By Bulldog Drummond
There are secrets and there are secrets, and there is Crawley Town vs Arsenal. Attempts were made by the media to do a preview as with the headline from Football.co.uk which says “Arsenal vs Crawley Town Complete Head to Head Statistics” The page is full of zeros.
But I am sure we did play them in 2010 and also in 2008, or maybe it is me that has vanished into a haze of false memories and a zero sum black hole.
Anyway in case I am still here we have also just played them again in a second pre-season game, although this one was “behind closed doors” which is probably a fire risk, unless they were fire doors which spring open.
But because it was a closed game we don’t have videos. However we do have a squad list and this combined with the list of players from the first match tells us “all you need to know” in the newspapers’ infamous phrase, about the squad of 25 players and the backup youngsters we will have this season.
But first we know the score – we won 9-0. And second we know who played…
In goal we had Cech, Emiliano Martinez,and Leno all played in goal although not at the same time.
Beyond that we have put together the team, that came and went as the subs happened…
In the defence we had eight players who took part in, of course, two groups of four…
Konstantinos Mavropanos, Sead Kolasinac, Rob Holding, Shkodran Mustafi, Carl Jenkinson, Calum Chambers, Jordi Osei-Tutu, Sokratis
In the midfield we have six in naturally, two groups of three.
Jeff Reine-Adelaide, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Aaron Ramsey, Reiss Nelson, Emile Smith Rowe, Matteo Guendouzi
In attack, there were five…
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Eddie Nketiah, Lucas Perez, Alex Lacazette.
Obviously Ozil wasn’t there but he will be joining the squad on tour.
The goals came from Lucas Perez (2), Alexandre Lacazette (2), Eddie Nketiah, Reiss Nelson, Jeff Reine-Adelaide, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Exactly the sort of guys you want to score.
We know that Emile Smith Rowe and Jordi Osei-Tutu are being tipped to be in the squad that flies off to Signapore over the weekend. Indeed I would suspect that the entire group who played in this game will be going to foreign lands – that by and large was the whole point of the game. Just to ensure everyone was fit and raring to go.
The squad list for the trip will be the next indicator of how Arsenal intend to get down to the required 17 foreign grown adults and total squad of 25 over 21 year olds but I think we now have a clear indicator
We have not been seeing from the numbered squad list
We have also not been seeing these players who would affect our figures…
- Joel Campbell
- Deyan Iliev
- Matt Macey
- Cohen Bramall
Iwobi and Welbeck have their excuse for not being there, (but it is suggested Iwobi is going on the overseas tour, although I have not heard this about Welbeck) which leads to the confirmation that Ospina and Akpom are leaving, along with the four no-number players above which gives us six departures. Those two leaving the squad and none of the bullet pointed players who have not been involved in games also leaving would take us down to our full total of 25 players of whom 17 are foreign grown.
Now of course that doesn’t leave any space for any of the newly reported incomers that the blogs invent each day, but it looks to me like a good squad.
We’ve filled the 25 places, and got a very exciting range of under 21s who are already pushing into the squad, and we’ve spent the £70m allocated by the chairman. That seems quite a clear sign that the deals really are done, as the manager said, unless something extraordinary comes along.
Footnote: Mavropanos and Guendouzi may well be under 21 for this season – I think that is my mistake.
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