By Tony Attwood
Because of my little trip to Guernsey I missed doing Arsenal’s nominated 25 player list for the first half of the season which at first sight is looking a bit thin. In that it only contains 21 players
- Arteta Amatriain, Mikel
- Bendtner, Nicklas (English)
- Cazorla, Santiago
- Diaby, Vassiriki Abou
- Fabianski, Lukasz
- Flamini, Mathieu
- Gibbs, Kieran James Ricardo (English)
- Giroud, Olivier
- Koscielny, Laurent
- Mertesacker, Per
- Monreal, Ignacio
- Ozil, Mesut
- Park, Chu Young
- Podolski, Lukas
- Ramsey, Aaron James (Welsh)
- Rosicky, Tomas
- Sagna, Bacary
- Szczesny, Wojciech Tomasz
- Vermaelen, Thomas
- Viviano, Emiliano
- Walcott, Theo James (English)
The maximum of non-“home grown” players is 17 – we have 13 (you know the rules about this – it doesn’t mean they actually are English). Players under 21 are not included, and Arsenal habitually list all their under 21 players in the first team list, presumably just for the hell of it. And we have Park and Bendtner included – I would be surprised if they get a game, but if Old Nic can’t get a loan then he could play in our league cup games I suppose.
And speaking of outsiders, if we take a look at the competitions Arsenal play in, beyond the regular four for the big boys, it is getting bigger year by year, not to say a little confusing.
Or at least a little confusing for me, which is why I thought I’d try and sort it out. (That’s rather like blogging myself, I know, but well, I’m a bit slow these days…)
First off there is the Premier Academy League for under 18 teams. Then there is the Barclays under 21 Premier League. Those are both 22 club strong leagues.
Then we have the Uefa Champions League for under 19s. We are in a group with Marseille, Napoli and B. Dortmund in the first phase.
Then there is the FA Youth Cup where we enter in the third round proper later in the year. So that is four competitions. And now we have the fifth competition
The Premier League is launching an under-21 cup competition. And here’s a bit of interesting news, Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham are already out of the it – having decided not to take part. But 51 academies are involved including ourselves, Chelsea, and Manchester City.
To compete the clubs have to play their games in stadia, rather than at training grounds. Which mean we could play at Barnet’s current ground I guess.
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As far as I can tell we come in, in round three, in the southern section, with the clubs that have made it through rounds 1 and 2, and Aston Villa, Chelsea, Fulham, Norwich, Reading, Southampton, and West Ham.
Presumably what all this means is lots of games for our younger players, which personally I am old enough to think is a “good thing”. That means seeing the likes of Martinez, Bellerin, Boateng, Eisfeld, Yennaris, Afobe and Akpom (if not already out on loan somewhere and I missed it while I was on holiday – Aneke, Miquel and Gallando are the ones showing as absent at present), and even Wellington, if he’s allowed here yet.
And that’s before I get to Zelalem and Gnabry who are now counted as first team players – but are too young to be on the “25” list.
Arsenal’s Anniversaries for 9 September
- 9 September 1893: Arsenal’s first defeat in the league
- 9 September 1911: First game for George Grant
- 9 September 1923. Tim Williamson dropped as goalkeeper after a series of poor performances.
- 9 September 1981: Steve Gatting sold to Brighton and Hove Albion.
- 9 September 1987: Alexandre Dimitri Song Billong was born in Cameroon
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