Carl Jenkinson’s fall from Arsenal’s British Core to Championship reserve

Carl Jenkinson was a massive Arsenal fan as a child and it was “a dream come true” when the Gunners bought him from Charlton back in 2011. Jenkinson and his teammates Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Kieran Gibbs, Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere were hailed as the ‘British Core’ that would be the future for the Gunners as well as the England national team when they all signed new long-term contracts with Arsenal in December 2012. That was just a month after Jenkinson had made his first ever appearance for England with 15 minutes of a friendly against Sweden.

But Jenkinson did not quite live up to expectations and in fact made many more first team starts in his two years on loan at West Ham than he had in his whole Arsenal career. He came back to Arsenal last season after suffering a cruciate injury but when he had recovered by last January he was sold to Crystal Palace to get first team football, but Sam Allardyce’s side wouldn’t agree to his wage demands and he returned to stagnate in the Arsenal reserves.

Last summer though, now aged 25, Jenkinson took up an offer of a loan to Birmingham in the Championship and it was hoped he would get back his form and fitness. When he was announced as a Blue, Jenkinson said: “Everyone just agreed that I needed to play this year. I was told that I’d be able to go out on loan or whatever and I pushed for that as well because you don’t want to be somewhere where you’re not going to be playing.

“My focus now is Birmingham City and I’ll assess where I’m at at the end of the season. I’ve vowed to myself that I just want to be playing football for the rest of my career now.”

“My main ambition is to play for England again,” said Jenkinson. “I want to crack on and play at the highest level again, whether that’s at Arsenal, time will tell.

“I’m not focusing too much past this season. I’d like to play for England again and that’s a goal in the back of my mind and I fully believe I can do that but for the time being I’ve just got to focus on the short term and that’s getting in the team and playing here.

“I’d like to think I’ve still got seven or eight years to play at the top level.

“Twenty-five is a funny age because you don’t feel like a youngster anymore and you are nearer to 30.

“It’s an important year for me so I had to make sure I was going somewhere where I was going to have a good chance of playing every week. I’m not a kid anymore and I need to be playing every week.

“I just think when you’ve been out injured and my career, to a certain extent, was at a bit of a standstill last season because I wasn’t playing and you take the setback and you reset your goals and think: ‘What do I really want to achieve in this game?’

“That’s something I’ve set myself and I fully believe I can do it. I’d love to pull on an England shirt again and that’s one of the goals for the rest of my career.”

Maybe Carl is just extremely unlucky though, as he dislocated his shoulder in his very first game, and it took him until December to get fit again. He played another five games as injury cover but he is now sitting on the bench and is unlikely to play again in this campaign. His dismal record at Birmingham reads 7 games, 7 defeats and will be sent back to Arsenal for the last year of his contract next season. No one in any League will match the wages he is on at Arsenal, so it looks like another loan next year. But who would take him? Could he really still be dreaming about playing for England again?



  1. Robin Vanpayslip V3 (V3 keeps Chuck Norris level cojones and adds new knee for Wilshere) says:

    Play for England ???

  2. gotanidea says:

    He is not as good as Chamberlain technically and also not as fast as Bellerin.

    Maybe it is time for him to focus on other positions, such as center back or defensive midfielder, because he has good height

    1. PIRES says:

      good point mate

  3. Grandad says:

    This is a classic example of Management incompetence at Arsenal? Surely his contract did not extend for more than 5 years?in which case let him go on a free.

    1. John Ibrahim says:

      he was promising and did well during his loan at West Ham prior getting injured…

  4. Gelz says:

    Another gamble that didn’t pay off. If he wanted to just play football he would of taken the pay cut and joined Palace, another practise of of us (Wenger) over paying players more than there worth in wages, hence why we always loan out players instead of selling them. I can’t see another team buying him unless he lowers his wage demands.

  5. Phil says:

    Apologies that this is completely off topic but I read some thing in the Press(must be true then if it’s in the papers)regarding Jack Wilshere.It has left me slightly bemused but not overly surprised.
    Firstly we have Jack himself telling us the Manager advised him pre-season to “Look For Another Club”.Jack apparently was attempting to train on an exercise bike when Wenger told him he could go.As there has been no denial from the club or Wenger we can assume Jack is telling the truth and so(for ALL YOU PEOPLE WHO LOVE AND ADORE YOUR FRENCHMAN)the undeniable fact is Wenger was prepared to let Jack leave.
    Jack has stated that he wanted to stay and fight for his place in the team.This is after he accepted the fact that he would most likely only feature in Carabao Cup and Europa League matches.So what did Jack do? He obviously trained very hard to get himself fit.He also new that he would need to remain injury free.He did this.He performed well in most of the games he played.He did everything he said he would do.
    Around the end of November he started to feature(from the bench initially) for the first team in Premiere League games.This came as a result of injuries I know but everyone had accepted he had worked hard to get himself back and he was making a difference to the team in midfield(not hard I do appreciate given the form of Xhaka and Ramsey at the time.
    Then we hear of a contract offer to Jack.Reportedly on 25% LESS than his current contract.This to me shows Wenger wanted him out.Wenger didn’t want him.Wenger was prepared to let him leave in the summer for free.This issue was highly publicised and as there has been no denial from the Club OR Wenger himself we can assume the facts are correct.
    So to summarise this accurately these points clearly indicated WENGER WAS PREPARED TO LET JACK WILLSHERE LEAVE.

    Now to the point that is now confusing me.
    Wenger has gone on record THIS WEEK in the BRITISH PRESS clearly stating Jack Willshere will sign his contract and will SOON BE CAPTAIN OF ARSENAL FOOTBALL CLUB.Yes!!! That is what he has stated.There can be no dispute.
    Are we now to believe that a player who prior to the season beginning was advised to find another club then offered a reduced contract before now being offered the CAPTAINS ARMBAND.
    You just can’t make it up .OR CAN YOU?

    1. Sony says:

      Captain or not he is Mr. Arsenal no doubt about it. Was he injured again probably yes. Was he injured most of the time yes. I like him he changed himself and got better for sure at least mentally. However his injuries are big concern yet again.

      I don’t know what Wenger said as I can only find it on espn (not very good source of information), but I could find what Mr. Arsenal said. So let’s go back to first stage Wenger said he can find new club to play for. He refused and fought for his place he was pretty good and stayed injury free. Despite good performances it was not that outstanding or game breaking (that’s what I think). Arsenal (Wenger not sure who is in charge of contracts) decided to give him extension with pay cut as we know he refused and consider it as insult probably. However the contract was offered with injuries in mind and if he truly loves the club he should take it and work on himself and stay at least on season injury free and than start demanding more again.
      Wenger said he is ready to be captain. I believe he could be great captain with his mentality now as he changed a lot so I think it is okay for Wenger even tho I would like him to go at this or next season. So changing his mind is not a bad thing. Better than being stubborn as usual right?

      1. Phil says:

        So basically If what we are led to believe is correct 7 months ago Wenger did not want him.Now he not only wants him but fully expects him to be Captain.SEVEN MONTHS.From getting shot of the player to insisting he could be Captain.Whats changed in SEVEN MONTHS.

      2. RichSAAlao says:

        Actually, I think Arsene was always fair on chances to the players BUT most time they don’t man up enough to grasp the opportunities.
        Look out, how many of them who left on loan or transfer have become better.
        Some had been flash in the pan, sooner they fell away.

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