Wenger, Rosicky and Fathi join Arsenal training; U21s thrash Bournemouth

Arsene Wenger was back at the training ground this morning following the World Cup, and the Frenchman’s return coincided with that of Tomas Rosicky, who didn’t train last week but is in contention to feature against Boreham Wood in the first pre-season friendly on Saturday.

Another notable attendee was Egyptian trialist Ahmed Fathi, who can play at right-back or in defensive-midfield. The 29 year old, who lists Sheffield United and Hull City amongst his former clubs, was unimpressive when on trial at Arsenal ten years ago.

A clutch of U21 players continued to train with the first-team, including Chuba Akpom, Hector Bellerin, Thomas Eisfeld, Kristoffer Olsson, Benik Afobe and Semi Ajayi.

A young U21 side, including several of the new scholars, trounced Bournemouth 5-0 in a friendly at London Colney earlier today. Dan Crowley scored twice, with Alex Iwobi, Stefan O’Connor and Ainsley Maitland-Niles also scoring.

First-year scholars George Dobson, Tyrell Robinson, Chiori Johnson and Marc Bola all made their debuts at this level, whilst second-years Renny Smith and Elliot Wright also featured. In addition, young professionals Jack Jebb, Josh Vickers, Glen Kamara, Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill, Tafari Moore and Austin Lipman all received run-outs in front of the watching Andries Jonker, the club’s new Academy Manager.



  1. I particularly like this site/blog because it reminds me (and hopefully others) about one of the big reasons why Arsenal are different from most other big clubs in the importance the club places on developing young players. Ramsey, Wilshere, Walcott, Szczęsny, The Ox all came to the club at a very young age. Ramsey’s now world class, the others not that far behind. Let’s hope that even with all the new signings (I’m still optimistic for more after Sanchez) Wenger can still find a way to integrate one or more players from the youth team. It’s the Arsenal way.

  2. Hopefully the coach will freshen up the youth teams and bring through more Arsenal trained youngsters, rather than seeing many of them not quite making the grade, such as Aneke, Frimpong and JET and possibly Afobe, while the ship has sailed on a number of others over the years.

  3. Not sure we’ll hear much more about the friendly today. Unless I imagined it in the first place, it seems as though O’Connor actually deleted the tweet which mentioned him scoring.

    Seems a tad extreme to me, but I guess when you have a policy you have a policy, and maybe it’s a football-wide thing that behind closed doors means just that.

    Tantalizing glimpse of the game from the club photographer’s shot of Crowley- one of the most tortured expressions I’ve ever seen on the face of a defender. Doesn’t exactly allay my worries that his progress will be constantly threatened by injuries- from the highlights last year, I’ve never seen a player kicked so much.

    First sighting of him this year: someone fouling him.

  4. until a striker starts scoring 2 goals a game or a midfielder a goal a game, I’ll still have doubts about him making it at arsenal. Though I’ll still hope for them to make it…

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