Will Henri Lansbury get his turn?

May 11, 2012

Lansbury wonder goal for Under 21’s vs Belgium

Signing for Arsenal at the tender age of 9, central midfielder Henri Lansbury came up through the ranks until he eventually signed a professional contract in  1 July 2008. After a successful loan spell at Scunthorpe United in League One  (which included 4 goals and 5 assists in 16 appearances), Lansbury featured in Arsenal’s FA Youth Cup winning team (6-2 over Liverpool, Lansbury 2 assists).

Further Loan deals have included:

  • 2009/2010 Watford (English Championship) – 37 appearances (3 of those as a sub)- 5 goals, 4 assists
  • 2010/2011 Norwich City (English Championship) – 23 appearances (8 of those as a sub) – 4 goals, 4 assists (missed out on the 2010/2011 Football League Championship Young Player of the Year award when he was beaten by Connor Wickenham).
  • 2011/2012 West Ham United (English Championship) – 23 appearances (10 of those as a sub) – 1 goal, 4 assists (including a game where he spent time as the goalkeeper after Green was red carded. He managed to shut out the rest of the game).

In between then he has made 6 sub appearances and one start for Arsenal. But what a start it was! A 120 minute game in the 1-4 victory against our bitter rivals Tottenham in the third round of the Carling Cup. Lansbury lined up on the right wing scoring the first goal of the match with a lovely tap in after some great anticipation.

For those who don’t remember here is the video:

He later described the moment as “like a dream.” It was the sort of midfield tap in goal that we haven’t seen since the likes of Flamini, and it was great to see a midfielder get into that position.

After the match Arsene had this to say:

“Henri Lansbury is a type of player who I rate because of his qualities, but as well his mental strength, the timing of his runs. He gives you qualities that are very difficult to find in the modern game. He goes always behind [the defence] and he has the timing to get in the box and scores goals from midfield. He is showing that again the other night when you see the cross coming in, who is on the move? It’s Henri. I like his attitude, his spirit, his mental strength and of course his qualities. He has not played for a while; he played with cramps until the last minute [against Spurs] and has a fantastic team attitude. I rate him and I like him.”

Other comments Arsene has said in regards to Lansbury include:

  • “Henri Lansbury is in a situation where I believe he will make a career,” said the manager. “At the moment it is a bit congested for him but I believe he has the talent to play for Arsenal Football Club.

“I have to give him a chance at some stage and as quickly as possible. I believe in him. But if I honestly believe he will not play this season or has no chance to compete for a position I will tell him and let him go.”

  • “For me, Lansbury will be an Arsenal player,” said Wenger. “He is doing extremely well [on loan].”

Arsene clearly believes in Lansbury and Lansbury is willing to do what it takes to get into this Arsenal team. After the Tottenham game he said:

“Obviously I’m pushing for a place every week, that’s why I want to be in the first team. I’ve just got to keep working hard in training and hopefully I’ll get my chance.

“It was good to get on the score sheet and it was a great performance from our team.

“Coming into a London derby is a great experience. Seeing the tempo of how the first team play – I just want to get involved in that.

“To come here and win is always a great time for the fans. We put on a show tonight for them.”

The talent is there (regular in England’s Under-21 team including a brace recently against Belgium), the will and passion is evident, but will Lansbury get his chance to prove himself? Wilshere got his chance and he grabbed it, Ramsey is getting his chance now (just how well he’s done depends on who you ask. But that debate has talked about too much for some people to bear), and Diaby is struggling fitness wise with only 25 appearances (8 of those as a sub) in all competitions over the last two seasons.

The 2009 FA Youth Cup winning team was as follows:


Shea (young keeper working his way up)

Eastmond (loan –  Wycombe Wanderers)

Bartley (loan – Rangers)

Ayling (realesed)

Cruise (released)

Lansbury (loan – WHU)

Wilshere (injured, but very much a first teamer)

JET (sold – Ipswich Town)

Coquelin (come into the picture this season and bidding his time)

Watt (loan – Crawley)

Sunu (sold – Lorient)


Murphy (loan – Preston North End)

Mann (sold – Crystal Palace)

Henderson (back after a long injury lay off)

Ozyakup (exciting prospect)

Evina (released)

Which way will Henri Lansbury go? Will he leave like others have from that team? Or will he take the next step and become a regular Arsenal player? After his loan spell we shall see! Personally i hope he is given his chance in the pre-season games and as a starter in cup matches. I love how Lansbury goes about it, he is a fighter with Parlour like attributes. I would rather Lansbury take Diaby’s squad position until he gets his fitness back on track. Having another Arsenal fan in the squad like Jenkinson would be great to see, they give you something extra, a passion that is unrivalled. Hopefully he can carry his Arsenal dream further, and we can help support him along the way.

Written by oz gunner

What now for Project Youth?

June 22, 2011

Written by Gooner in Exile

Some time ago I wrote an article slightly jokingly about the vines that Arsene had planted and how we were now seeing them produce some wonderful fruits. A few months on and with another trophyless season under the belt there is a serious question to be asked.

I am not talking about the current squad, they are mostly at an age where they should be delivering on the Premier League stage week in week out (except for Little Jack and Rambo who are still learning their trade).

I am concerned mainly with the youngsters out on loan or kicking their heels in the reserves last season the remnants of the FA Youth Cup winning side of 2008-09.

The players starting both legs were as follows:

  • James Shea
  • Craig Eastmond
  • Thomas Cruise
  • Kyle Bartley
  • Luke Ayling
  • Henri Lansbury
  • Francis Coquelin
  • Gilles Sunu
  • Jack Wilshere
  • Jay Emmanuel – Thomas

Emmanuel Frimpong started the first leg but was replaced by Sanchez Watt after an early injury. Sanchez Watt started the second game.

Of that group of players at least seven impressed me enough to think they may have a future at the club…..Bartley, Wilshere, Lansbury, Coquelin, Sunu, JET, and Watt. I didn’t get to see enough of Frimpong due to his injury. All are 20 except Wilshere and Frimpong both 19.

Only Wilshere so far has forced himself into a regular starting berth, Watt spent the end of last season on loan at Leeds, Emmanuel-Thomas at Cardiff, Lansbury at Norwich, Bartley at Sheffield United and Rangers whilst Sunu and Coquelin were at L’Orient. Frimpong had to make do with a season on the treatment table as a result of the knee injury picked up in pre season.

On top of these lads there are now another bunch of youngsters pushing though, headed up by Afobe, Aneke, Murphy and Henderson.

The majority of these lads have a love of Arsenal they have been raised here since young, the club is in their blood, the lack of this is one of the most common complaints about the current squad. A Tweet from Frimpong recently proclaimed

“I will never leave Arsenal even if I get released I will beg on both knees to stay they gonna have to escort me.”

Additionally they have all been brought up on the Wengerball philosophy, the kind of ball control and ability to pass so absent from the recent England Under 21’s they could slot in to most positions on the pitch if required.

However if Wenger fields these players I am sure the same detractors would also complain that they are not experienced enough.

The other thing you frequently hear is we don’t have enough winners, well this lot have done it:

Three questions remain:

Are these boys good enough for senior level?

Will Wenger give them a chance?

Will the fans accept it if he does?

If as expected we see some of the squad players moved on this year we should expect the vacated positions to be filled by these youngsters, they must be given a chance to play (Carling Cup and possibly the FA Cup). They need Premier League experience too how many of our players who have been loaned to lower league sides have actually improved as a result?

In turn when they are on the pitch they must be fully supported by all in the ground, no groans, no moans, these are young lads they are our future, they are The Arsenal.

For those who didn’t see it here are the first leg highlights of that teams success.


“The catalyst the playmaker once again Jack Wilshere” thats a phrase we will hear for many more years I am certain, but what about the rest, what do we do with so many youngsters?