The first thing I noticed is the tall Nordic looking gentleman in the back. Have Arsenal signed a dominating centre back, I wondered? No. It’s Nicklas Bendtner, with a beard and his hair tied up in the back.
I guess Bendtner arrived back this last week after his workouts in Copenhagen were concluded. I’d loved to be a fly on the wall watching our prodigal son enter the locker room for the first time in ages.
Encouragingly today’s published pictures show Bendtner working out with the squad, meaning he might be on the bench this Sunday. Who knows how prepared he is and what he can add to the squad.
Even more strange than spotting big Nick was seeing Ju Young-Park in the picture. He has become harder to spot than Waldo around the club, yet there he was all smiles for the camera (I suppose he’d just seen his latest paycheque).
Where does Park practice? With the reserves? Or is there a location at London Colney strictly reserved for the exiles?
What has become of him? I’m sure Arsenal tried to get rid of him during the summer, but he’s back.
How come reporters have never asked Arsene Wenger why Park doesn’t even practice with the first team squad and why they don’t use him? Yet, there he is, part of the team photo.
Gedion Zelalem was included, which is interesting. The youngster is presently injured, but obviously has impressed enough that he gets to be in the picture. Also present is Chuba Akpom, an acknowledgement of the young man’s potential and that we might need him if injuries plague our strikers.
While those two do get in the picture, we don’t see Thomas Eisfeld or Kris Olsson, two youngsters who travelled to Asia, who both would like to feature in next week’s Capital One game. Nor do we see Damian Martinez, who featured in last year’s team picture.
What is striking is how many of our players in the picture are injured at present. Rosicky, Podolski, Cazorla, Sanogo, Diaby, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Zelalem, and the just recovered Arteta. Hopefully, this will change in the next 6 weeks.
There are 30 players in all in the picture. Most of them will feature some time during the year. Some might be sold in January, maybe somebody new will arrive and have their picture photoshopped over Park’s face. It’s a sad thought, but maybe that’s why he was asked to pose for the squad.
Source: Arsenal World