Well good evening my darlings – it’s an international break, and we are all struggling.
I saw Harry McGuire get ruined by Scotland fans… watched Balogun score against Oman… saw that Newcastle striker earn game time over Eddie… I can’t do it anymore. I just can’t.
Trossard scored for Belgium – in a game that saw Lukaku match Pele for international goals.
Neymar moved to 56 assists at international level – he’s just two behind the record – SET BY LANDON DONOVAN. Who saw that coming? Not me boss, not me.
Kai Havertz was gifted an assist against France after Bill Saliba backed off him and gave him the freedom to slip in Sane. That’s team culture right there – comradery above nationalism. A beautiful thing.
I’ve rigged up about 17 different alert systems to keep me posted on injuries.
Big Gabi starts for Brazil tonight… so we know he’s ok.
Arsenal submitted their Champions League squad.
Goalkeepers: Aaron Ramsdale, David Raya, James Hillson
Defenders: Cedric, Lino Sousa, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Ben White, Gabriel, Jakub Kiwior, William Saliba
Midfielders: Mohamed Elneny, Jorginho, Thomas Partey, Declan Rice, Martin Odegaard, Kai Havertz, Fabio Vieira, Emile Smith Rowe
Forwards: Leandro Trossard, Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, Reiss Nelson, Eddie Nketiah, Gabriel Jesus
No major omissions – bar Jurrien Timber. That makes me quite sad. There’s no miracle return in the works.
Lino Sousa made the cut – the 18-year-old twinkle-toed fullback lands a space with the club low on fullback numbers.
I’m not sure how much of that is a nod to talent vs a need. But my hope is Arteta isn’t messing around and he wants him to get used to travelling with the first team this season. James Hillson in goal also gets some 3rd keeper action.
It is a big question I have this season – are we too good for breakthrough acts in 2023? When Arteta got over his obsession with average older players, he had a real reputation problem.
‘say what you will about the sauce, he bet the house on Willian!’
‘He gave Auba a £350k a week contract!’
‘The man’s having a bromance with David Luiz’
It is overlooked how he leaned into kids to repair his reputation.
Arsenal fans love young players – young players are forgiven for underperformance far more readily than senior players – younger players give you cloud cover to make rookie mistakes.
Well, now we’re good, Arteta is knocking the weak babies out of the nest. Youthful stars like Balogun, The Smith, and Ramsdale are all going to be sidelined or exited this season. But Arteta doesn’t need cloud cover and he doesn’t need to explain himself. Because now we’re all on board with his methods.
That now begs the question – are we in a post-Hale-End era? Are we about to be the club the shift on our best kids – only to see them haunt us?
I don’t know… but it is going to be VERY hard for kids to break into a first team that basically can’t afford any slippage. You need Saka-like talents and there aren’t many of them in existence.
If Charlie Patino was born 5 years earlier, he’d be in that left 8 position. Same for Balogun. Could it be similar for MLS, Cozier-Dubbery, and Nwaneri?
We don’t know. It’d be a real shame. But this is the cost of shooting for greatness, unfortunately.
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— LE GROVE (@LeGrove) September 11, 2023