will like to switch to the Diamond head playing formation or the rarely used but could be very effective playing formation of the 4-5-1 style for Stoke and Dinamo Zagreb. The Boss can’t remain stagnant with the 4-2-3-1 style that is not yielding good dividends in terms of goals scored by the Gunners. Therefore, the Boss has to, in the interim change to another formation that can be well productive, just as he switched from 4-3-3 to 4-2-3-1 last season and started getting the desired results. I will like to see the Boss use the 4-5-1 playing style for our home game to Stoke. My envisage starts: Walcott/Giroud. RamseyCoquelinCazorlaOzilSanchez. DebuchyRhino’KoscielnyMonreal. Cech. My bench: OspinaArtetaOxladeAdelaide/CampbellGibbsGiroudBellerin.

  • SAA – he means well !

  • Let’s bet on next result against Stoke I say Draw

    What you ?

  • Menace

    SAAdebosin There are no racial motives in staggered payments. There is just mean money management. A seller is not obliged to accept poor payment terms. Both Saints & WBA have made good business decisions. The players have been fooled into believing there is something good in the deal but there was no honesty in the offer.

    As for your tactics etc. I think you should stick to what you know, because you have not understood anything about the way Arsenal play. Arsenal do not employ a rigid positional set up. The method is fluid & totally varied. It is what the beautiful game is all about.

  • para

    Looking forward to seeing some breakthroughs from the youth this season. 🙂

    ” Arsenal do not employ a rigid positional set up. The method is fluid & totally varied. It is what the beautiful game is all about.”

    Well you are right that Arsenal wants to play a fluid and totally varied football, but it is not yet completely so. We do still neglect to use some of the capabilities of the squad by varying our options unless injuries force this, and therefore we sometimes get caught out by well prepared teams.
    But we are getting there again. 🙂

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin.

    Menace, for the purported financial unstraightfowardness bidding for Berahino by Spurs, one could argue that the Saints have a ground to refuse the bidding if proved crafty. But wait a minute, is the total amount for the transfer of a player paid totally upfront? Or is paid installmentally after the initial upfront part payment? I think I once read in the media that the initial part payment is followed by installment payments in a transfer payment deal, is the practice. If so, how did Spurs then violated the standing payment practice inforce. Is it the installment payments too lengthy? £5m upfront payment to be followed by £5m payments for next 4 years that followed. Thus making a total of £25m Spurs would have paid for Berahino had the deal went through. Please enlighten me how the transfer deal payment is done. I could be wrong in my assertion. And I don’t want to go into Berahino’s history career at Southampton. We all remember how he was initially grossly underpaid by the Saints. But he later got an improved wage deal after his exploits at Man Utd. On the playing tactics being currently employed by the Boss for the Gunners, I think the Gunners current playing formation is 4-2-3-1. I read that the Boss had in the far past used the diamond head formation of 4-4-2 which currently is being used successfully by the England Boss – Roy Hodgson. I thought a thought and I perceived the Gunners are no longer comfortable with the 4-2-3-1 playing style as it not yielded much goals on the field after 4 games. Maybe it is at the moment stale with the Gunners usage and needed to be changed to refresh. Hence I suggested a unique playing formation of 4-5-1 which I’ve not heard the Boss employed before. I believe this 4-5-1 formation will incredibly be productive for the Gunners in terms high goals scored by them in our home game against Stoke, if it is employed by the Boss.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin.

    Please Menace, ignore my error, Berahino plays for WBA and not the Saints. Thus, substitute WBA for Southampton in my comment.

  • Nonny


    From my knowledge of Transfer regulations, Spurs are at liberty to suggest the terms of payment which they did which is £5m upfront and the rest spread over 5 years. However this is rare as the normal pattern is to pay a better potion of the fee upfront normally above 50% and the rest in installments.

    WBA on their part have the right to reject the terms of payment as it does disservice to them. What they will be receiving will be so little to reinvest back into their squad and felt insulted by the offer.

    I also think Daniel Levy is cruel to make such an offer which I don’t think he will accept if such is made to him for one of his better players eg £8m five years payments for Kane. Assuming he is worth £40m

    Berahino came through WBA ranks and got a better contract as his contribution to the team increased so there is no problem with his initial small wage as it is a norm in all clubs. Welbeck was paid less than £20,000 p/w about 3 years ago in ManU.

    Like @Menace mentioned earlier, Arsenal’s formation is dynamic depending on the opposition and game situation. Forget the formations you see on the TV screen before matches as they rarely depict the real formation. Arsenal only play 4-2-3-1 when we are trying to close off a game. The formation is even more like 4-1-1-3-1 with Coq sitting behind Cazorlar and not along side. Because the fullbacks are mobile and sometimes playing as wingbacks, you can as well kiss this formation goodbye. What you just need to understand is the formation is fluid with the attacking players inter-changing positions. FA cup finals, Theo’s goal was scored with Theo on the left and Sanchez in the middle. Just know it can switch to anything during the game. What is constant is just the 2 CB and the GK.

  • Pete

    Shoot – Why are you losing faith?

  • Pete

    Talking of squads, I thought the French squad was interesting for last night’s friendly against Portugal. You may not think these selections are objective (and there could have been some experimentation going on) but at least they are independent of the English media hype.

    Lloris played full match in goal, ahead of Mandanda on the bench.

    Sagna played full match at right back, ahead of Debuchy on the bench. I suspect Debuchy is becoming frustrated at bench-warming particularly as it has cost him his place in the French team it seems. Relates to an earlier discussion about the difficulty of keeping senior players happy as squad pro’s.

    Evra played the full match at left back, not sure who his back up was.

    Koscielny and Varane played the full match at centre back, ahead of Zouma (great hope at Chelsea) and Managala (all £40mm of him).

    In midfield, the starters and replacements were: Cabaye (Schneiderlin 45), Sissoko (Valbuena 80) and Pogba (whole match. So Man Utd’s star buy, who many were drawling over, appears to be behind players from Crystal Palace and Newcastle! Acknowledge that Coquelin isn’t in the frame but he has more time on his side than Schneiderlin.

    Up front were Matuidi, Benzema (Martial 74), Fekir (Griezmann 14, then Giroud 88).

    Martial made his debut but apparently didn’t do much. Never heard of Fekir – seems to be a young player at Lyon – must be good to start ahead of Griezmann (who I rate) and Martial. But relatively unheralded? Giroud a little way down the pecking order.

    Anyway, all a bit off topic – but always interesting to get an independent sanity check!

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin.

    Nonny, thanks for the detail explanations on how a transfer deal can be deemed acceptable to the club that owns the player. In this light, Spurs can be said did not make a reasonable offer to WBA to sign Berahino, if the media reports of the Spurs bidding is to be believed. By the way, is Berahino aware of this poor bidding made for him to WBA by Spurs? But by now he should be aware. Therefore, my advice to him is, he should tender his apologies to WBA for embracing them on twitter. And unconditionally repledge his loyalty to the Club. If he does that, I believe WBA will reabsorb him to the squad for him to continue with his career. If he is scoring goals consistently at WBA, I believe WBA will up his pay, and another club could offer WBA the correct bidding for him during a transfer window. On the Arsenal playing style. I agree in toto with your analysis. Arsenal aren’t rigid with a particular playing formation, but can decide to vary their style of play at any time during games as it best necessary for them to employed. The Gunners are dynamic with playing styles. I agree with this observation of yours. But why haven’t they scored pure Gunners’ goals save 1 after 4 games. I think it has do with discipline as the Gunners have been profigating in front of goal by not burying the many chances they’ve had. That failing MUST be turned to remarkable success when they entertain Stoke at the Emirates Stadium.

  • Menace

    Nonny – the 2 center backs go up for corners & sometimes make runs at the opposition. So the reality is that every player has the ability to re-position as long as the team remains in control.

    Shoot – don’t lose faith because of stupid media. I believe this team will give us a glorious season. There are many quality players in a happy unit. We have to succeed despite the uncertainty of PGMO.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin.

    Nonny, if see spelling errors in my comments, ignore them. It’s typographicall errors by my Nokia C3 that typed embracing instead of embarrassing. I do see those errors sometimes when I read my comments after posting them.

  • Gord

    I believe Dasilva, Pelenda Joshua Tunga is “Wellington”, on loan (Bolton).

    Nice article at on Bielik. He came to Arsenal nominally as a defensive midfielder, but much of his time here has been spent at centre back. He is finding the physicality of the EPL something to adjust to.