The Arsenal reserve team played the first game of the Elite group stage today behind closed doors against West Bromwich Albion. Perhaps Arsenal did not want anyone to see just how fit and ready for action some of the players are, but it does seem like Abou Diaby and Emmanuel Frimpong will be available to help the Gunners through the gruelling fixture list we are about to face.
The coach, Terry Burton, selected a strong team consisting of;
Jenkinsom, Angha, Hajrovic, Santos
Oxlade-Chamberlain, Diaby, Coquelin, Frimpong
Diaby completed over an hour without any trouble. He was commanding, composed and strong in the centre of the pitch. He was also involved in Arsenal’s equalizer, as Frimpong dummied his pass for Santos to finish. Frimpong played on the left of midfield and nearly completed the full but was shown a second yellow right at the end.
All four of those midfielders could have a part to play over the coming weeks and months. I just hope that Arsene Wenger does not pin his hopes on Diaby, because if he then suffers another injury and the transfer window is closed, it could have a terrible effect on Arsenal’s season. It is great to have him back, but he can only be used sparingly, probably for the harder games against Man City and Chelsea.