Arsenal’s Youngsters For Next Season

Whatever happens now we will finish in third place this year (click here for league table), and trophyless again.

Not all is bad though, our squad has matured and we have seen a vast improvement in the quality of football and the results. 3rd place is one up from last season, and the QF of the Champions League is one stage further. Had luck been on our side we would have gone further.

Now Flamini has become the first departure of the summer we wait and see who else will come and go. I’m not sure who Wenger will sign, I am pretty sure that we have seen the last of Lehmann and possilbly Gilberto.

At this stage the future of the club is in the balance. Lose players like Hleb, and the squad will be greatly weakened and unsettled. Keep the majority of the players and sign a few more gems and we could be very successful next year.

A few players who I expect to come through more next year are:

Nicklas Bendtner

A very good player, good passing and can run at defenders as well at being great in the air. He has scored 9 this season, and although not a perfect partner for Adebayor, he will start more next season.

Theo Walcott

One of the top young players in the Premiership. His style and pace are fantastic. He has started more and more this season and proved himself, i.e. at Anfield. Expect him to start on the right wing, and more up front next year. Maybe some more goals too.

Alex Song

Badmouthed by some fans, he has proven his quality in the new year, first at the ANC, and then with some good performances in defence. A possible replacement for Flamini, or maybe a new centre back

Armand Traore

Looks like he may get a chance on the left wing after his conversion from left back. He looked good coming on against Everton, and provided the cross for the goal. Him and Clichy would be a menacing duo on the left flank, pace, power, and passing in attack and defence.

Carlos Vela

Another much talked about player. He has done well on loan at Osasuna, and Wenger will recall him next season possibly for a starting line up. Don’t know loads about him. Let me know your impressions in the comments.

Just a quick summary, if you think of any more then feel free to add them in the comments section.

Also congratulations to Arsenal Ladies, double winners, the most successful women’s team in the land.

Almunia Matures, Gallas Has Fun With Wenger

Almunia speaks here on how he is maturing into his role in the first team, he has come in and played well this year, looked solid, without really being tested too much. He is still adjusting and maturing as he hasn’t been playing first team football for us before. He reckons the team are playing amazingly well, but rightly says there is stil a long way to go.

“I like to compare myself to a wine which gets better with age. I hope that I can keep getting better when I am 31, 32. I do not know how long I will go on for.”

Hopefully he will keep maturing, but I don’t see him as the long term option for Arsenal unless something changes drastically. He’s obiviously worried about the threat of Lehmann saying:

“If I am thinking about January or February in the next game I could make a couple of mistakes and be back on the bench. Football is very cruel – and especially with goalkeepers. That is why it is such a difficult position to play.”

Well at least he has a bit of pressure to keep him on his toes, I’m sure Lehmann would quite like to see him slip up, but lets all pry that doesn’t happen. I like Almunia, so hopefully he can go on and continue to do well for us.

Willy Gallas really has fun talking to Arsene Wenger and he’s chuffed to bits that he got made captain (over Toure and Gilberto)..He tells SkySports

“Before, I used to keep to myself. But I like those new responsibilities. I really have fun with the talks I have with Arsene Wenger.”

He says the reason for his injuries last year were because he wasn’t properly settled, he is looking a lot better this year, I am starting to like him, especially for that goal against Man U, although he still can only make one pass.

Euro 2008 qualifiers gone, we can all get back to the good stuff. No teams from Britian or Ireland in the Euro, how about a Home Nations next summer? Not with McClaren thats for sure he’s out, click here..

Reuters look forward to the weekends games here. With “Arsenal look set to show England how its done“. Well yeah, cause we don’t just hoof the ball to a freakishly tall man..

Our women’s team has been knocked out of the UEFA Women’s Cup after losing 3-2 on aggregate to Lyon, so they won’t have the chance to retain the title this year. It was their first defeat in 21 months!! Click here for more..

Bendtner has scored twice in 5 days for Denmark, round up of his performances and the other internationals here at Arsenal.com

Hleb was taken off at half-time due to injury in the Belarus – Holland match last night, Gunnerblog says it’s likely he will miss Wigan on Saturday.

Clichy talks about the foreign quota rubbish which is boring now but he makes a good point we have heard before:

“The nationality is not the main important thing, it is just the quality you want your team to play.”

As well as that they also have reviews of our 5 loanees, including Vela and Djourou here!!

Thank You, and Goodbye!

Flamini Injury? Wenger’s Best Transfer Signings

Morning all!

Setanta run an article about Flamini missing France’s last training session, Domenech says he “suffered a little something”, meaning maybe he’ll miss Wigan on Saturday which means no Fabregas or Flamini, a chance for Diarra and Gilberto?

Arsene Wenger has spoken out against bullying with this Video on youTube, he also says he was “really sad” that Scotland didn’t make it through to Euro 2008..

Who have been Arsene’s top 5 signings, Sportingo.com ask here, the author came up with these as his top 5:

1.Thierry Henry – Who else! Our record goalscorer, winner of countless awards, possibly the best player Arsenal have ever had..

2.Patrick Vieira – Another brilliant Frenchman (or Senegalese..) was the lynchpin in midfield tirelessly working. Sublime.

3.Francesc Fabregas – the future of Arsenal, Barca are eternally bitter that we nabbed him and see him as ‘theirs’. Passing, goals and pace.

4. Marc Overmars – Arsene took a risk in bringing him to Arsenal, he was so fast, really great winger and goalscorer, sold along with Petit for £30mill to Barca.

5.Kolo Toure – Our best defender, totally versatile, he has pace, power, he can tackle, head, pass, shoot, dribble.. I love Kolo…

I reckon that’s pretty good, but it doesn’t even include Pires, one of the best midfielders I have ever seen (remember the chip over Schmichael at Villa!!). What about Ljungberg?? Another one for the future, Van Persie, who I’m sure will prove himself, and countless others. Arsene has brought these players in for meagre amounts of money, transformed them, and also has always sold them off at exactly the right time, look at us without Henry this season, generally at a profit too. He is fantastic in the transfer market and much has been made of our scouting system. It always amazes me, the sheer talent he brings up.. Of course there are always flops – Diawara! Stepanovs! No matter though, Wenger is a fuckin brilliant manager!!

Arsenal.com interview Justin Hoyte, who is frustrated at the lack of chances in the first team this season, Sagna, has played brilliantly, out of the limelight but solid defesivly and great going forward. Hoyte says:

“I want to be an Arsenal player…It is frustrating but I am a professional and need to behave that way and focus on the job in hand.”

He is hoping that injuries and suspensions can help him push his way into the team. Truthfully, i don’t reckon Hoyte is quite good enough to get into the team on a permanent basis, he may leave at the end of the season..

They also have some interesting statistics, only the ‘Invincibles’ did better in their first dozen games, compared to other championship winning seasons. The statistics look good, and we have had a few hard tests, but with Man U playing well and other contenders around too it looks like it will go right to the wire if we can stay in the race the whole way.. Check out their table here, it does look good!

Arsenal Pies talks about Vela here he can’t wait to get back to Arsenal and play, he does look exciting!! Arsenal Pies also has a nice round up of all our players international performances.

Walcott tells SkySports he is finally over his shoulder injury. Good stuff Theo!

Great news here about Arsenal’s season tickets, finally you will be able to resell them through Ticketmaster if you can’t find anyone to take them off you. It has been a problem for years that Arsenal refused to buy back unwanted seats and people would either give them to touts or not use them at all. This system makes so much more sense to me!

On the transfer front more rumours we are moving in for Modric and Jaaskelainen…

Steve Bruce, that lovely man, is back at Wigan and his first game will be against us on Saturday at Ashburton grove.. looking forward to that.. So.. till tomorrow!