How many Arsenal players will be at the World Cup? Not many that I can see…

Arsenal and the World Cup by Dan Smith

Out of our current first choice back 4, half were not called up for this set of International Fixtures. Of our front three who start most weeks, two were deemed not good enough to represent their countries.

Our back up striker is nowhere near representing his nation (despite his 100,000 pound a week contract!).

For a team top of the Premier League it’s unusual to have so many of your squad not in contention to play in the World Cup.

Only Tomiyasu, Partey and Xhaka seem certain to start in Qatar, not a high percentage for a team some Gooners now think have closed the gap on Man City.

Saliba seems first choice back up for the French defence, Saka will be on the plane but has serious competition to start for England, Ramsdale should be first choice for the Three Lions but won’t be. Injury has ruled out Smith Rowe’s chances of impressing Southgate.

So for all of Arsenal’s progress we might not have many Gunners starting in FIFA’s showpiece event …….

Here are the men sweating on their places ….


Southgate has had zero choice but to contradict himself this week.

The manager said when first taking the job by the FA that he didn’t want to select players not playing for their club.

That’s easy to say until you have to submit a squad out of a talent pool where those starting every week at the highest level is limited.

That’s why the omission of Ben White surprised many considering he’s started every game for a team top of the division.

Some will look at matters as black and white, as our defender is playing more often than Maguire and therefore should now be ahead in the centre back pecking order.

This was always going to be the issue having a tournament in the middle of the campaign, do you judge on short term form or be loyal to those who haven’t let you down in qualifying?

Can you really change around defensive partnerships with two months to go?

It’s strongly believed Connor Cody gets picked because he ticks the box of having a character good for team morale, Tomori’s just won Serie A in Italy, while Dier can cover two positions.

In other words there is zero rush to call up White.

Southgate has been able to hide behind the fact our 24 year old has been deployed at right back, a position England are spoilt with in terms of options.

That shows a lack of understanding of Arteta’s ethos though, as White doesn’t stay on the right, he tactically understands when it’s time to drop into a three, a formation the English might go with in the winter.

Assuming England change bosses after the World Cup I can see White being involved under a new regime


Perhaps the biggest shock when nations were selecting their squads was the omission of our three Gabriels.

Jesus has had a high reputation since a teenager in his homeland and some of their media viewed the Emirates as a step down from the Etihad despite the fact he would play more in his favoured role in North London.

It has been suggested that Tite wanted to experiment around the fringes of his squad with a few names likely to earn their first caps this week.

That should worry Martinelli and Magalhaes. The fact they haven’t been considered for rare starts when others on the fringes have should worry them.

It’s zero disgrace to not be selected given the competition.

I do think it’s a wakeup call for the defender Gabriel who I think Gooners overrate.

In reality he makes too many mistakes to be considered world class like some claim.


Despite his high reputation, Vieira would have been promoted from the underage groups by now if he was in Portugal’s plans for the World Cup.

Cedric hasn’t played a second this season meaning he wasn’t an option.


With one cap Lokonga will be worried not to be involved in the final Nation’s League fixtures, especially when you consider Martinez likes to select big squads.

Partey’s injuries mean Lokonga will get minutes for Arsenal between now and November, especially in the cups, but will that be enough?


Many Gooners will see the positives, but it doesn’t seem many Gunners will be starting at the World Cup.

Dan Smith

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  1. Some of our players would likely not play in World Cup and some might only play as backups. They’d likely want to prove that their national teams’ managers were wrong by putting in extra efforts for Arsenal this season, so I see their exclusions as an advantage for the club

    As for White, I agree that Southgate should’ve included him if England team is set using a three-CB formation, but maybe Kyle Walker can also do the right CB job

    About Magalhaes, he should’ve started ahead other Brazilians in the left CB position, but maybe the manager thinks Magalhaes is still too erratic for important matches. Martinelli would most likely not be able to start ahead of Neymar or Vinicius Jr on the left wing

    1. After reading everything am struggling to get the point @Dan is driving at…….. If our players are not performing well in one of the toughest league in the world I will be worried but its the opposite. And if they are nt pick It will be to our advantage.

      Honestly, in world cups I think most national teams go for veteran rather than young players, and experience mostly counts in world. Our young squad will hav so many opportunities in the future. Its positive for me

      1. Agreed, but I think our young players still have around three weeks to change the national team managers’ minds

  2. I think dropping of our key players for this international break and the world cup would benefit the club in two stages.
    Firstly, in the games before the world cup. Players like Gabriel Jesus and Ben White would want to show their national team coaches what they are missing.

    Secondly, post world cup injuries and fitness issues would reduce in our squad.

  3. We’ve intentionally rebuilt our team around young players. It’s no surprise at all that they’re not regular internationals at this stage in their career. It’s a good thing for us that our guys are getting a break. Next World Cup that won’t be the case. Can we stop trying to find negatives when there aren’t any.

  4. Our squad is built with many younger players rather than established veterans, with a few exceptions.

    Perhaps some of our players don’t fit the system of the national coaches.

    Perhaps they don’t have the chemistry or cohesion with others in the national squad.

    I’m sure our players may feel disappointed, but I’m glad our squad isn’t decimated by the world cup.

    Maybe the silver lining is we can create a gap against the other top 6 teams that are missing players.

  5. I think at least 6 or 7 will be picked. It’s a bit premature to discuss it now really as it’s 7 weeks until squads have to be submitted.

  6. I agree with (I)that not choosing some players has two benefits, the first is to motivate the non-selected to prove the wrong decision of Southgate’s choices.It’s no doubt will be in the team’s favor, and the second is that the team will have less injuries and exhaustion after the World Cup.

  7. Sometimes, Dan … I do wonder if you’re not a Spuds fan who writes here simply to bring down Gooner morale.

    Some of our players were not called up by their nations, so you’ve decided to find all the negatives and to criticize our squad in the bargain.

    First, let’s consider how it actually benefits us.
    We have fresh players coming out of the international break with fewer injuries when compared to other squads.
    We have players now ever more motivated to give their best for the club in hopes of a World Cup call-up.

    Then, let’s consider the squad.
    Ramsdale should be England’s first-choice, and perhaps will be in a few years.
    White should be called up … but Southgate selects a player who cant get into the Manure starting XI.

    Saliba, Zinchenko, Tierney, and Tomiyasu + Partey, Xhaka, Odegaard, and Saka all make their national squads barring injuries/suspensions.

    ESR is injured.
    Vieira has just struggled back from injury, and that Portugal squad is stacked!
    Martinelli is young, and that Brazil squad is stacked!
    Jesus should be chosen over Richarlison on current form … but did you ever think its not abt the player but the manager’s preference/tactics?

    And who would you have Nketiah replace in the England team?
    Kane? Foden? Sterling? Rashford?
    Ivan Toney got called up and then did not make the matchday squad. It would have been the same for EN. So, why bother?

    So, I count Ramsdale, Turner, Tomiyasu, White, Saliba, Tierney, Zinchenko, Elneny, Partey, Xhaka, Saka, Odegaard, and Jesus as 13 established/should-be-there internationals + Gabriel, Martinelli, Vieira, ESR, and Lokonga as 5 more who will become more involved as they grow and progress.

    I see nothing to complain about, especially if and when you consider our squad is rather young compared to every other big club in the top leagues.

    1. I thought Nketia is switching to Ghana. If that happens he’ll be getting the opportunity to play in the world cup.

  8. Nobody goes to the World Cup with young men. Age and experience is key. Even being a veteran brings the fear factor. So honestly Arsenal stars not going to this World Cup is understandable. They are young and up coming. If they continue maturing the way they are, nobody will ignore them come next World Cup.

  9. I pray that NOT A SINGLE PLAYER OF OURS is picked for the WC. I know some will be, but hope NONE PLAY”.

    better for our clubs chances after the WC.


  10. Ah, the winter World Cup. Perfect opportunity for the anti-Arsenal media to blame on the schedule when and if Arsenal do well this season. If Arsenal lost all their first eleven to World Cup and did badly in the league, Arsenal is shit. If none of the players selected for World Cup and Arsenal do well, then Arsenal is lucky and don’t deserve it because their players are not good enough for international tournament. Either way, screw the corrupt World Cup and just concentrate at home at the Emirates.

  11. Yes, @GB. You are likely to be correct. For, I too is thinking like you’ve said. But in the honest of things as they concerned Arsenal in regard to the ongoing debate of the none- call up of some Arsenal players by their international managers/coaches. And who are Arsenal regular first team EPL games starting players week in week out is a concern to those Arsenal players who think and believed they ought to have been called up.
    However, but to us Gooners and I believe to Arteta and his coaching staff as well. The none call up of some of top Gunners, could at least for now turn out to be a good omen for us Arsenal.
    In that the Arsenal players who were snubed for international team call up assignments. Should amply use the free time of game inactions which they’ve had to energize themselves physically, mentally, technically and tactically all pronounsed to the highest level of things in the game.
    All done by them in particular and in genera in their onslaughts readiness to decimate the Totts and the Reds in Arsenal next and up next two consecutive big EPL home games.

  12. Southgate is a terrible manager and an absolute yes man. Loves playing nothing but defensively awful manager

  13. Why make up a post that just shows you know little or nothing about Arsenal players position in International duties.

    We might not get guaranteed starters for most top Countries in the world but we have some very good players already been involved by some top Countries.

    Players going to World cup from Arsenal pov

    England: Ramsdale, White, Saka
    Brazil: Jesus, Gabriel (defender)
    USA: Turner
    Switzerland: Xhaka
    Ghana: Partey
    Japan: Tomiyasu.

    Some other players were not fortunate enough their country didn’t get World cup ticket like Zinchenko, Tierney, Elneny (although injured).

    If one of the youngest squad in the world has 9 representatives at World cup it’s a sign of more to come when you think at the World cup enormous experiences is needed to represent your country at the biggest stage.

    Stop this bullshit post about Nkethia salary and his mom appearance for England, have you thought about it that a certain £350k per week earner at United in the person of Sancho won’t be making the trip because his performances hasn’t been up to the requirement.

    We should be happy most of our players hopefully won’t get fatigued after the tournament.

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