Thinking about our squad………..

I’ve been looking at our squad lists because in all the talk of transfers, what doesn’t seem to get much discussion, is how we aim to fill our squad of 25, and leave room for the youth to come through. Which of course is now essential with the homegrown rules in place. So before we look outside, let’s look within.

This was our squad list last season.

Arteta Amatriain, Mikel (No)
Bendtner, Nicklas (Yes)
Cazorla, Santiago (No)
Diaby, Vassiriki Abou (No)
Fabianski, Lukasz (No)
Flamini, Mathieu (No)
Gibbs, Kieran James Ricardo (Yes)
Giroud, Olivier (No)
Koscielny, Laurent (No)
Mertesacker, Per (No)
Monreal, Ignacio (No)
Ozil, Mesut (No)
Park, Chu Young (No)
Podolski, Lukas (No)
Ramsey, Aaron James (Yes)
Rosicky, Tomas (No)
Sagna, Bacary (No)
Szczesny, Wojciech Tomasz (Yes)
Vermaelen, Thomas (No)
Viviano, Emiliano (No)
Walcott, Theo James (Yes)

Ricardo Gibbs and Amatriain Arteta. Brilliant.

So that was a list of 21, with 5 Home-grown players. We also added Kallstrom in January. I think we will lose 6 of these players (Bendtner, Park, Fabianski, Sagna, Viviano and Kallstrom.) of which only Bendtner counts as home grown. That will leave us with a list of 16 and 4 home-grown players. Only Carl Jenkinson and Jack Wilshere from our current first team are required to be added to our list for 2014-15. Which would make it a list of 18, with 6 homegrown players. So we can add 5 more non-homegrown players this season.

So before any additions our squad will look like:

GK:  Szczesny*

RB:  Jenksinon*

LB: Gibbs*, Monreal

CB: Per, Kos, Verm

CM: Arteta, Diaby, Flamini, Ramsey*, Rosicky, Wilshere*

AM: Walcott*, Cazorla, Podolski, Ozil

ST: Giroud

Obviously we need to buy players in various positions to have a complete squad, and a squad that is good enough. However, we also need to consider bringing players through our youth ranks. Will they be incorporated into first team action? Indeed, some of them already are.

Now, my knowledge of the Arsenal Reserves and youth teams is fairly limited these days and I had to do some internet scouting to find out about most of them. Some names are familiar because they have been mentioned on and off in the media. Others are just wild punts. I may have left some talented players out, or got the positions wrong for some of the ones I did include. However, such as it is, this is the list I compiled of players we have coming through (or out on loan), along with the years in which they need to be registered.

GK: Damien Martinez (2014), Matt Macey (2016), Deyan Illiev (2017) Josh Vickers (2017)

RB:  Hector Bellerin (2017), Tafari Moore (2020)

LB: Brandon Ormonde-Ottewille (2017), Arinse Uade (2017)

CB: Johan Djourou, Ignasi Miquel (2014), Daniel Boateng ( 2014), Semi Ajayi (2015), Zach Fagan (2016), Isaac Hayden (2017), Julio Pleguezelo (2020)

CM: Francis Coquelin, Samuel Galindo (2014), Chuks Aneke (2015), Thomas Eisfeld (2015), Jon Toral (2017), Jack Jebb (2017), Kris Olsson (2017), Gedion Zelalem (2019), Dan Crowley (2020)

AM: Ryo Miyaichi (2014), Joel Campbell (2014), Wellington Silva (2015), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (2015), Serge Gnabry (2016), Zak Ansah (2016), Tarum Dawkins (2017), Alex Iwobi (2018)

ST: Yaya Sanogo (2015), Benik Afobe (2015), Chuba Akpom (2017), Austin Lipman (2017)

Although we certainly can’t plan to shape our squad to accommodate some players who may (or may not) need to be registered in the next 5 years, but seeing as some of them are talented, and the homegrown rules account for at least 8 of a squad of 25 players over the age of 21, we cannot be completely blind to their talent while going out to purchase a player.  For example, Zelalem. No one wants to hear the line about ‘killing’ Denilson again, but at the same time, here is a player who can count as an U-21 for the next 5 seasons, and yet he is on the fringes of the first team. Surely we must be aware of making space for him in the squad eventually. That of course includes looking at player contracts, planning the evolution of a squad with the right balance, depends on opportunities that open up in the future in the transfer market etc.

So for me the question is how many spots can be made available to our U21 players? (To add depth, not to compromise on quality) The ones I’d like to see get a chance would be, Martinez (3rd choice GK), one of Miquel (out of contract)/Ajayi/Hayden as 4th choice CB, one midfield spot for either Aneke or Eisfeld. And Joel Campbell to come in as well.

Ox (obviously), Gnabry and Sanogo are already members of the first team I think. Akpom and Zelalem seem very talented but I think they might need a loan first. For others like Ryo, Afobe, Wellington and Coquelin, sadly, I think the time has come and gone. What do you think?

P.S. This article was written before Arsenal released certain players. Aneke, Tarum Dawkins, and Zak Ansah among them.

Written by Shard


85 Responses to Thinking about our squad………..

  1. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Wow Shard

    This is a thorough piece of work and requires much thought. Perfect for me as I move objects from one house to another. Will think hard and report back.

    Without thought, I’d simply say “flog absolutely anyone and everyone to get Cavani”, but perhaps I better go and do the homework.

    Thank you anyway, and back later.

  2. kelsey says:

    This is way above my head,Shard .Football has got so complex these days but I still don’t understand the Home Grown bit. If we get a kid from Zanzibar at say age 16 he is Home Grown.Not for me.

    Sorry I missed yesterday Raddy. To be honest my mind is a blank about that night but I vaguely recall listening to the game on the radio. I do know that mortgages had reached 16% at that time 😉

  3. Lei says:

    What about Wilshere, Jack Andrew Garry and Jenkinson, Carl for the list?..

    Back to finish reading..

  4. Lei says:

    Oh and Chambo!..

  5. Lei says:


    Those are the home grown rules indeed. Players must have been with the club for at least two years before the age of 21 to qualify…

  6. Shard says:

    Hello AA. I actually ‘wrote’ this post to satisfy my curiosity, mainly because I like to see what the squad might look like about 2 years down the line. I think that is how the manager has to look at things while deciding who to buy rather than just season to season since player contracts run longer than that. I only sent it in because I thought it might make up for the paucity of posts. Hopefully it’s not too confusing 🙂

  7. Shard says:

    Lei and kelsey

    It is European laws I believe which prevent nationality being the criteria. FIFA and Uefa wanted to start the 6+5 rule where 6 of the starting 11 have to be eligible to play for the nation where the club is based. But this proposal has now been abandoned.

    A player qualifies as homegrown if he has spent a period of 36 months or 3 seasons registered with a club in England or Wales before the age of 21 (including the season during which he turns 21)
    All players under the age of 21 can be used without being registered. This is why Wilshere and Chamberlain could play last season without being registered. Ox doesn’t need to be registered till 2015-16. But Jack and Carl will need to be next season.

    The Uefa homegrown rules are different in that they distinguish between association trained players and club trained players. (4 of the 8 have to be trained by the club) Also, not all U21 players can play without registration. They have to have been at the club for 2 years or more. So you can’t buy an 18 year old and instantly play him in Uefa competitions without taking up a spot in the 25.

  8. Shard says:

    Micky on the other hand wants to start a rule of Cavani+10 for the Arsenal squad. This proposal too is likely to be shunned. By everyone but Micky himself.

  9. arnie says:

    Brilliant stuff, Shard. 🙂 As a matter of principle, I like our Arsenal to rely as strongly as possible on our Academy. For all UEFA and European labour laws. But most importantly, this is one area where we are trend setters, at least in the EPL. And we want to continue to be different and defiant. Rub it on the faces of teh mainstream oiler brigade. 🙂 🙂

    Unfortunately, personally I know very little about ur Academy but I am keen to learn. So, I am sitting on the wings and following all teh discussion. COYG. 🙂 🙂

  10. Lei says:

    Thanks for a great post btw Shard very insightful.

    This just shows how tricky this summer window will be because as much as we need top class additions to boost our squad, we have some promising players coming through. Sadly, the hunger for glory will not allow us to see much of the talents in our youths 😦

    How I see it is that if they can show some patience and we keep hold of them, we have some really good players. Its just that most of them are not physically mature enough, even at 20/21 for some (ie Eisfeld or Olsson), and therefore they dont get enough opportunities.

    I really look forward to seeing Pleguezuelo in the first team! Only 17 Great reading of the game, quite a robust defender despite his size and reminds me of Kos.
    Hayden is more of a defensive midfielder who can also play CB and cover at RB. Maybe HE is the big unit we need?
    We may need look no further than the academy for some good squad additions…

  11. Reddawn says:

    Hi Kelsey….
    I know these rules are very confusing, but I think you are referring to the new UKIP rule, which means if you’re not born here you can’t be home grown!

  12. Lei says:

    Thanks for the info. I only news some bits from all that ^^

  13. RA says:


    I am not sure what you meant when you said out Academy are trend setters, much tho I would like to agree with you.

    If you are referring to the quality of the kids in the set up I am afraid we have long been outdone by the excellent Academies of Chelsea, Man Citeh and Manure.

    Chelsea have won the FA Youth Cup or appeared in the Final for the last 5 years.

    I watched the semi-finals of the FAYC this year and to be honest we were thrashed by the Chavs and City were superb over the two legs of their game.

    In the Final itself, the quality of play shown by those two teams was exemplary.

    Money still talks even at that level and the top three have certainly bought well. Each of them have youngsters out on loan, with Chelsea in particular having more than 24 loanees out learning their business or being prepared for sale at a very nice price.

    I think Liam Brady had taken the Youth Academy as far as he could, and now we have Jonkers coming in on the 1st July to shake things up, with Franz Kat looking after the U21s and another Dutchman also employed to try and improve things with ex-Arsenal man Steve Morrow appointed as Chief Youth Scout.

    Arsenal have recently completed a major re-development of Hale End (the soccer school and nursery part of the Arsenal youth set up) and are now going to spend big bucks on the youth training facilities at London Colney, as the club realise they have to improve the youth set up.

  14. arnie says:

    Yes, Redders, exactly. 🙂 🙂 Our Academy side of things have slipped in the last couple of years, perhaps since Bould moved more exclusively to the first team management. We have to get this back on track. No easy/ quick fixes here. I would like to see us focus on this aspect of our development and get in back on track within say 2 years.

    This is in addition to gunning for trophies. For the moment, we cannot I think rely that much on the Academy. The talent there is somewhat limited. In the medium run, we should get better. The arrival of Jonker is promising. 🙂

  15. RA says:

    The Home Grown Rules are in essence pretty simple in theory, but perhaps a little more difficult in practice.

    It came about because UEFA felt there was a need to ensure that the development of home-grown talent.was not ignored or overlooked and wanted to make provision for sustainable long-term club youth policies.

    There is a limit of 25 players in the first team squad.

    There can only be a maximum of 17 Non-Home Grown players over the age of 21 years old in the squad.

    There can be 8 Home Grown players over the age of 21 years old in the squad.

    There can be any number of players under the age of 21 years old in the squad, subject to a 36 month rule for Non-Home Grown under 21 years old.

    If everything remained static vis a vis the players and their ages, but of course it does not. For example, if we already had 17 Non-Home Grown players in the squad at the commencement of the transfer period we would have to sell one or more before we could buy.

    If a Home Grown player reached 21 within the qualifying period he would have to be registered as a member of the squad. If there were already 25 players in the squad, that player would have to be let go, or another Home Grown player would have to go, or a Non-Home Grown player would have to be sold.

    [Don’t forget the 8 Home Grown players rule is minimum and we could, in theory, have a squad of 25 Home Grown players – we should be so lucky!]

    So without going into further details, such as, ‘when’ does a player reach 21 for the squad qualifying rules etc, etc, I think you can see that it can become tricky administering the scheme, and goes some way to explain why talented players like Chuks Anneke are released when they reach 21 years old.

  16. arnie says:

    Chavs have some excellent young players, as we well saw to our horror earlier in the year. But under the going model, none of them are going to graduate into their first team.

    This is where we are different. Yes, there is some lack of talent at the moment, and this has to be addressed, but moving forward we should again be able to see our own homegrown players play a major role in our seniour team.

    This is my hope/ aspiration. 🙂

  17. Shard says:


    I think Aneke was also out of contract and rejected the extension we offered. My guess is this is because we planned to loan him out. Which is basically the only other thing you can do unless you make space for youngsters in the squad by pushing out an established player. (Aneke had another year before he needed to be registered though)

    You are also correct about the drop in standards at the academy level and I think there has been a lot of player churn in past seasons. Although, results at that level can lie since Arsenal almost always accelerate the better youth players to a higher age group to aid their development, even if the results show otherwise.

    Another point that I’d like to make is that although the rules will need us to recruit from within to some extent, and Wenger will always give players who are good enough a chance, I think we will see very few make it from our academy now that our spending potential has increased.

    The Wenger of old (pre-stadium) was not known for giving youth a chance. At least, not for nurturing them in the first team. Many, in fact, complained about this, such as David Bentley (and even Liam Brady). Wenger’s contention was that he needs to play players who are better for results, and even when the result in the match is secure some players might need to play for confidence or fitness reasons, hence young players get less chances. (I also remember him using the 5 on the subs bench as a reason why young players get less chances, but now it is 7 like the rest of Europe) I think we will see a return to that, unless there is an exceptional talent in the reserves, or an exceptional need such as for filling homegrown quotas.

  18. Shard says:

    Of course Wenger had also said that the ultimate plan is to have 65% of the first team squad composed of homegrown players. So who knows?

    But look at Barcelona. Famously formed on the basis of homegrown players, displaying a wonderful academy. But they paid big money for at least Jordi Alba and Cesc Fabregas. They also needed to let Gerard Pique go to ManU before bringing him back. It is not easy to bring through young players while maintaining the squad at a high level. That 65% aim might be an overly ambitious target. Unless you go the Barcelona route and buy players back. Or go the Chelsea route and keep loaning them out (this however removes any emotional attachment to the club the player might have, in my view, and also costs a lot of money)

  19. kelsey says:

    “It is European laws I believe which prevent nationality being the criteria. FIFA and Uefa wanted to start the 6+5 rule where 6 of the starting 11 have to be eligible to play for the nation where the club is based. But this proposal has now been abandoned. ” said Shard.

    Why abandon it ? Germany changed their omplete policy around 2000.We need to go back to grass roouts with better coaching facilities. The trouble is that on one hand we want better more skilful players for the England National squad yet a good majority of good players from abroad want to play in the PL,so to me there is a conflict of interests.

  20. Shard says:


    The current squad rules were brought in after the 6+5 rule was declared to be in contravention of European laws.

    If you had quotas such as the 6+5, in my view all that will happen is that you’ll have players like David Bentley becoming prized commodities, and even more of a prize idiot. Of course ultimately this would also mean that the English league would lose its status as an elite league.

    The laws restricting mobility of labour are unfair anyway. No one talks about barring capital crossing borders. The opposite in fact. And yet we hear talk of free markets.

    What changes did German start in 2000? I think they were to do with ensuring that every club have an academy with a certain number of coaches or recruits or something. That’s all I remember hearing about. Was there anything else, especially based around nationality?

  21. Shard says:

    PS. Also, why can’t English players go play in other countries if all the best talent from abroad is coming to England and taking away their jobs? Surely the fault lies in the English game which won’t be eradicated by putting up barriers?

  22. arnie says:

    Micky: your gift has just arrived in the post. 🙂 yo ho ho ho. thank you thank you thank you. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  23. wally says:

    When you look at what we need to add, striker, goalkeeper, a fullback, and a DM there is no room in a 25 man squad for any youth promotions is there.
    Big teams carry more than 25 but the youth will not see any European competition.

  24. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Hiyer Micky, re your comment @9.25,

    The “Sir Les Patterson” look went down a storm in the Borneo rain forest, particularly with a number of the sartorialy challenged Aussies present.

    One in particular took my notice, a “sheila” wearing brown leather, above the knee, boots with a white lace mini dress, coupled with a leather Aussie bush hat. Now a slim sixteen year old blonde would have looked stunning in such an outfit, but the raddled fifteen stone, five foot six, elderly harridan wearing it was just….well stunning actualy, but just not in the same way. 😀

  25. LB says:

    Excellent post Shard

    Very informative and not to forget your comments. Thank you, I feel I now have a better understanding of the subject.

  26. Vinay says:

    This home grown talent thing is becoming a passe, if you have talent you do not need the country’s passport, you just need to play where you are valued. This was what the boss had also said when he was accused of not having english players in the team. Simple, whoever is good enough should play.

  27. 26may1989 says:

    Excellent post, shard, thanks. You’ve done all the thinking, saves us doing it!

    It’s worth bearing in mind that the PL has a different set of rules about home grown players, and clubs competing in Europe need to coordinate their efforts to meet both. Luckily, we’re in good shape on both, as shown by the fact that we could bring in five non-home grown players and still comply with the CL rules.

    RA makes an excellent point about the academy – Chelsea and to an extent City are operating at a superior level now (not sure I could say the same of United though). Worth also mentioning the amazing success at Southampton too. Their squad might be dissembled this summer but for a medium sized club, they do a stunning job.

    As for how English youngsters (or should that be English, Welsh, Scottish, Northern Irish and Irish youngsters) can have the chance to develop, the rules are fine but I do wonder about their lack of ambition. Why is it all these youngsters from every other country feel able to move to foreign countries in order to develop but ours don’t?

  28. Big Raddy says:

    Shard. Very informative and interesting post

    According to the lawyers at FIFA the 6+5 ruling IS legal. It is true it was initially rejected as anti-EU law.

    Here is the ruling ….

    Click to access inea_media_release_e.pdf

  29. Big Raddy says:

    26. They aren’t wanted by foreign clubs. Lack of technique, egoism, poor fitness ? – who knows the reason but I cannot think of any young British player who has been poached at youth level.

  30. kelsey says:

    That’s my whole point,Raddy.It goes back to grass roots and the technique and coaching of our British players.
    The amount of very young British players that actually achieve regular first team football is a very low percentage.It may well give them a living in the lower leagues.
    62% of players in the PL are imports,5 years ago it was 48%

    In Germany who generally have fared a lot better than us in the World Cups they overhauled their whole structure to develop their own talent.

    Shard, I don’t understand David Bentley being an example. In his case it was a bit like Bedtner , his ego was bigger than his football ability.
    Anyway as I said earler it’s far too complicated for me and I don’t really see how it benefits British young footballers.

    I also think there is a reluctance of many to go and live and play abroad when in their prime,whilst non Britsh players generally don’t hesitate to play here or at the end of their PL career go for a big pay packet to The States or the Far East.

    Of course the likelyhood is that if they are just good or average players in the PL they would earn more over here, than going abroad,if in fact anyone wanted them.

  31. Shard says:


    After that report came out the EC reiterated its stance about the 6+5 rule being illegal.

    In 2010, it was reported that FIFA had scrapped plans to bring it in, in favour of “other eligibility options”. Which is why we have these homegrown rules instead.

  32. Shard says:


    My point with Bentley was that average footballers would become (even more) expensive commodities through use of artificial barriers. However, even this would be temporary, since pretty soon all the best talent will follow the viewership to the leagues with the best players. If England cannot produce those now, it won’t produce those then, and if it does produce any, they will not be able to hold on to them. Since when has removing competition brought out the best in anyone?

    Positive discrimination only works as a short term measure with the acknowledgment that the recipient is at a disadvantage. I’m not sure a nation that ranks high in the world economy, which has the richest football league in the world, should be looking to erect legal barriers to save its national sport.

    I thought this article highlights some problems with the 6+5 rule quite well.

  33. Big Raddy says:

    Shard. We disagree. I was listening to a football programme with a member of FIFA and he stated last week that the 6+5 rule is within the EU employment laws.

    Doesn’t really matter – we have what we have and the 6+5 is not only impractical but also ultimately detrimental to the PL.

    On another matter, if TV stays do we really need another CB? It is true Sagna was cover but he only played there once in 7 seasons. Should TV decide to find first team football we will have to spend big money to find his equal plus someone who is willing to be a bench player

  34. LB says:

    “They (Young English players) aren’t wanted by foreign clubs. Lack of technique, egoism, poor fitness ? – who knows the reason but I cannot think of any young British player who has been poached at youth level.”

    I slightly disagree with this, I think we underestimate just how powerful the collective managers are in the EPL. Such an internationally diverse group all of whom are capable of dipping into their own countries academies and cherry picking, when possible, the best on offer.

    My point is how many English managers are there working for top clubs abroad who could come into the EPL and, due to cultural and linguistic similarities, tempt our up and coming stars away?

    I realise this is probably just papering over the cracks but I think there is something in it.

  35. Shard says:


    Of course FIFA will say that it is legal. I think the fact that they’ve dropped it suggests they aren’t sure of it. It is a populist measure that they’ll try and bring back at some point though.

    Finally we get to what we should do for next season 🙂
    Whether Vermaelen stays or not, I think we’ll buy only one CB and have Ajayi or Hayden as the 4th choice CB. Possibly a DM we get will also be capable of playing there. Which should be enough to cover (although I think Per has played too much)

  36. Shard says:

    I meant we’ll buy a CB only if Vermaelen leaves.

  37. GunnerN5 says:

    I have learned to avoid discussions involving specific players attributes so I will give a general idea of my feelings.

    Regardless of the strengths and weaknesses, height, weight, dexterity etc: of our current squad my belief is that we need to add more power and resilience to our team.

    I would like to see us to add that power and resilience down the center of our team to give us the backbone that is lacking – I feel it is what is missing to give us that extra edge. I cannot see that steel backbone anywhere in our squad or youth players.

    We were only 3 wins additional wins away from winning the PL – so we need to make a few clinical changes not have an influx of new players.

  38. Shard says:


    I think this is a bit of a circular argument. The reason England don’t produce as much talent is because there is no proper coaching. A lack of good coaches also means that there is less quality to rise to the top and become top managers.

    Now that is a problem in itself, but I don’t think lack of English managers abroad is a reason for English players not going to play abroad.

    If there were quality players, clubs in other countries would scout them and sign them. Regardless of managers’ nationalities. Oh..If they were affordable that is. Kelsey touched on that when he said the players probably figure they can earn more in England rather than move elsewhere. And clubs probably feel they can earn more by selling domestically at inflated rates.

  39. GunnerN5 says:

    And the beat goes on, and on, and on……………………

    Mauricio Pochettino appointed new Head Coach

    Posted by Tottenham Hotspur on 27 May 2014 – 17:50

    The Club is delighted to announce the appointment of Mauricio Pochettino as our new Head Coach on a five-year contract.

  40. GunnerN5 says:

    Sky Sports are saying that Bacary Sagna has now informed Arsenal, in a letter, that he will not be signing a new contract.

  41. chas says:

    Great post, Shard. Plenty to mull over.

    The first thing that occurred to me was why would you have to reserve a place for Hayden if he doesn’t need to be registered until 2017? Zelalem even more so, as plenty of the current squad will have left by 2019 and if Gedion isn’t established by then, then he never will be.
    I’d imagine Aneke has gone the same way as Jay Emmanuel-Thomas with talent overshadowed by attitude.

    I’d be concerned about those who need to be registered this year like Campbell and also next year like Eisfeld and Afobe. It must be a huge incentive for them to work their bolleaux (© BR) off in the season coming up and impress enough to earn a place in the squad?

    Then again, I am a bit thick so may have misunderstood the whole shooting match. Apols.

  42. chas says:

  43. GunnerN5 says:

    Can a player be registered and not included in the squad?

    I realise that it would not be ideal for either party but my question is – is it possible?

  44. chas says:

    I doubt if over 21s can.

  45. Shard says:


    No you are absolutely right about that. We don’t need to reserve a spot for Hayden. I would argue you perhaps need to for Ox and Sanogo. At least have a smooth succession plan..which is obviously flexible.

    I wasn’t arguing we should reserve a spot for anyone actually. Just that our squad spaces are limited, and we need to consider how best to use our resources. Will Arteta stay this season, be sold, or sign an extension and stay longer? That would probably affect and also be affected by the development of Eisfeld (for example) and by what else is available in the market.

    Micky wants to flog whoever to get Cavani. Or maybe we go with someone else (less good?) but keep Arteta and Podolski. The post was meant to get people thinking along those lines. Or at least, was my thinking behind it. I didn’t really write this as a post. Merely a study project. 🙂

  46. Shard says:


    I’m sorry but I don;t understand your question. By definition, a player registered as a member of your squad is a part of your squad. I’m confused.

  47. GunnerN5 says:

    Very simple – does a registered player have to be a member of the 25 man squad, its a yes or no answer, and I think its no.

  48. Big Raddy says:

    We are desperate for pace in the team. Without Theo we struggle so my first requirement is for a speedster either through the middle or on the left.

    IMO this is more important than a DM or a back up GK. Though another RB is vital.

  49. Shard says:


    The 25 man squad is a Premier League squad registration requirement..

    You can always have more players at your club and not register them with the Premier League but use them for the FA Cup and League Cup, and register them to play in the CL for which there is a separate squad list.

  50. LB says:

    “The reason England don’t produce as much talent is because there is no proper coaching.” (Shard)

    My point above wasn’t anything to do with anything you had mentioned but hey ho, seeing as you asked .

    What about Arsenal then……….no proper coaches?

    Are you sure?

  51. Shard says:


    I meant at the grassroots level. Plus I suppose I should have said that the numbers of coaches is low.

    But no.. I am not sure 🙂

  52. GunnerN5 says:

    The level of natural talent required to play in the PL or for England is a rarity. When that type of talent is discovered it needs to be nurtured at the youth level and then matured either by the FA or professional clubs academies. In order for this to work it needs to become a national passion and requires a heavy expenditure.

    England/The FA have never shown this passion for either involvement or funding and its left to the professional clubs to take all the risks, with their hands tied behind their backs by being restricted in which ares of the country they can recruit from.

    It seems like a broken system to me – but then, what do I know – all i can do is judge the end results – and they suck for both the clubs and the country.

  53. evonne says:

    Shard – thank you for this excellent post. And some people think that football is a simple game for the simple folk! they should try to read your analysis to realise how little they know. Me is a simple folk too and although I enjoyed reading it, there is little I can add 😦 thanks

  54. evonne says:

    GiE didn’t comment today, that’s strange, after all this is his third fav subject, after FFP and Tony Pullis of course. I hope his dad is better

  55. Hi evonne – I texted GiE to see how things were going and he said that the docs and nurses were working hard to stabilise his dad and that things were improving.

    Shard – I was really impressed with the amount of work that went into this post. I can only imagine how difficult it is fr Arsene to choose players and satisfy all the other requirements. Well done to you for doing the research.

  56. stevepalmer1 says:

    Evening all,
    Have to say Shard, I am not the brightest button in the tin and i found that interesting but also confusing. I know how much work goes into writing a post like that, and i commend you, but you spammed my brain. I will certainly read it again and try and learn something.

    My view on home grown players are definitely different to whoever introduced it.

    Can you put me right here, as i believe the home grown rules have changed , does it now mean that out of our 25 man squad, we have to include 5 home grown players.

  57. arnie says:

    Shard: the more I read your post and subsequent comments, and contributions from everyone, the more I realised what a fantastic piece of work this post was and what fantastic effort went behind it. Unfortunately I could not contribute mush but stand substantially educated. 🙂 🙂

  58. Mya says:


    Aneke’s situation has NOTHING to do with JETs!! It’s certainly not an attitude problem.
    Chuks had an impressive season on loan at Crew but considering the plethora of talent we have in midfield, he would have found it difficult to get in the first team and may have opted for more playing time.

  59. RC78 says:

    Sagna is leaving us…We are going to need a replacement…I would be pleased to see De Sciglio, Abate, Alves or Walker (I know I know) approached for this position as Jenkinson is not solid enough.

    As for our squad for the CL, it will be tricky but we are very close to the minimum number already and I am sure Wenger will find a way 🙂

  60. GOONERKAM says:

    Nice writeup SHARD. its going to be an interesting summer for sure. The rumors of vela, cesc and Campbell rejoining the squad makes for some great variations to the crew come next campaign. Birth pangs of history and all that ……

  61. GOONERKAM says:

    Are we taking any picks for final four of world cup or is it the heck with international football.? I’m not even sure if the tournament we start on time what with all the social unrest and demonstrations. Eight workers to date have paid the ultimate price for the breakneck pace of getting the stadiums ready on time. Hopefully they and their sacrafices will be acknowledged somehow somewheres.

  62. GOONERKAM says:

    Belgium ,Spain , Brazil & Germany.
    I know I know. Why to go out on a limb kam. safe bets one must admit.

  63. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Argentina must have a chance. Whoever wins let us hope for a tournament of attacking football and not MourinhoBall

  64. kelsey says:


    Well Cesc is in London with his tart.The plot thickens.

  65. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Thanks for provoking some fine comments yesterday Shard.

    Couldn’t contribute as I know nothing (as well as moving) but I am slightly wiser.

    Coaching at grassroots level is an interesting topic. Like many here, I have a Son and used to listen to the crap from other touchline Dad’s.

    One of my many conclusions was that I find no surprise in the fact that the best youth academy is Southampton, which is about as far South and away from Northerners as you can get 🙂

  66. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning Chums

    Right then, transfer gossip, saunas and easy sex in Scandinavia 🙂

  67. MickyDidIt89 says:


    Don’t mind Cesc coming back, but I’d be mighty cheesed off if his fee left us short of a quality forward, DM and RB

    Ps Has Cesc actually said or implied he wants to leave Barca? Do they have a new coach with atty?

  68. chas says:


    Thanks for the clarification re: Aneke.
    I’ve seen some of the goals he has scored for Crewe and they really are quality.

  69. chas says:

    Morning, Micky.
    Have you any photos of your new gaff?
    Perched above a surf beach?

  70. MickyDidIt89 says:

    It’s a square house, but do have some impressive 20ft Rhodos in flower. I know you like that sort of thing.
    Main move today. Sleep new gaff tonight. Old house broadband, no phone. New house, neither. We love BT!

  71. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Wow. That 12 yr old makes it look so easy

  72. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ok, better crack on.

  73. chas says:

    Rhodies are poisonous when burnt, I was told once.

    Must go, good luck with the rest of the move. See you in a few days when your broadband is sorted. 🙂

  74. evonne says:

    oh no, I got up early thinking ‘they’ll be all gone’ now 😦

  75. evonne says:

    got up late! and still asleep

    FA cup final on Sunday, we can have a double on our hands!

  76. arnie says:

    motning all. lovely vids Chas. And just to remind you once again

    maybe an idea is to download and keep some of these vids so that one can play them whenever. I use

  77. Morning all

    Great video at 7.06 chas, thanks for that 🙂

    Good luck with your move Micky

  78. HI arnie – I was thinking that maybe we could have a page of FA cup video’s ……………

  79. Shard says:

    Thank you all for the kind comments yesterday. It really wasn’t that much work to be honest. In fact I was looking at doing something which was far more time consuming (and not sure it’ll add up to any worthwhile end product) and this was a space filler.

    As far as I know the Homegrown rules are the same. Every club can have a maximum of 17 non-homegrown players to make up their squad of 25. The rest have to be homegrown. So for example, you can have a squad of 23 players, with 17 non-homegrown, and 6 homegrown.

    It’s ok to not contribute mush.. This isn’t a very romantic subject anyway 😛

  80. arnie says:

    Yes, Peaches, let us do that. And Redders’ idea of a photo album was also nice. A page of videos and photos will be very nice indeed. 🙂

  81. Shard says:

    I really loved the video that chas posted – over land and sea.

  82. We have a New Post ……………………..

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