Arsenal’s squad list has a Radioheady feel to it

First things first, some theme music to go with today’s post.

I know this is a completely selfish thing for me to say but I’m going to say it anyway: the first international break of the season could not have come at a better time.

Following the non-news of Mark Schwarzer’s non-arrival there is virtually nothing of substance floating around the Arsenal blogosphere, which is perfect for me because I’ve just moved into a new apartment in Berlin.

The thought of coming up with insightful articles about Arsenal whilst frantically moving furniture, fitting lightbulbs and painting walls is enough to make me shiver, so I’m rather happy to enjoy a week off from football.

If there is one thing worth touching it is the announcement of Arsenal’s official squad for the Premier league season. But then I think: what really is there worth to say?

Have a look at the list for yourself (home-grown players in bold, U21s in separate list):

1 Almunia, Manuel
2 Arshavin, Andrey
3 Bendtner, Nicklas

4 Chamakh, Marouane
5 Clichy, Gaël

6 Denilson

7 Diaby, Abou
8 Djourou, Johan

9 Eboué, Emmanuel
10 Fabianski, Lukasz
11 Fábregas, Cesc

12 Koscielny, Laurent
13 Mannone, Vito

14 Nasri, Samir
15 Rosicky, Tomas
16 Sagna, Bacary
17 Song, Alex

18 Van Persie, Robin
19 Vermaelen, Thomas
20 Squillaci, Sébastien

Under 21 players (selected)

Gibbs, Kieran
Ramsey, Aaron
Traoré, Armand
Vela Carlos
Walcott, Theo
Wilshere, Jack

There’s no alarms and no surprises to be found in Arsenal’s list like Owen Hargreaves’ inclusion by Manchester United or Spurs bumping Jonathan Woodgate off their list as a result of Rafael van der Vaart’s signing (a good piece of business, the bastards).

Arsene Wenger hasn’t finally given up on Robin van Persie and Nicklas Bendtner either, despite cripple status, which I suppose is a good thing.

At first I was a little bemused by Wojceich Szczesny’s absence from this list but a detailed article from Young Guns guru Jamie Sanderson about the squad lists suggests that he, plus about 50 other young players, are automatically registered in the U21 category and the list provided above by The Guardian was simply shortened for relevance.

Personally I don’t really see the point of all this squad list nonsense. The aim is supposed to be about increasing the number of home-based players to improve the quality of the national team but as so many have said previously, decreasing the quality of the league is far more likely to hurt the national team than improve it.

In my opinion the FA would be far better off to stop making concessions for their English “superstars”, come up with a detailed plan to develop a new style of play from the grass roots up and cease production of every single English tabloid.

Sure, we might miss out on cracking photos of Bendtner with his pants down, but that’s a price I’m sure most Englishmen and women would pay for a better national football team.

Anyway, I’m going to leave it there. Take it easy, enjoy your Thursday and I’ll speak to you soon.

Oh, and like it or lump it but Egnoue will be speaking to you sooner.


Have your say on Arsenal’s squad for the season by leaving a comment.



  1. Is relevancy an actual word? Has this word gobbled up the perfectly useful word called ‘relevance’? I know this question has nothing to do with your astute blog post, but it still stuck out.

  2. How is reducing the quality of the PL by imposing ridiculous quotas. You can tell they wanted to bring in quotas based on the number of English players but didn;t have the stones to do it. Mainly because it’s completely violates EU law.

    Here’s a radical suggestion if we really want to improve the national team’s chances, why not invest in proper coaches at youth level where we’re currently outnumbered by about 5,000 in both Germany and Spain. How about actually building the centre for excellence in Burton.

    Honestly, the governing bodies in this country are a joke. It won’t be long before we hear stories about how the failure of the national team is Arsenal’s fault.

    Despite having the most numbers of English players coming through at every England level from U20 down.

  3. a team with 26 players over the age of 21 will have to choose one to neglect. let’s just say they have ten “home-grown” players, none of them british. but they do have one british player! but let’s say that player isn’t held in high regard, so now the club has to choose between him and some other foreign player to exclude from the squad. so let’s say they exclude the brit. and just like that, the quality of the England national team has improved!

    I do fear for a few years in the future though, when the current reserves and U18s age and we have to let them or the veterans go. like fabregas nasri diaby song clichy vermaelen koscielny. the idea should be that the players age and get replaced by the youth team, like persie chamakh rosicky arshavin sagna eboue, but most of our current first-teamers still have 6-8 years left in them, so what happens when the kids hit 21. with their common ages, one season in the next 5 years will see us inherit a whole team to fit in the 25-man squad! and then, what happens the seasons after that? more batches!

    I know, not all the kids will make it at arsenal’s level, but the plan has always been for them to play together since the beginning and develop an understanding and relationship between them, so possibly most if not all of the current reserves team go on to first-team level. think wilshere’s quotes regarding frimpong, about how they work tegether so well.

  4. I love how ridiculous the home grown rule is, as the seven senior HG players in our senior squad aren’t even English. I foresee this rule meaning more managers will be willing to take a punt on extremely young foreign players, which is something Platini was criticising Arsene for some months ago.

    Also concur that the England team is a farce because of the lack of grassroots investment, a dyed in the wool manager, and the farcical media circus who treats every young English player like the second coming. Don’t get me started on the media!

    Think it would take something herculean for Arsene to lose faith in RvP and B52, especially with 5 senior places spare!

  5. I don`t have any other thing to say about the arsenal`s squad because we all know that is what arsenal can aford as a team. We as suporters of arsenal every new season we would wish to see new faces with strong international names but it seems the policies of our club doesn`t allow so or we are unable financialy. There fore i apprciate the squad of this season and i hope this time round it bring a good smile in our faces. Good luck to arsenal as a club and good luck to all the arsenal suporters. Long live arsenal, Long live arseanal`s fans. Francis from uganda.

  6. Andy –
    all week I have been waiting for Egnoue and his help with Alex’s hair.
    How much longer????
    My heart is so burdened with this problem, that I did not realise there was an international break :O

  7. No surprises expect that this squad will not win anything when you have the worst goalkeepers – the most most important position of the game -occupying the top three positions. Lack of quality goalkeeper was the main reason for gunners to return empty handed for fifth successive year and the 2010-2011 is not going to be any different. At the end of the season the same old excuses of young and inexperienced team will be made by excuses expert professor Arsene Wenger.

  8. the English should’t forget that the presence of foriegn players in the league made it the lucriative league it is today so the FA should stop crying over spilt milt. As for the squard i think they will go places this season because the boys are now men long live all arsenal fans.

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