It’s the Frimpong-Wilshere show: Barnet 4 Arsenal 21

Same format as last year – all change at half time, but this time the reserves and the first team were more mixed.

No Almunia though, which maybe says something – we saw the second, third and fourth choice keepers but not Big Al.  No Denilson – he’s injured.  No world cup players – they are on the beach. No Eduardo – which again maybe says something.

We expect to take a stroll in this encounter, and a shots total of 21 against 4 is about right.  But the first half was really something nice, especially for Frimpong playing defensive midfield and Wilshere attacking midfield who both look several light centuries ahead of where they were this time last year.  Jack looked totally ready for the first team – composed, brilliant, organised, brilliant, well-placed, brilliant, aware, and did I mention that he was brilliant.   Frimpong looked like Song a year or two back but with more sense of adventure.  Wow!  A defensive midfielder in the classic up and at em mould.

You’ll be able to read detailed analyses elsewhere, but what does this tell us for the coming months?

The absence of Eduardo and Almunia might say something.

Simpson was a surprise inclusion (to me) and he looked his normal solid self.  He never seems to be an exciting player, and yet his goals were well taken.  Traore looked a good midfielder, much more than a defender.  Nordveit had little to do at full back, but he looked competent.

In the second half Eastmond and Henderson seemed to show that they are now pushing forward into the first team squad with Lansbury.  Add in Wilshere, Frimpong, Simpson, and JET who had a solid first half and that is seven Arsenal kiddies making their way into the future.   Nordveit I’d say should still be there, but Barazite failed to impress today – but maybe he had a headache.

Beyond that I am not sure what we can tell – some players have turned up in these matches in the past in order to go on loan or be transferred, some have started on the journey towards the top.  But the first half was good fun.  Second half Theo ran around a bit.

I guess we learn a lot more about the squad when we see who has gone to Austria.  If Almunia and/or Eduardo are not on that plane then we’ll know that they are not staying.

The new signings incidentally were rubbish.

Tony Attwood

PS: One sentence or possibly more in the above has an element of irony within it.

There’s more to football than meets the eye

Compare the 11 starting this match with the 11 who started 100 years ago

Ignore reality and dive into an alternative universe

25 Replies to “It’s the Frimpong-Wilshere show: Barnet 4 Arsenal 21”

  1. yes i was pleased with wilshere and bringing frimpong only mean one thing,we dont need mad melo.also young nordveit at right back tells us that he’s our 4th cb.but still think we need a goalkeeper very badly. and a regular goalscorer, not sure jay simpson is ready to do the job

  2. Nice post, I missed the game but all I’ve read so far leads me to think that Frimpong is the other midfield player Le Boss has been waiting for, I think that but for his injury last season he would have been intergrated into the first team, I also think that maybe Jack won’t be going out on loan this comimg season.

    Can you give some insight on how our new boys played ?

  3. i can not express my joy in words… i am hoping for a big season and Jack will play a big part this time…

  4. The new players weren’t rubbish, its their first game in. More than that.. Chamakh had some nice touches when he did get them, but as usual with Arsenal, our wide players prefer to cut in themselves than cross the ball. Gibbs played really well… he could start over cliche imho. He’s got the power, speed, and waay better crosses, as well as the ability to take on defenders in a more direct manner. Plus, he’s also a goal threat. Kolchielny or whatever is probably a backup CB. He didn’t look bad, but had little to do. Djourou looked really good and I’m guessing he’s going to start if we don’t get a more experienced defender.

  5. @dreddy, “The new players weren’t rubbish, its their first game in”
    I’m pretty sure that was one of the ironic sentences, all the doom-mongers inevitably said the new signings would be rubbish.

    I hadn’t really paid any attention to Frimpong before today’s game, neither would I have considered him one of the likely breakthrough players in the coming season. Watching him today however, I thought he was class. I agree, definitely in the Alex Song mould, but he seems to have that extra drive going forward. Very committed!

    Tommy V seemed to win everything although that’s hardly surprising, I thought Koncielny perhaps had a quiet game but then again the Verminator never shone in his first pre season games.

  6. Koscielny cant be judged on this game… he had nothing to do.
    Chamakh seems like the type of player that need to grow into a team. By that i mean he needs to know what the other player are going to do before they do it and place himself accordingly, so judging him on his first game with a mix n match team is a bit unfair, judge him after 5/6 proper games.
    Apart from that some fantastic things to take out of the game. Wilshere seems to have taken massive strides in the last year, very impressive, though i still think another half a season at bolton under Coyle would do him some good, then back to us for the second half of the season. By the start of next year he could be something REALLY special.
    Frimpong… what can i say… cant praise him enough… he looks like a young Viera, maybe cleaner in the tackles though. No need for a new DM, get this guy some first team experiance whenever Song needs a rest, he will be epic. I dont usually judge a guy on one game but he was THAT good.

  7. Almunia was ill. He was listed in the squad as of yesterday, but genuinely was ill for today’s match. His absence portends nothing regarding his place in the squad at this time.

    Eduardo picked up a late knock. Also not an indicator of his place in the side being absent today.

    Having said that, AW commented after the match that Mark Schwarzer will NOT be coming to Arsenal, but that he is looking for a new GK. Didn’t say how close or not close we might be on that or whether it was a priority for the summer transfer window. AW also said Gallas & Sylvestre are definitely off to other clubs, but Sol is still “in no man’s land”, with a 1 year offer still on the table.

    Arsene Wenger did say that Joe Cole was a “maybe”. This would be despite breathless reports on several sites a short while ago that Liverpool had agreed a new contract with Cole. So remains to be seen what will happen there.

  8. Spot on Jack and Frempong , they will be in the squad up coming season ,brilliant player .
    Second half players were out of position to many players in same team doest work ,balance has to be on place . not all of them will stay on the squad !

  9. Pleased to hear that Traore was played in midfield..I’ve always thought he was better suited there than at left back & has accordingly failed to shine. He’s got great pace & is a good crosser of the ball.

  10. Traore did NOT play in midfield, he was the left-back. he was being nice by saying traore was a better midfielder than a defender.

  11. All my years of watching Arsene Wenger in action has taught me this is not a man who treats players like a disposable piece of paper (unlike Rafa Benitez). Despite whining and sensationalism of many fans aided and abetted by the media, stories of the imminent demise of Almunia and Eduardo, as in the case of Mark Twain, are way premature.

  12. I should add:

    Next time someone tells you the youth project is rubbish, just say Frimpong, joined Arsenal aged 11, Jack Wilshere joined Arsenal aged 9, JET joined Arsenal aged 9, Henri Lansbury joined Arsenal aged 9, Craig Eastmond joined Arsenal aged 11 – and those are just the ones I have notes of. There were probably more out there today.

    To clarify, I wasn’t trying to write a proper report of the game – there are 20 million other blogs that will do that, but the overwhelmingness of the progression of our two heroes was what I wanted to convey.

    To clarify further, Traore was actually played at full back, but when he trotted up the field, which he did a lot because of the lack of opposition on his side of the park, he looked very good.

    And of course the new kids were not rubbish (I did put in my little note about irony), but were starting out for the very first time after very little training with their new colleagues. You can’t judge anyone new on the basis of 45 minutes against Barnet.

    But all of that is mere detail. If you did not see it, and if a recording is available on or somewhere, just watch the first half and look at Frimpong and Wilshere and marvel.

    And I would add that while several of the other players did nothing special, in that game we had something like 8 or so home grown players, including the two megastars of the future. Not a bad start eh?

  13. The new signings were not rubbish.

    And irony isn’t irony because you deem it to be.

    What a statement.
    And what a way to welcome our new players to the Arsenal fold.

    The match – a game of two halves if ever there was one – contrasted mainly due to the midfield personnel on both sides. Whereas the first half had Rosicky, Frimpong, and Wilshere running the show, the second had Henderson and Lansbury appearing out of their depth and unable to make an impression. Where Arshavin and Simpson prospered, Barazite and Chamakh had a tougher time of things.

    What did the match tell us – just what you point out – that Frimpong has Song-like promise, and Wilshere is a real deal who hopefully won’t be out again on loan.

    The match wasn’t as kind to Lansbury or Henderson, neither of whom impressed. Eastmond, at right back, was anonymous – which could always be regarded as a good thing, and Gibbs showed some good touches.

    One of the biggest curiosities had to be Jay Simpson. Already repeatedly-rumoured that he can leave this summer*, he did a more than average job in front of goal. Better than Bendtner? I’ve no idea, I don’t get to see him in training. But playing with Arshavin and Wilshere not only did he find good positions, but he worked hard for his goals. He must wonder what he has to do in an Arsenal jersey to impress Wenger.

    Of the youngsters I’d like to see on the plane to Austria: Frimpong (especially), Wilshere, Barazite, Gibbs, Eastmond, and Szczesny.

    Of the youngsters I’m more neutral about going: JET, Miquel, Nordtveit, but especially neutral about Lansbury and Henderson. (I have this awful feeling that Lansbury might be turning into the new Mark Randall – I really hope not because from time to time he does have a good game – but he’s so inconsistent.)

    As for Jay Simpson? Only AW can work that one out. (He may have been a late, late option if Eduardo really did fall foul of a late, late pre-game tweak.) But one thing I do know, if JAS can avoid Francis Jeffers Syndrome he’s going to score a hatful of goals wherever he ends up.

    * Yes “repeatedly-rumoured” – so shoot me. Or you can read this instead:

  14. Contrary to the comment from Vijay above, Eastmond was not anonymous at all. Granted, he had little to do, but his passing was spot on (I cant remember one stray pass, and he had the ball quite a few times) and his positioning and ability to get forward were also great.
    It was also nice to see Theo pop up in the other forward positions on a number of occasions. One of my complaints last season was that Theo was being played out of games by the opposition because he was too predictable always being on the right side, whereas everyone else rotated at times. If todays showing was a deliberate and planned effort to be more flexible in his movement, then I’m for more of it, as I thought he did well, and a fit Theo popping up all over the front line can only be a good thing and will worry defences no end.
    The men of the game were undoubtedly Jack Wilshere and Frimpong though (as most are agreeing).

    I thought it a bit strange today when I was reading the England U19 squad in the paper, and could only see Tom Cruise from Arsenal in there. Surely there is something wrong when Arsenal absolutely dominate youth football for the last 2-3 years, yet can only get one player in this squad. Actually, that is a sort of rhetorical question because I know that the England scouting at this level is abysmal, seeing as they never even spotted Jack Wilshere at any level (think he has only played for U21’s), but Lansbury, JET, Frimpong, Eastmond, Bartley are all 19 so qualify still (most of the players in this squad are listed 19 in the paper), so why aren’t they included? Maybe the scouts only go to ManIOU, Tottenham, and Aston Villa matches – that must be it

  15. What can you say about those 2 players.
    Wilshere was great and to me he looks ready for more first team football. His controle, close like Bergkamp in his days, his vision to spot the better placed man like Bergkamp in his days… I can’t help it but he reminds me of Bergkamp a lot. Two assists today was good but the third goal the run he made, the pointing to Arshavin “I want the ball there” (and AA delivered him perfectly) and then suddenly the ball to Simpson when he could have had a shot himself. This was Arsenal class all over. A goal that would have made Cesc proud of providing the assist.
    And Frimpong…. well what a game he had. He looked like a Song and was great in all what he did. He clearly was not affraid to battle and was strong in the challenges and won the balls on technique but also by over powering the opponents.

    And this is only the beginning of project youth… wait till you see them in a few years time…

    And now let us relax, enjoy the day and let us not get carried away….. well maybe just a little bit. 🙂

  16. Tony, (Of course I am not being negative)

    I’ve never heard a critical word written by you on this site (in regards to players). Actually, I do not recall that or infrequently…. So it’s good insight but do clarify by what you mean… Of course I was out coaching football and caught a bit of the second half but by then T’was 3-nil. When you say “rubbish” was it more in the context of millions of pounds spent for these supposed gems vs. these young lads we have at the academy are better than the prospects outside of the academy. Or are these new guys rubbish?

  17. You would think people who read this site regularly would get Tony’s humour, but even when he helps them out by telling them he is being ironic some still don’t get it!

  18. Hype,

    Yeah.. He is clever isn’t he.. Sometimes it even escapes the regulars.. But, of course I am seven pints in… So, behind irony there is a bit of truth no? Or am I just livered out?

  19. You always know a joke failed miserably when you have to explain it, and then explain the explanation, and then…

    What I was trying to do (obviously not very well) was make fun of the fact that the North Korean Arsenal Supporters club have been knocking our new transfers on the ground that one has only had a year in 1st class football, and that in France which of course is rubbish, and the other came on a free and if he were any good he wouldn’t be on a free.

    So I was anticipating that they might say in their various blogs that the newcomers were rubbish, proving them right.

    And since I was focussed on the kiddies, I didn’t have much to say about them


    Oh well, I’m giving up, and going to bed

  20. @AaronGSi

    While I know what you mean, having “little to do” is much of what made Eastmond’s performance today anonymous in character. I also both qualify the comment and regard his performance as worthy of making the plane to summer training.

    Moreover, just in case I might have got things horribly wrong I had a quick squint around for other reports. (Nothing too empirical).

    Desi Gunner: “Eastmond didn’t have much to do at Right Back didn’t really look solid”

    Young Guns: “Solid and decent at right back. Nothing much to do.”

    Arsenal Insider: good sized report: no mention of his performance.

    Anyway, he didn’t shine as AA23, Wilshere, and Frimpong did first half, and Nasri comparatively did second. That’s all. Today, for me, was mostly about Frimpong. It’s what I look for in games like this. OK. It was only Barnet. And first half Barnet wasn’t second half Barnet. That’s why I want to see him again in a defensive midfield role – preferably against decent opposition. If he does go to Austria then I’d like to see him play against Sturm Graz and maybe later in the Emirates Cup or against Legia.

    In the end the only person who matters in assessing the Barnet game is Arsene Wenger and for him there wouldn’t have been a single player on that pitch today that he would categorize as being anonymous. That’s perspective for you.

    If I have time, I’ll watch the game again later only this time I assure you Eastmond won’t be anonymous.

  21. Apologies… I am livered out on this fine summer day. To give a picture it is sunny, warm and I am by the pool side w/me gorgeous wife.. Starteled by the unbeknowst irony of the clever author… And, with the dullness mind I pursued today and the laziness of not paying attention to detail I was forced into D&G land. Which spells out how the D&G’s came into existence (Reading while intoxicated not reccomended)

  22. What a pleasure…the movement, the agility, the beauty, the return of thoughts that should play no part in an old man’s brain. I am of course referring to the Mexican ladies Under 20 side that beat England in the FIFA tournament. A strangely melanin deprived England side with names such as Nobbs, Moore, Staniforth to savour but showing not much more talent than the boys side. Ferocious tackling aplenty. Real skills? Whoops. Only when Arsenal’s Danielle Carter appeared were both the melanin and skill levels enhanced…unfortunately with no result.

    Earlier in the day by watching a not bad link…more stops, starts and squeaks than a 1920 charabanc dealing with today’s rush hour on the North Circular Road …but much better than normal, the new improved Gooner kit was seen in action for the first time. Pity they didn’t read the bit that says “White Sleeves” and had to decorate the cuffs, but a massive improvement…almost back to where it should be. (And the old’uns amongst us should not start asking for blue and white hooped socks. That might be going too far.)

    As is usual with these games we saw a selection of Arsenal’s finest, less those who’d played in the World Cup, and a little surprisingly (?) as they’re already injured apparently no Aluminia, Eduardo and Denilson.

    Early doors but fair to say that Barnet resembled a side that had just squeaked safety from the Conference on the last day of the season. Our first half was good to watch and Jack the lad, Frimpong and JET were more than impressive. Tomas R had fun pulling strings and AA had a nice stroll.

    The second half was far less interesting and either Barnet dramatically improved or our second lot didn’t look as good as our first lot. Far too early though for any sensible comment about prospects…far more will become apparent in Austria.

    Still a 4 goal win in this fixture is an improvement. If we can keep this up for every game through to May it will be a fun season.

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