By Tony Attwood
When the transfer doorway creaked closed once again we published a table of the players in the 25 and the leading youth players who could also play.
In the old days this was irrelevant with league cup matches when groups of youngsters some of us had hardly heard of appeared on the scene and beat Sheffield United 6-0 each time (or so it seemed).
Now however the 25 is full, and some of these players are not getting games, so it is possible to take a look at the 25 and the under 21s who train with the first team and select quite a lot of tonight’s team from that list.
I’ve noted whether the player is injured or not and in the final column of the 25 list, and simply based on performances thus far given him a chance rating of playing tonight, out of ten. Totally arbitrary of course but we’ve never picked a team like this before so I thought it was worth a try. Appearances include League and Champs League.
Now onto the U21 players are included in our First Team Squad
Now these tables have been put together without actually contemplating a team for tonight and if you have been following me thus far you will notice that we might well be overloaded in one or two places. But et’s see how the team goes.
Amazingly it actually gives us pretty much of a team looking something like this…
Debuchy Holding Gabriel Gibbs
Elneny The Ox
Akpom Perez Aledlaide
If we need someone else in defence Bielik is the most likely player to come in, and if Gideon Zelalem has miraculously regained his form he could be drafted into midfield to replace our question mark man. Chris Willock has looked so good to me when I have seen him playing last season for the under 21s and this season on TV in preliminary games I feel he ought to have a place.
His natural place is out wide where I have put Akpom because I ran out of places for him. However I have seen it suggested by Reine Adelaide could play where the ??? (I am not sure if that is right or not) which would make the team look like this
Debuchy Holding Gabriel Gibbs
Elneny The Ox
Perez Akpom Willock
and finally we have a line up that makes some kind of sense, in that Perez has played on the wing before.
The big chitchat among the mindless journos is that “Arsène Wenger believes Nicklas Bendtner has a point to prove at Nottingham Forest as the former Arsenal striker faces his old club on Tuesday in the third round of the EFL Cup,” a sentence that you can read in virtually every newspaper column on the subject.
Old Nic scored 45 goals in 171 appearances for Arsenal.
Here’s his record thus far
|2006–2007||Birmingham City (loan)||42||11||0.26|
What is noticeable is that while his goal to game ratio was never that good it was growing slowly but surely until the move to Juventus, and since then it has all gone wrong for Old Nic.
His contract with Wolfsburg was terminated in April this year and he came to Forest on a free transfer. Of him Mr Wenger said, “Of course he has a point to prove – he’s playing at a level where he is not used to. But he did start his career at this level at Birmingham City with Steve Bruce, where he did very well. Nicklas is focused enough to show he can fight again.
“It was a surprise to me that Nicklas signed for Nottingham Forest, but at some stage Nicklas needs to restart his career.
“You have to adapt and we are in a job when we have to show we are able to put our effort in everywhere and compete. Sometimes when you are a player of his quality, you just need an opportunity. We know his qualities and he is a top quality player, but he needs to play.
“The perceptions people have of him is that he is overconfident but I don’t think so,” he said. “He was sometimes impatient when he was with us. He was disappointed not to get the chance and you can understand that.
“I am not here to judge people. Sometimes you manage to get it and sometimes we do not find the key. Then you have to leave the key to someone else who has the potential to find it. Nicklas could explain much better than I can about his career.”
But of course everyone has a Bendtner story. My favourite is that he had Jacques Crevoisier Arsenal’s psychologist in tears of laughter on doing his test on “self-perceived competence.” Crevoisier’s story is that on the scale of 0 to 9 Bendtner scored ten.
Well, don’t we all, on a good day.
- The PL time wasting problem: it is far worse than you might think, and is being exploited
- “Arsenal are the only team in the Premier League to face two opponents each weekend”
- Arsenal after five games; the statistical analysis. (Hint: the number of shots doesn’t count).
Arsenal anniversaries appear on the home page of Untold each day, and you can look up all of the 5000 anniversaries in our files through the Day by Day index on the Arsenal History Society site. Today’s selected anniversary of the day is below – just one of a dozen or so that we pick each day of the year.
20 September 2002: Arsène Wenger pronounced that, “Arsenal can go unbeaten all season” to huge derision from media. “It’s not impossible as Milan once did it but I can’t see why it’s so shocking to say it. Do you think Manchester United, Liverpool or Chelsea don’t dream that as well? They’re exactly the same. They just don’t say it because they’re scared to look ridiculous, but nobody is ridiculous in this job as we know anything can happen.”