By Tony Attwood
I don’t follow World Cup football largely because I don’t approve of Fifa. Not some high and mighty one man boycott so much as the fact that I don’t feel drawn to the whole thing.
But Blacksheep texted me to say that all the Arsenal players apart from Danny Welbeck are now coming home. So we can do our dating arrangements again and see when they will be fit to play.
If we assume that they are now all on holiday (apart from Danny) and that Arsenal does grant them four weeks holiday that means that everyone other than DW will be back in training by 1 August. The first game is on 11 August, and some will be ready for that with the rest all ready for the second game on 18 August. So just one match with players missing.
Now given the recent pieces we have published on the line ups we have available it is clear that we have a very strong squad, with easily enough players therein to be able to put out a decent team for that first match. What’s more only Koscielny is missing through injury.
This doesn’t mean I think we’ll be able to walk all over Manchester City in the opening game, but at one stage it was possible that our absentee list would have been greater.
Meanwhile we appear to have added another youngster to the first team squad as Foot Lond, the 40 Arsenal emails a day habit run as a blog by the Daily Mirror, has highlighted the fact that Emile Smith Rowe aged 17 has been training with the first team.
Of Emile, Arsenal.com says…
“An exciting attacking midfielder, Emile has the ability to unlock defences and assist team-mates as well as scoring dazzling individual goals.
“He showcased his capabilities with a magnificent strike against Norwich City Under-18s last season, following some close control and an elegant flick.
“Emile – who joined Hale End Academy in 2010 – made his first appearance for the under-23s in 2016/17, at the age of just 16., and scored six times in 14 appearances for the under-18s.
It then gives us a chart for the lads appearances
which is perhaps not the most informative of charts that we have seen. But still in May this year the Express ran a piece on him in which they said, “Jack Wilshere has backed Arsenal teenager Emile Smith Rowe to follow his path into the first team, saying the midfielder has something ‘a bit special’.”
They also state that Emile had “already been earmarked by outgoing manager Arsene Wenger as one of the academy products who is next in line for a first-team breakthrough, and Wilshere, who helped Arsenal win the 2009 FA Youth Cup before establishing himself as a regular in Wenger’s side, said Smith Rowe has what it takes to follow in his footsteps.
“When he has stepped up to [train] with the first team, he hasn’t looked out of place and that’s a sign of someone who has a real opportunity of not just making a career, but playing at this club, which I know is difficult. You can see over the years the good players that haven’t quite made it, but he has got something a little bit special, and he has a real chance.”
There’s a rather jolly video of him scoring and playing some perfect passes
And another one
So one more to add to the squad, without having to be counted in the 25.
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