On the record: Yesterday was one of the best games I've ever been to in my life. Although 5-3 against Middlesborough at Highbury was a momentous occasion, yesterday's performance was outstanding, and the scoreline was thoroughly deserved. The play was a delight to watch and as the game progressed, the confidence flowed.
Arsenal Youth 6 – 0 Sheffield United Ex Prem Players
Goals: Bendtner 31, 42, Vela 44, 50, Wilshere 57, Vela 87.
Morning all, and what a game it was yesterday. We thrashed the Sheffield United team 6 goals to nil and it could have been more… Their team had players like James Beattie, Danny Webber, Gary Speed etc, so this was no mug of a team, they’re all seasoned professionals.
Our team started with Fabianski in goal; he showed at the end of last season and in a few pre-season games that he’s a good keeper. He was our oldest player in the squad at the tender age of 23.
The back four was Gibbs (left back), Song (centre back), Djourou (centre back) and Hoyte (right back). Yes, Gavin Hoyte, the younger brother of Justin Hoyte who now plys his trade at Middlesborough. You could say that at 20 and 21, Djourou and Song were the experienced players at the back. It’s remarkable how Arsene has inspired such confidence in these younger players.
In midfield, lined up Wilshere (on the right), Randall and Ramsey (in the middle) and Merida (on the left). Up front we have the internationals, Bendtner and Vela (albeit, only 21 and 19 respectively).
Hoyte – Song – Djourou – Gibbs
Wilshere – Randall – Ramsey – Merida
Bendtner – Vela
So where do I start? At the beginning, I suppose, and the atmosphere ahead of the game was electrifying, Jack Wilshere first start in a competitive game was the buzz outside the stadium and due to some really nasty tube delays, I missed the first 3 minutes of the game.
When I arrived, it seems to be a fair game with both teams playing well and chances at both ends. Ramsey’s first 15 minutes was abysmal but he managed to pick up his game and really got going after that. Randall’s defensive qualities and ability to snuff out danger were quite remarkable too.
On about the 20th minute, the axe fell and a wave of confidence started going through our players minds. Shot after shot, chance after chance. It was tight, but some excellent play from Bendtner and Wilshere made us think it was just a matter of time.
And it was…
Vela picking up the ball from a good pass from Ramsey and spinning his marker. He squared the ball to Bendtner, who using Kilgallon as a cover, bent it round the defender and the keeper.
And after the goal, it was all Arsenal. The junior team follows the senior team in style and play, and the move it around the box and one such move saw Ramsey go past a few, turn around and back heel the ball into Bendtner path, the Dane taking the opportunity to make it 2-0.
Vela’s play had been good and he duly got his goal when he pull away from his marker and received the through ball and one chance, one goal. Finishing to the highest order.
The first half ended 3-0 and it was a joy to see.
The second half started where the first left off and the play was mesmerising. Arsene’s half time talk was simple, “embarrass them and make your mark” and that exactly what the team went on to do.
The fourth goal so a delightful chip from Gibbs down the line to Vela who finished with aplomb and a kind of chip against the hapless Paddy Kenny.
From midfield, Jack Wilshere, had run the show, showing Hleb like movement and Cesc like passing. Every time he got around the box, the fans said “shoot” and on the 57th minute, he found himself just outside the box. Onto his left foot, hammered the ball into the back of the net to make it 5-0.
From my seat in the lower tier I saw the action so closely, it was amazing, and to be honest, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. At 5-0 down Sheffield United had a spirited 10 minute cameo, but with 20 minutes to go and onwards, we were in total control. Oohs and Aahs from the crowd, it was only a matter of time for the sixth, and another great finish from Carlos Vela saw the youngest side ever named to a 6-0 victory.
I’ll leave you with a quote from Arsene on the performance:
“I believe that the team played football the way we want to play. We showed a good mixture of individual talent, maturity and collective spirirt. The team remained focused on the kind of football we wanted to play and respected that, it was very pleasing.
“I believe every one in his position has done very well. From goalkeeper [Lukasz] Fabianski up to [Nicklas] Bendtner and Carlos Vela of course upfront they were great. You know already Bendtner and you discovered maybe a bit more about Vela. He is a clinical finisher. I am pleased aswell with our midfield and our defence was serious and stayed strong- we looked like the complete team and I’m very happy and proud of that.
“I’m not as surprised as you because I see them every day but you never know how they’ll respond on the big stage. They just went out there are played with the belief we want them to have and with the spirit we want them to have. “
I’m stick in shock and I’ve already watched a rerun of the match…]]>