Below is the team that played in a reserve game earlier this week – against Boreham Stiff, (sorry Wood).
Nordtveit – Bartley – Miquel – Cruise
Aneke – Randall – Ozyakup
Murphy – Afobe – Miyaichi
Wellington Silva was on the bench, coming on at half time.
So what do we learn from that?
First in all that follows, let me admit I am not an expert on this, and as much as anything I am hoping to get some further news from those who know more than me.
But there is news from Young Guns who know a lot more than I do and whose site I always recommend.
They state that Arsène Wenger has given Chuks Aneke the opportunity to win a place in his plans for the new season after inviting him to train with the first-team this week and be part in the members day training this afternoon.
He’s a central midfielder, signed professional terms last month, was the star of Arsenal’s Premier Academy League team last season, and even from his position scored eight goals. And he was born in Newham and plays for the England under 17s.
Chuks was called up to be with the first-team earlier in the week after Conor Henderson failed to recover from injury.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum, some players seem to be vanishing into no man’s land – players who seem neither to be reserves or in the first team squad.
Jay Simpson is perhaps the highest profile player in this category. Played against Barnet because Eduardo’s transfer was on the move, but nothing since. Kerrea Gilbert (who was one of our stalwarts in the Year of the Seven Left Backs) and who seems to have been collecting loan moves like little boys used to collect football cards, looks further from a comeback than ever.
Gavin Hoyte, who I thought had done his stuff at Brighton and might be moving up, seems to be lost as well.
And there’s one or two who are proving that there is life after death: Randall for example appeared in the first team centuries ago (or so it seems), slipped down the order, but was back for the Ems thrashabout last weekend.
Of course we know where some are. If you are named Luke you are automatically transferred or loaned to Yeovil (ok that joke is just about dead now, so I shall retire it at this point), our two French superstars (Sunu and Coquelin) both have notes from their parents excusing them games after winning the Europe under 19 cup, (actually Coquelin is in France doing things), and Bothelo is doing a third year on loan in search of his EU passport.
Some of these players I suspect we will see this year – at the very least in the cups.
- Szczesny – possibly not because he has three in front of him
- Nordtveit –certainly
- Cruise – certainly
- Randall – I just have no idea where his career is going
- Murphy – certainly
- Afobe – certainly
- Wellington Silva, after January (he is not allowed to play for us until them – I think it is a Brazil thing)
So the production line runs, and life looks good. But for these guys life is going to be tough – ahead of them are the chosen “25” plus another load of until 21s.
The oddity perhaps is that no Arsenal players are in the England under 21 squad. Obviously that is good news since none can be crippled by the lunatic action of the international scene. Maybe the kids are between two positions – Jack and Theo might be in the England squad, the rest are still doing the under 19 thing – except that apart from Tom Cruise they are not.
Odd, or what?
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