Thank goodness that’s over! Now Mikel Arteta can focus on the league and Europa Cup. Just two months left of this crazy season, nine league fixtures and twenty seven points to play for. Wouldn’t it be a great end to the season if Arsenal could take the full 27 points from the remaining matches. Anything over twenty and I reckon we’ll be in Europe next season. Throw in a big cup and the season will have been a good one. A girl can dream right?
I’ve not seen any reports of injuries to Arsenal players after the internationals so that’s good news. Odegaard was the one concern but in the end, he recovered and continued to play for Norway. Knackered legs will be the main concern ahead of Saturday’s fixture against Liverpool.
England under had a rough time of it during the last two weeks, so much so, ESR and Eddie will enjoy a long summer break.
The countries involved in this summers Euros are: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and Wales.
Not many Arsenal players will be deprived of a rest this summer. Off the top of my head only Xhaka, Saka and Leno from the first team squad. A few of our younger players though might be involved in the Under 21 Euros. So as we go into next season, we’ll do so with a well rested squad.
Next season should also see one or two of the Arsenal academy pushing for a place in the first team. The club currently have a hefty number of players out on loan who might believe their time is coming. Ballard is one. Already an international regular for Northern Ireland, playing in the Premier League should faze him really. With Luiz out of contract this summer day everything crossed that Arsenal don’t offer him another year, there should be a gap in central defence. Mark McGuinness is another central defender pushing for a first team squad place but at just 20 years old, next season might be too soon for him. Zech Medley is the oldest central defender of those on loan but I’ve no idea how he’s getting on at Kilmarnock but at least he’s been playing.
Jordi Osei-Tutu is just coming back from injury. A 22 year old right back who if good enough, could deputise for Cedric if Arsenal decide to sell Bellerin. Better still would be him being good enough to replace all of our right back options. Pre season friendly fixtures will be his time to prove himself, as it will be for a number of the younger players I think.
Not forgetting of course we also have players on loan who have already featured for the first team. Eddie, Willock, AMN, Torreira, Guendouzi and Kolasinac. I’m far from convinced that any of them will be at Arsenal come the start of the new season. Their Arsenal ship has sailed I think although I’m hoping Saliba still has a future with the club.
In the absence of a few of the first team over the last couple of weeks, a number of academy players have been involved in training with Mikel Arteta. Jeorge Bird confirmed those players are: Miguel Azeez, Nikolaj Moller, Folarin Balogun, Tom Smith, Kido Taylor-Hart, Jonathan Dinzeyi, Tolaji Bola, Catalin Cirjan, George Lewis, Tim Akinola, Ryan Alebiosu and Trae Coyle.
There’s a lot of talent in there, or a lot of money to be made. Either way, the academy players really are important to the club, as are those out on loan. Just a great shame Folarin Balogun hasn’t committed to the club. Yet.
See you in the comments.