Mails: Does Alexander-Arnold make a best World Cup XI?

Date published: Saturday 19th May 2018 11:22

Send your FA Cup and Royal Wedding thoughts to


Lefty luvvies
Tbh im not too bothered to find it (because we were a bit sh—) , but im sure sometime between August 2017 and Jan 2018, we did at least once field a team consisted of Cech, Monreal, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Ozil and Giroud. Thats 6 out of the first 11 who was left footed. Surely this is (was) some sort of record? Anybody care to find out?
Syfq Amr, a bias Gooner


The coaching careers of ex-Wengerites
In light of Mikel Arteta’s imminent appointment as Wenger’s successor, I’ve gathered the managerial career of his former players (minimum 10 matches):

Seaman – In June 2012, joined Combined Counties League club Wembley as goalkeeping coach for their 2012–13 FA Cup campaign, as part of a television documentary.
Winterburn – Coached at Blackburn Rovers from July until December 2008.
Bould – From June 2001 became a coach for Arsenal’s youth teams, winning the U-18 Premier Academy League title twice and FA Youth Cup in 2008–2009. Arsenal’s assistant manager since May 2012.
Adams – November 2003 managed Wycombe Wanderers until November 2004.  In July 2005 coached junior team at Feyenoord. June 2006 Portsmouth assistant manager under Harry Redknapp, peaking at 9th in the the Premier League and winning the FA Cup. Was caretaker then permanent manager from October 2008 to February 2009, winning 10 points from 16 games. Managed Azerbaijani club Gabala from May 2010 to November 2011 and La Liga club Granada for 7 matches in April 2017.
Platt – Brief stint as Sampdoria manager in Serie A but did not have the required coaching badges. In July 1999 managed Nottingham Forest in Division One for two seasons.  Was England U21 manager in July 2001 and qualified for the 2002 U21 Euros, but did not qualify for the 2004 tournament and was replaced. In July 2010 was first team coach under Roberto Mancini at Manchester City until his departure in May 2013. Was in charge of Indian Super League team FC Pune City for the 2015-2016 season.

Ian Wright – Part-time coach for MK Dons from May 2012 until 2013.
Bergkamp – Assistant coach for Netherlands B team in October 2008 and coached under 12s at Ajax. Assistant to their under 19s team in 2010 and eventually assistant to first team squad in August 2011. Left in December 2017 after winning three Eridivisie titles under Ronald Koeman.
Keown – Did coaching badges. Pundit and scout for Arsenal.
Jensen – Managed Herfolge BK to the Danish Superliga in 1999 and was named coach of the year but they were relegated in the 2001 season.  Assisted Michael Lauprup at Brondby until June 2006 winning four trophies in four seasons and then one less successful season with Laudrup at Getafe. In charge of Randers FC in the Danish Superliga from January to October 2009 winning only 2 points in 11 matches.  Assistant to Steve Kean at Blackburn for four months.
Kiwomya – Ran the development squad at Notts County in February 2012, became caretaker in February 2013 and permanent manager a month later. Ended that League One season in 12th. Took Liverpool to extra time at Anfield in the Capital One Cup in 2013. Results dried up and left in October that year.

Garde – Coached at Lyon in 2003 when they won two Ligue 1 titles under Paul Le Guen. Then made assistant to Gerard Houllier in 2005 for two more titles and a Champions League quarter final. Returned at manager in June 2011 and won the Coupe De France and Trophee des Champions.  Managed Aston Villa from November 2015 to March 2016 winning only 2 in 23 matches. Currently Heach Coach at Montreal Impact in the MLS.
Vieira – Football Development Executive coaching Manchester City’s youth team in 2011 and manager of youth in 2013, winning the Premier League International Cup. Currently Head Coach of New York City in the MLS since November 2015.
Anelka – As of February 2017, part of the technical staff at Eridivisie side Roda FC.
Grimandi – Scout for Arsenal since 2006.
Overmars – Director of Football at Ajax since 2012.

Wreh – Head Coach for Liberian U-20s since 2014.
Ljungberg – Coached Arsenal under 15s in July 2016 and assistant at Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga for six months.
Luzhny – Player coach at Latvian side FK Venta in 2005. Assistant coach at Dynamo Kyiv in June 2006 and a brief spell as caretaker in November 2007. Had another crack as interim manager at Dynamo in October and November of 2010.
Sylvinho – Hired as assistant manager at Brazil’s Cruzeiro in September 2011 and assistant to Roberto Mancini  at Inter Milan in December 2014.
Suker – President of the Croatian Football Federation.

Henry – Currently 2nd Assistant to Roberto Martinez at the Belgium national team, at the World Cup.
Pires – Involved with coaching the first team at Arsenal since 2016.
Stepanovs – Currently head coach of Latvia national under 17s.
Jeffers – Currently a youth coach at Everton since October 2016.
Van Bronckhorst – Was assistant to Ronald Koeman at Feyenoord in July 2011 and made manager at the start of the 2015-6 season. Has won the Eridivisie title and two KNVB Cups.

Campbell – Is the assistant manager of the Trinidad and Tobago national team since January 2017, who didnt reach the World Cup.
Richard Wright – Currently youth coach at Manchester City since 2016.
Kolo Toure – Coached Cote D’Voire under 23s and technical assistant at Celtic since 2017.
Lehmann – Coaching at Arsenal since 2017.
Poom – Currently goalkeeping coach for the Estonia national team.
Silvestre – Director of Football at Rennes in Ligue 1.

Arteta – Joint Assistant under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City since July 2016.
John of Norwich


Some more World Cup XIs
In response to Kev, Belfast’s email, here is my team for the world cup. His does seem a little too Premier League influenced (Lovren?). In addition, I have actually added 7 subs.

De Gea

Marcelo – Hummels – Diego Godin – Walker

Modric – Kante

De Bruyne

Messi – Ronaldo – Salah

Subs: Navas, Koulibaly, Rodriguez, Matic, James, Lewandowsky, Lord Bendtner

The full backs remain the same and would bring a lot forward. Kante and Modric in midfield would bring such balance and passing ability, allowing De Bruyne the freedom he needs to create a frightening forward line up with Messi, Ronaldo and Salah. However, this team would never work, with Messi and Ronaldo clearly unable to play for the same team. And considering Salah like a shot or 10, it is hard to imagine the front 3 linking up.  If they could though, they would walk their way to the World Cup.
Guillaume, Paris


Excellent idea Kev, Belfast.

Here is my 11, 4-2-3-1 formation

De Gea

Trent Alexander-Arnold Sanchez Christensen Mendy

Kroos Modric

Salah Messi Neymar


I know the Spain squad hasn’t been announced yet but if De Gea is not in there I will eat my hat.

Keylor Navas, Pepe, Hazard (see above for De Gea), Hernandez, Sigurdsson, Idrissa Gueye
Peter, Norf London, LFC


In response to Kev, Belfast, here’s my team (which is far better, not least as the fullbacks are playing on their preferred sides)


Walker Ramos Hummels Vertonghen

Modric Coutinho

Messi Ronaldo Salah
Av, London

(MC – Reckon I’m backing Kev’s XI against your ten, to be fair)


Germans all over Europe
Reading Daniel Storey’s super piece on the attraction of the Bundesliga, one thought struck me. How is it possible for all these players to keep coming through their system? Won’t some young players establish themselves and then block the path for those behind them? Here lies the beauty in the final piece of the German model: exports.

There are currently 28 German players playing their trade in one of the Big Four European leagues outside of Germany – 10 of which play for the biggest champions league clubs. If we widen the remit to include the Dutch, Portuguese and the English Championship then that’s another 36 players, let alone those playing their trade further afield in less glamorous teams and leagues. It is a mind boggling statistic, and is the final key component for the incredible success of the German academy conveyor belt.

Due to a lack of spending power, many Bundesliga clubs use the develop/export model to survive, and indeed thrive as local community clubs. Therefore it must follow that these clubs must currently see English players as a good investment – a massive tick in the box for our own Academy system. As we know, English clubs don’t have the same urgent need to export for profit, but as Storey points out, the desire for minutes provides the push for young players to seek pastures new.

Ironically, those moving abroad might open up avenues for the young British players who stay behind; as some players leave, opportunity will arise for others.

There is a big world of football to go an explore. And inevitably, should a player succeed, he will be bought back by a top 6 club for circa £80 million. At least that way he’d be guaranteed a first team spot!
Rob S


Perfect pairing
I’m sure the Saturday afternoon/Sunday or Monday morning mailbox will be almost exclusively about the cup final (and I’m going so I can’t complain…apologies for the not-so-subtle brag) but…

Sam Allardyce is available

Stoke are managerless

Has there ever been a more suited pairing waiting to happen?
Mike, Burgess Hill


No higher praise
Thoroughly enjoyed the football media piece by John Nicholson, so much so that I had to minimise Football Manager as it was loading up to get to the bottom of the article.

There is no higher accolade.
Harry, Devon, just one more match I promise


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