Match Preview: Arsenal vs Sheffield United, Carling Cup

Arsenal v Sheff Utd
Carling Cup, Emirates Stadium
Tuesday, September 23, 2008, 19:45

Arsene spoke on the average age of the side and the likely starters:

“There is a possibility [it will be the youngest side ever]. In the first team there are many players around 20. In the Carling Cup we will keep a few in there but the side will be more between 16 and 19. At Arsenal you can say 20 and 21-year-olds are the experienced players. You are likely to see Gavin Hoyte, Abu Ogogu, Aaron Ramsey, Mark Randall, Jack Wilshere, Fran Merida and Carlos Vela. Maybe Bendtner will play. Song, Djourou and Lukasz Fabianski will be the experienced players. But you will have players like Emmanuel Frimpong and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas so it will be a very young side.”

Jack Wilshere has had a few appearances in pre-season, especially in the Emirates Cup when he announced himself to the world, but players like Fran Merida and Carlos Vela are surely dying to show what they can do.

Based on the weekend game and the available squad, I think the line up will be something along the lines of… I’ve added the first names into the line up as you may not have heard of some of these players…

Lukasz Fabianski
Goalkeeper
 
Abu Ogogo
Right Back
Johan Djourou
Centre Back
Gavin Hoyte
Centre Back
Kieran Gibbs
Left Back
 
Fran Merida
Right Wing
Aaron Ramsey
Midfielder
Mark Randall
Midfielder
Jack Wilshere
Left Wing
 
  Carlos Vela
Striker
Niklas Bendtner
Support Striker
 

And unlike the league, the Carling Cup bench only has 5 players, so we’ll probably see Mannone and 4 other players from the following: Emmanuel Frimpong, Francis Coquelin, Kyle Bartley, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, Rui Fonte, Alex Song and Jay Simpson.

Now it looks like we have too many players in our Carling Cup squad. Players like Jay Simpson and Francis Coquelin will be wondering why they’re not starting!

Mark Randall, due to start in midfield this weekend alongside Aaron Ramsey spoke on the inspiration of Jack Wilshere:

“Jack playing against Blackburn just proves that the boss will play young English players if they’re good enough. Everyone talks about the number of foreigners in our team but that means nothing. If you’re good enough you’ll play, English or not. This is a big season for me because I’m older now. I need to get as many games as possible under my belt, in the first team especially, just to make me stronger and a better player.

“There is a buzz about it [the Carling Cup]. But at the end of the day we’re all professional, we’ve still got to work, we have to do exactly the same in any game that we play and we have to give 100 per cent in training every day. In a way there is [one eye on the Sheffield United tie], because it’s a big game for us. But you’ve just got to keep focused and keep working hard.”

I’ll be down at the Emirates to watch the game and I’m looking forward to a good old fashioned Carling Cup tie. No doubt, this group of youngsters looks very exciting and it promises to be an excellent evening.

Here’s to a great night…!]]>

  • devday

    < ![CDATA[Wenger names 18-man squad for Carling Cup

    Arsène Wenger has named 13 teenagers in his 18-man squad for tonight's Carling Cup tie against Sheffield United at Emirates Stadium.

    12. Carlos VELA (Age 19)
    16. Aaron RAMSEY (Age 17)
    17. Alex SONG (Age 21)
    19. Jack WILSHERE (Age 16)
    20. Johan DJOUROU (Age 21)
    21. Lukasz FABIANSKI (GK) (Age 23)
    24. Vito MANNONE (GK) (Age 20)
    26. Nicklas BENDTNER (Age 20)
    35. Francis COQUELIN (Age 17)
    38. Jay EMMANUEL-THOMAS (Age 17)
    40. Kieran GIBBS (Age 18)
    41. Gavin HOYTE (Age 18)
    42. Henri LANSBURY (Age 17)
    43. Fran MERIDA (Age 18)
    46. Abu OGOGO (Age 18)
    47. Mark RANDALL (Age 18)
    50. Jay SIMPSON (Age 19)
    56. Emmanuel FRIMPONG (Age 16)

    Source: Arsenal.com]]>

  • caz

    < ![CDATA[Hi

    I've been reading your blog for months now and I gotta day it's excellent.

    One addition if possible... Can you add in which channel the match is going to be shown on if possible? I know not all are on Sky/Setanta and some are on ATV but it would be really useful to know instead of hunting around the Arsenal website.

    Cheers and keep up the good work.
    Caz]]>

  • devday

    < ![CDATA[I know the commentary is on BBC Five Live:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/fivelive/sport/commentaries.shtml]]>

  • devday

    < ![CDATA[Young Guns says:

    Arsenal TV is the only place to watch the full 90 minutes live this evening, but UK viewers can watch Highlights on ITV1 and Sky Sports News shortly before 00:00.]]>

  • AJ

    I’m looking forward to seeing 3 players in particular tomorrow, one being Wilshere, a young english player and an exciting prospect, then Merida who some have dubbed as the new Fabregas, so pretty self explanatory and Vela who I think is going to grow into one of our star players over the years, similar to Eduardo and looked good in pre season.

  • Danny

    < ![CDATA[Vela :D well in boy.

    As you went to the game tonight, could you give us a comprehensive review detailing the youngsters individual performances. No ATV for me, and i'd love to know who done the most damage tonight... Hopefully some English boys did well (wilshere?)]]>

  • AJ

    I’d ment today not tomorrow in my earlier comment lol