In Young Guns, featured first in the official matchday programme, we find out about the next generation of Arsenal youngsters, in their own words.
This time we spoke to defender Tobi Omole:
Although I was a box-to-box midfielder when I was spotted by Arsenal playing for Thamesmead, I’ve mainly played at centre back since joining the Gunners. In fact I’ve been taught to play in various positions, in particular as a full-back and of course in midfield.
I enjoy playing as centre back because I think of it as the ‘brain of the team’. You see everything that is going on in front of you and you have to be aware of what’s behind and all around too. You have to be able to read the game, anticipate moves building in attack from our opponents and support our own attacks when needs be too. I’m the sort of player that likes to come out with the ball and help in our build up play. There are some defenders who specialise in stopping the opposition at all costs and if they have the ball just give it into midfield as soon as possible. I like to add a bit more and I feel I’m a good passer and can contribute more generally to the team, though I do enjoy defending.
I’m already 6ft 2in tall and still growing, so I’m good in the air but I’m working on being more aggressive. Looking around and studying top defenders, the aggressive ones are the best in my opinion, and you need that, especially when you come across physical and strong strikers like Diego Costa. The way that both Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi dealt with him was fantastic. They used intelligent aggression and frustrated him out of the game. It’s ideal for me to have those guys to learn from.
I knew a bit about Mustafi before he arrived and always thought he was a good player, but he has settled in so well it looks like he has been with us for years. I’m very motivated and with God’s help and guidance I hope to keep progressing to be the best player I can be. There are very many talented players who don’t make it as professional players because they I’m a good passer and feel I can contribute more generally to the team, though i do enjoy defending do not apply themselves to get the most out of what God has given them. I’m motivated by that and my friends from Bexleyheath and family help keep me grounded and focused.
I’m also lucky that I live in digs in Cockfosters with good people – Joseph Olowu is also in the same house. We are able to talk football when we need to but can relax and take our minds off it when we have to also.
I am also studying for my A-Level in Economics. I enjoy that a lot. Understanding how the world works is really interesting and hopefully will be useful for me in the future too.
When did you first play for the Arsenal academy?
In the under-14s.
Who has been the biggest influence on your career?
My brother, Muyiwa.
What's the best aspet of your game?
Pressing and reading the game.
And what do you still need to work on?
If you could score any goal from history, which one would it be?
Zidane's Champions League final goal against Bayer Leverkusen
If you had to sing one song to save your life, what would it be?
Michael Jackson's Smooth Criminal.
Aside from PE, what was your best subject at school?
Maths and English.
What other sports are you good at?
Basketball and tennis.
Who has the best sense of humour?
Who is the best at FIFA?
Who has the best turn of pace?
Who has the best ball skills?
Who has the best engine?
Who is the best with the ladies?
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