The squad flew out to Singapore last week and there was a noticeable absence on the plane, Carl Jenkinson.
With the exception of Rambo (more on him later), this appears to be the final nail in the coffin of ‘British Core 1.0’.
Back in 2012, these 6 players were supposed to represent the future of The Arsenal, the new British dawn:
At the time, all were internationals and were going to take Arsenal to the next level. Well, obviously that never quite worked out, so what happened to the new spine?
Kieron Gibbs – In 2012 Gibbs was vying to be first-choice England left back and had the number 1 slot at Arsenal in the bag, but the arrival of Nacho and a sudden dip in consistency cost him both roles and he was shipped out to the Baggies in 2017, destined for a life of bouncing between the Premier League and the Championship.
Theo Walcott – The future never came for Theo. The 2006 World Cup selection set Theo up to fail and he ultimately did. Despite intermittent flashes of brilliance in an Arsenal shirt, Theo could never live up to the hype and he is now fading at Everton.
Jack Wilshere – The highest profile of the sextuplets, Jack was Arsenal through and through. Talent: undoubted (possibly the best of his generation). Commitment; never questioned. Body; not up to the task. Unai couldn’t confirm Wilshire’s place in the new team and the ‘ammers may now benefit (if he can stay fit).
The Ox – He wanted to play in the middle, Wenger wanted him on the wing. Never the twain shall meet. After a 6 year standoff, Liverpool offered Ox the chance to shine in his preferred position and off he went.
Carl Jenkinson – Still at the club, but looks to have no part in Emery’s plan. Enthusiasm of a puppy dog, but not the talent to match. Switched international allegiances in 2012 from Finland to England and earned his solitary full cap. Never cemented his place at Arsenal and will be available to anyone who wants him.
Aaron Ramsey – The last man standing and integral to Arsenal going forward. Needs to sign his new contract, take over the armband and take The Arsenal forward.
With the influx of new players in Unai’s Army, the likelihood of ‘British Core 2.0’ imposing itself on the team is low in the short term but the basis is there in the young squad players and Unai appears to be impressed by the new breed and their potential.
Chambers, Holding, AMN, Nelson, Nketiah and Smith-Rowe can be the future British Core 2.0. They just need a bit of time and inhtegrating into the new philosophy.
(I would add Welbeck to the list, but reports are that he could be on his way as Unai appears to prefer Perez as back up winger/forward.)
Here’s to the core 2.0