Arsenal’s Carling Cup squad demonstrated why we possess some of the best talent waiting to break into the first team. A three quarters full Emirates Stadium saw Sheffield United demolished by wonderful goals from Niklas Bendtner and Carlos Vela who had formed a wonderful partnership during pre-season. Arsene Wenger had announced his intention to field a squad that will go all the way through the competition.
“This is the best young squad ever”
“People now understand why I resisted buying as I did…”
“There is no restriction to their ambitions, they want to win.”
“No matter how far we go, we have to stick to our policy.
“These players do not play like kids. They play with intelligence, talent and with spirit.
“They can beat many teams and I would not be scared to play any individual in the Premier League.”
Comments from our Manager Arsene Wenger after the game.
This was a young team with an average age of 19 yrs of age. In terms of British players, 10 players were present in the squad. From England: Gavin Hoyte, Keiran Gibbs, Jack Wilshere, Mark Randall played from the start with Henri Lansbury and Jay Simpson. On as subs, the others on the bench being Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Abu Ogogo, and Emmanuel Frimpong, with from Wales: Aaron Ramsey.
From the start this young Arsenal side set out to prove to all watching why Arsene Wenger didn’t want to bring in an older player to as he put it “kill” the chances of a young player. They played beautiful football with Aaron Ramsey providing the strength in midfield, exchanging passes well with Mark Randall. At the back Johan Djourou the senior and Fabianski the captain, marshalled the ranks and led by example. Up front Carlos Vela demonstrated why Arsene Wenger should seriously consider a Bendtner/Vela pairing at some stage during the senior campaign.
Bendtner opened the scoring after 32 minutes with a lovely curled right foot shot from 25 yards into the Blades net, just reward for all the Arsenal pressure. Sheffield United’s Danny Webber had looked dangerous on the counter, so this goal settled those early nerves. Ten minutes later, a surging run by Ramsey into the Blades penalty area is finished off by a sumptious back heel which took out four Blades defenders. The target of the back heel was Bendtner, who gratefully accepted the pass and struck a low shot past the keeper’s near post into the net. Two minutes later with the Blades in disarray, Carlos Vela scored the his first. Carlos, who had been keen to get on the score sheet having had an earlier attempt blocked by the Sheffield United defence, was not to be denied as he ran to receive a pass from Bendnter down the right channel and struck a sweet shot with his left foot past Kenny into the bottom right hand corner.
Half Time: Arsenal 3 Sheffield United 0
The second half performance showed how mature were our youngsters against this full strength Championship side. Right from the kick off, they were again showing off their pass and move patterns and keeping the ball well in crucial areas of the field. Carlos Vela scored an amazing goal after 4 minutes when an aerial pass from Keiran Gibbs was controlled onto his chest followed by a lovely turn into space and on entering the box he released a deft chip over the hapless Sheffield United keeper into the net. The crowd burst into rapturous applause and cheering as Vela got mobbed by his team mates. If you do nothing else this week make sure that you get to see THAT GOAL!
The Sheffield United substitution had done nothing and at 4-nil down and only ten minutes into the second half, they looked a spent force. This was a Blades team boasting Premiership veterans like Gary Speed and James Beattie. On 57 minutes Jack Wilshere popped up to remind everyone that he also had a part to play in this match. Jack had already given the Sheffield Midfield a torrid time with his close control and jinxy runs, this time he was picked out in space from the corner kick and with a short turn he made the angle so that that he could release an wonderfully struck low shot inside the near post which had the Blades Keeper Paddy Kenny wondering why he ever got on the coach today. The ball had travelled fully 25 yards past two defenders who had not anticipated the young genius.
Bendtner had an opportunity for a hat trick roll wide of the post after having been put through on the keeper by a lovely pass from Fran Merida. Arsene Wenger made three substitutions before the end of the game. With talented Frenchman Coquelin coming on to accompany Englishmen Henri Lansbury and Jay Simpson, replacing Alex Song, Bendtner and Fran Merida left the field. Coquelin is an aggressive midfielder with lots of enthusiasm, and shortly he made a vital tackle to interrupt a late Blades advance.
The game ended with Arsenal not being able to convert a couple of straight forward attempts, but no matter for the icing on the cake had come from Carlos Vela, the man of the match who finished with a hat trick, his goal coming from a nice combination of passes followed by him being put through on goal by Aaron Ramsey. Vela low shot past the keeper was the final emphatic nail in the Blades coffin, and the crowd went wild. This was a game that will have the back page journalists purring with delight and leave Sky TV wondering why they had chosen to televise a tedious Welsh Derby that yielded only one goal.
Full time: Arsenal 6 Sheffield United 0 (Bendtner 32,42. Vela 44,49,86. Wilshere 57.)
Arsene Wenger once again allowed his protégés to silence his critics, on the performance of the youth on dislplay at the Emirates tonight, Arsenal’s future is more than assured. Carlos Vela is showing himself to have the potential to become the next world class striker at the Arsenal. He will be better than David Villa, Fernando Torres, and Ronaldo!
When I was just a little boy, I asked my father what would he be? Is he like Wrighty or Titi Henry, Here’s what he said to me…Oh Vela, Vela, Our Mexican superstar…He’s better than Cantona! Oh Vela Vela…
Arsenal Team: Lukasz Fabianski, Gavin Hoyte, Alexandre Song (69), Johan Djourou, Kieran Gibbs, Fran Merida (69), Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Mark Randall, Carlos Vela, Nicklas Bendtner (69) Subs: Vito Mannone, Francis Coquelin (69), Jay Emmanuel-Thomas,Henri Lansbury (69), Abu Ogogo, Jay Simpson (69), Emmanuel Frimpong
Referee Phil Dowd.
T HE FUTURE IS BRIGHT… THE FUTURE IS CARLOS VELA!!!
By Fabregas the King