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Arsenal v Boca: The teams and player updates

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By Tony Attwood

With your help we’ve been trying to keep track of the players whom Mr Wenger will be using as the first team squad this season, and recent events have given a bit of an update.

I can remember occasions in the past where at the Ems Cup one day we had the youngsters, many of whom most of us had never seen before, and one day we had the obvious first team.

It is a mark of just how far we have got at the club that we now effectively have two first teams, which can intermingle.

So it is not that easy to choose exactly who is going to play, but we can update the player selections of the last couple of days.


  • Theo (but only for 10 days it seems)
  • Conor Henderson (out for at least six months).
  • Diaby (about 10 weeks after an operation)
  • Cesc (probably fit but awaiting the outcome of the Barca talks)

Not on our radar before:

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Benik Afobe who did not play in the reserve game last night, and so looks to have been offered the chance to step up.  He played for Huddersfield last season (but not against us owing to the technicalities of the youth player loan system).  He was man of the match five times in a row for Huddersfield, made 32 appearances scored 8 goals and 10 assists – despite getting a broken leg part way through the year.

He signed at the age of six (!), and then went on to be one of the top players in the Academy League side having scored 40 goals for the Under 16s in 2007–08, 11 goals in 13 in 2008–09, and 21 in 24 the under 18s in 2009–10.

He captained England under-12s at the World Cup in 2005, was part of  England Under-16 team that won the Victory Shield in 2008, with four goals in three games, and part of the England Under 17 squad that won the  European Championship in May 2010.

This past June he joined the squad to play in the under 20 world cup, but has withdrawn from that.  I am told (but this is not gospel) that Mr Wenger pulled him out so that he could play in the pre-season games.

Henri Lansbury

I had thought he was drifting out of contention after failing to make it as a regular in the Norwich team that got promotion, but apparently he is back in contention.  What I missed (what a dumbo) is that he was called up into the England Under 21 team for the 2011 UEFA Under-21 Championships and actually played in all 3 group stage matches as a substitute.

He won’t play this weekend (see below) but he is on the map.

On international duty

Coquelin, Sunu, playing for France in the under 20 world cup in Columbia at the moment.  Ignasi Miquel of Spain has just finished playing in the European under 19s championships.

Playing last night (Friday)

Here’s the team that played against Boreham Stiff (sorry wood)

  • Reice Charles-Cook
  • Nico Yennaris
  • Jernade Meade
  • Samual Galindo
  • Sead HajrovicDaniel
  • Boateng
  • Henri Lansbury
  • Oguzhan Ozyakup
  • Sanchez Watt
  • Chuks Aneke
  • Luke Freeman


  • Martin Angha
  • Tony Roberts
  • Elton Montelro
  • George Brislen-Hall
  • Kyle Ebecilio
  • Serge Gnarby

So who might we see?

One of the Polish pair

Sagna Vermaelen Squillaci Gibbs

Wilshere  Song


Gervinho Van Persie Arshavin

Or the other team

The other Pole (Mannone)

Carl Jenkinson, Laurent Koscielny, Djourou, Traore


Rosicki, Ramsey

Miyaichi,  Afobe, Chamakh, (Vela)


The Pre-Season Tour

Listening to people outside England gives you a different picture

About goats, the rain gods, and a new Ivorian striker: Going to the 1.FC Köln

The road is long and tricky: reactions to the pre-season games

How do personalised GPS vests help Arsenal? A technical review.

Review of the first game

The Malaysian Story; the scene the game

27 comments to Arsenal v Boca: The teams and player updates

  • Shard

    Miyaichi won’t be playing since he doesn’t have his permit yet.. The rest looks about right.

  • gooner_114

    hmmm…Serge Gnarby featuring for the reserves at just 16…could be one of those…i mean like Fabregas, Wilshere and Miyaichi(it seems), he cud be fast tracked to first team…i want to see how Aneke, Ebecilio and Angha progress too…really exciting prospects…altho much has been said about Ozyakup, I’m not sure about him…
    Hope Lansbury really pushes on now…

  • Shard – re Miyaichi why are these games different from the other pre-season friendlies. He has been allowed to play in them without a licence from the FA. Does the licence specifically say that the player can’t play in England?

  • ZX

    Tony- Do your homework. Arsene said he wont be playing cause of his visa. He is only allowed to play closed door games like friendlies. Emirates cup is considered a “opened door” game so he wont be playing.

  • Shard


    He can only play behind closed doors. Not in matches that charge any admission.

  • Shard

    And yes, he can play outside England.. The above is for playing in England. It’s a UK work permit issue not an FA restriction as such.

  • walter

    If I may correct you Tony about Miquel.

    He still has to play the final on monday. In fact he played in all the games of the tournament so far for Spain. So not bad for the boy I would say. Another one to keep an eye on.

  • Mr M.

    Mannone is not a Pole, he is an Italian.

  • Arsenal team:

    Jenkinson, Koscielny, Djourou, Traore,
    Wilshere, Nasri,
    Gervinho, Van Persie, Arshavin

    Subs: Sagna, Vela, Ramsey, Song, Squillaci, Mannone, Eboue, Gibbs, Chamakh, Afobe, Bartley.

  • Actually i am not doing very well today am I? Would anyone else like to edit this blog? (Although I am not sure i ever said that Mannone was Polish.)

  • Dark Prince

    Lol, Mannone a pole, puttin Miyachi even though he doesn’t hav a work permit……this article seriously needs some editing!! 😛

  • Arvind

    Oh give him a break guys..we all make mistakes 🙂

  • Keith

    Although it was only a pre-season game so result isn’t important, it was very worrying to say huge gaps between Squillaci and Djourou where there seems a serious lack of communication as in repeating the same mistakes as of old!!!

  • walter

    I wonder if tomorrow we will see a combination of Vermaelen-Koscielny and Vermaelen(Koscielny) – Bartley in the second half?

  • Shard

    Tony didn’t call Mannone a Pole.. Read the lineups again carefully..

    Well, the game. Wenger says he reckons that was more down to fatigue. I’m not sure he’s actually being completely honest there. Yes, we probably did drop off physically, but those two goals were very poor ones to concede. The defense needs some better understanding and communication.

    However, there were many positives. An actual counter attacking goal with speed. Gervinho did look like he will cause defenses a problem. Traore looked quite good as well. Frimpong was quite impressive. Jenkinson did well. All the youngsters did impress. Even Vela made a brilliant run for the second goal.

    Still just a pre season game though. I’m more annoyed about the moaning that will follow a draw in a pre season. We shouldn’t have given them a chance though. Oh and Jon Champion is highly highly annoying.

  • walter

    If we can only play Ryo behind closed doors, we should just close the doors when the last supporter has arrived. 😉

  • Dark Prince

    Squillaci looks like a disaster!! even Djourou looks poor with him!!

  • RedGooner

    Im not concerned about the defenders we have and the way some people are slagging them off. I would be more concerned about our defensive coaching as a team.
    Still its only a pre season game no need to get carried away.

  • Gooner Gal

    It was a real shame that we couldn’t see Miyaichi today, as I was really looking forward to it. I wonder if this was Eboue’s last game today? If so, I wished the crowd had given him a bigger cheer. I would be happy if he stayed, but he would now be 3rd choice behind Jenkinson, who looks like he is quality. The UK Arsenal scout should get bonus because he is genuine competition for Sagna and not just cover. £1m in the midst of the current transfer madness is a steal!

    I think RVP will enjoy playing with Gervinho and I am really excited by the prospect of seeing some great goals from those two. Wilshere in the middle with Frimpong was great because they had good understanding and Frimpong had great positioning to recieve, cut out and block passes without having to do too many desperate runs or lunges. I hope Stuart Robson didn’t give him a hard time again as he didn’t look like he did anything wrong me.

    Squillaci, Mannone and Nasri did not have a good game today, but heay, this is what pre season is all about and I am sure they will improve. It was great to see Bartley and Afobe on the bench as they might get a chance tomorrow to show what they can do.

  • BobbyP

    I was impressed with Gervinho, and Frimpong as well. Hopefully the defensive glitches were just a one-off… Agree with Shard re. John Champion…

  • goonergerry

    If Squillacci and Jenkinson had good games today-I would hate to see them on a bad day. Koscielny stood out for me as a centre back who can pick out a pass and Traore looks to have improved a bit since his loan spell. Precious little else to feel good about at the back. It seems obvious that we need reinforcements in the centre back and possibly midfield-unless we deploy our players differently-like playing Vermaelen in front of the back 4 with someone like Samba alongside Koscielny when Song is missing. Frimpong looked good in places-going forward but his is a position which will take time for him to grow into.
    Our goals were good and in a team which could defend would have been enough to win the game.

  • andy bishop

    The defensive mistakes are not just gliches, the quality is just not there. It is what we currently have and will have to put up with. The body language ammongst the players is as bad as I have seen it. Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaalan and Gibbs/Traore is not a bad back four..what happens when injuries strike? No one at the back or up front seems to be a natural header of the ball. Chamakh (our header of the ball) kept holding his face and complaining to the referee and failed to make the two or three runs he should have to meet crosses. We still cannot hold onto a game once in the lead and bossing. Once Bocca had nothing to lose they bought on more attacking players and ran at us…our intensity dropped and we collapsed. This is happening more and more the last few years despite what players we have…this is fundamental and reflects upon the lack of tactical nous imparted to the players.

  • bjtgooner

    If Nasri’s display yesterday and the rest of his pre-season performances are indicative of what he will give us this season, we would be better to sell him now and replace him – even if Cesc also goes. Nasri really did not look interested and did look as if he could replace Cesc in midfield. Further, his antics over his contract renewal are an insult to the club.

    While Frimpong looked promising, our midfied, usually a dominant force, seemed to lose cohesion in the second half – without Wilshere.

    Gervinho and Jenkinson look good signings, but we really must sort out our erratic defending otherwise we are in for more disappointment again this season.

  • bjtgooner

    should have written “Nasri really did not look interested and did NOT look as if he could replace Cesc in midfield”.

  • steww

    Hi, sorry to but in, does anyone else use Arsenal Player? I’ve emailed them asking them not to put the score up before they even screen the match and wondered if others might like to ask the same thing. Does rather ruin the surprise when you have been looking forward to a game all weekend, finally sit doen to watch in on a paid for service and A) It’s not even on yet, and B) They have the score plastered beneath the player.
    Sorry Tony to interrupt but I’m cross.
    I watched the silly little highlights as I didn’t need to wait for the full match (knowing the score) and boy oh boy does Gervinho look good? And what about Vela’s little run and Ramsay’s finish? Ooh and how good is Jack’s passing? RVP looks sharp and Frimpong is my prediction for break through player if he hasn’t broken through already.
    What? We’re all supposed to moan about our defence? Really? When there is so much good stuff to talk about. Seems a bit odd if not downright masochistic to me..

  • mr venger

    Here here steww.
    Unfortunately a lot of people are easily conned into the image portraid by the propaganda pedlers (espn,sky, & most of the british media) that we are a club in crisis. the reasons behind it are up for debate along with the ridiculous refereeing obstacle in our path but It just never stops these last few years. It’s becomming harder & harder for the team to overcome, as a large portion of these weak minded fans are becoming neurotic & harmfull to the players, esp the ones who are developing in defense, resulting in alot of unrest at the club. The destuctive plan is working and shame on those fans who dont stand by the club and see how difficult it is to do what we try to do.

  • Shard

    @mr venger and stewww

    I’m entirely on board with what our club is trying to achieve, and I’m not at all disillusioned by anything that we and Wenger have done. I hate the fans that moan about things without some context to put their disappointment in. However, I do think the team has some issues to set right. Yes it is just pre season, but the way we conceded (especially against Boca) was not pretty. Encouragingly however, Wenger pointed it out and stressed on those as problems, and also that we didn’t press the ball enough. So I think we can and will sort it out.

    What I am a little concerned about (apart from the fans’ support being missing at the Ems) is the Cesc situation. We’ve been kind enough to Cesc and I still believe he loves the club. But this is getting in the way of things now, and should not be allowed to continue. I hope we are setting a deadline for any deal to go through, that gives us enough time to make our deals, whether Cesc goes or stays.

    Oh and stewww.. entirely correct about the score not being shown on Player. I too have been frustrated by it in the past. Also I’ve noticed they’ve removed the download option for videos. That will make ref review more difficult as well I think. I quite liked the fact that we could download videos on demand. Can we all just keep mailing Arsenal in regards these two points?