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'If It's Football, It's Vital'


We haven't had the best of fortunes recently, of course a lot of it was self inflicted, but there is no doubt, prior to Saturday's victory over Man Utd, that there was an air of gloom surrounding our club.

Following the embarrassing loss to Stoke, serious questions were being asked by a section of the fans about just how much Arsene Wenger has left to offer our club, some even calling for his head.

Well maybe, just maybe, these people calling for Wenger to bring an end to his Arsenal reign, will now be able to see just how important the Frenchman is to Arsenal.

Arsene fielded an incredibly young team in the Carling Cup tonight against a Wigan side, who might not be doing well in the Premier League right now, but they were finalists in this competition a few years ago and they are a top flight team, and this side of 16, 17 18 & 19 year olds dispatched them, not only with style, but with great heart.

This team, that scored an incredible 3-0 victory, was assembled for a minuscule amount of cash, indeed the money we got from Tottenham for David Bentley probably paid for the whole lot of them.

Arsene Wenger is a genius, of that there can be no dispute.

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The Journalist

Writer: Rocky7 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday November 11 2008

Time: 9:36PM

Your Comments

Can't wait to read the match report, followed the game on the bbc website and they where were wery complimentary about the youngsters.
that vela goal was something else
For those that didn't see the game. Chris Kirkland was awesome tonight!!
LOL - Jack Wilshere was man of the match but they had to give the champagne to Fabianski as Jack isn't old enough!!!!!!
Typical, what the hell are the opposition golies on when the come to visit?
Hahaha they couldn't give the Man of the Match champagne to Wilshere because of his age!
Poor old Kirkland looked like he'd gone 12 rounds with a meth crazed gorilla
UN--F***ING--BELIEVABLE!!!!!!!!!!!! Watched the game online, couldn't believe what I was seeing. I really thought we'd concede, I really thought Wigan had a strong chance of drawing or even winning, they're not mugs and they have some good players. Just brilliant stuff from all the players, can't come up with enuf adjectives!
That save from Lukas at the end reminded me of Mad Jens' super stop from Raul vs Real Madrid at Highbury. Superb agility.
All i can say is wow!! Seriously though, even though they've only featured in a couple of games for the senior side, Jack, Carlos and Aaron appear to have the whole world at their feet.
by the way, go to, the guy who runs the site posts highlights in almost real time for nearly every arsenal game
Tpowell I found the site and what a pass from Jack for the first goal.
What a game ! ******** genius is Arsenal Wenger. I didnt lose faith in the CC team (although the faith in the 1st team took a beating till the ManU game). The passing and movement was fabulous, the goals were well created and we could have had much more had it not been for Kirkland. We were lucky not to concede a penalty for Djourou's handball coz that could have changed the game. But a fabulous performance overall. I'm realy excited by Fabianski. I think he has the potential to become much better than Almunia - looks to command the box a lot better, comes off his line a lot quicker and more decisively. Wishere, you beauty. This lad is a class act. What a through ball for the 2nd goal. The Carling Cup NEVER ceases to put a smile on my face :).
Quick question guys, who passed it over the top for Vela for our second goal, was it Wilshere?
Mmmmm, yes, Arsene likes them young....
Blue is the colour
Players, as they have so much talent.
Blue is the colour
Blue is the colour
Ramsey passed it to Vela for the counter attack (2nd goal). Ramsey was all round class and Randall was again shown up by his lack of all round skill. Vela is the best 19 year old striker I have seen for a long time. A long long long time. He will be a legend.
wenger quoted after the stoke game "let those who are criticising us now, say that we're the best in 3 weeks time". amen to that.
TPowell I dont think it was Jack, looks more like Merida or Ramsey.
anyone agrees with me to play this team in the FA cup too? let our first team concentrate on PL & CL. less chances of burnout and/or injuries.
It was Ramsey to Vela for the 2nd goal.
carlos vela reminds me of maradona...genius
supersof thats an excellent idea, I think they would do more than hold their own against most teams and it would give them more experience.
I agree Tom, Randall has never looked like the real deal to me. He played ok tonight, but when you're fight for first team spots not only against the first team, but against these other young lads too ..... he looks to be at the bottom of the food chain. Vela, what can you say? Surely he's gotta be the guy who comes off the bench now rather than Bendtner hsan't he?
supersof, that idea already been discussed in these forums and finds a lot of support amongst the gooners in vital arsenal :)
Ramsey, Vela and Wilshere are just class. You have to think they will be first team players at Arsenal for a long time. And great to see the first team players like Eduardo, Ade, Cesc, Kolo and Eboue watching from the sidelines. Bring on the Villa on Saturday, can't wait!
i love the way kirkland just stands there for the third goal and turns his head coz the last thing he expected was for vela to shoot at that takes special talent to do that and make it look so easy. and for jay simpson to score a brace on his full debut!! im loving it.
Tom, Rocky, Randall had an excellent game against Sheffield and I hoped that would improve his levels. But today, he put in a mixed performance. Gave away the ball way too easily for my liking. He did put in some good tackles and showed good distribution but with Coquelin and Bishoff snapping at his heels, that is not the kind of performance I expected from him. So I do partially agree with both of you. Lets wait till the next game though.
Vela should play alongside Bendtner or Diaby against Villa. And whenever Fabregas or Denilson is injured, Ramsey should come in. And I would like to see Djourou tried out with Gallas in some easier games (Villa is too difficult to take a big risk)
prits, I watch pretty much every reserve game and Randall is not good. He really isn't.
Prits I've been watching Randall for a few years now ..... he just doesn't have that special something needed to suceed at Arsenal in my opinion. He's a decent player .... but decent aint gunna cut it.
Randall displayed something that is very unusual for young English players tonight - overconfidence. I think that's a positive thing. The things he did well were very, very good. Wilshire is unbelieveable, but i wouldn't write off Randall yet. Compared to merida, he played about the same, it's just that Jack and Ramsey looked so good. I think Randall could make it but the verdict's still out.
I think Randall's progress has been damaged becouse of persistent injuries, small niggling injuries that keep him out for a few game at the time and deny him a long run of games.
I've been watching Randall as well for the past year and a half and had the same doubts, which is why I pointed to the Sheffield game as some kind of watershed moment for the lad. I still think he needs to be given the next game in the CC and then, we will see.
Hope we get Spurs next!
Amazing performance from the youngsters. And about randall, i thought he was okay nothing really special, but bear in mind he was injured before the match and was considered a doubt to play. So that could have affected his performance.
Randall is never going to get above Cesc, Ramsey, Denilson, Diaby, Coquelin and whoever we sign. He will not make it. I would eat my arm if he played any more than a severe crisis role at the club.
Nights like this must put a smile on Wengers face and make him feel that it is all worthwhile after all. He has to take the brickbats when they are dished out. He should enjoy the bouquets as well.
Great win tonight, had a huge smile on my face for pretty much the whole game with some of our play and we would have had a load more if it wasn't for some fantastic goalkeeping from Kirkland. Randall I thought was OK, but he had been carrying an injury going into the game so maybe you could say that was a cause for it but he did make a couple of nice passes, but Ramsey and Wilshire shone in the middle of the park. Was great to see Jay get a brace and thought overall he played pretty well and Vela's goal was just class. pure and simple. Fabianski had a couple of flaps early on but was excellent and what a save from Zaki. He is learning from the master see. I've taught him everything he knows..... :D
Vela should be fast-tracked. He is miles ahead of Bendtner in touch and finishing. He has (OMG I can't believe I'm saying this) more thana hint of Henry about him...Absolutely special.
Oh and like Rocky I did laugh when I found out Jack couldn't have the champagne! Although I think Arsene might have allowed him a quick swig or two! Also in the post match interview when asked about Jack, Wenger said something like 'it's past his bedtime, he should already be in bed!' lol!!!
lol, Kirkland was great, u wouldn't believe he was carrying a back injury!
I've seriously wanted to cry - my ISP chose the completely wrong time to screw up my internet connection and you say the text updates didn't do it justice, I say words were completely inadequate on this occasion! I was so *****ed but so happy (and 4-6am it was) that it's unreal! Just saw the highlights, OH MY DEAR GOD Vela's chip and Fabi's double save! I want to cry! I've voted for "all of them" in the MotM poll on the right hand side! And yes I've also been saying the same thing Supersof - same kids in FAC, no messing about this time! Er back on topic, Arsene is an absolute GENIUS, geez I feel so proud and bloody lucky to be a Gooner!! (Just realised I didn't use a single full stop in this post, such is the exclamation in me...)
Apart from the MotM champagne, I find the Jay Simpson quote pretty funny too: "Seeing the players with experience in the tunnel is a real boost for all of us. I spoke to Ade (Adebayor) before the game and he just said 'hit the target'." Good advice there Ade lol
Sorry I'm in the mood for being long-winded again. Don't mean to dwell on the doom last week and before, but those guys who thought maybe AW would even consider leaving the club just bcos of the stick from the media and fans and whoever else, can you tell me just how would a man leave Arsenal when, in addition to a fantastic first team, he's got this best crop of young players who're coming through and promising to come to fruition in a few years' time (even sooner for some)?!?!?!
Oh, let's all read this, some wisdom from Ray Wilkins: Originally I wanted to play against Liverpool in the QF's, but now I've changed my mind and I want Chelsea! :)
that goal Vela scored was burning hot... loved the celebration...
i watched the goal again and again... and every time i get more impressed... the best bit is he plays with a smile too... makes a change from Le Sulk... that's it... Vela's is the name on my next shirt.
I actually thought Randall had an excellent game last night and in the United game. He keeps the game very simple, wins his tackles and plays a simple pass. He plays the destroyer role very well, uncomplicated, unfussy. The sort of player most of us have bitched about not having all season. Our young side is incredibly attack minded and Randall has been crucial in both games.
Little Dutch
i have a nickname for vela, NACHO VELA
Randall is getting some stick here, personally from where I was sat he had a very solid game and nothing I have seen subsequently has changed my opinion. Very slick performnce from a very talented, fearless bunch of boys. The one thing that has stood out in the CC so far for me is that they all love playing together and just seemt o have fun without it getting in the way of their professionalism. The defence has looked solid, Dourou seems to relishg being one of the older statesman on the pitch and seems to raise his game and aggression levels with that added responsibility. How long before he and Gallas are our first choice pairing? Brendtner really had betetr watch out for his team spot as Vela is hot, hot, hot. But one oword of caution, so was reyes and it seems Wenger is taking the softly softly route with the lad and if that is fine with Wenger who are we to disagree. I recently questioned Wenger's ability to motivate his pampered team, but never his suitability for the job and when you see teh hunger these young lads show you do have to ask why the first team seem so bloody idle/lazy/arrogant (delete as appropriate) sometimes??!!
GoonerLou if that is what he said I'm with you lets have ski's next
Brilliant, brilliant again in a good, tough test. Well done bambinos! And once again my hubby the Evertonian, almost shoves me out of the way to get the prime seat in front of the plasma to watch the Arsenal youngsters. He thinks they're the best entertainment ever and believes all Arsenal matches fully justify the Sky fee. Amen :D
Randall was trying too hard in my eyes, not nessecarily a bad thing but gave the ball away a lot and tried too many god damn back heels.
I've been impressed with what I've seen of Randall since last season, he was OK last night but was a bit careless at times. I think Keiran Gibbs caught the eye as well, very energetic and similar to Clichy in a lot of ways. I'd say Gavin Hoyte was the worst player in my eyes, he needs to be a lot better than Justin to have any chance of making it.
Watched the game live. I was a bit nervous (as I'm sure were the lads) in the beginning having watched firsthand what Emr Zaki can do to a defense. We held him, held them and held our heads high until the end....not long before we see some more first team action for a lot of these boys.
Gavin Hoyte did nothing wrong all game, defensively solid and assured. Offensively, he was looking to go upfront just like Sagna does and combined well with Wislshere. Certainly not the worst player out there.
Probably was a bit harsh on Hoyte, he played OK except a few poor passes and letting De Ridder get the best of him when he went on that mazy run towards the end. Just felt he was the player that caught the eye the least, but as you say sometimes being solid is all you want in defence.
Well, De Ridder was not covered at all by Gibbs so i suppose Gibbs was also poor?
Yep, he's a Genius, I'm so glad more people are seeing it!
I think reserve and youth players are entitled to one mistake per game on the rare occasions they start.....!?

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