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Written by Mean Lean on Thursday, 15 March 2012 13:37

It is a slow news day today, not a lot jumping out in front of me and yelling 'WRITE ABOUT ME!!' especially with the caps lock on. Soccer picks its moments for news and today simply isn't that day. I actually have yet another urge to write about the future and changing the colour from that mobile advert but two things are stopping me. One, it gets some supporters backs up and in my fragile tired state today, I wouldn't want to go around doing that. But secondly, I have done it all too many times in the past, so I shall wait a little longer before I unleash that on you.

Although speaking of the future, a certain Serge Gnabry is making a name for himself. The youngster who combines Ivory Coast power and German technique has managed to bag himself a similar train ticket to the one that Jack Wilshere had owned. A 16 year old youth player that had been impressing so much that he was promoted to the reserves. Jack Wilshere had proved that he was a cut above the older reserve players and eventually made his way into the Arsenal first team squad after a loan to Bolton and an impressive pre season at Arsenal.

Gooners who have managed to watch him have been waxing lyrical about him so I decided to dig a little deeper and get some information on the kid. Gnabry was involved in athletics in his younger years and had to make the decision between football and athletics, luckily he chose footy. He says that he is super quick and is up for a race and then fight with Theo Walcott at some point. Ok, perhaps not the fighting part but that was something that happened at my school. One kid asked my mate if he wanted a race and then a fight and he agreed. It was surreal, watching them sprinting in the playground, catch their breath and then switch into full fighting mode for no reason. Kids eh?

Anyway, getting back on the subject of Gnabry, he also fancies himself as a sharp shooter.

Gnabry said:

“I have a good shot, I practice my shooting a lot and if the shot is on because of the opening and the ‘keeper is positioned in a way where there is a chance, I am not afraid to shoot. I like to go for it if the chance is there, and thankfully, I have had some success,”

We have to remember that he is only a 16 year old kid and there is absolutely no point or no good in over hyping a player still in the middle of his development but basically is faster than Walcott, shoots better than van Persie and is stronger than Yaya Toure and stuff.

Gnabry played for the reserves last night and according to reports was the best player on the pitch, a pitch that included several first team players. I haven't had the chance to feast my eyes on this hulking, technical beast of an attacking midfielder apart from a few YouTube compilations, as reserve games are no longer shown live *Grrr* I used to watch all the games when they were on Arsenal TV. Do you remember that? Blinking eck, get a TV channel already.

You see how I did that. I started the article by saying that I wouldn't talk about the future and look where we are? You cannot defeat the subconscious you know.

Anyway, the charismatic Andre Santos got 60 minutes under his belt and it will be interesting to see what Arsene does at left back. Kieran Gibbs has done well in recent weeks and has stayed fit which is a huge bonus but with the experienced Santos back and looking rather trim I must say, will Arsene take the risk and play the senior player against Everton? It is interesting (or not) that he played 60 minutes and not the full 90. Saving some petrol in the tank? or caution as it is his first game back? Perhaps a bit of both.

Ju Park scores when he wants.. in the reserves. It was a nice goal apparently and adds to his other reserve strikes this season. Has there been a slight adjustment with the squad players and the reserves? I've banged on about this before so no need to open up that particular can of worms but I like it. Get them fit, get them sharp and give them confidence.

With the return of Santos and hopefully Diaby for the Everton game with are (Wilshere apart) back to full strength.. in March. How is that even possible? When was the last time at this stage of the season that our bill of health was almost as clean as Fernando Torres' goalscoring chart? It is remarkable and it is no coincidence that with our returning players our form has shot through the roof. I maintain the stance that we have one of the best first teams in the league when healthy. Who knows what a sprinkling of Podolski mixed in with a touch of Wilshere could provide. Shhhh, no future talk today.

I am a little worried about the Everton game at Goodison I must say, I am fighting with negative waves in my head but there is plenty of time before the game to deal with that. I am intrigued to see how we and Everton approach the game though. Newcastle tried pressing us from the front and stopping our build up play from the back. Everton have caused us a few problems by stopping that in the past but against Newcastle Szczesny simply lofted the ball onto the head of Sagna high up the pitch and he flicked on to Walcott. We pretty much pulled Newcastle's pants down in public and they found it difficult to live with that. Seeing as Arsene doesn't adjust his tactics I wonder how that came about. *ahem* I will be checking out our next game to see if we repeat that.

Lastly Tomas Rosicky turned down some mega cash from Russia and China to stay at the Arsenal. I think Tomas and his wife should have dinner at the van Persie's and have a chat about life and stuff. Not that they need convincing but why not make sure I say.

Finally if you didn't catch the new weekly column by James 'Raul' Stokes called Who needs Batman? We've got Robin! then do so initt?!

Back tomorrow

Comments (31)

  • pedantic george
    Well Thomas is perhaps paying back the lost years we stood by him.
    Something else RVP might want to bear in mind
  • bob  - Diaby???
    "Hopefully" you want to see Diaby play for us??? he should never wear the shirt again
  • MeanLean
    He should wear the shirt many many more times when he gets over his injury problems. Fine player
  • MeanLean
    Bob, I trust you will come back and put your hands up when Diaby strings a run of games together and proves his quality like Flamini, Song, Koscielny, Rosicky and many more.
  • MeanLean

    I agree, He owes the club and the manager who stood by him when many (including plenty supporters) who wanted rid when he couldn't stay fit. Let us see if he repays that faith shown in him.
  • pedantic george  - bob ffs you tit
    "bob - Diaby???

    "Hopefully" you want to see Diaby play for us??? he should never wear the shirt again"

    Please explain what Diaby has ever done,to deserve a dimwit like you,to make a comment like that?
  • Hausner
    I believe if we have Diaby and Wilshere we wont need the Gotzes and Hazards of this world, maybe just for securiy... our central midfield will put england ablaze
  • Chi  - Race n fight
    Hahahahaha I know kelvin was involved in the race and fight at school , who was the other guy ? Lol
  • MeanLean
    I've been struggling to remember his name and in fact, what he looked like. Hilarious though :D
  • Northbanksy
    If Diaby can overcome his injury problems he will become a major player for AFC.
    In footballing terms "he has it all". Pace, strength & amazing technical ability for a big man. My only criticsms of him in the past is he sometimes holds on to the ball too long before moving it on. At 25 he can still improve.
  • MeanLean
    Agree with all of that Northbanksy,

    I would say though that Diaby tends to hold onto the ball more when he has just come back from injury and hasn't found his momentum. At least, that is what I have noticed. Alex Hleb was the same until he found that rhythm.
  • MeanLean
    Great goal Sporting! We may see both Manchester clubs out on the same evening.
  • richie  - bob's your uncle? unless he can't walk it seems
    What a dipstick bob is! I wonder if he kicks guide dogs? How can anyone criticise an injuied man? He should do himself a favor and go on "you tube" and find the France vs England under 19 game of a few years ago. It shows what we've been missing since Abu Diaby has been injuried. Even though it was a good while ago it was the last time Abu Diaby was fully fit and not injuried. I know Abu has been fit a couple of times since but he's had that many injuries mainly from bad tackles that its hard to remember when. I can't wait for Abu Diaby to be fit and have a run in the side like Rosicky has just had. What a renaisance he's just enjoyed. Diaby I state is a great player! When fit and playing regularly.
  • MeanLean

    Here comes the impossible question. Everyone fit, everyone sharp. Who starts in your midfield?
  • pedantic george  - mid field

    And yes ,before you ask Jack does not make it.
  • dkgooner  - BUY BUY BUY
    Personally, I think it's about time Wenger got the cheque book out. If we'd splashed the cash on players like Dzeko, Yaya Toure, Adam Johnson and David Silva, and paid Nasri and Clichy what they wanted to stay then .............

  • marco  - die hard fan
    We still need to improve our midfield in order to competition next season
  • marco  - gunner die hard fan
    Qiuet nimbee of our player can,t maintain in good form every game player like rosicky, walcott just in form recently so we need to get some qualit attacking medfeild to standby just in case... do everone agreed
  • Aziz, KL-Malaysia
    Song, Arteta, Rosicky
  • Aziz, KL-Malaysia
    Attack: OX, RVP, TW
  • Aziz, KL-Malaysia
    let's wax poetic!

    oh Tim Kruuul, oh Tim Kruuul,
    we don’t wanna hear any more of your bull
    you spent the whole game wasting time
    learned a couple tricks from that Joey Barton Slime
    Shut your mouth you fool.

    SBN Bloglist:
    The Short Fuse (Arsenal, EPL)
    Sactown Royalty (Kings, NBA)

    by silverace99 on Mar 15, 2012 6:31 PM EDT
  • Waterboy
    It amazes me when people say that we need more players. Arsenal squad is enormous particular when you include the number of young professionals and players currently out on loan. A lot of the squad players just need a run of games to show their worth. Chamackh is a great example of a player who has sufferred from not getting a run of games. People too easily forget the great contribution he made at the start of last season when van piersie was out injured. I think thats a real challenge Arsenal face and i would be interested to hear how people think Arsenal should rotate their squad or not at all for that matter?
  • MeanLean
    The midfield is a very tough one and PG, your selection is interesting. I love the fight that Jack provides and I guess at his age his scope for improvement with games is larger but the idea of Song and Diaby together for a long run is also very exciting. Full of power and flair.
  • dkgooner  - Strong squad
    Agreed Waterboy - my contribution above was intended to be ironic (for those who didn't notice) and directed at those who have been screaming in that kind of tone, but seriously, all season (you know who you are). We've had a quite extraordinary record of long-term injuries, this season mainly in defence and midfield, previously in attack (RvP). But when all are hale and hearty, we currently have a very strong squad. That is not to say I wouldn't welcome some more good players but I think most of those who have come in as cover have acquitted themselves well - I'm thinking especially of Miquel, Gennaris and Coquelin. Benik Afobe was also looking very promising pre-season until he fell victim to the Curse of the Emirates. I'm still very hopeful that Diaby will recover fully and become the next Rosicky in that regard. Walcott's new consistency has shut my mouth good and proper - well done Theo, long may it last.
    I'm glad that Chelsea got through to the quarter finals of the CL because that means they will have more matches, with the FA Cup too, and more chances of injuries and tiredness. It would be great if we could put some more daylight between them and us next week so we can concentrate more on third place. Parker says Spurs are not concerned - like hell they aren't!
  • Osi  - Diaby world class
    Diaby is a world class player and anyone who thinks he's rubbish is just judging him on for not footballing reasons. Diaby can do everything that top players do; dribble with ease, turn away from defenders like zidane, pass and good shots. He's one footed but hes great player who's been unlucky with horrific injury that stagnated his development. He'll recover and will be a great player for us.
  • Don Oloo
    Hmmm, it wd b interesting to read comments frm u guys in hard times- especially on tht Diaby subject.
  • Don Oloo
    Returning from injury doesn't always translate into success. It takes some fight... at Anfield, i never saw that in Diaby's demeanor. For every Gunner who succeeds on injury returns, there's one who fails, or climbs down in form. RVP turned good, bt Eduardo failed; Rosicky has acquitted himself well, but Thierry Henry- back in 2007 failed. Where will Diaby end up? I say look into his eyes, see his body language, and dnt jst listen to what he says. Therein lies the answer.
  • Greengooner  - Arteta
    I like Diaby, still think he has a future at arsenal, shame about the injuries. Arteta however I hope doesn't have a future with us, he's not good enuff for AFC passes are always behind the player, loses the ball regularly and slows are game down. AC Milan 2nd game he didn't play and AFC played without the handbrake on.
  • richie
    Missed your question last night ML and what a question?
    When and if everybody in midfield is fit? We have players at Arsenal for every and all eventualitys. Where to start? Quickly though at the moment I can't see beyond Song Arteta & Rosicky. Though with a fully fit team it could be easily be Song, Diaby & Wiltshire.

    Rosicky isn't called Little Mozart for nothing! Anyone who re-watches 75mins of the Toon match will know exactly why. He can do everything from defence splitting through balls, to ball winning slide tackles, and at 31 his engine looked to be McLaren-ish in its reliability. With a proper run of games and (lets not forget) the manager standing firmly behind him when others were calling for him to be sold, we see a resurgent Rosicky who can be one hell of a creative hub.

    Alex Dimitri Song Billong although long is probably one of the first names on the list when Arsene thinks of naming any team. He's another player that many of our very own wanted to sell? Now when played in front of the back 4 he's widely recognised as one of the very best defensive midfielders in the premier league. He's a player that Arsene Wenger devoted a lot of time moulding. His strengths are, well his strength at retaining possession, many times he'll hold off two and make a composed pass. Next his energy levels are incredible. Finaly as witnessed recently he has vision and the technique to carry out that vision. Think of the composed through balls to RvP & Theo.

    Arteta is currently Mr Misunderstood by many of our own. As was firmly the case when the great Gilberto Silva played for us. No one rated him until he was injuried, when suddenly the fans favorite Patrick Vieira didn't look so good without Gilberto. When Patrick had either Petit or Gilberto to play alongside he was wonderful without them to rely on far more ordinary looking. So it is with Arteta and anyone he currently plays alongside. He makes others look good. His strengths are all in his positional play, he breaks up the oppositions game by being in the right place at the right time. He keeps the ball moving by playing short quick accurate passes and he'a always available to his team mates as an outlet. Its not spectacular play but it is essential.

    Jack on his day also has so much to offer. First comes his personality which is why so many Gooners love him. He's tenacious and wants to win for the team, its as if he's willing to die trying, and he is blessed with all the energy of youth to keep going. Next up comes his vision, but Jacks vision (a bit like Rosicky) doesn't apear straight away. He needs a run in the team before he gets comfortable and (sits in the middle) starts to play some sumtuous long forward passes with great accuracy.
    All of the above at a young age and he's still developing.

    Diaby is a total anomaly! When viewed playing at his best he is phenomanal. A box to box attack minded player that can cover ground very quickly. For a big man he has good balance and ball control, he can dribble or play his team mates in with beautiful though balls, or can shoot well from distance himself. Unfortunately for both us and Abu his entire career has been blighted by injury. We bought him from the French club Auxerre for only £2Mil its been said because he was injured so often.
    Somewhat in the mould of Yaya Toure, a player that we also had pre-season at London Colney to asses in 2005 in fact I saw Yaya play for Arsenal against Barnet - We didn't end up signing Yaya who was judged by the Arsenal staff at that time to be great but signed Abu Diaby in Jan of 2006 - I concluded from that, that Arsene thought AD was the better prospect as he was 3 years younger. There is only one priority for our physical therapy department. Get Diaby fit to play and keep him that way! On his day a fantastic player.

    Aarron Ramsey another box to box midfielder that at 22 years of age would probably have been 2 years further along had he not suffered a horrific double leg fracture at the hands of Stoke Assasin Ryan Shawcross. Since which his return has been slow and steady. He has all the potential to be a great midfielder somewhat in the Steven Gerrard style, but much remains to be seen about his progress following his injury and rehabilitation. At the moment he holds onto the ball too long which doesn't suit our style of play, but I'm confident he'll improve.

    As everyone will know I'm not in anyway shape or form a Doomer
    because when I think of our future I'm positive! Serge Gnarby was mentioned and yes but there's so many reasons to be cheerful.
    Frimpong -Coquelin- Miyaichi -Galindo -Ozyakup- Joel Campbell- Eastmond -Yennaris - Kyle Bartley - Ignasi Miguel -Martin Angha -Tomas Eisfeld -Wellington Da Silva - Benik Afiobe - the young guns are coming through they might not all make it but there's loads of potential!
  • richie  - ML & the next post
    Well maybe not exactly the same as the next post but I'm sure you know what I mean.
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