By Tony Attwood
Arsenal is more than the first team, more than the “25” – it is a collection of teams including an all-conquering women’s team, and a youth team that has taken three trophies in the last two years.
Additionally we have our loanees. The number of these will rise over time (we hear that half the clubs in the EPL are after Lansbury at the moment) but already there are players out there doing their stuff.
So here’s a quick summary of how things are working out, outside the area of the top “25”
The loan system is under way…
Sanchez Watt is playing for Leeds United and is starting most games.
Kyle Bartley at centre back is playing for Sheffield United
Luke Freeman is playing with an injury, but still manages to to put in time as a sub for Yeovil.
Francis Coquelin is playing for Lorient in France, but was an unused sub in the last game.
Pedro Botelho is playing for FC Cartagena alongside Pascal Cygan. He played the whole of the last match and scored.
Samuel Galindo has finally got his work permit (he’s Bolivian) and will be playing for UD Salamanca.
The women’s league however is not underway…
…since Arsenal are in the Super League which will play through the summer starting next March or April next year.
At the moment the fixture list is looking rather threadbare with just a handful of friendlies, the Champions League matches and a couple of London County Cup games lined up. There aren’t even FA Cup matches to fill in the gaps yet since Arsenal have been given a bye until the 5th round. (Actually that’s the fifth round proper – in addition to the three preliminary rounds).
The FA has not published dates of the later rounds yet, but I imagine that the Super League clubs who have been given a bye to the 5th round, have done so on the understanding that their matches will be played in March onwards, rather than out of season.
Reserves: The reserves started off with a 5-0 win over Bolton, and have got Blackburn on 7th September. The exciting game however is 14th September against the Elite Squad!!! of Manchester City. Supposedly the Elite Squad!!! is in fact the graduates of the youth system at the Manchester club – and it will be interesting to see if it stays that way.
I’ve lost track of how many players Man City have in their first team squad, but I think it is about 38, which needs to come down to 25. So what will they do with the rest? Loan them out? Play them in the reserves? We shall see.
Our reserve team for the opening game was
- Vito Mannone
- Havard Nordtveit
- Thomas Cruise
- Gavin Hoyte
- Ignasi Miquel
- Craig Eastmond
- Mark Randall
- Chuks Aneke
- Nacer Barazite
- Benik Afobe
The youth team played what was apparently a poor game against Manchester City for their opening match and lost 5-2. However in the second game there was seemingly an improvement and we won 2-1 against Sunderland. The team was
- Charles Cook
- Brislen Hall
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