Has the ‘English Core’ Returned in this Arsenal Team?
The Arsenal first XI now potentially has four English Internationals, what is the significance of Arteta recruiting English Talent?
Ramsdale, White, Smith-Rowe and Saka, all of which will all be in the contention for international first team places for the ‘Three Lions’ in the next world cup.
It really feels like Arteta is beginning to build an English core within the squad, similarly to what Wenger did during his tenure with Walcott, Wilshere, Oxlade-Chamberlin, and Gibbs to name a few.
In 2012 he gave all the young English players long-term contracts to secure the future of the club with a core of talented Englishmen, 10 years later they didn’t rip up trees; but could it be different this time round?
We paid £50 million and £30 million for White and Ramsdale last summer after seeing England reach the Euro 2020 final, paying an ‘English tax by buying great homegrown players from top English clubs.
Both have also gone straight into our starting 11 and Ramsdale is even being considered as one of the best signings and players of the season, having kept nine clean sheets which is second best in the league.
I think he should start for England.
If you look at form, Pickford only has three clean sheets this season after playing the exact same number of PL games. I know Everton are clearly struggling this season and that Pickford is class for England, but you simply must reward Ramsdale with the Number 1 shirt if he continues in this form.
White, on the other hand, is quality, coming from a defensively solid Brighton side, he has impressed Arsenal fans with his leadership and Arsenal legend Martin Keown even suggested giving him the captaincy.
Furthermore, Saka and ESR are having fantastic seasons with 14 goals shared between them, and look to be really pushing for their spots against a highly competitive England attack with the likes of Mount, Grealish, Foden, Sterling and Sancho. Some of the world’s best.
Yet Southgate played Saka four times in the Euros, playing a total of 272 minutes, and getting an assist. Compare this to Foden who only played three matches, 159 minutes and had no return, it seems that the England manager may prefer the Arsenal winger.
I’m not comparing the two youngsters on skill, both are some of the nation’s most promising talent, however it does seem for the first time in ages, we do have Arsenal players who play regularly for England on an International level.
The main benefit of these players is their youth, White is 24, Ramsdale is 23, ESR is 21 and Saka is 20. They are only going to get better with time, the more games they play together and more confidence they build.
It gives us longevity, and I love having Arsenal players to keep an eye on when watching my national team play, I remember the 2018 world cup where they only took Danny Welbeck from Arsenal who spent 11 minutes on the pitch.
Playing for the Three Lions is a huge honour, a national team with rich history and huge support, so I think the confidence that it can bring to this Arsenal team is huge and very exciting to see.
Surely this English core will be much more successful than the one we had 10 years ago.
Until next time Gooners,
Watch Mikel Arteta’s reaction after 10-man Arsenal keep Liverpool at bay