Could Arsene Wenger soon have a hint of American Apple Pie to add to his international menu of talent? Only he really knows but it was interesting to see Brek Shea, the blond-coiffed American, practising with Arsenal for the month, and training amongst the first teams ahead of Wednesday’s clash against Borussia Dortmund.

In the pictures, released on the club website Tuesday (unfortunately they are no longer available, at least to those of us without Arsenal Player) you can see the U.S. International talking with Francis Coquelin, who, along with Ju-Young Park, were the only three players training who were not in the squad Wednesday.

Perhaps, there’s not too much in this but given Wenger’s desire for the team’s complete focus with minimal distraction it’s doubtful The Boss would include someone in such an important training session that he didn’t rate somewhat. Furthermore, Wenger recently said both the United States and Asia would figure prominently in the future of the worldwide game.

Unfortunately widespread opinion of the Texas-born striker is limited to online videos and the U.S. squad’s recent friendly against France. Shea didn’t offer much in the game looking overwhelmed when he did get the ball. In his defence, France did dominate possession and a lot of their attacking verve was through Franck Ribery on the opposite side of the pitch.

What seems to be impressive about Shea, however, is his physical appearance. He looks quite similar to Marouane Chamakh in stature and judging by the YouTube clips he does have pace, a promising left foot, a capable right foot and some interesting ingenuity. Perhaps Wenger has found something he can latch onto and mould into something more?

GotzeArsenal can guarantee qualification from Group F with a win against Dortmund on Wednesday night at the Emirates and will keep us top of the table. The last encounter with the German champions ended in a 1-1 draw after a Robin Van Persie strike was cancelled out in the dying minutes by a Perisic screamer. Wenger will be hoping that our home advantage this time will be of assistance as Arsenal seek to top their group and avoid a repeat of last years’ encounter with Barcelona.

In form and on fire

Whilst Arsenal were battering newly promoted Norwich at the weekend, Dortmund went and beat the current Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich courtesy of a strike from their main man and Arsenal target Mario Goetze. The tiny midfielder proved a handful in the last game against the Germans and Wenger will be looking to the likes of the very impressive Vermaelen, Koscielny and Song to cut out the threat he provides. Dortmund have won their last 4 on the trot and are currently second in the Bundesliga, two points behind Munich.

After the fantastic victory at Stamford Bridge at Stamford Bridge at Saturday lunchtime, Arsenal must now concentrate on the next game which is Marseille at the Emirates on Tuesday night where 3 points will guarantee qualification from the group stage.


Arsenal go into this game in a rich vein of form, with 8 wins in our last 9 games and 5 wins on the bounce. This is only our 2nd encounter against Marseille, with the first as you will remember came only last week with a gritty 1-0 away victory.

Marseille’s form has picked up over the last few weeks with only one defeat in 6 games and they managed to grab a 2-3 victory away to Dijon on Saturday evening with the winner coming in the last 10 minutes.


Arsenal go into this game without fresh new injuries, in fact the good news seems to be that players are returning. Jenkinson and Vermaelen were both 2nd half substitutes against Chelsea on Saturday and there have been no reports of any setbacks for either of them.

It will be interesting to see what starting line up Arsene decides to go with against Marseille, we will be using our tried and tested 4-3-3 formation.

ShrewsburyAfter enduring their worst start in over 50 years Arsenal have the chance to build some momentum for the youngsters, hand out some potential debuts and let the ‘1st team’ mull over their defensive failures that have led the team to have the worst defensive record in the premier league. Whilst our priority is probably not the Carling Cup, it gives a chance for some of our promising youngsters to put some pressure on Wenger’s selection for future league games. Arsene’s teams struggled against lower league opposition last year (Leeds, Huddersfield) but with plenty of players out to prove their worth it will truly be a test of skill and technical ability vs the grit and enthusiasm of the lower leagues.

One nil to the Arsenal

The two sides have only ever met 3 times, all of which were FA cup fixtures. The last of which was over 10 years ago when Arsenal recorded an away win with a 1-0 score line. I’m sure however that in the current frustrated climate amongst fans this would not be good enough and anything less than a complete demolition would over look the fact that a young team full of potential have won a game.

Ah, the transfer window.  It’s a time when all clubs in Europe are rumored to be linked with dozens of players and supporters feel they’ve already won the league if their club can make that big money signing.  It’s been a time of year recently where Arsenal have not been too incredibly active, leaving supporters wondering why Arsene Wenger didn’t open the checkbook.  The Gunners have been reluctant in recent years to add too much to the squad because, as the boss says, they only look to bring in “super quality.”

Well, that has all changed this summer.  In total, the Gunners made 29 moves (in and out) between June 1st and August 31st.  The Gunners suffered through another trophyless year in 2010-11 (their sixth straight).  Quite frankly, it was time for some of those “super quality” changes.

On the morning of February 27th last year it seemed Arsenal had a legitimate shot at four trophies; the Gunners ended up fourth in the Premier League and without silverware.  Injuries, lack of depth and defense woes haunted Arsenal from March through May.  After this summer’s dealings, are Arsenal ready to contend for silverware now, or are the Gunners still the fourth best team in England?