If you think you know your Arsenal, it is time to think again. Woolwich Arsenal, the club that changed football.
By Tony Attwood
Continuing the search for who will be knocking on the door of the first team this coming season, here are the inclusions on the Tour Squad, beyond the obvious first teamers.
- Vito Mannone
- Ignasi Miquel
- Chuks Aneke
- Thomas Eisfeld
- Ryo Miyaichi
- Craig Eastmond
- Nico Yennaris
- Benik Afobe
- Kyle Bartley
Plus the team that started against Boreham Wood in the 3-1 win
Kyle Ebecilio; Martin Angha (c); Elton Monteiro; Jernade Meade;
Sead Hajrovic; Conor Henderson; Josh Rees;
Kristoffer Olsson; Chuba Akpom; Sanchez Watt
Substitutes who played against Boreham Wood
- James Shea (46)
- Daniel Boateng (46)
- Samir Bihmoutine (70)
- Hector Bellerin (70)
- Jordan Wynter (46)
- Anthony Jeffrey (61)
- Philip Roberts (61)
It is obviously the first list – the fringe players who are going on the tour – who are the most likely to be part of the proceedings in the coming season, with the a few of the Boreham Wood game players making it into the League Cup.
So returning to that first list…
- Vito Mannone – there has been talk of him going to Hull with Martinez stepping up to at least 3rd choice, but we’ve got our first two keepers going on the tour with Mannone as backup. Martinez might be disappointed, but it is looking as if he is going to have a season in the reserves unless we have an injury or one of the top three is sold.
- Ignasi Miquel – the talk has been that he is just about ready and that a loan spell will help. Certainly with our record in recent years another central defender who can step in is always welcome. I was very impressed with him in the games he had last season – but then, what do I know?
- Chuks Aneke. Pace, power stamina is what you get, a mix of Diaby and Yaya Toure, and the contract extension signed suggests he really is coming on. Had loan deals with Stevenage and Preston, the latter mostly operating from the bench but coming on in most games. Has played for England at under 16, 17, 18, and 19.
- Thomas Eisfeld – a midfielder signed from Borussia Dortmund at the start of the year. He played in the reserves three times last season, but go injured – but where ever there is talk of him it is talking him up big time.
- Ryo Miyaichi – so after the loan spells he is with us. Another loan? I hope not, and really hope he’s ready for us now.
- Craig Eastmond. He has played for us 4 times starting in 2009, Millwall 6 and Wycombe 14. He played alongside Cesc and Diaby in the midfield against Bolton in 2009, and signed a new long term contract in 2010 and played in the Euro match against Shakhtar Donetsk. With Frimpong out injured this is probably his “now or never” moment.
- Nico Yennaris, an England international at under 17, 18 and 19, he has just played once for us and twice on loan. I suspect another loan out, but the tour place is a statement of intent by the club.
- Benik Afobe 31 games and 8 goals for Huddersfield (with those four man of the match awards in a row) and 3 for Reading suggest he might be ready for Arsenal now. He’s also a fixture in the England youth squads in each age range that he qualifies for. Maybe another loan but I can’t see Arsenal letting him slip away.
- Kyle Bartley. He played 24 times for Rangers while they were still in the SPL, but he has sunk from England’s radar of late. It is hard to judge if playing in the Scottish league is a good preparation for the Premier League in England, but he really needs to show he’s ready now.
So now we wait and see.
- Southampton again cited for illegal gambling, but who on earth can investigate?
- Last season Theo was brilliant - but who will play on the right this year
- Anders Limpar, David Rocastle, George Graham
- Broeham Stiff v Arsenal – it is not what you think
- Blackburn and the refs. It wasn’t really the refs fault.
- Arsenal’s big choice for the coming season. Who is left on the left in attack?
- Ref Review: some bad ref decisions for Wolverhampton Wanderers
- Custodianship and self sufficiency: where do we go from here?
- Ref Review: Wigan Athletic - a decent display