Austria Camp, Reserves Draw With Crawley Town, New No. 10 & 11

Arsene has taken 27 players to Austria. The complete list can be seen here. It’s interesting to note that only six youth players have made it to the camp. Eastmond, Lansbury, Nordveit, JET, Frimpong, and Henderson made the cut while the likes of Watt, Simpson, Barazite, and Miquel missed out.

It seems more and more likely that it’s the end of the road for Simpson and Barazite. I’m a bit surprised that Simpson hasn’t been given some more chances. Now that there are strong reports suggesting the departure of Eduardo (will cover that once it’s official) he would have been a handy player for some of the easier games. Anyway, as long as he is not sold or loaned out he can still be a part of the squad so let’s leave it at that.

On the whole, I think it’s a good group we have in Austria and if we add the missing regulars; Ramsey, Bendtner, Cesc, and Van Persie, it gives us a 30+ strong squad. Since many of them are U-21 we have no need to worry about the 25 player rule.

Over the next couple of weeks we should get a better idea about the defensive situation (CB & DM). It looks like Wenger will study the performances of Frimpong, Eastmond, Nordtveit, and the other kids before he decides on the need for further signings.

I can understand why he’d want to watch the youngsters first before making a decision. These kids grow really fast at this age and their development can be surprisingly quick as we saw last year when Wilshere came out of nowhere to shine in the pre-season. Personally, I hope we get at least one versatile defender even if he kids are doing well.

Amidst all this, we also have 4 keepers in the squad with the youngster Szczesny joining the usual suspects. I have a feeling Arsene has looked for a keeper but hasn’t found a deal that convinces him. From the fans’ point of view any deal for a new keeper is a good deal but the manager will definitely have to consider many aspects.

I guess pre-season is as important for Arsene as it is for the players. This is the time when he really needs to take some big decisions for the whole season (there are chances of correcting the mistakes in January but it could be too late by then). Regular readers will know that I’ve defended our keepers all season last year but I feel we need a new keeper just for the sake of confidence if nothing else. The flip side is that the confidence can vanish just as easily if the new guy takes time to adapt, or makes a few mistakes early on, or gets injured. Obviously, the issue is not as simple as signing one cheque.

While the key players are training in Austria the reserves/youth players have a few fixtures of their own. The first one was against Crawley Town XI and ended with the two teams sharing four goals. Arsenal went behind in the first minute from a corner (we’re the same all the way down 😀 ) but came back with two goals in the fourth and seventh minutes from the forgotten man Rhys Murphy. CT equalized early in the second half and the game ended in a 2-2 stalemate.

Arsenal started that game with,

Shea; Hoyte (c), Boateng, Miquel, Evina; Randall, Barazite, Ozyakup; Murphy, Simpson, Watt

Aneke, Afobe, Jernade Meade, and Martin Angha made substitute appearances later on.

I thought it was a strange collection. Some players who have been around for a while but haven’t really gone anywhere playing alongside some up and coming talents who will be looking to do better.

I’ve been a bit disappointed with the way our reserves play. We should expect more from them and if they are playing a Blue Square Conference side (four levels below the Premiership) they really should be doing better. I don’t want to comment on one game as I didn’t see it and don’t have any stats or reports to go by, but even in the past we’ve not done too well against smaller teams.

To me it’s a matter of how badly does a team want to win. Players who want to succeed at the top level need to be desperate to win even in relatively meaningless games. Sometimes I feel our reserves and youngsters take it all too easy.

In other news Van Persie has taken over the No. 10 Jersey and Vela gets 11. It will be good to see RvP as a number ten. He is much more than just a centre forward and if he can come anywhere close to the previous Dutchman who wore that shirt we will have a big, big season. And if Vela can match his goals scored tally with his shirt number I’ll be more than happy.

A nice game’s coming up tomorrow as Arsenal take on SK Sturm Graz. I think they are one of the stronger Austrian sides so it should be a tougher test than the one against Barnet. Hopefully, the ATVO service will not trouble me as much as it did for the last game. More on that after the game.


8 Responses to Austria Camp, Reserves Draw With Crawley Town, New No. 10 & 11

  1. GoonerFan says:

    Agree with you Desigunner on the reserves, obviously we have weak players in some of the positions. I don’t think Hoyte and Randall will make it and whilst I have been rooting for Simpson, he just doesn’t have the creativity to be a top class finisher. Murphy was injured so this set his progress back alot. Hopefully he will be determined enough to develop. I hope Sanchez Watt has a breakthrough year – he reminds me of Wrighty.

    I think the fact that there are 6 youth players in Austria is amazing! I would of been happy to of seem 3. The youth policy hasn’t been in place that long so 6 is a fantastic return on investment.

    • desigunner says:

      Yes, 6 youngsters is a good achievement, made more impressive by the fact that we aren’t even counting someone like Wilshere in those 6 (although some might say Nordtveit was signed from another club).

      The talk about Murphy was that he was very highly rated but because of his injury problems he dropped off the radar last year. Let’s hope he can get back on track.

  2. […] Austria Camp, Reserves Draw With Crawley Town, New No. 10 & 11 Arsene has taken 27 players to Austria. The complete list can be seen here. It’s interesting to note that only six […] […]

  3. Bala says:

    I think the reason why arsene hasn’t bought any DM is because he wants eastmond and frimpong to step up

  4. johnnyjoe says:

    I like Nacer and Simpson, why AW didn’t brought them to Australia. My opinion thought that these twos guys can made impact to our team.

  5. Manav says:

    Good to read that Eastmond, Lansbury, Nordveit, JET & Frimpong are among those who’ve flown away to the Alps but Simpson’s continual sidelining disappoints me. He hasn’t had a start in the Premier League in the last 2 seasons despite being good enough for a few games against ‘weaker’ opposition and now that Eduardo has left, he can have his fair share.
    Nacer Barazite was being hailed early on in the previous season but seems to have lost a little zing about him; I’m sure JET would’ve been a very easy choice for AW.
    Havard Nordtveit should prove his mettle this season. I don’t see him going away on another loan this season (especially when he himself is averse to such a thing happening; he wants to play for Arsenal now!).
    Haven’t seen Henderson in action ever.
    Wonder why Sanchez-Watt’s been left behind.
    And what of Kyle Bartley?? Is he training with the Blades? He wanted another season @ Sheffield Untied (their manager patronizes him).

  6. Manav says:

    JET must have been an obvious choice for Wenger. He’s had successful loan spells @ Blackpool and Doncaster. I rate Lansbury higher than Eastmond because of the former’s reassuring body-language.
    Nordtveit must be aware that this is his big chance to leave a positive impression on the boss especially now that he doesn’t wanna go away on loan again.
    Kyle Bartley’s absence is conspicuous. Has he already been loaned out to Sheffield United? He wanted another season-long loan @ Bramall Lane (their manager patronizes him).
    Simpson’s continual sidelining disappoints me. Now that Eduardo has left, I think he can have his fair share of Premier League games. I don’t want him to see him loaned out to a Championship side anymore.

    • sameep says:

      I don’t think he will be loaned, he will be sold…he is nearly 22 now, same as Nick, and it was straight race between him and Nick..but Nick was better..I had also heard that he is on market..

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