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July 2021

Bring on the Gooner-Gunners

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By Walter Broeckx

With Nico Yennaris making his debut against Leeds in the FA cup this month and making another appearance as a substitute against Manchester United we have seen another youngster making it in to the first team.

The 18 year old made his first starts at right back. Against Leeds he came in for Coquelin who was playing in that position despite being a midfielder. Coquelin was somewhat our 7th right back we played I think. Could have been 6th as somehow you could lose count at used and injured full backs at Arsenal this season. So midfielder Coquelin injured at right back and on came Yennaris, in fact another midfielder.

Against Manchester United Djourou who didn’t have the best day playing at right back as a central defender was replaced at half time and again Yennaris took the right back spot on the field.

And well it is fair to say that on both occasions he did a rather good job. He certainly couldn’t be blamed for anything that went wrong on the day. I can only really remember one time in the second half when he was left behind by Nani. And to come on as an 18 year old midfielder and having to play Nani who is one of the best wingers in the PL is not the easiest opponents you have to face.

Now we shouldn’t get carried away too much after those two appearances but it might be that we have another young player that has been at Arsenal from the youth. A London born young lad. And apparently not just a Gunner but also a long life Gooner.

I have seen a picture with Yennaris being the mascot at a game at Highbury when he still was very very young. Ref that day was incidentally Mike Dean. The same ref under whom he made his debut in the PL last Sunday. Yennaris also was a boy sitting in the stands at Highbury or the Emirates with his dad. Even going to Cardiff with his dad on the last 4 occasions we reached the Fa Cup final. One could say a real Gooner from a Gooner family.

This reminds me of another young lad we bought this season. Carl Jenkinson, one of the people who also played at right back this season before getting injured. Let us hope Nico Yennaris will not be facing the same in a few weeks time. But he also is a supporter of Arsenal and not just a player who comes there to make a living.

One of the things that looks not that important about the way Arsenal is conducting their business is the way players look at the club. But with the way Arsenal have been developing their youngsters we get now the first generation of what I would like to call the Gooner-Gunners.

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A generation that isn’t just playing for “a team” in a certain period of their career. No a generation that has been at the club from almost the start of their career and who are also die hard supporters of that club.

Just look at another example of that generation. Frimpong. Still a very rough diamond and not just totally ready to do his job. In fact maybe his biggest problem might be the fact that he is such a big supporter of Arsenal himself. He wants to do so well for the club that at times he gets carried away a bit too much and commits silly mistakes by making fouls that get him send off. I think his loan spell at Wolverhampton might be the ideal way to make him think before the throw himself in at times.

But if you read the things Frimpong is saying about Arsenal it is clear that he would die for the club. A player that you can take to any war and he will fight for the colours of his beloved club. A player that has said that no matter how long it takes but he will stay until he is a first team player at Arsenal. Showing commitment to the club in a way that only supporters normally do.

Now I am totally aware of the fact that maybe in a few years time we will lose a few of them because if they really cant make the final and most difficult step Arsenal has to make a decision at some time in their career. But we can be sure that as long as they do their job at Arsenal it will not just be a job that is being well paid for, but most of all being able to fulfil the dream of playing for the club you really love.

With Jack Wilshere as the number one amongst the Gooner-Gunners we also have young players like Frimpong, Jenkinson, Yennaris who feel more for this club then just a working relation. Maybe even Oxlade-Chamberlain can be put in this category as he said recently that his boy hood hero was Thierry Henry. And there are more to come in the next years like those.

In fact if you look at some of the players we have been buying recently we can also see that some of those players have been Arsenal supporters from their childhood days. Mertesacker was an Arsenal supporter as a kid when it came to foreign clubs. He even had an Arsenal shirt as a young lad in Germany.  Gervinho has been hoping to come to Arsenal from his very young days when he came to Europe as a footballer.

And the same goes for a lot of young players that have not been from England but who have come at a young age. Look at Szczesny. Another one that can be called a Gooner-Gunner.

How long will it take before we will be able to field 11 Gooner-Gunners? I don’t really know as you probably always will have some players you bring in later in their career. But I do have a feeling that even when we buy a player we try to see if they also don’t have some kind of long time sympathy for the club.

In a way it looks to me that in some 5 years time we will have a full squad of Gooner-Gunners at our disposal. When the now older players will be gone I have the feeling their replacements will be of the Gooner-Gunner type.

And I do think that this is a great thing to look  forward too. Because from that day on we will know that every player on that pitch and on the bench will do his utmost best to make the supporters happy. Because as they are also supporters they only way for them to be happy is by making us happy. We will be sure that they will dig as deep as they can to make us happy and proud. And in that period we will have a team filled with players with Arsenal-DNA.

Some might say : what good does it bring us now today. I can only say: the road is long. A club with a history of 125 years is always a slow building process. Once those now still very young Gooner-Gunners will reach their peak in a few years time we will have something unique in the world that maybe only Barcelona has today: all players with the club DNA in their body.

21 comments to Bring on the Gooner-Gunners

  • Ransom wool

    Let asene wenge help arsenal

  • Mandy dodd

    The Gooner gunners are just what we need, cannot wait to see a few more of them in action, they will not let us down!

    Off topic, but heard arry plans to play freedul, lead lee, kubul, asooo erotic, bail, skottee, Arin Lenin, mojrich, germane with subs…carloan, bazong, dorsun, penis and the rushin bloke, if they can read his hand writing that is!

  • One again fantastic article Walter ! I always dreamed to see 11 Wilshere’s playing for Arsenal in the field 😀 just because of his commitment to the game and the proud with which he wears it. I happy to see Arsene Wenger’s grand plan for Arsenal football club’s future unfolding 🙂

  • Shard

    I like that term.. Gooner-Gunner. I suppose the parallel with Barcelona is there, but of course there are differences. Barca went 6 years with no trophy all the while building their Barca-B*****ds. But they did it while changing managers, still spending big, having only Real as their rival (at least in the spending stakes), and most crucially not building a new stadium (and yet managing to not have enough money to pay their players) Nor do Barca have referees cheating them, and opponents regularly breaking their legs.

    Looking at it that way. 7 years is not a lot is it.. Trophies are nice to have. They are nicer to earn. We’re getting there doing it our way. I love our club for trying that. Even if we ‘fail’.. But with these Gooner-Gunners coming through, and if our finances ease up (which they should in the near future) then I don’t think we will ‘fail’.

  • Shard

    By the way Walter.. I found something quite unprecedented. There have been a lot of these ‘accidental errors’ , as we know, but this is the first I’m seeing one reported.

  • @Shard,
    Well said. There’s a lot of things I can tolerate when it comes to Arsenal. I can tolerate missing out on big name players because no matter how much you can spend sensibly there’s always some idiot willing to pour money away. I can tolerate our manager’s tactical gambles that don’t pay off. I can tolerate losing because the refs are somehow against us. What I can’t tolerate is players unwilling to give it 100% when on the pitch.
    Eleven players who either have an indomitable will to win and/or a deep love for the club, with continental football technique but a British football upbringing, that is a terrifying prospect for the rest of the league.

  • Tasos


    Big Phil once again influencing a result, what can you say about this man. Hopefully, one day he will get his comeuppance.

  • dan

    I’m hope this team of youngsters stay together.

  • DC

    Great article and my sentiments exactly! A successful club with quality players totally engrossed, nurtured and rushing with Gooner blood in their veins – that is what Arsene came to the club to achieve! He’s always known that that’s the only way to ensure that the player has genuine and unwavering love and loyalty for the club and won’t just superficially turn his head at the bigger salary or the bollocks statement of “they have a better chance of winning trophies” that the likes if Nasri & Adebayor spout!

    @Shard, I concur with your post regarding Barcelona. How long it took and how they maintained themselves whilst getting there should not be overlooked as it si often is by the AAA! Barca did not, and still are not, doing things with financial prudence or sense and they are far more protected by the game’s authorities!
    Regarding Phil Dowd, he is a shockingly bad referee and should not be allowed to officiate with the glaring errors and wrong match-changing decisions he makes.
    With regards the journalist on that link, Mick Dennis, be careful what you read from his because he is unbelievably bad and inaccurate in his journalism at times! But then again, aren’t they all?!

  • Mandy Dodd

    Possible bad news on a Gooner Gooner (well think he originally supported West Ham but he is a GG now)

    If Wenger had been one of Napoleons much referred to generals, he would not have been a luck one. Lost 2 creative MFs in the summer, if this is bad, that will be Jack out for the season and Diaby out until 2018. Rambo looks dead on his feet. If Hazard is available , maybe we need to spend some money? Just knew something would happen with Jack.
    This injury may have been a long time coming, but I bet that board enforced trip to Asia did not help.
    When will something go really right for this team?

  • Shard


    I don’t think the journalist did a good job. He’s still making excuses about an honest mistake from Dowd. Well maybe it was. That can happen. Either way, it’s just a novelty to see the referee’s decisions even talked about. But the comments on that article are from ManCity fans saying he always pulls down ManCity. Maybe this is his way to portray that that isn’t true. After all, even John Cross did a piece defending Wenger. Of course he went on to say there is no media agenda because it is the fans turning on Wenger.. like we’ve forgotten what the media said.. Well I haven’t. And I wouldn’t trust the media at all. Their narratives, even if well meaning, are borne of laziness and a lack of intelligence.

  • DC

    Quite true; all have an agenda of their own which is very rarely honest and well-meaning in its intent!

    @Mandy Dodd,
    Fear not, it all sounds precautionary at this stage so let’s wait for the scan results! Jack wasn’t due to return till the end of Feb anyway. Regardless, I’m sure that the AAA and scum press will already be reporting their usual garbage of “Wilshere out for the season”! Premature and wishful bollocks!

  • Mandy Dodd

    Yes, really hope that scan is ok DC, I have just had a bad feeling about Jack for a while….for this season anyway,we certainly need him asap – Rambo is starting to flag a bit and if he needs a rest , with him, it is infinitely understandable.
    Still, hopefully a few will soon be back to help out

  • Arsenal’s treatment of injuries is a f**ckin disgrace.Diaby,Vermaelen and now Wilshire have had their injuries completely mismanaged.Instead of wasting money on a new medical centre how about an overhaul of the medical staff.And B4 all the excuses come flying in,TV5 and Jack’s injuries had nothing to do with bad tackles and referees.Top 4?Ha ha i think we will not even get a europa league spot 7th at best

  • @Basil,
    Are you a doctor? Or a physiotherapist? A nurse perhaps?
    I severely doubt it because hardly any medical professionals will comment on the competency of the treatment of a patient without knowing as much detail about the patient in question as possible. And since I doubt you are a medical professional of any kind, why exactly should we give any credence to your belief that their injuries have been mismanaged.

    As an aside, I know full well that our injured players could return to fitness much sooner. Then they’d fail a drugs test and be banned for six months/a year/life. Given that improperly treated injuries can cause complications in later life, there really ought to be a grace period between a return to playing fitness and the first drugs test.

  • Brian Blogglesnap

    “Cui bono?”

    sorry couldn’t resist!!

  • Gooner Gal

    @ Mandy Dodd 10:29am – good one.

    I don’t know if it just me, but most of dirty ‘arry’s reponses in the dock seem to be on par with that old flimsy classic ‘my dog ate my homework’. Is he mocking the English judicial system? At a time when many are being squeezed and public services are being cut it would be good if the UK could get their hands on some of the lost billions through tax evasion. I’ve come across Rednapp a few times over the years and so as for his ‘i’m a giver not a taker’ comment I always thought of him more of a Arthur Daly like character than Mother Teresa.

    I wonder if Billy Bonds would agree that Rednapp was of such good character after their West Ham fall out. To be honest I don’t detest Rednapp the way I do Mcleish and Ferguson, but what I do hate is the way that he is being painted as a loveable ‘diamond geezer’ that has simply forgotten to sign a few forms. The fact that he is the most successful English manager around at the moment is a travesty. Arsene Wenger has more respectabilty in his toe than this man heralded as the next saviour of the England team, but is mocked and treated with disgraceful distain.

  • Gooner Gal

    @ Walter, I think having players that have a strong connection to the club is good form of defence against the clubs constantly circling around us. It also makes it harder for them to poach our players and the players play with extra motivation, which can really make the difference in tight games.

  • bjtgooner

    Good article Walter. The promise for the near future is the quality that these young players show now. As they mature and form a major part of the team it should not be too difficult to target and buy the small number of additional players which may be needed to fill in gaps.

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    I’ve started wondering if Cesc is allowed to talk to the juniors at La Masia. Imaginehow awkward the conversation would get if the subject turns to Arsenal and why Afobe and Aneke wouldn’t come to Barcelona but lots of players go to London.

  • Jack Straw

    Late to the party, but great article. Agree completely and look forward to watching the Gooner-Gunners for years to come.