Arsenal face conundrum of too many players as media show how to knock a team that won 5-1.

by Tony Attwood

There is no doubt about it: Arsenal have a rare collection of extremely talented young players available for the coming season.   While everyone last season would have known about Eddie and Maitland-Niles now we have a plethora of names to add to those giving us a list that looks like this…

  • Konstantinos Mavropanos, age 21
  • Jordi Osei-Tutu, age 19
  • Ainsley Maitland-Niles, age 20
  • Matteo Guendouzi, age 19
  • Emile Smith Rowe, age 18
  • Joe Willock, age 18
  • Reiss Nelson, age 18
  • Eddie Nketiah age 19

Now given we are currently struggling to clear out a number of players to limit the over 21s down to 25 players, how are we going to accommodate these players?

I know that the automatic answer is “send them out on loan” but that is always a dodgy business.  Clubs increasingly seem to take players on loan and then never play them, or play them out of position.  Development of the type that would be assured by keeping them at Arsenal is far less assured via a loan spell.

So what will we do?

The only answer is to find them enough games to play to help their development as players and to give them a contribution to the club.

Some of them can of course get time on the bench for PL matches, and they may also occasionally get games but mostly the established team is going to fill the places.  After all we are hardly likely to drop Aubamayang, Ozil, Mkhitaryan, Lacazette, Ramsey etc etc.

Which means their games have to come elsewhere – namely, PL2 (the under 23 league which is where these players were last year, and which they won), and where appropriate in the League Cup, Europa League, and FA Cup.   Of course this is what happened to a degree last year, but these players seem to have come on so well, as witness their displays this summer that clearly there is going to be a need for them to play more games.  There is also the Checkatrade competition – hardly prestigious I know, but further experience.   

Meanwhile Arsenal won 5-1 against PSG, utilising many of the under 21 year olds listed above.  You might think that the media could spare a word of praise for the team… but no.  Even at 5-1 they found ways to knock us.

The Guardian said the opposition was “a makeshift Paris St-Germain side” forgetting perhaps that PSG can outbid most clubs on the planet to buy anyone they want be it for their back up team or the first XI.

Arsenal it seems, according to the same report, were hardly playing fair as they “fielded a strong team… against weakened opposition”.  So not only were PSG “makeshift” they were also “weakened.”   This really is stretching a point.   Don’t PSG have up and coming players like Arsenal?  Come to that, don’t Man City who lost both their matches thus far?

At least the Daily Star had the decency to say that Arsenal “ran riot”.

Here’s the table…  3 for a win, 2 for a win on penalties, 1 for a defeat on penalties.

# Team MP W WP LP L F A Pts
1. Dortmund 3 2 0 1 0 6 3 7
2. Arsenal 2 1 0 1 0 6 2 4
3. Tottenham Hots 1 1 0 0 0 4 1 3
4. Juventus 1 1 0 0 0 2 0 3
5. Bayern Munich 2 1 0 0 1 3 3 3
6. Liverpool 2 1 0 0 1 3 4 3
7. Benfica 1 0 1 0 0 2 2 2
8. Manchester United 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 2
9. Atletic Madrid 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 2
10. AC Milan 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 1
11. Chelsea 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
12. Lyon 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
13. Inter Milan 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
14. Real Madrid 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
15. Barcelona 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
16. AS Roma 1 0 0 0 1 1 4 0
17. Manchester City 2 0 0 0 2 1 3 0
18. Paris SG 2 0 0 0 2 2 8 0

And so the far east part of the tour is over.

Back home the newspapers have started to turn their attention to the forthcoming league season for the lower league clubs, and in its analysis the Guardian notes in relation to Accrington Stanley, “Now they are about to embark on their first ever season in the third tier of English football and are determined to ensure their stay will not be short-lived.”

Now Accrington Stanley have come and gone so many times over the years it is a bit hard to follow.  You might for example think that they were there right at the start of the League but that was Accrington not Accrington Stanley. Anyway, there was an Accrington Stanley in the third tier both in 1958/9 and 1959/60.    But then that could be argued that it was not the same Accrington Stanley as this Accrington Stanley.

Which makes it all the pleasing that there has only ever been one Arsenal.  Yes the name has changed a few times – Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal, The Arsenal, Arsenal, but it has always been one club, never once defaulting on its debts, never once ripping off its creditors, never once accepting any gifts from the state, such as the occasional free stadium.

Something to remember I think.




29 Replies to “Arsenal face conundrum of too many players as media show how to knock a team that won 5-1.”

  1. Look on the bright side, at least they conceded that we had ‘a decent side’ to field, which in itself is way more than we usually get from the Guardian. Plus you have to understand how pissed off the old sot posting the report must of been. I mean there he was, quill in hand, fully expecting to just have to put the finishing florishes to yet another hatchet job on us, and he had to start all over again. He must of felt like throwing his tumbler of scotch clean across the room, though in reality I suspect he just order a couple more.

  2. I am wondering what Torreira will add to an already potent team, only time will tell but from everything I hear,see and read, he is considered a terrific DM and has an engine like Ramsey, the heart of Sanchez and the pitbull ferocity of Cazorla. Guendouzi appears to be another Wenger (opps)….Emery pearl and ESM is really a gem as well. We will only know how well this team can do after 3-4 games in the EPL and against the 12th man officiating being planned by the PGMOL this season, for us.

  3. Earlier today, SportsKeeda produced a STORY about why Arsenal has no chance in the EPL. A few hours later, SportsKeeda is claiming it has learned more than 1 thing about Arsenal from their trip to Singapore for these friendlies.

    If they are already writing off Arsenal in the EPL, I rather doubt they learned anything.

    In any event, I will probably avoid SportsKeeda for a while. Who needs crap?

  4. Adding to your last paragraph, next year it’s the 100th anniversary of our continuous appearance in the top flight!!! And unbeaten in a whole EPL season which then extended to 49 games. Who will ever top that?

    Proud to love this classy club.

  5. I’m sure the AFC b team won the ENGLISH PREMIERE 2 league title last year ,don’t forget that,whith that in mind and anew manager…new tack ticks well it can only get better with time . We must give the new manager time and support 2nd year is when we will see things clic the only problem is the bad refs….Look how well the World Cup was with var and quality ref s was it meant for once the good teams went further ( ENGLAND ,BELGIUM ect etc no cheating hand of god went on there is a lot of bad refs cheating in the premiership going on :;shame on you lot standers are much better in Europe ?

  6. I too am optimistic of our chances of a good season and hopefully a trophy or two. But then again , I will also be proud if the club progresses and improves on from last season.

    Wouldn’t it be great to highlight all the ‘mistakes ‘that the PIGMOB will be making against us? Bombard those gentlemen on Youtube with slow motion clips ,pointing out the error of their ways , while educating them on the right rule that should have been applied.

    Surely this should allow them to improve themselves. At least enough that a least one of them would be rendered competent enough to officiate at the Euros ?

    Or will they continue on with their merry ways , and do what ever shite they like and be left out of the elite group of referees ?

  7. I went to sleep last night (so to speak), with Barcelona ahead 2-0. Darned if those spuds didn’t tie up the game. And no talk of diving in the news now. Anyway, Barcelona came out on top on penalties.

    At the moment, we are tied with spuds on points, and ahead slightly on goal difference.

  8. So much for the daydream in which Arsenal gets fair or objective commentary in the media. Just read “ARSENAL always miss the boat when it comes to signing world-class players, former Gunners striker John Hartson claims”

    Funny eh? When we sign them, they’re not world class but if they leave to another club, they become world class players that we somehow couldn’t hang on to. If God forbid, we win any games at the ICC, it’s because the other side was made up of janitors and month old infants, not professional football players; and if we lose, it’s because we’re a mediocre team lacking in drive and quality.

    I for one am standing behind Unai Emery and our team, and look forward to us making all those critics, pundits (every single one of them) and backstabbers (sorry, former payers) eat their words.

    Proud to be a Gunner, as always, for life

  9. The ‘Where to give youngsters game-time?’ question is one that every top PL team has.

    La Liga has the benefit of allowing ‘B’ teams, but really every league except the PL has such inconsistency in their leagues that at least half their league games are against 2nd rate opposition, so it gives the top La Liga/Bindesliga/SerieA/Ligue1 teams the opportunity to play a youngster or two in at least half their league games.
    For a PL team to do the same means they have reduced their targets to PL survival+ (with the chance to do better or have a cup run) like Southampton have.

    Personally I think sending them out on loan is the best option, But only on the understanding that the player will get a minimum number of games, which is an extremely hard agreement to obtain… Without that agreement it’s better to keep them within the club.

  10. I think the way in which Wenger managed our players has laid the perfect foundation for another manager to come in and take us to the next level. Wenger always tried to give the players as much freedom as possible, to try and figure out things themselves; helping to increase not only their physical talents, but also their footballing IQ. With someone like Emery coming in and giving the players more instructions with slightly stricter guidelines, it would seem that after years of focusing on developing their footballing IQ this could really turn out to be a formidable fusion of tactics.

  11. Jammy..What the hell does all that mean.Football I.Q?If the new manager does better than we have in the last 2 seasons it will all be down to Wenger??Can we not look forward to this new era without keep mentioning the last manager.Same with you tony ,you cant do a blog without reference to him.WE HAVE A NEW MANAGER ,new Team ,new Ideas ,new Tactics…I for one cant wait to see what this new dawn brings us.Just let go!!

  12. Here’s a list of people important in science.

    Galileo comes along in 1564. In some senses, Johannes Kepler was the next person to come along. Do you think that Kepler demanded that Galileo’s name be struck from all published records, because HE was the next big person?

    It may be that some managers taking over a position _have_ to destroy all that was done before. Scorched Earth has been a popular philsophy for a long time. But there have been lots of incidences where one builds on the foundation left behind by another. And the possibility of achieving ever greater heights is increased.

    Don’t throw Wenger out with the bath water. He was important to Arsenal, and will probably continue to be for many years.

  13. Gord

    Well said.

    I had a look back over the last dozen or so articles, and although of course Wenger gets referenced, it would be very odd if he wasn’t, there is nothing, I repeat nothing to suggest that there is anything remotely obssessional going on.

    To try and wipe Wenger from Arsenals history, and to suggest that he should never be revered, or even mentioned, is ridiculous in the extreme.

  14. @nick Please accept that we have a lingering fondness for Arsene Wenger. That takes nothing away from Unai Emery. We want the Arsenal to succeed and we want him to succeed as manager. If you wish to go to a website that demonstrates animus towards Arsene Wenger – fill your boots – they are legion. If you want a website that does not from time to time mention what has happened over the last few years, feel free to start your own website or talk with a 7 year old.

  15. Nick. When Wenger was renewing his contracts did you continue to whinge and whine about it and push for his dismissal or did you follow your own advice and ‘just let It go?’ Thought not.

  16. It’s right up there with ‘He’s gone get over it’ when anyone points out the double standards being applied.

  17. And most of we were gracious enough to thank and compliment our ex-manager Bruce Roich for having the vision to purchase Dennis Bergkamp and David Platt.

    We have always rendered praise when praise was due. Especially in thanksgiving for the deliverance of man whom we called God !

  18. Truisms —

    – Today a man knocked on my door and asked for a small donation towards the local swimming pool, so I gave him a glass of water.

    – I changed my password to “incorrect” so whenever I forget it the computer will say, “Your password is incorrect.”

    – Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

    – I’m great at multi-tasking–I can waste time, be unproductive, and procrastinate all at once.

    – If you can smile when things go wrong, you have someone in mind to blame.

    – Doesn’t expecting the unexpected mean that the unexpected is actually expected?

    – Take my advice — I’m not using it.

    – Hospitality is the art of making guests feel like they’re at home when you wish they were.

    – Television may insult your intelligence, but nothing rubs it in like a computer.

    – I bought a vacuum cleaner six months ago and so far all it’s been doing is gathering dust.

    – Every time someone comes up with a foolproof solution, along comes a more-talented fool.

    – If you keep your feet firmly on the ground, you’ll have trouble putting on your pants.

    – A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing.

    – Ever stop to think and forget to start again?

    – When I married Ms. Right, I had no idea her first name was Always.

    – My wife got 8 out 10 on her driver’s test–the other two guys managed to jump out of her way.

    – There may be no excuse for laziness, but I’m still looking.

    – Women spend more time wondering what men are thinking than men spend thinking.

    – Give me ambiguity or give me something else.

    – He who laughs last thinks slowest.

    – Is it wrong that only one company makes the game Monopoly?

    – Women sometimes make fools of men, but most guys are the do-it-yourself type.

    – I was going to give him a nasty look, but he already had one.

    – Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

    – The grass may be greener on the other side but at least you don’t have to mow it.

    AND –

    Brevity is the Soul of Wit.

    Enjoy these fresh two-liners with some genuine observations:-

    The difference between in-laws and outlaws?
    Outlaws are wanted.

    Alcohol is a perfect solvent:
    It dissolves marriages, families and careers.

    A fine is a tax for doing wrong.
    A tax is a fine for doing well.

    Archaeologist: Someone whose career lies in ruins.

    There are two kinds of people who don’t say much:
    Those who are quiet and those who talk a lot.

    They say that alcohol kills slowly.
    So what? Who’s in a hurry?

    Alcohol and calculus don’t mix.
    Never drink and derive

    One nice thing about egotists:
    They don’t talk about other people.

  19. I thought i would get this sort of response from Tonys faithfull followers.I admired what Arsene Wenger has done over the years but believe you have to move on as the last 2 years of his tenure showed that change had to take place.Lets all move on together without constant reference to GOD!!If Emery suceeds, which i hope you all want ,it will show that the club were right in its decisions to move Wenger on.

  20. nick – If you don’t know what footballing IQ is then you are extremely ignorant about this sport. My comment was made mainly to praise Emery, whilst of course also praising Wenger, why have you taken issue with this? It really does speak volumes of your character that you felt it was necessary to jump on me simply for making a positive and optimistic comment about the coming season.

    Whether you like it or not, many of the values that Wenger instilled into this club are not going to just vanish overnight. I’m not just going to ignore or forget his 20+ years that he spent at this club. Go on to any other Arsenal blog and you will see countless people still talking about Wenger, but rather than praising him it will more often than not be an insult or criticism. So the fact that you have only singled out this website clearly shows that you think it is okay to talk about Wenger, just as long as it is in a negative light and not a positive one.

    If you are so fed up about reading positive things about Wenger, then how about you stop visiting this website, instead of complaining to everyone about the content they contribute with. It’s clear you’re the only one with the problem here, so do something about it rather than doing the text equivalent of stamping your feet and whinging like a child.

  21. nick – Not to mention you have comprehensively missed the point of my comment, which again, was written mainly to praise Emery. It always makes me laugh whenever someone embarrassingly gets completely the wrong end of the stick and then attacks that person due to their utter misunderstanding of what they wrote.

    “for another manager to come in and take us to the next level.” Yeah, really sounds like I was saying any success next season will solely be due to Wenger, doesn’t it? Ironically, you are the only person here making this entire conversation about Wenger, yet clearly you lack the mental capacity to realise that.

  22. Jammy sorry i mustnt have the footballing IQ of you or the Fusion of tactics…What utter tripe!!

  23. You read Jammy, then you read nick, then you piss yourself laughing.

    Oh dear nick.

  24. No nitram ..we all piss laughing when you blame everything on 1.referees 2.our fans 3.Injuries 4.The press .Need i go on.Carry on following the Wenger cult!!

  25. Yeah right, Wenger really preached blaming the refs, the fans and injuries didn’t he.

    Getting a bit desperate now aren’t we.

  26. Just to clarify , as some people seem to be totally confused , Dennis Bergkamp is God !

    Arsene Wenger will always be Le Prof to me – the greatest manager ever and a greater gentleman and the exemplary role model for many.

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