Wednesday, April 24, 2024

2012 brings about important decisions on established contingent

2012 will doubtless provide the opportunity for several further youngsters to edge closer to the first-team picture, through training sessions and Carling Cup cameos, but, for the more established contingent in Neil Banfield’s Reserve squad, the year could bring an end to their association with the club.

The cycle that sees players progress from the under-18s to the Reserves and then, hopefully, into the first-team reckoning, means that, somewhere along the line, difficult decisions have to be made concerning particular individuals. The players listed below are likely to fall into that category during the next calendar year.

Kyle Bartley

Bartley, who was signed as a 16 year old from Bolton in 2007, is currently in his second loan spell at Scottish Champions Rangers, for whom he is now featuring regularly after returning from injury. The uncompromising centre-back, who has also featured in defensive-midfield in the past, has just a solitary first-team appearance to his name for the Gunners and was unfortunate to score an own goal in the Emirates Cup in pre-season, but, with Ignasi Miquel likely to go out on loan next campaign and Sebastien Squillaci evidently not in Arsene Wenger’s long-term plans, Bartley could get his chance next season.

Craig Eastmond

With ten first-team appearances to his name, including several in the Premier League, Eastmond is a familiar face to most Arsenal fans, but he has found his chances restricted this campaign due to the continued progress of Emmanuel Frimpong and Francis Coquelin. His hopes of making a breakthrough have wavered somewhat as a result, and, unless he enjoys a loan spell somewhat more fruitful than his one at Millwall last season, then a Summer departure would not appear unlikely.

Gavin Hoyte

Like Eastmond, Hoyte returned this season from a long-term injury, but, after playing two games for the Reserves, he picked up another problem that ruled him out until the New Year. Justin’s younger brother, who can play at right-back or centre-back, has a wealth of experience accumulated from loan spells in the Football League, but has not featured for the Arsenal first-team since the 2008/09 season. Once he has recovered from his latest set-back, a loan spell followed by a permanent departure looks on the cards.

Henri Lansbury

Another who is well-known to Arsenal fans, midfielder Lansbury featured in the Premier League defeats to Liverpool and Manchester United this season before joining West Ham on loan, where he has recently returned from injury. The 21 year old has previously had fruitful spells at Scunthorpe, Watford and Norwich, and has long been tipped by Arsene Wenger for a breakthrough, but with Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey ahead of him, he has a massive fight on his hands. Lansbury signed a new contract earlier this season, but it remains to be seen whether he will be afforded first-team game time next campaign.

Rhys Murphy

Once a clinical goalscorer for the under-18s, Murphy has seen his knack of goal-getting somewhat hampered by persistent injuries that have plagued him throughout his short career. A loan spell at Brenford didn’t prove beneficial, and the striker seems as far away from the first-team set up as ever.

Sanchez Watt

Watt was all set to leave the club last summer before a purple patch at the start of the new campaign for the Reserves prompted the offer of a new contract. Currently on loan at League One side Sheffield Wednesday, having previously spent time with Leeds, Watt scored on his Arsenal debut in the Carling Cup, but has found opportunities hard to come by since. The presence of Joel Campbell and Benik Afobe may block his path in the long term.


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lansbury,miquel and ozyakup and the two keepers look to be the only prospects!!!rest are all part of the fran merida era.promote a few kids younger than them.


Not sure i agree with that. Afobe, Aneke, Freeman, Henderson, Yennaris and, provided they can get wp’s Wellington and Botelho all look like they can be big stars when they gain a little more experience.
Most of the players from the ‘Fran Merida era’ as you call it have either been released or sold already.


im sorry i left out a few.but yeah arsenal already had a major clearout in the academy.there are some adjustments that need to be done here and there far the academy has produced excellent midfield talents in the likes of jack,frimcoq.we have to find a solution in other deprtments also.i would like to see a defender.a good tall strong lad with good technical ability.our academy focuses too much on attack minded players.i see what we are trying to build.once in a while variety is good and can be helpful for 1st team. you see miquel…the guy is super technical… Read more »


Miquel has only played 9 first team games for us so far. There are going to be a few weaknesses to his game that will be ironed out when he starts playing more regularly, whether with us or on loan.

Bobby Pires

Kyle Bartley is a beast, atleast that’s what I hear.


Bartley is a class act.


He is decent, I have high hopes for him. He looked a bit out of sorts tonight in the Old Firm derby, but in fairness .. so did the rest of the Rangers team – I’m glad that he is getting the experience of those kind of high pressure matches because it can only bode well for us, if he ever establishes himself at Arsenal.

American gooner

Most excited about Kyle Bartley


Just for info there are a few copies of Paddy left in the Tollington , got mine yesterday and it cheered me up after a very dissapointing game.


Thanks Jeorge for your great and insightful pieces on the youth prospects at the club. In all honesty wouldn’t know where to get news and analysis on the young gunners if not here.

Save 75 cents

I hope Lansbury gets a true shot. He looks better than Ramsey IMO.


Can i ask what you’ve based that on? Lansbury has looked good in a WHU team that is essentially a premier league squad in the championship, so not exactly that difficult, while Ramsey made Nottingham Forest look better than they are when he went on loan there last season.
I am genuinely interested in your opinion and not having a “pop” as it were.


I think thats perhaps a little unfair on Lansbury Steve. He was on loan in that division last year too remember and went some way to aiding Norwich in their promotion to the Premiership, he didn’t put a foot wrong. Being that they had just been promoted from Div 1 you could argue that that was perhaps ‘exactly’ difficult (though Southampton are going someway to cement the fact that decent Div 1 teams can more than live with the Championship). I think we can consider ourselves lucky to have both on the books, I’d say in refinement Ramsey edges it,… Read more »


What I meant was, you can’t really say player A is better than player B judged on a loan at the best championship team (in terms of quality). I was making a comparison to 75 cents that saying Lansbury is better than Ramsey isn’t based on anything. Both are better players than the majority of the champ players but Ramsey made a champ team better while Lansbury has continued his education and is looking a good player but it could be just due to the team he is in.


Can’t really argue with that; though I think perhaps it works both ways in the sense that, yes he might look good in a decent Championship team, but also, which is the view I adher to is that he has reached a peak with the Norwichs and West Hams of this world and won’t look any better until he plays on a regularly better stage.
Thats the Catch 22 isn’t it, will he or won’t he step up to the mark. I hope so.


Totally agree. Wenger has never been one to shy away from playing a player if he thinks they’re ready and I get the feeling he wants to keep Lansburys footballing education going while he organises the midfield or even works out his best position. Understudy to Arteta with Ramsey and Wilshere set to fight it out for the other midfield spot maybe….

Master Bates

I hope he is better than Ramsey , because I rate Ramsey very high


I went to west ham earlier this season to watch my local club (Portsmouth) and Lansbury was class all game, acting as a destroyer in midfield and managing to get a goal


None of them will make it I am afraid. They are not Arsenal quality.

If we are to challenge for titles, then these players are not good enough.

Kyle Bartley is decent but he can’t get in the Rangers starting line up which consist of 2 defenders that are worse than Seb Squilly. He will probably be sold at the end of the season.


Ah I see, you’ve counted the time Kyle’s been injured as not playing….
Also, the other players are just starting to find some actual game time and are all 21 or under. Not every player is a Messi/Neymar style wonderkid


No the last 2 matches he was used in midfield and was so poor that in the next match he was used as a striker.

I’ve seen the game and he was lacking technically, poor positioning and very poor positioning. He can play in the PL for a midtable club but not good enough for a top club.


So he played out of position and that’s what you’re basing it on? I bet if we stuck van Persie in goal he’d be a terrible goalkeeper but wouldn’t be terrible in his natural position. Didn’t Wilshere play at a mid table premier league team 2 seasons ago or did I imagine that? The SPL may not be as competitive as the EPL but when one of the Old Firm request you on loan twice and then play you in their big games, it says a lot about the player. That is a hostile atmosphere and in those two clubs… Read more »


So what’s the yearly pay packet for an Arsenal scout these days?


About £3000-£4000 a week I think, give or take. It’s not great pay (in comparison to other positions) but all expenses are paid and you get to travel


Erm Kyle bartley is just lining up for the old firm game…. Would rather have had him over squillachi or djourou


Are you kidding me?

Bartley over Djourou…….Jesus wept…..


My favorite part about these articles is reading all the comments from people who have absolutely no Idea what there talking about. I’ll be the first to tell you I know fuck all about our reserves and youth players.

We’re the arsenal for Christ sake. We should be worrying about winning the Epl and champions league, not an on loan defender who’s always hurt or a guy who’s name is an acronym for anus cheeks.


Excellent post frog. Well done.


Exactly these players won’t make it at Arsenal long term so what is the point worrying about them.

I remember a few cunts were calling to sack Wenger because we apparently released Alban FUCKING Bunwhatever and JET.

Those cunts aren’t exactly Messi or anything.

Jesus wept………..


What’s with this ” Jesus wept” thing you keep saying? I don’t get it. It seems lame to me, but hey, if it floats ya.


Exactly, players like Arteta won’t do shit in Barca, so why worry about him? Oh wait, he’s Arsenal’s outstanding midfield player these days.

Exactly, players like Lassana Diarra who did shit in Chelsea and Arsenal sucks, why worry about him? Oh wait, he’s in Real Madrid now.

Exactly, players like Ashley Cole who sucked dick in a Crystal Palace side just plain sucks! Oh wait, his skill made him greedy and now he’s on a top pay packet at Chelsea.

Shut up cunt.


There’s a reason to be proud of this blog: no other team has such a wry, informative, broad and enjoyable source of information about their club.

The profiles and general coverage of the youth and reserve team set ups is just a minor string in arseblog’s massive fuckng red and white bow.

Hear hear. Xx


Same old – same old. Lansbury could make it if given a chance. I doubt the others will. Wenger’s been here 15 years now, so even the players we signed aged 5 should be 20 and pushing for a first team place if his great scheme is worth the nod. In one way they are but it’s not with us – which rather defeats the object. Bertie Mee and Terry Neill all produced more from the ‘yoof’ set up and yet the great Wenger ‘production line’ myth trundles on like some un piloted tank going round in circles. Any attempt… Read more »


Not all players sign when they are 5. Wilshere and Frimpong both signed when they were 9.

Apparently Coquelin, Frimpong and Jack Wilshere aren’t pushing for first-team slots. Great, I must be living in a fucking wet dream.


Rob 67.

Jesus wept.

if you had any conception of the difficult process of identifying 1 in a 1000 young aspiring footballers that will actually mature in being good enough (and lucky enough) to crack full time grown up professional football then…

Well the you wouldn’t sit at home with your flaccid member in one hand and the mouse controlling your 2043 Football Manager game in your other hand making bullshit pronouncemts on Mr Wenger’s aptitude for his job.

And if I could take my hand off my own disappointing semi… Neither would I.


Can somebody please tell me what this ” Jesus wept” shit means? I’m not being a smart ass, I’ve honestly ne’er hear the expression before and I’d like an explanation please.


Not sure in what hovel or stately home it originated but its been around for awhile – at least as long as my Grandad has been tapping the boards,..said as a means of exclamation of disbelief. At least thats how I understand it.


It basically means that what you said was so ridiculous that it made Jesus cry.


Thanks guys. I won’t be adding that one to my repertoire of sayings. Good to know though.


Fuck this fucking Football Manager generation of fans. (Directed at some of the comments, not the article itself)


Ah I remember the days of George Graham and Bruce Ricoh, with Stewart Houston and Pat Rice in between, before Wenger brought massive, mostly great, changes to the club. Know a bit about Don Howe but Mee and Neill were before my time. Some fans don’t remember the dark days…


For which, I envy and pity them at the same time. As much as that might seem conflicting, so has the last 30 years of me following Arsenal. After all…compare Ian Allison at White Hart Lane to Nayim in the last minute from the half way line, Micky Thomas doing the business and last years horror last minute at Wembley…. I’ve watched us go from an average top half of the table team to suprise Champions, to a Cup team, to World beaters to….well you put your lable on it. But all in all, through it all, they’ve been the… Read more »


The difference is that Chelsea, Man City, Barcelona, Real Madrid, PSG, etc.. have changed the face of football for a long long time. How many players with the qualities of Henry, Pires, Petit, Vieira, etc.. can Wenger find now without a club with a blank cheque book coming along and offering 10-20mil more? To think that he’s managed to keep us competitive (something Tottenham have only just managed to do and that’s with spending far more than Arsenal and Liverpool have had to spend 100 mil just to get 6th…) while having to find players that turn out like Vermaelen,… Read more »


Exclusive: tomorrow Thierry Henry will sign 2 month loan deal wort 70 000 pounds a week. And will be unleash on Monday against fulham in the new 2012 year.


Bartley is an animal!! I wud be happy next season if we had per, verm, kos and Bartley as our 4 cb’s.. Nice blend of exp and youth of ya ask me!


I’d love to see a bit of Ryo Miyachi. He is gunna be a beast!

Goon tang

I just want to see some myiachi action. Whether it be in the red and white or out on loan. I say loan him out to Bolton or someone. A relegation battle should equip him with some needed experience.


i dont like how the majority of the players mentioned have already had to come back from injuries.. is it just me or are we unfortunate with injuries all the f-ing time?

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