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Arsenal’s First Team 2010-11; the complete run down

By Tony Attwood

If you ever care to meander out of the present day to the dim and distant past you might have noticed that on the Woolwich Arsenal site we are running a series on the players who started the first match of the 1910/11 season for Arsenal.

Which made we want to think about who we have got for this season.

We know from the previous articles that for the coming season Arsenal is a club that has no problem in meeting the 25 player rule, since we have on the books seven “home grown” players in the first team (there is space for one more if Campbell decides to return).   In fact because players who were under 21 on 1 January this year don’t count in the “25” we have got lots of spare spaces.

So here’s the squad thus far.  Players who can swap positions are in brackets for the alternative position.  I would also add that I have a nasty feeling I have left someone out – please do let me know.

Goal: Almunia, Fabianski, Mannone, Szczesny

Three players is normally considered enough, although there is a growing feeling among some supporters that our real golden keeper is the fourth on the list.

Full backs: Sagna , Clichy, Eboue, Gibbs, Traore

Four used to be the number needed, but after the year of seven left backs even five looks a bit doubtful.

Centre backs: Vermaelen, Djourou, (Song), Koscielny

As we all know this is where we need strength.  Of the three centre backs who have contracts that ended this year the only one who looks a possible is Campbell.  But then Wenger has said he will sign another player.

Midfield: Song, Denilson,  Fabregas, Diaby,  Nasri, Wilshire, Lansbury, Ramsey, Rosicky

Lansbury looked a sensation in the last match of the season, and he is the one loanee who played all the way through the year – with Watford.  Song, Denilson and Diaby can all play the defensive part, leaving a plethora of players ready to come in to the other positions.   And towards the end of the year Ramsey will return.

Forwards: Arshavin, van Persie, Bendtner,  Chamakh, Eduardo, Walcott, Vela

I saw a couple of sites announce that Eduardo was off, but I believe they were just repeating some News of the World rumour that was made up to fill four or five lines.  Last season we had one less player and still ended up with an unfit Arshavin playing centre forward – so one more (Chamakh) is a blessing.  Eduardo wasn’t his old self last season – let’s hope a good long break through the summer has done it for him.

Non-World Cup Players

Some players went on their hols after the Stoke game, some went to Africa.  We all know that those in Africa now need a long break themselves, so let’s look at Arsenal without the world cup players.  For simplicity I have ignored when the players came back, and I have taken out the injured Ramsey.

Goal: Almunia, Fabianski, Mannone, Szczesny

Full backs: Gibbs, Traore

Centre backs: Vermaelen, Djourou, Koscielny

Midfield: Denilson,  Nasri, Wilshire, Lansbury, Rosicky

Forwards: Arshavin, Chamakh, Eduardo, Walcott,

OK we’ve got some problems there, and of course we will bring back some of the early leavers fairly quickly, but leaving aside the lack of strength in depth in the full back position, we actually could put out a decent enough side against Liverpool, even without any of our French internationals.

There’s no Africa Cup of Nations in 2011, so there’s no disruption to our squad there – the only thing to screw us internationally are the qualifiers for the 2012 competitions in Africa and Europe – and Vela’s endless trips to Mexico.

Who else?

Craig Eastmond signed a long term contract at the start of this year.  He is a midfielder who has been playing at right back and turned up suddenly in the first team to play holding midfielder.  Now that is the sort of player I like.

Wenger was reported as saying on 8 July that he was in the market for one more centre back, and as I noted above there is always the chance that Campbell might sign up for another year.  In addition there are players who might just come into the first team squad.  I am not thinking here about our Diddly Cup team, but actual players who might join in when the injury crisis hits…

Jay Emmanuel-Thomas looks like the one other youngster who is 95% certain to break through.  The great advantage of JET is that he can play virtually anywhere, and has done so in the reserves.  Reports from his loan spell were most encouraging – although he might well need one more half season away from the club.  Word has it that he made Doncaster while he was there last season.  I didn’t see it, but everyone who did said he was something else.  We just need to keep him away from any cars that are passing around.

Havard Nordtveit – a year ago the manager said he needed “at least one year” in the German league.  He’s had the one – does he need another?  He is a defender which is where the additional bodies are needed – so maybe…

Pedro Botelho is without a work permit – but if he got one then surely he could become part of the show. If he does not, then after three years outside the club, maybe that’s it.  He is a left sided defender who can play midfield, so maybe, again, ….

Wellington Silva joins us in January – which is about the time everyone goes down with career threatening injuries, so maybe we could actually see him then.

Tom Cruise – I have thrown him in as a final player here because Wenger went out of his way to praise him, and put him in the squad against  Olympiacos at left back.

So that’s where it all seems to be for me.   And just while we are on the topic we have signed Sead Hajrovic – a 17 year old from Grasshoppers Zurich – who spent last year as a scholar playing 3 times in the reserves.

All the other stuff

And more stuff

And then stuff you never even thought was stuff at all

20 comments to Arsenal’s First Team 2010-11; the complete run down

  • bc

    Barazite and Hoyte could well feature too. I know Hoyte has had a tough time at Brighton, but to be fair who wouldn’t? He can play RB & CB. Barazite is another who is versatile he can play RW LW down the middle and even in midfield. Also I have it on good authority that Nordveit will definitely be in the first team squad as well CB he can also play RB and DM. I think Traore might leave if Botelho is given a work permit, but then again if Clichy goes, who knows?

  • Emmett

    Very good article and I agree with the most part. Although I do feel there are a few more youngsters you missed. For example I feel that both Kyle Bartley and Barazite will be close to contending for a place in the squad.

  • I can see the case for Hoyte – he played 21 games from Brighton after signing, and that would make him a near ever present.

    I had forgotten that the club bothered to put him on a long term contract in December 2008 which is positive, and having signed for Brighton in October 2009 his loan spell was extended twice- so Brighton must have liked him.

    As for Barazite – I have lost track – where was he last season?

  • gooner80

    Hey Tony
    good article

    I have seen some players make vast improvements all we need is for about two of these players to step up it would be like two new signings if they can make the leap, I like the look of eastmond and surely if it wasnt for injury ramsey would be playing at least 30 games this season.

    I would love arsenal to play with two holding midfielders either song denilson or song eastmond not always in every game but there is games we need to learn a lesson from

    I think alot of arsenal fans are looking for big seasons from the following: theo, arshavin, RVP,Denilson and B52 to continue how he was going

    I would love Wenger to consider doing to clichy what he did to eboue, putting gibbs in at LB and in certain games putting him in left midfield or vice versa which ever is the better crosser because I dont think you can give arshavin a strict role he needs a free role he is not disciplined enough so itis better to play to his strengths.

    I know wenger has talked about strengthening the defense but the first place to start is the defense coach position I know keown used to do it we need someone who enjoys their craft it would be worth offering sol a player coaching role he cant play every game and he cant teach the youngsters about playing as a unit and drilling them

  • nick tolhurst

    Tony – mostly agree – although I would say Eastmond will 100% definitely be part of the 1st team squad this year given his breakthrough last year. If JET doesnt go out on loan he will be in too.

    I take your point about leaving out WC players, however I would make an exception for the french players who only played 3 matches (none with extra time), finished almost 3 weeks ago and generally the french didnt seem to playing to 100% of their capacity given all the national team’s problems. Song and Eboue should be back in time too. Cesc, RvP and Bendtner will need as you imply quite a bit longer.

  • gooner80

    I meant to say can teach the youngsters at the end a Freudian slip methinks

    and surely giving sol a player coaching role would mean we could offer him a two year deal which he craves

  • nicky

    When I read the stuff about the 6 tots, I could not help feeling confident about the future. Arsenal must have the best scouting and coaching staffs in the world. I look forward to some, if not all of them being bloodied next term.

  • vijay

    Why is Nacer Barazite overlooked?

    Am I the only person who thinks he’s going to be a world-class player?

    Bizarre.

  • don't believe the hype

    Tony, Nacer Barazite had a long term shoulder injury last season, but he came back into the reserves towards the end played well and scored some stunning goals for a few games in a row.

    I think this season’s Carling Cup team may not be as young and inexperienced as in the past.

  • Digger

    What about Bartley making the step up to full first team squad this season?Or do you think another loan is on the cards?

  • gooner80

    Vela is another who looked so good in the carling cup, he even looks pretty decent for Mexico I was thinking this guy is going to be world class, it is like some of them just need a shake to realise how good they are and what they can achieve

  • rudygooner

    So guys, it seems we have so many talented players, but the slots are limited. My thought will be eduardo, almunia, rosicky and denilso should leave this year to give a chance for the youngster. What do u think tony?

  • walter

    I think after the world cup the players must have 3 weeks off before they are allowed to train with their club teams.

    How on earth is this possible? Why doesn’t FUfa organise the WC earlier so that it ends at 30 juni so that the players can start the training around the 20th of July and have a normal preseason like the rest of the players?

  • AaronGSi

    The fact that Arsenal are trying to secure a work permit for Botelho leads me to think that one of the left backs will definitely be leaving. It could well be Traore, but I do think that AW rates Gibbs very highly – even more so than Glichy (probably because Gibbs seems to have more attacking and scoring potential) – and as he did when he sold Silvinho to allow Cole a 1st team place, so there could be truth in the rumours that Glichy could be leaving to give Gibbs his chance.
    I’m still really looking forward to the new season though, and if Arsenal avoid the injuries of last year, then they will easily be up there again. Still, I do reckon, like many others, that an additional 2-3 quality players in a couple of areas would be welcome. We need at least 1 more central defender, and another holding player in midfield would give us more depth.

  • foz

    i think barazite is good aswell give him a chance!!!!

  • Adam Reading

    Fellow Gooners,
    My patience has run out with Mr Wenger,he has LIED.Where are thr so called experienced signings!!,apparantly not interested in Joe cole.Absolutely no AMBITION,when LFC,MUFC are struggling with finances.Wenger should strike now!,sell at least Eduardo and really Bendtner awfull for Denmark!,bring in a proven striker.Plue we know RVP will get injured.Its getting really annoying,in fact Wenger FUCKING obvious.Oh then therrs denilson and i bet our cameroon midfield enforcer will get injured!.I have red&white in blood,but i am worried HELP!.

  • Hashim

    I think Barazite needs to be included in the squad. There is no point in keeping such a talent in the reserves. Merida has already left and jay Simpson is out too. Barazite should be included in the list as well just like Landsbury. Instead of signing Joe Cole or Gourcuff, why not just give Barazite his chance???

  • john Haggis

    hajit sharwam

  • Youssef

    The squad looks fairly solid right now, but we would all welcome players like Mark Schwarzer or Joe Cole to add some depth and experience to our beloved team. I have noticed that both their names have come up twice in the Transfer Linked section of the Arsenal website along with our recently signed Laurent Koscielny. I dont know if that is a sign that we really are in negotiation with both players but it might mean something. After all, the names mentioned in the Transfer Linked section all look like possible targets, apart from Buffon who was included to show the idiocracy of English journalists who suggested that Wenger would break the bank for Buffon, a player that would definately boost our squad but is not beneficial to the success of the team.

    Anyways, I for one am very excited for the new season now that the World Cup is over. I know I have said this before like many of us gooners, but next season might just be the season that we win the League again

  • ibrahim

    am a total supporter of arsenal and i support arsen wengers policy but we need additional striker like chalton cole and midfielder like van daavart and also defender like steven tailor to strenghting our squad. hope we will be the european champions 2010/2011 by God will