The fact that Amaury Bischoff had the squad number 38 at Werder Bremen, and the fact that the highest number in the squad last year was 40, and there was no number 39, tells us something. He’s a defensive midfielder and some specualte that he is of the Flamini model. But he hasn’t played much – spending more time on the bench and in the physio room than on the pitch.
So yes, he might be a new Flamini, but not quite yet. He’s 21, and the great Lord Wenger undoubtedly sees something that others don’t – but as we know that always takes time.
Hence, unlike Nasri, he’s not going straight in the first team.
Perhaps of greater significance is the claiming of the number 14 shirt of Terry Henry by Theodore Walcott. It was curious, to say the least, or even less, that young Theo started out by keeping last year’s number in the original published list, and then moved after it was all printed and up on the site.
But then Arsenal’s first team list on the Arsenal.com site is curious. Flamini is still there, so is Lehman. Now I suppose you could say technically they cannot leave until 1 July, because that is the opening of the window of transfers, but even so it does seem a trifle pedantic.
However, taking what we have and what we know, the only number in the lower orders that is missing is now number 8, which maybe reserved for a certain Frenchman who seemed to have signed weeks ago, and told us he had, and then hadn’t, but probably is/was/will be any day now.
And that gives us
Goal – 1: Almunia; 21: Fabianski
Full backs: 3: Sagna, 22: Clichy; 30 Traore; 3: Hoyte [Eboue] [Gallas] [Toure]
Centre backs: 5: Toure, 10 Gallas 6: Senderos 20: Djourou [Song] [Gilberto]
Wide midfield: 13: Hleb, 14: Walcott, 8: Nasri, 7: Rosicky; 27 Eboue [Diaby]
Central midfield: 2: Diaby, 19: Gilberto, 4: Fabregas, 17: Song 15: Denilson;
“Number 10”: 11: van Persie [Walcott]
Forward: 9: Eduardo, 12: Vela, 25: Adebayor; 26Bendtner
Which even if a couple of them leave, isn’t such a bad position for 1 July.
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