Whatever happened to #4… Lansbury, Bentley, Ogogo, Butcher, Connolly


HENRI LANSBURY 

Signed scholarship: 2007. Arsenal apps: 8 (1 goal). Subsequent career: Nottingham Forest.

A highly-regarded midfielder who has been capped by England up to and including U21 level, Henri was regarded as a prodigious talent at Arsenal, featuring in the FA Youth Cup as a schoolboy, before a bout of glandular fever halted his progress during his first season as a scholar. He returned, however, to feature prominently in the Carling Cup, and enjoyed profitable loan spells at Scunthorpe United, Watford and Norwich City, but the most memorable moment of his Arsenal career came when he scored what turned out to be his only goal for the club in the Carling Cup victory over Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane in 2010/11. He found less success at West Ham United last season and was eventually let go by Arsenal in the summer, signing for Championship side Nottingham Forest, for whom he scored his first goal this week.

ABU OGOGO

Signed scholarship: 2006. Arsenal apps: 0. Subsequent career: Dagenham & Redbridge.

A rapid right-back who joined from the old Wimbledon Academy as a 14-year-old, Abu came to prominence in Arsenal’s FA Youth Cup run of 2006/07 and made the bench for the first-team in the Carling Cup in 2008/09. However, with Bacary Sagna and Emmanuel Eboue far ahead of him in the pecking order, he went on loan to Barnet for the remainder of the season prior to being released that summer. From there, he joined Dagenham & Redbridge, for whom he has featured regularly over the past few seasons.

LEE BUTCHER

Signed scholarship: 2005. Arsenal apps: 0. Subsequent career: Tottenham Hotspur, AFC Wimbledon (loan), Margate (loan), Grays Athletic (loan), St Albans City (loan), Grays Athletic (loan), Grays Athletic (loan), Leyton Orient (loan), Leyton Orient.

A shot-stopper with good reflexes who kept Wojciech Szczesny on the bench during the FA Youth Cup run of 2006-07, Lee was voted the goalkeeper of the tournament at the Cannes Football Festival in 2004, but, despite some impressive showings for the Reserves, was let go by Arsenal in 2007, with the youngster electing to cross the North London divide to join Tottenham Hotspur. He never came close to making a first-team breakthrough at White Hart Lane, however, and was farmed out on loan seven times before eventually signing on a permanent basis with the last of those loan clubs, Leyton Orient in 2010. He made several league appearances for Orient before an injury suffered towards the end of last season halted his progress.

MATTHEW CONNOLLY

Signed scholarship: 2004. Arsenal apps: 2. Subsequent career: Queen’s Park Rangers, Reading (loan), Cardiff City.

Now 25, Barnet-born defender Matthew was once hailed in some quarters as “the next Tony Adams” following a couple of impressive showings for the first-team in the Carling Cup off the back of some rock-solid performances at Reserve level. It didn’t quite transpire like that, but Matthew did impress during loan spells with Bournemouth and Colchester United before joining Queen’s Park Rangers on a permanent basis in 2008. He was initially a regular at Loftus Road, but lost his place once the club were promoted to the Premier League in 2011 and finished last season on loan at Reading. With chances still difficult to come by at QPR, he signed for Cardiff City last August and, to date, has made 26 appearances for the side that currently sit top of the Championship.

DAVID BENTLEY

Signed scholarship: 2000. Arsenal apps: 9 (1 goal). Subsequent career: Blackburn Rovers, Tottenham Hotspur, Birmingham City (loan), West Ham United (loan), FC Rostov (loan), Blackburn Rovers (loan). England caps: 7.

The infamous pantomime villain, David was tipped for big things whilst on the verge of making the breakthrough at Highbury, scoring a memorable chip against Middlesbrough in the FA Cup to see his reputation soar having previously won the FA Youth Cup with the club. After growing impatient for extended first-team opportunities, he was loaned out first to Norwich City and then to Blackburn Rovers before submitting a transfer request upon his return to Arsenal. He was eventually granted his wish and joined Blackburn, scoring a stunning hat-trick against Manchester United, but didn’t stay long at Ewood Park, joining Tottenham in 2008 and marking his return to Arsenal with a 40-yard strike in a 4-4 Premier League draw between the two sides. His subsequent career at Tottenham has floundered, however, and the midfielder, who enjoyed a brief run in the England side under Steve McClaren, has since been loaned out four times, most recently back to Blackburn.

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7 comments

  1. Is it true that Lansbury never recovered his form following his bout with glandular fever??? There were a few people on other blogs who said that he looked to be one of the top midfielders, of his age group, in Europe. I don’t remember ever thinking he was top, top quality, but I didn’t see him in the youth tournaments for England, where, apparently he shone the brightest…

    1. I remember seeing lansbury for the U18 when he was 16-17. and then played for the reserves. He was top class. looked a lot better than many we played against and looked as good as Jack. Something happen when he was 19-20. I can’t believe we let him go.

  2. I can’t believe there are still people pining after Lansbury. Denilson starts every game for Sao Paulo and almost no Arsenal fan would want him back, but Lansbury keeps the bench warm down in the Championship and some still think him a big loss to the club. I do believe it actually, it’s predictable rose-tinted spectacles stuff when it comes to English players. Lansbury was going to be the next Parlour, Bentley the new Beckham, Connolly the new Tony Adams, etc.

  3. Wrenny – check your facts hes played every game since Billy Davies arrived and has scored 2 in 2 games. Fact is hes playing well and will get a move back into the Prem.
    will happen sooner than you think.
    Accept mr specsaver was never goin to give him a proper chance instead of his paid for players like Denilson and Ramsey, i guess you will always back Arsenes judgement when after the last week its clear hes finished if 4th place isnt secured.

  4. it is not always the kids fault most times their heads get filled with too much praise instead of the truth also it is very important to get the best coach to bring on the talent, this is not always the case at youth level plus it is a game of opinions, so if the coach releases what HE thinks is a bad player it is sometimes too late for the kid to recover?most times it is if your face fits.

  5. Lansbury is loved here at Forest. He is playing excellent football & shows great vision & passion. He will get back into the Premiership in the next 2 years hopefully it will be with us

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