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
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)
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.