And whilst it's not morning and I'm not Irish, it still seems like the most appropriate thing to say today. Yesterday our kids (plus Silvestre) took on an in-form Burnley side and came unstuck. A loss is a loss and for the kids, it is a lesson. I do however feel that we did have the quality in our youth team to beat Burnley and although it has been a good couple of games for the kids, I am a little disappointed.
Of course, the expectation levels of the youngsters has risen, but it has done so on merit. The 6-0 thumping of Sheffield United and 3-0 demolition of Wigan were both justification for the quality of the kids. But yesterday, I feel there were too many of the kids living off those two results.
Both goals, I feel, were self imposed. Well, indeed, they were, one by the fumbling of Fabianski (maybe a bit harsh), albeit an offside goal (karma, hey?) and one by the lack of defensive awareness by Randall. However, the goals were self imposed, but the lack of us scoring was even more frustrating. I was planning on praising the kids and commending them on their run, but as you can see, I'm off on a tangent. The main culprit was the idiot that is Niklas Bendtner. He looked like he thought he was too good for the team. Maybe frustrated that he was in the Carling Cup squad after thinking he'd broken into the first team. He missed 6 golden chances. Yes, six! 3 one on ones, I recall, one open goal, one fumble and one point blank save. I do find myself upset with Bendtner's play because he just doesn't seem to be taking the game seriously enough.
Vela played well, but I think the Burnley defence knew he would be a threat and didn't give him the space to work in. Carlos Vela is very promising. He's got quick feet and good pace. He reminds me of a mix between a young Henry and a young Messi - not that I am hyping him up too much - with the finishing of Eduardo. Simply clinical. It was strange that the Mexican only had one shot at goal. Maybe if he had had Bendtner's chances, we'd have gone through 5-2. I'd like to see more of him and I think Arsene has acknowledged his ability and is not scared to use him in the first team.
On the wings we had Wilshere on the right and Merida on the left. Now these two players look very promising. The young Englishman, Jack Wilshere, only 16, looks so assured on the ball, I simply can't wait until he makes his way into the team. He is intelligent and does get himself about despite his young age. I can only see good things ahead for the lad, as Arsene regards him very highly and I don't think he's put a foot wrong. Fran Merida on the left doesn't look as Fran Merida behind the strikers, but nevertheless, I have been impressed with the youngster. He compliments our style of play and can see why Arsene has compared him to his compatriot and club captain Cesc Fabregas.
Aaron Ramsey and Mark Randall were deployed in the central midfield positions and both are pretty good going forward, especially Ramsey. He has an eye for a good pass and as he demostrated for Wales, a good eye for goal too. Ramsey is much more comfortable in central midfield than the wings and will excel when played in his natural position. Randall, I thought, was a little disappointing, and he was at fault for the second goal. Too lightly brushed off the ball, not sharp enough to deal with the danger. Of course, I expect Randall to learn from this game and there is a lot more in his locker. A loan move may be suitable for him to get competitive pratice, and he has played well in his three games in the Carling Cup.
One player who has shone well is Kieran Gibbs, who has followed Gael Clichy in the way he plays. He was one player who I didn't expect to do well as he's not caught my eye in the reserves or pre-season. Gibbs has had three really good games and I am happy to have him in the squad if Clichy is injured. Hoyte on the right has also played well and slightly behind Gibbs in terms of his first team possibilities.
Silvestre for me, was solid, but I'll have Djourou ahead of him any day and Rodgers looked out of place in the team and has a lot to learn. Fabianksi is definitely a decent understudy to Almunia, but is not above him in terms of experience, which sometimes show.
On the whole, the Carling Cup run has given us a preview of the next generation to come through. Exciting times ahead.
I'll be back tomorrow with more.