Rosicky & Wilshere set for second under-21s test

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Tomas Rosicky and Jack Wilshere will edge ever closer to first team action as they play their second game in quick succession for Arsenal’s under-21s on Thursday.

The 35-year-old Czech and 24-year-old England international, hampered this season by hamstring and ankle injuries respectively, both featured for the Gunners on Friday evening as they beat Newcastle 3-1 to bolster their promotion hopes.

Both midfielders have been penciled in for starts against Swansea on Thursday; the under-21s’ third game in the space of a week.

Despite going down to ten men, Steve Gatting’s side beat league leaders Derby Country 2-1 on Monday and know if they secure three points from their remaining two games – they also have a game with West Bromwich Albion next Monday – they’ll earn automatic promotion as Division 2 champions.

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renaissancerosicky
renaissancerosicky

Atleast we’re winning something somewhere… sigh.

Oh wait. Fingers crossed for Emirates Cup.

Easy as JVC
Easy as JVC

The picture looks like Tommy has just put Jack to into a state of hypnosis. “Sleep…and when wake up you will no longer be made of glass but actually the same shit they used on Wolverine”. Ok wide awake!

lonsdale
lonsdale

Adamantium. I would be worried though, it might have the terrible side effect of making Jack look like Charlie Adam.

Not worth the risk, if you ask me.

Paul
Paul

I am amazed Jack is fit for this game!! You never know…here’s hoping he’s not hopping soon.

Tiny
Tiny

Not too worried if Jack makes it back by the end of the season (couldn’t care less about the Euros) but really hope that Tomas gets fit enough to make a final appearance in the red and white…

Mpls
Mpls

Personally I’d rather we get Jack out there and test it the sooner the better, as soon as he’s fit- get him back on the pitch. Best case: builds his fitness to be better prepared for Euros and a start to the new season. In the worst case scenario if it all goes south know sooner rather than later if we’re going to need another reinforcement.

That way if the Arsenal transfer equation is always, say:

T = n – 1 (or n-2, 3, or 4 if you are so inclined)

then at least we would know n is a larger number in a proper window of time, not a Welbeck window of time, which left us with:

T = n – (1 + DatGuy)

n = number of quality players needed for proper squad depth fit for a title push
T = number of transfers made

Adam Tony-Celo
Adam Tony-Celo

Good news but sometimes it’s hard to see the point, they come back and get injured again. We start league well and then claps, just sick of the failure. We’ve gone from Thierry to Walcott as a metaphor for our standards and expectations as regards to success.

And to be honest things don’t seem as if they’re going to improve an awful lot, we’ve been linked with Xhaka and Morata, two players that are very good, but we need better, we need 2-3 superstar (Ozil/Sanchez/Cech standard) signings this summer. A striker, a CB and a Winger to end Walcotts career, that ruthless.

My wishlist as a clear, realiatic target starts with Griezmann: Goals, striker/winger, French, young, previously linked, no brainer.

Ex-Priest Tobin
Ex-Priest Tobin

Leicester have shown what can be achieved with a limited squad. What we need most of all is a new manager. We’ve shown the same weaknesses year after year, and we all know what the one constant has been.

NorthernGooner
NorthernGooner

Leicester City have played a total of 36 matches to Arsenal’s 48 in all competitions so far. That’s 12 more matches, which roughly means playing every week end and midweek for 3 months. They’ve done all this without any real pressure, this is building up now though.

Another important thing to take into account is the number of international matches their players have played. Off the top of my head, I don’t think they had many players being called to play for their countries, until very very recently. In Spain they call this the “FIFA virus” and it’s when you are most likely to see weird match results due to players returning either injuried or tired due to travelling, playing or both.

Don’t take away anything from Leicester City, I really hope they win the title. but their real test will be next season, when games, but most importantly expectations, will start piling up.

In short, if you only play about 40 games, in all competitions, in a season then you don’t need a huge squad

locksley444
locksley444

NorthernGooner – I agree we’ve had a more rigorous schedule, but coming from where they did(close to the bottom of the table), Leicester have passed their real test: consistency over the entire season to be within touching distance of securing a PL title. Are they lucky to have no other competitions other than the PL to concentrate on? Not really. They are (or atleast ‘were’) not a big enough club to be playing the CL or Europa league, and Arsenal didn’t contend with cups for much longer either.

Liverpool were in the same no-europe situation with a certain Luis Suarez a couple of seasons ago. They blew it, being a much bigger club. What Leicester did get lucky with, is no major injuries to their big players. They managed Vardy’s injury well and were lucky it didn’t get worse. They rested their squad every week with days off. With the resources they have, they performed a miracle, and to say their ‘real test’ will be next season seems like an easier thought for us gooners to console ourselves with. Next season they’ll have more resources, more expectation and bigger decisions to make(squad additions, stadium expansion etc). That’s not their real test, that’s a test they’ve earned with great work. No matter how they do next season, if they win the title this year it’ll already be a great achievement.

NorthernGooner
NorthernGooner

I agree with what you say locksley444. Noone wins a 38 match competition undeservedly, and Leicester will be just winners.

However, I still hold the view that the weight of expectations plays a big part in all this, and also the amount of matches played while on international duty for your country, not to mention the miles travelled.

The fact that you mention how Liverpool blew their chances when they were so close, seems to prove precisely what I was saying.

Again, i’m not taking anything away from Leicester and they have certainly shown much more steely determination and mettle than we have. We will see next season how that sense of expectation coupled with a lot more games played will affect them.

Gutbukket Deffrolla
Gutbukket Deffrolla

I disagree. In my opinion what we need is a decent sports psychologist to give the team a genuine mental strength and belief in themselves. Wenger clearly doesn’t know what “mental strength” in a team is. He sees his players laughing and joking in training and assumes that’s a sign of mental strength. It isn’t. That doesn’t make him a bad manager, and neither does “only” coming second or third each year in the toughest league in Europe. It’s only 11 months since we won a major trophy. Poor managers don’t win trophies.

Wenger also needs to get a strong captain out on the pitch every game (not necessarily the best player but the best thinker. Somebody who understands the gameplan and knows what needs to be done in reponse to certain situations (such as us going 2-0 up away from home). All 6-0 wins were 2-0 at some stage, but few 2-0 scorelines make it to 6-0. Wenger needs to stop that schoolboy streak that runs through the team that says “Hey we’re 2-0 up, lets make it 6-0”. Winning should be placed ahead of high scores. A proper captain (a playing captain) could help ensure that the team does what is necessary to win.

Paul
Paul

Ex Priest just a thought here:
Change you name to “I want Wenger out” then you could save time by just posting a smiley face or something?

Bob Davis

I hope they come through the game without any problems. Be great to see them both make an impact on our final stretch of the season!

Gandalf
Gandalf

At this moment in time, seeing Jack and Rosicky back in the first team will be my personal highlight of the season. Especially Rozza.

TommyGun
TommyGun

I don’t know how I feel about Jack being fit in time for the Euros. Maybe it would be good for him to get some game time on England’s time but if he get’s injured and we have to end up paying the price it will be a real ball ache. I kind of feel that he should duck out of the Euros to focus on preparing properly for next season. It is not his fault that he has been injured but he could take steps to ensure that is less likely to happen again and not playing for England may be one.

Blancman
Blancman

Love Jack’s style of play I think no one is as good on tight tic tac football and I hope he comes out unscathed in the euros but if he is fragile it will show and hopefully give us time to find cover for him in the next transfer season

Proff Gooner
Proff Gooner

Now imagine the tic tac football along with Iwobi?

Total cost = The Academy

FOREVER COYG!!!

Holyviper
Holyviper

I might be wrong, but truly believe Rosicky can play competitively as a squad player for another year. He still kills defenders with his touch, movement and passing.

spinner
spinner

All depends on his fitness, if he can stay fit then yeah, why not. It’s a big if though, and his track record doesn’t give you confidence.
Whatever happens, I’ll still love him.

Vonnie
Vonnie

A lot of his injuries have been on international duty, if he gave up playing internationals I think he’s worth another year.

Ugooner
Ugooner

@ holyviper I see your point but for so long emotions have seemed to determine how long some players have been kept on the books. The Diabys Rosicky and Walcott. People who offer something but when called upon are either injured or playing hide and go seek with the ball on pitch. Almost all of us would love to see Mozart put on the red and white again but since we can’t be sure that he will be in position even play 10 games he’s time at the Grove is up. It’s time to clear the moderate players that seem to give hope but fail to deliver due one reason or the other and in that lot I would include Walcott the Ox and all out three out of contract players.

Terry
Terry

Omg I thought the season was going to end in failure but we are winning the U21 second division. Arsene I take it all back

Jamie Vardinho
Jamie Vardinho

Hahaaaa

Czechgooner54
Czechgooner54

Will we be able to watch it live on arsenal.com again? That would be great.

Fatgooner
Fatgooner
UGooner
UGooner

Good article I’m sure, but much easier to agree with it over there on grove, me thinks.

Miranda
Miranda

I don’t agree with all of it but he’s spot at the end where he says that Liverpool fans are looking forward to next season. For them, even though they know there’s a chance they won’t make top four, next season still feels really interesting and exciting. For us, by contrast, it will beyond a shadow of a doubt be exactly the same as the previous ten – except top four is slightly more doubtful than normal and we probably won’t have our customary long period at the top of the table.

Clubs with a spring in their step: Chelsea, City (excellent new managers to look forward to), Spurs, Liverpool, West Ham, Southampton (managers who’re already proving themselves to be very good); also Bournemouth who’ve stayed up and now have lots of unaccustomed money with which to progress; also Leicester even though history suggests (i.e. those other surprising league winners like Sampdoria, Wolfsburg, Verona, etc.) they may be a one-season wonder and will probably struggle next season to be in the top four.

Clubs with sagging spirits: us; United (because Van Gaal is obviously dreadful but practically none of their fans want Mourinho and no one has any confidence whatsoever in the Glazers/Woodward to make a decent choice); Norwich, for whom nothing will change ever; West Brom who’ll still have Pulis for at least one more season.

Probable top four next season: City, Chelsea, Spurs, in that order, I think, with us, Leicester, Liverpool, United, West Ham, even possibly Southampton or some other wild card – all depends on the astuteness of the signings and luck with long-term injuries – fighting for fourth.

There’s nothing wrong with not winning the league. Only one club can, so you can’t say Wenger has significantly underachieved, not when third or fourth is financially about where we should be – apart from this season, of course. It’s in Europe that his deficiencies have been really exposed, so what’s scary even for those who don’t much care about the CL is that the difference between the Premiership and Europe is getting smaller all the time. There are now more quality players in the English league than when Wenger arrived and there are many more quality managers. Tactics are starting to matter much more, so does preparing properly by studying your opponent and giving the players a clear game plan. You just can’t get away with always playing the same team into the ground and leaving them to get on with it in the same predictable way.

I love the CL; my life used to revolve around Tues/Wed nights; I cared passionately about who we drew. Now it seems barely to matter what kind of group we get; easy or had we’ll still exiting before the quarters – which for the seventh richest club in Europe with World Cup winners in our team is shocking indeed.

Look, Wenger’s successor may turn out to be worse rather than better but at least it’ll be a different and more interesting worse and for a while, until we know for certain we’ve picked a dud, we’ll feel hopeful again. I don’t think it’s possible to feel hopeful about Wenger. He’s not going to get younger and he’s not going to change.

Jeff
Jeff

I’m not part of the Wenger Out brigade, although i do feel rather annoyed with his actions/inaction this season. However this is exactly how i feel about Wenger right now. We all know the old adage about insanity, i’m not insane enough now to expect something different…and i’m not sure i can take the same season again.

Look, Wenger’s successor may turn out to be worse rather than better but at least it’ll be a different and more interesting worse and for a while, until we know for certain we’ve picked a dud, we’ll feel hopeful again. I don’t think it’s possible to feel hopeful about Wenger.

Miranda
Miranda

@Jeff, Nope, very hard to feel hopeful because the pattern of recent years suggests that whoever we sign the same problems remain. I suspect many fans are now just steeling themselves against disappointment by accepting underachievement as normal. Poor Wenger, we say, performing miracles on a shoestring. No way a little impoverished club like us could expect even to score against Barca – presumably Elneny hasn’t been with us long enough to have got that particular message – let alone to actually knock them out of the CL. Atletico have never been able to buy superstars; they’ve always had to create them themselves, only to lose them immediately to some big-money club, forcing them to start over again. Most of their players are so ordinary they wouldn’t even get into our first team. As for Benefica, they were virtually bankrupt a couple of years ago but they put up a fantastic fight against Bayern tonight and I bet most English fans couldn’t even name most of the players in their team. That’s management for you, and tactics and team spirit and marvels achieved on no money.

Results in the league and CL this season haven’t done the myth of Wenger’s brilliance on a budget any favours so God only knows what new excuses will have to be found.

Gutbukket Deffrolla
Gutbukket Deffrolla

He lost me when he said we’re 12 years without a trophy. Anybody who can’t see the FA Cup as a major trophy or show the slightest pleasure that we won it for two seasons in a row is what my dad would have called a dope. After that its just Wengerhate.

SDB
SDB

so true. i really enjoy sharing “major trophy” bragging rights with the likes of wigan and portsmouth

Paul
Paul

So you didn’t enjoy winning the Cup twice then SDB?
The “comment policy” is stopping me from guessing what “SDB” stands for…gutted! 🙂

SDB
SDB

i enjoyed the wins. i’m just pointing out that wigan and portsmouth share the same honors. if you think we won it because we’re one of the top teams in english football then you have to put wigan (relegated the year they won it) and portsmouth (where are they now) in the same category. is it a major trophy? i don’t think so, but i’d take it over the capital one cup. it’s a fun competition to watch.

Mpls
Mpls

By that logic the PL title isn’t major either.

Man U –> next year shite
Chelsea –> next year shite
Leicester… I guess we’ll have to wait and see, eh?

Miranda
Miranda

Well, for the really ambitious clubs like Real and Barca, as well as for ambitious owners like Abramovich, the CL is the pinnacle and the league definitely second best. Real value their ten European trophies much more highly than their league wins. It’s pretty widely acknowledged that in order of prestige the CL is top, followed usually by the league, then the Europa, with the domestic cups coming last.

This may also depend a bit on which league you play in. The Spanish and English would possibly come above the Europa whereas the French league would not. English fans tend not value the Europa at all because English clubs mostly do very badly in it. Most don’t even try. Hull, Wigan, Millwall, West Ham, Southampton, all the clubs who qualified by being FA cup runners-up or winning the fair-play league or something, only to disappear in round one, are particular culprits and Arsenal fans ought to bear them a grudge because they bring down the English coefficient. Luckily for us the Italian clubs haven’t done well in Europe this season, otherwise, if we finish fourth in the league, we’d already be losing our CL spot for next season.

OK, the CL for us seems like a waste of energy at present but if Wenger leaves in the near future I really want us to be in it – for the excitement not just to bring in 20m – so I’m cheering on City and Liverpool to bring in the points and make sure England keeps its four spots. I’m also beginning to dislike the way we give a Europa place to domestic cup winners/runners-up because increasingly, such is the decline in prestige of these trophies, it’s tending to be lower-league clubs who are getting into the Europa – Millwall, Hull and Wigan ffs – putting the coefficient in peril.

Paul
Paul

Fats, the bloke that wrote that article (with all of his extensive knowledge about what happens in the club) could be your assistant manager when you take over from Arsene!

Paul
Paul

I would pay money to see a Fats/Pedro combo taking the helm and steering the club down to the Championship via Burger King! 🙂

SDB
SDB

this reply is for Mpls…you have completely missed the point. at the time man united and chelsea won the prem they were definitely the top team in english football. to win the prem is an incredible feat requiring a consistent run of the highest level of physical performance over the course of a season in a very physical league. if leicester wins it this year they will by definition be the best team in english football. the fa cup is a tournament and part of the excitement is the numerous upsets, partly due to the fact that a lot of the “top” teams play their bench and youth prospects. this is not the case in the prem. your logic is bunk.

Charma

Arseblog, do you have any idea how many shares Arsene wenger has in Arsenal football club?

Andy Mack
Andy Mack

None. He’s been offered shares but always declined as he believes the manager should be an employee of the club, not an owner.

Andy Mack
Andy Mack

I should add that Dein said that and I think P.H-W confirmed it, as well as AW saying it.