A very little blog for you on this Tuesday, starting with Arsenal naming the 25 players who will make up their “A list” for the Champions League this season. It is very much what you would anticipate, with the exception that Jurrien Timber is not playing due to an injury; however, we could add him in January if we advance to the knockout stages.

There is also room for Cedric, who in all likely won’t play too much, but considering that we’re short a defender and he’s still at the club, we’ve named him in the squad anyway. There is also room for Cedric. Lino Sousa, who is only 18 years old but plays left back for us, has also been included in the main group despite the fact that he does not meet the requirements for the B List, which are essentially U21 players who have been with the club for at least two years.

That would include the majority of the Academy players, but because Sousa signed with the club in January 2022 after transferring from West Brom, he needed to be included on the main list. Whether or not he plays is another thing, but he is pretty highly rated. In Timber’s absence, I’d rather to give any possible minutes to a young player who would benefit from the experience rather than a veteran like Cedric who has no real role to play in our future. Cedric has no real role to play in our future. All through the night, Lino. Not quite the same for Cedric.

That does, however, rely on their readiness, and Mikel Arteta has shown a degree of caution when it comes to working with younger players during his stint with this club. Gabriel Martinelli is a perfect example of someone who supporters were clamoring to see in the team, but the manager resisted a little bit until he felt like he was completely ready to have him in the lineup. And, to tell you the truth, until there was more room in the squad as a result of the conflict with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

When we host PSV the following Wednesday, we will play our first game in the Champions League since 2017, and this will be the point in the season where things will start to truly pick up speed. Managing both domestic and European football while maintaining a high level of expectation is going to be a bit of a task; let’s hope that it is one that we are up to. Undoubtedly, we will engage in further conversation regarding all of that as the time draws nearer.

Later on today, there will be international competitions with several of our guys participating. Martin Odegaard will probably be in the starting lineup for Norway’s Euro 2024 qualifying match against Georgia, and Leandro Trossard might get some playing time for Belgium in their match against Estonia. We’ll keep a watch on how many minutes each of the Gabis plays while they’re away with Brazil. Meanwhile, Tomiyasu may get another opportunity to play for Japan in the friendlies that are taking place while Ukraine and Oleksandr Zinchenko are in Italy.

Eddie Nketiah, who was not selected for the match-day squad against the weekend’s opponents, will hopefully be included in England’s lineup against Scotland. It’s possible that Aaron Ramsdale will also get some playing time. In addition to that, though, I really hope that Gareth Southgate will not see it necessary to use Bukayo Saka in a match like this one. There is simply no reason to start him in a friendly, not only due to the fact that he already plays a significant amount for both his club and his country, but also in order to possibly provide an opportunity to someone else.

However, when it comes to experimentation, Southgate doesn’t really do much of it at all. Because of this, he chooses players like Jordan Henderson and Harry Maguire, who have performed admirably for him in the past, but who don’t really deserve to be included in the starting lineup ahead of some of the other talents that England has at its disposal. We had a lot of questions for the Arsecast Extra regarding Ben White and his continuing removal from the England squad, but it’s very evident that the issue has nothing at all to do with footballing talent or form – very similar to picking Maguire (only in reverse, if you see what I mean). We had a lot of questions about Maguire’s selection, and we had a lot of questions about White’s continued omission from the team.

In any case, I’m excited to watch Saka play 121 minutes for England, including all of the extra time that was added on. Regarding the Arsecast Extra, it is embedded below for your listening pleasure; for the time being, I’m just going to leave it there. Have a wonderful day.


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