Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Wenger assesses Gnabry as hectic schedule gets underway

Given that it is the final pre-season friendly before the resumption of the Premier League, the Arsenal squad for this weekend’s fixture with Cologne has a more senior feel about it, with Nico Yennaris and Serge Gnabry the only players from outside the first-team squad to make the trip.

The inclusion of Gnabry is significant in that it marks the first call-up to the senior squad for a player who was highly impressive in his debut season following his move from vfB Stuttgart. His return to his homeland for this venture will enable Arsene Wenger, who rates the 17 year old very highly, to assess exactly what level the young German is at and to decide how he will fit into his plans for the forthcoming campaign.

Gnabry seems likely to be involved in the squad for the Capital One Cup this season but, beyond that, has even spoken of a desire to feature in the Premier League at some stage. Whilst that may seem a little unlikely at this point, you cannot entirely rule out the possibilities of it happening, especially given the fact that hardly anybody would have expected Yennaris, the other youngster on the trip, to feature against Manchester United last season.

Both Gnabry and Yennaris will receive run-outs at some stage against Cologne, although the latter may be heading out on loan shortly afterwards. Yennaris had a brief spell with Notts County towards the end of last season which was cut short by illness, but his close friend Benik Afobe has already made quite an impression whilst on temporary transfer, scoring a hat-trick for Bolton Wanderers this week in their pre-season friendly with Tranmere Rovers.

It is not long now until the newly-restructured Premier Under-21 and Under-18 leagues get underway, with the fixtures for both competitions being devised so that both the under-21s and the under-18s will face the same fixtures each week, but not necessarily at the same location. For instance, the under-18s start with a trip to face Bolton next Saturday, before the under-21’s host the Trotters at Emirates Stadium two days later. This means that some players could form part of both squads, whilst the fact that the majority of under-21 games take place on either a Friday or a Monday means that Premier League managers can still include players who participate in those fixtures in their senior squads for weekend matches.

The changes, which see both competitions adopt a group stage format prior to becoming a knockout competition later in the season, ensure that the club’s many youngsters, there are currently 80 players in total on the club’s books, will be provided with plenty of opportunities to test themselves in a match situation. If you include the NextGen Series, an exciting adaptation of the Champions League, and the FA Youth Cup, which gets underway in December, then Arsenal are scheduled to play 35 fixtures across the under-21s to the under-18s before Christmas. This ability to afford youngsters more game time should certainly accelerate the process of determining which players will be good enough to make the cut in the long run.

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This kid looks studly!


Why thank you sir! Say, Greg, have you ever drank baileys from a shoe before?

Old Greg

I know I have! I also do paintings.
Wanna see my mangina?

Webbinho + Deanilson sign for Man U

this one is baileys as close as you can get with out your eyes getting wet

Midfield Corporal

Gary Bailey?

Old Greg

I’m Old Greg


what in the what are you on about?


aha! now I’m with you. well played Old Greg

Water Sheringham

@old greg nice mangina!


Let’s just say I love all ze germans in ze squad.

Webbinho + Deanilson sign for Man U

Mert’s gonna step up this season and dazzle our opposition with his dancing and simultaneously block out all attackers with his defending.
Watch this space…. as they say.


I watch his short induction on IPlayer yesterday and must say the young ladies will love him. Handsome young man. He said the Diaby was the best player in pre-season and the one to watch this season. Interesting



14 the new 12

Can anyone enlighten me in what kind of player Serge Gnabry is?

Persie out, arsenal lives

He’s a handsome young man, (a finer version of jerome boateng)
Fast, strong and has an eye for goal and isn’t afraid to shoot. Signed ahead of the current 2011/12 season, he can play on the wings and through the middle behind the strikers- definite versatile wenger type player.
Played for germany in the under 16 and under 17 levels. Where I think he was voted.player of the tournament.

Midfield Corporal

The archetypal Wenger player would be a Young French forward who can play on both wings or down the middle, signed on a 4 year contract for an undisclosed fee, who suffers a long injury lay off before being proclaimed LANS on his return, then fucks off to Barcelona.

John Terry Ate My Wife

He reminds me of a young Richard Stilgoe, particually around the eyes and ears.


Quick, agile attacking midfielder. Can play anywhere wide or behind the striker, similarly built and similar playing style to the Ox.

Thats a video of him from this past season.


Definite potential 🙂


Wow, this kid is exciting. Not sure what age groups he’s playing against in those clips, but he’s dominating against some of them. Besides Ox, his strength and speed remind of Coq too. Thankfully he’s in our system, so he’ll be nurtured into a complete player, if he’s up to it.


He is of the human kind. From the planet earth, I believe.


This kid is going places. I really like Nico as well, he seems really technically adept and not afraid of the big occassion. Hope both youngsters make it.

Webbinho + Deanilson sign for Man U

Our youth prospects are looking great!
Does anybody know if the ‘youth champions league’ is being televised? I really want to check them out against the other european youth players.. I think they can go all the way

gooner from bangladesh

These Germans are the future :e

Webbinho + Deanilson sign for Man U

off topic but I think wenger has signed a gem in Eisfeld, I know I know he just scored a few goals in some sub appearances in friendly games but since he first joined and I saw some footage of him in the reserves, i knew he was going to be a star one day

Many bashed wenger for signing a different 19 yo german ,than the one we clamoured for, from Dortmund but just wait…he is going to be bigger than gotze in a few years..
Wenger = genius


let’s not get ahead of ourselves, gotze has already carved his place out in one of the best offensive units in europe. but i do agree he has massive potential, from what i understand he and gotze were similarly rated as they came through that system. i’m curious as to why he isn’t in germany atm but regardless this youngster has all the tools to be awesome. german (& more attacking-minded) wilshire anyone?

Webbinho + Deanilson sign for Man U

Don’t worry mate, I know he’s from from the finished product and is far from an automatic starter for the first team.
You are right about them being similarly rated when playing in the youth team together, I think injury stunted his development and then just never broke throgh.

my point is though that wenger was right to pick him up when he did, I see a massive potential in him and one day he will be rated higher than goetze and Eisfeld going to arsenal can only help him achieve this under wenger’s tutelage

Redcurrent Wonder

Admittedly off topic although with a tenuous link to ‘fringe players’…what news of Sir Henri of Lansbury. I think he missed the Asia tour with an injury, but he doesn’t have a squad number (or maybe he does…46 from a quick glance on and hasn’t been mentioned at all of late as a midfield option for next season. Discuss.

Webbinho + Deanilson sign for Man U

A premiership loan would be great but I think championship side is more likely on the cards


These comments about Gnabry’s looks are sickening. Looks have nothing to do with football! Further, I personally find the lad quite repulsive.


Haha sourpuss, i’m guessing you’re a failed ugly footballer.

Webbinho + Deanilson sign for Man U

It’s all good ,yennaris, no homo.


Why thank you Greg, say, have you ever drank baileys from a shoe before?

TGSTEL's First Touch

Is this what passes for a “young handsome man” in here?


big black clock

I would have loved if Olsson had also been included in the friendly. That boy’s a beast as well.


Anyone know how to pronounce his name? Is it Guh-nabry, or Nahbry?


If you meet a footballer and he comes across as a rude, arrogant prick, the chances are that he is simply trying not to give anything away. Either that, or you have bumped into Ashley Cole.


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