So tonight it’s the Milk Cup, and Wenger’s latest crop of impossibly young professional footballers looks set to take on Sheffield United. Wenger told the Arsenal website:
â€œYou are likely to see Gavin Hoyte, Abu Ogogu, Aaron Ramsey, Mark Randall, Jack Wilshere, Fran Merida and Carlos Vela. Maybe Bendtner will play. Song, Djourou and Lukasz Fabianski will be the experienced players. But you will have players like Emmanuel Frimpong and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas so it will be a very young side.â€
I confess I have heard the names of most of these players – but that’s about all I do know of some of them. A song-and-dance is being made of Emmanuel Frimpong, who’s played three times for the u-18 league this season and is not even a reserve. He’s even younger than Jack Wilshere, which makes me feel even older than Wiltshire.
Abu Agogo too – if we’re ever looking for a song for him we could do worse than adapting the ‘classic’ 80s track Einstein A Go Go by Landscape.
The downsides of Wenger letting his cheque-book gather dust have been well documented over the summer, but the upsides – giving sparkling youth a chance, tend to be mentioned less. Who am I to say which ones will make it, but the fact we’re already seeing Ramsey and Wilshere in the Premier League (combined age: less than me) is pretty exciting, especially so as they are young and British.
The game tonight is cheap as chips at a tenner (downstairs), and isn’t on telly, so it will be interesting to see the attendance. With the state of the wheezing economy being what it is, people are cutting back on things left, right and centre, so when will football get hit? It will, even in London, at some point.
Meanwhile, the latest spin on Usmanov has him as a sleeping investor, content with remaining thus (despite him still buying available shares, which you know, in my books, means he’s very much awake), and paints Kroenke as a man who, if he took the club over, would “fund any acquisition through loans loaded on the club”. That may well be true, of course, but reading ahead it also mentions the prospect of a “well-connected” Dein “delivering an even wealthier third-party investor”. Someone’s PR machine has been busy, eh…
And finally, what do we make of Wenger’s leaked ‘blueprint for success’? It certainly does mention the word ‘team’ a lot…