Thursday, 24 December 2009
2010 - tips for stepping it up
I know it's a popular time of year to tip one's stars for the year ahead and that's why I'm going to bore you with my Arsenal tips for 2010. There is not a massive amount of rhyme or reason behind this selection, some aren't far off being pretty much first team regulars, while others have barely played a first team game, I just reckon from the limited amounts I've seen a few of these lads might have what it takes.
1. Wojciech Szczcesny. Currently on loan at Brentford where he is impressing. This 19 year old Pole has looked the part from day one, he has a natural authority and strength that seems to exude confidence in all around him. He was top notch in our recent Carling Cup win against West Brom. With Manuel's form not 100% and Fabianski having never convinced me, I think if given the chance he may well grab it with both hands.
2. Kieran Gibbs. This young man has a grace and economy of movement that belies his years. If it were not for his unfortunate metatarsal fracture then I feel he would have made the left back slot his own by now. He has all the ingredients necessary for the modern full back, pace, strength, technique and an an excellent timer of tackles. Barring injury 2010 could well be Kieran's year.
3. Kyle Bartley. A naturally imposing central defender who got his first team debut away at Olympiakos in the Champions League recently. Despite being slightly caught out for the goal he did pretty well for such a young player in such a big game, I remember one absolutely bone crunching challenge with which he fairly took man, ball and all. He is a leader, has a big physical presence, comfortable on the ball and relishes the battle. William Gallas will not go on forever and I am sure Kyle will get one or two chances to impress over the next few months.
There are some other obvious players that I have not mentioned such as Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Armand Traore and Fran Merida. The latter three have done particularly well when handed chances in the first team this year. When one looks at the numbers of talented players at our disposal then it becomes rather obvious that a lot of them will not make it with us and that is sad, but that is life. Vela and Walcott are probably starting to feel a bit more pressure to deliver consistently now, promise will not carry one forever. The likes of Mark Randall have definitely run out of time. As to whether there will be space for the likes of Lansbury, Simpson, Hoyte to impress looks very doubtful. Even below these kids is yet another generation of talent that includes the likes of Chuk Aneke and Jernade Meade, God I'm feeling like an old bastard.