Thursday, April 25, 2024

Youngsters hoping to force themselves into Wenger’s pre-season plans

It’s that time of year again when thoughts begin to turn to preparations for the new campaign, and with much of Arsenal’s first-team squad due back at London Colney a fortnight on Monday, anticipation is beginning to ramp up a notch ahead of the 2012/13 season.

With several of the club’s most prominent players still in action at Euro 2012 and with doubts persisting over whether many of the returning loanees, in particular the likes of Nicklas Bendtner and Carlos Vela, will stay at the club, opportunities are likely to emerge for some of Arsenal’s young professionals to be involved in the early stages of pre-season.

Goalkeeper Damian Martinez, for instance, is likely to be promoted to the first-team squad on a permanent basis should he sufficiently impress on the Asia Tour, where he will provide back-up to Wojciech Szczesny and, possibly, Vito Mannone. Striker Benik Afobe, meanwhile, who is already back at the training ground seeking to build up his fitness, will see his preparations for the new campaign at club level somewhat disrupted after he was called up to the England squad for the U-19 European Championships which will take place in Estonia next month. However, Afobe, who has spent time on loan at Huddersfield Town and Reading, should return to play some role in the club’s later pre-season friendlies, such as the game in Nigeria.

Kyle Bartley, back from his spell at cash-stricken Rangers, will hope to secure a place in the squad for the new campaign, although he may come under competition from fellow centre-back Ignasi Miquel, who received several first-team outings last season.

Conor Henderson, meanwhile, is back from injury and will seek to stake his claim again, although the midfielder will be hoping for better luck than last pre-season when he suffered a serious knee problem after coming on at left-back against Cologne. Nico Yennaris is another seeking to be involved, whilst there have been some suggestions that 16 year old Serge Gnabry, who will sign a professional contract once he turns 17, could feature in some capacity for the first-team this summer. That may eventually prove to be the case, but Gnabry is likely to start off with the second string upon their return.

Speaking of the Reserves, they have devised a pre-season programme of their own, with games to come against Boreham Wood, Stevenage, Dartford and Chesham, although, as things stand, it is still currently unclear who will be overseeing their progress for the new campaign. Dermot Drummy, who was formerly a youth coach at Arsenal but is now with Chelsea’s Reserves, remains the favourite for the role, but no concrete decision regarding the position has yet been made.

The second-string friendlies will provide the opportunity for the likes of Hector Bellerin and Kris Olsson, who enjoyed impressive debut seasons at the club following their moves from abroad, to bed into the Reserves ahead of more regular involvement at that level next season.


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Allo mate

How is Jon Toral getting on?


I wanna see Eisfeld and Campbell next season!

Gunsen Gurner

Eisfeld was quite prolific in front of goal for the reserves.I think he played as a striker in most games.If he keeps it up,I’d like to see him have a more advanced role in any future games,possibly converting him to a LF or RF ala Pires,Llunberg etc


Didn’t he play like 2 games? Not sure you’re thinking of the right guy.


I wish it was different but I just dont see futures at the club for Bartley or Henderson. They are both clearly talented but their is just too much in front of them and they are not young enough to keep sitting around the reserves.


Then we must loan them out to some League One clubs and see how good they are.


Eisfield is a hidden gem for me. Never seen him play but his name sounds gorgeous enough for the squad sheet. Also campbell, kid’s scoring at free will for his country. Get him in there as well.

Sajit Kunnumkal

Yea.. names are how players futures are decided. On that count Quincy whatever should have been an Arsenal LEGEND.

Supreet Kini

Haha, it is Quincy Owusu Abeyie! 😛


i blame the first team for not winning trophies so these youngsters couldn’t of got a looking. i use to like the fact we was different know one really knew are players they were youngsters with huge talent arsine was good at that, now we’ve falsed him in to changing the team because players like ramsey gervinho rosciky could not get 20 goals between them. but i must say looking forward to being strong with a bunch of international players thats gonna kill are wage structure in the long run or demand for bigger clubs (REAL BARCA)


Please use better grammar in your posts next time, it would make it so much easier to read. Also your point made no sense at all, can you please explain it?


i agree, HUH!! *Rick Ross grunt*


The person obviously doesn’t have English as a first language. Bad grammar I’ll accept, I still disagree with whatever point he was trying to make, it was gibberish too.


Your’e grammar teacher must be proud.

What good english!.

Merlin's Panini

you put “your’e” on purpose right?


I decided to speak his language…… yeah.


I see the grammar Nazis are out and about this fine morning.


Your grammar is F5king terrible.


Jeorge, what will happen to Eisfeld? Isn’t he a bit too old for the reserves?


Ah, for some reason I thought he was 21.


If that Ozyakup move to Besiktas goes through, I think Eisfeld’s nailed on for a few League Cup cameos. We bought him for a reason.


Eisfeld has a history of knee problems, right? What was the injury he suffered with us this year?


Same knee problem but not so serious. I hope he is not the next Amry Bischoft (forgive me this one)


I think Kyle Bartley will have the toughest time to break into the squad given our centre back options. And to be honest, I really like Miquel for some reason and want him to get more playing time, especially in the Carling Cup. And Miyaichi as well. Have daydreams of him ripping Ashley Cole a new one.

Gunsen Gurner

I think so as well.Miquel will probably replace Squid in the CB pecking order due to his PL experience last season.Bartley will most likely have to prove himself at reserve levels and maybe get a start if he impresses.


What about Chuks Aneke and Henri Lansbury? Aneke should get an extended look and this could be the summer where Lansbury either makes the team or leaves for good.


Lansbury, another England player for the future.
England will be an Arsenal team soon. Gibbs, Wilshere, Ox, Walcott, Lansbury, Frimpong( ?)

Gay for Lansbury

No mentioned of Henri Lansbury? What’s up with him?

Gay for Lansbury



I hope Lansbury stays he has it all in his locker and I really believe he would shine in the creative midfielder position.


I like him too, but there’s a lot of competition in the midfield and things seemed to stall for him last season. Can see him being sold simply to free up space in the squad.


Get real. Lansbury was on the bench for West Ham in the Championship, and people are on about him moving up to our first team. He hasn’t done anything to prove he is good enough, and no, that goal against Spurs in the Cup doesn’t justify anything. I know people like to think this, but “being a fan of the club” or “bleeding for the shirt” doesn’t matter if you’re not good enough. In the midfield we currently have: Ramsey, Wilshere, Denilson, Diaby, Rosicky, Arteta, Frimpong, Song plus Ox as a potential attacking midfielder/behind the striker guy, and you want… Read more »

Merlin's Panini

Lansbury was starting for West Ham and doing really well, then he got injured and had lost his place when he came back. A little unfortunate in my opinion, but it does look like he may be at risk of getting the chop.


Nico, you’re granted to be the next Arsene in Reserve.

joleon driscoll

Just as a crop of top young players is about to come through Wenger gets impatient and blocks their progress (permanently) with a bunch of experienced but mainly average players. Happens every time. All the signings last year were not arsenal players, they fall into that category. When will he buy a couple of john terry type centerbacks that will last the club 12 years and assure success: noo wenger wants more squad wingers and forwards instead. Enough said, loosing my patience with Wenger and football in general. Lifes too short, and when many fans have better ideas than the… Read more »


when wenger buys you have a problem, when wenger doesn’t buy you have a problem… are you ever satisfied????


“Fans have better ideas than the manager”? Are you even pretending to be serious?


Sod off and support a hockey team then.


“John Terry type centrebacks”…


34 man squad for next season (25 homegrown/non-homegrown plus 9 under 21s)
fabianski mannone szcesney martinez
sagna jenkinson bartley mertesacker djourou koscielny vermaelen miquel santos gibbs
song arteta rosicky diaby lansbury ramsey mvila coquelin wilshire frimpong
walcott rvp podolski chamberlain giroud gervinho arshavin campbell ryo (+1 of bendtner vela chamakh park)


Sorry thats 24 homegrown/non-homegrown room for one more signing

gunsen gurner

Forget one of bendter vela chamakh etc as they’re all on their way missed out afobe as well.


Miquel has looked solid (to answer someone up there in the posts) very calm and confident. Bartley is a quality defender though I believe this term he didn’t do too well for Rangers. He reminds me of the 90’s style atypical English defender.


Bartley should go on loan to likes of Bolton or newly promoted clubs. Pace is much faster in the higher end of the championship and of course the PL. Miquel needs a loan as well. Same as Bartley. Eisfield was highly rated at Dortmund from what I heard but his injury has seen him drop out of favour. Reserves for him and some Carling Cup games then if fit go on loan to lower end PL clubs and/or higher end championship clubs. I can see him play AM behind the main striker. Gnabry – Apparently, Wenger rates him highly. He… Read more »

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