Saturday, June 15, 2024

Summerlul round-up – Bielik is king of Poland, Nelson out

The Copa America and UEFA Under-21 European Championships have been in full swing for a week with Arsenal players representing their countries in both.

Here’s what they’ve been up to so far.


Friday, 14 June – Sunday, 7 July

Lucas Torreira

Lucas was on the bench as Uruguay kicked off their campaign in Brazil with a comprehensive 4-0 win over Ecuador. He played the full 90 minutes this afternoon as they twice came from behind to draw 2-2 with Japan, who’ve been invited to take part. Our man will face Chile on Monday in his country’s last game of Group C.

David Ospina

Dave has kept a couple of clean sheets for Colombia – including one against Lionel Messi – but we couldn’t really give a fish’s tit as he’s joining Napoli soon.


Sunday, 16 June – Sunday, 30 June

Krystian Bielik

Krystian has arguably been the star of the Under-21 European Championships so far. Fresh from helping Charlton to promotion at Wembley a couple of weeks ago, our man scored a towering header as Poland beat Belgium 3-2 in the opening game of the tournament. He played the full 90 minutes as a centre-back but in game two was deployed in midfield for against hosts Italy. Again, he got on the scoresheet. This time with a sweet left foot finish that was enough to secure a 1-0 win. Poland face Spain in their final game as they look to progress from a very strong Group A.

Reiss Nelson

Reiss was on the bench as Aidy Bothroyd’s side succumbed to late defeats against France and Romania. Phil Foden’s second half strike put the Young Lions in a strong position against the French only for individual errors to prove costly late on. Jonathan Ikone converted a penalty in the 89th minute after Hamza Choudary was sent off for a leg-breaking tackle on Jonathan Bamba and in the fifth minute of stoppage time Aaraon Wan-Bissaka’s put through his own net. Romania took advantage of more bad defending to beat England 4-2 in a game that was 0-0 with 14 minutes remaining. We could list all the scorers but that would be boring. Anyway, England are out with a game to spare.

Matteo Guendouzi

Matteo was on the bench as France beat England 2-1 (details above). He’ll be hoping for a start against Croatia this evening. They then play Romania on Monday.


Friday, 21 June – Friday, 19 July

Alex Iwobi

Nigeria kick off their AFCON campaign against Burundi tomorrow evening. Our midfielder has been urged to score more goals by coach Gernot Rohr. On the eve of the tournament in Egypt, he said, ” I want to see him scoring more regularly for the national team.” Inspiring stuff. Nigeria also have Guinea and Madagascar in their group.

Mohamed Elneny

Mo played the full 90 minutes as the Pharoahs opened the tournament on home turf with a 1-0 win over Zimbabwe. Trézéguet scored the only goal four minutes before the break. Egypt still have the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda to face in Group A. 

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That tackle on Bamba by Choudary was freaking awful. He should get an extended ban by the FA for it. Separate note…a bit worrying that Reiss Nelson can’t get a game in the u21s but we are expecting him to make a difference in our squad.


Forgot to also give props to Bielik. He is riding a hot wave of form right now and looks oustanding. Can’t wait to see him in our colors next season.

Future man

Nelson is fantastic and will make a difference next season doesnt matter if the irrelevant england u 21 starts him or not.


England coaches have an inherent bias against Arsenal players these days.

Still, Nelson has to step it up. May be a good thing to remind him he has a lot of work to do still and not let things get to his head.

David C

Fantastic? That’s a bit of a stretch. He had a good run at the beginning of the year and didn’t do too much after that. I’m hopeful for the lad to come good at Arsenal but I would loan him out another year to toughen him up.


I really hope you are right.

Lucas Sam

The selection for national team is good but many factors are taken into account for team selection. See Lacazette for example, I can’t understand why he’s not selected but is such quality player.


A season or so ago, it was not difficult to see why Laca did not start ahead of Giroud.

BUT following performance for us this season, I think he should be in better contention for France.

Faisal Narrage aka Mr. Project Youth 2.0

It’s as worrying as judging on the quality of Laccazette because he can’t get into the French national team.

Man Manny

I am not as excited about Nelson as I am about ESR and Bielik for next season
I think he still has a lot to learn.


Rather daft not to play Reiss IMO. england of course flatter to deceive (their own valuation of themselves) yet again. OTOH, I’d keep a keen eye on Florian Coman the Romanian 21yr old striker. Not a bad acquisition IMO. Particularly when you consider (of we extrapolate forward) Auba is 30+ and we may (be forced to) have to sell maybe a season or 2 down the line to generate more cash should we again fail to deliver. Bielik has impressed me pre-season. Hard to judge his actual performance level from an impressive season with league one Charlton but he looks… Read more »

Maul Person

So to clarify, Bielik has a great season, is having a great tournament, Arsenal has limited funds… and your suggestion is that we only use him if we can’t find a player to buy?


Seems that Boothroyd has consistently selected players from any club, so long no as it is Chelsea or begins with Manchester. He’s a fourth coach who is obsessed with names not quality.


Forgotten? man Mohamed Elneny starts tonight for Egypt when AFCON2019 starts.

Faisal Narrage aka Mr. Project Youth 2.0

Rumour has it under a full moon in the blackest of nights when the rooster calls, if you stand in front of a mirror and chant “Elneny” three times, Santori appears behind you and write a thesis on the mirror with blood telling you how much he hates the player.

Gooner Sam

I was gonna say, not that I really give a rat’s arse but Elneny is playing I guess


If we consider using Bielik in midfield this season, I would loan out Willock to accelrate his development.

Plus (of course shed Elneny)

But maybe bring in one of Matuidi or Khedira maybe from Juve. They are 33yrs and maybe useful on a season loan with us (Juve have plenty in midfield). Insurance.


yeah get an old dude from juve great idea.

I would also only loan out willock if we are out of the cups cone winter.
you can’t replace an attacking midfielder with a defensive one.
willock could possibly cover wide roles and beilk covers cb.
out of their 3 positions they only share one and you could even argue only in a 2 man central midfield.




Bielik deserves a chance this summer. Imagine, if he was not our player and we were linked with him, most Arsenal fans, will be rooting for him to sign.

Maxin In The Shade

Spot on. Throw him in. Give him the chance he deserves. He’s either gonna make it for us or he’s not


France were awarded two penalties in the match against England and missed them both. One was saved and the penalty awarded after Choudry’s foul hit the post.


Also noticed that The Jeff is keeping Guendouzi from getting any minutes with their u21s. Add Gnabry winning Bayern’s player of the year and you really have to shake your head at our club and it’s decisions with players.


This whole gnabry thing is getting boring. Wenger wanted him to stay but he didn’t want to. For german players, when bayern calls, you came, as simple as. Nothing we can do about it.

Vava voom

He didn’t go to Bayern from Arsenal


Wenger wrote him off and ignored him, then when he played well at the Olympics Wenger suddenly wanted him to stay. Too little too late, which is why we now have a transition team in place to make sure it never happens again.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Exactly, why hadn’t Wenger extended his contract before it got to the end for Bayern to see an opportunity there ?


They tried.

Torreira 10inches

We have to say that Gnabry was often injured, but when healthy he was an afterthought at the winger pecking order, Ox and Walcott were ahead of him

Eric Blair

That is such a ridiculously simplistic description of what went down.

Faisal Narrage aka Mr. Project Youth 2.0

He did want him to stay but it doesn’t deny the fact his situation was handled badly. He was sent on loan to literally the worst manager to send a young ball-playing talent to (the man has the given the least number of playtime to youth than any other manager). We left him there to rot with no communication, and in Jan when he had a chance to bring him back, Wenger himself said it’s best to leave him there to “fight” for his chance. Then on top of that, we did the Arsenal usual of letting his contract run… Read more »


Exactly…if we managed his career better he d still be with us. It’s hard for a player to feel loyalty to a club that sent him to Pulis, maybe the worst place to send a young attacking non-English talent. Add him Wenger’s reluctance to give him any matches and we lose him. Bayern comes in with a well defined plan for him. Spend a year at Werder Bremen with no pressure, adjust to our league and then we will bring you up to our club and you will succeed. Let Gnabry’s tale be a warning shot to be never forgotten… Read more »

Ko Aunglinn

I’m so sorry for NELSON ?.U21 coach is just stupid.I don’t know why he let not play him.

Katiguta Wilberforce

Yeah, Nelson situation hurts but I am so excited about Bielik. Look, he is worth 20 million today.Give him 4 more years and a new shirt number, quickly.

Katiguta Wilberforce

So advise me fellow gunners.How do I succeeded in getting my comment accepted in this platform? Or should I keep mine with in the realms of Uganda. I have been suffering love me any other Arsenal fan since the day Kolo Toure’s goal sent us vs Julian Belleti’s Barcelona, only not to be allowed to post a simple comment in support of Bielik efforts. Please….


He’s also well down the pecking order. Even when England had a couple of attackers go off with injury he still didn’t get on/


They way they’ve played though, hes at least avoided being linked with that mess by sitting on the bench


Elneny looked a bit rusty at the beginning, but grew into the game. He was overrun in the second half though as the Zimbabwe midfield just physically dominated the Egyptians. I forgot how good he was at pickingbthe ball up from defence and transitioning from defence to attack. He started getting the game back under control when a second box-to-box midfielder was introduced and he had two runners in front of him. They saw the game out comfortably. Maybe Emery could find use for him as a safer alternative to Guendouzi’s deep role actions, where he picks the ball up,… Read more »


Japan in the Copa America, and a European final being playing in Azerbaijan. I know I’m stating the obvious here, but football really doesn’t give a shit anymore, does it?


Copa America has always had guest countries and so this is not unusual


Yep…they have 10 countries in CONMEBOL and need 12 teams to fill the brackets. Usually it’s the U.S. and Mexico but they are in the Gold Cup. Hence the invite to Japan and Qatar.

Tankard Gooner

Continental borders are a thing of the past my friend.

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