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Wealth of Talent at Arsenal Bodes Well for Future

In Arsenal’s Carling Cup semi-final match against Spurs this Wednesday, Arsene Wenger will probably feature some players that you’re not familiar with unless you’re a die-hard Arsenal fan. Just as he did last season, Wenger is using the Carling Cup to blood his youngsters into the first team with great success.

In fact, Arsene Wenger has groomed such a talented squad in North London that the Gunners could easily field three separate sides all with quality players. Essentially, Arsenal has an ‘A’ team, ‘B’ team and ‘C’ team. Take a look:

Arsenal ‘A’ Team:
Arsenal A team formation

Arsenal ‘B’ Team:
Arsenal B team formation
Arsenal ‘C’ Team:
Goalkeeper: Lukasz Fabianski
Defenders: Kerrea Gilbert, Johan Djourou, Gavin Hoyte
Midfielders: Fran Merida, Alexandre Song, Mark Randall, Henri Lansbury
Strikers: Theo Walcott, Nacer Barazite, Rui Fonte

Other than Portugese striker Rui Fonte, the rest of the Arsenal ‘C’ team have been featured in the Arsenal side this season either on the field or on the bench. Most of the ‘C’ team have played especially during Carling Cup matches.

Other than a possible departure for veteran goalkeeper Jens Lehmann, Arsene Wenger is poised to make no changes in the January transfer window. No players in. No players out. He really is a chairman’s dream manager.

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  1. Pingback: Daily Dose 01.09.08 - World Cup Blog - African Cup of Nations 2008

  2. Todd

    January 9, 2008 at 3:36 am

    gaffer, great points. but how many players can take the field at a time? you have to consider that the future is not certain and “building a team for the future” is very difficult in todays game. players you would never sell…kaka, ronaldinho, c. ronaldo etc…are being talked about on the transfer market. if thats the case, no-one is safe

  3. IIB

    January 8, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    You are correct on most counts; however, I think Eboue is part of the A team (even though he may not have a guaranteed spot, injuries and the 4-4-1-1 formation have turned him into the left-mid of choice for most games) On the B team, I think Justin Hoyte would be the right-back, while the midfield should look like this:

    Diarra – Gilberto – Denilson – Diaby (even though, when he played, Diarra has done so mostly in the “enforcer” role in front of the back 4)

    The lineup from one game to the next has, however, been very fluid (and many times unpredictable) There are so many possible winning combinations when you have an abundance of the right ingredients…

  4. TheScout

    January 8, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    I think if you looked at some of the other clubs they’ll have similar ‘depth’ but they are not doing as good a job at getting them first-team expreience, even if it is in the so-called “lesser” games.

    As for Barazite, I think he typically likes to play “in the hole” like Berkamp used to do…essentially a shadow striker.

    They also have a couple of other prospects that didn’t get a mention here. Håvard Nordtveit is a young Norwegian defender that they picked up in the summer. He was captain of Arsenal’s reserve squad for part of this season…not sure if he still is or not . A couple of prospects are out on loan as well…Jay Simpson is at Millwall and Vincent van den Berg is on loan to Go Ahead Eagles of the Dutch Second Division.

    In one sense it is quite sad the way some of these top teams hoard young talent. I don’t think the reserve system is necessarily the best way for them to develop. I guess they look at it like stocks…even if they don’t intend to keep the player, they hope they can turn a profit on reselling them later.

  5. Michael

    January 8, 2008 at 8:19 am

    This just shows the incredible depth Wenger has been able to assemble. You’re right, he can field three legitimate teams and all of them are capable of winning against Premiership teams, just ask Blackburn.

    From what I saw in that Blackburn game, it looked like Randall was a striker and Barazite was a midfielder, but I haven’t seen either of those guys play regularly to know for sure.

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