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…
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…!]]>