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Arsenal v. Sheff United

Sheffield United

Emirates Stadium



This is a competition unlike any other for Arsenal fans, where the extremely promising reserve and youth team players get a chance to shine in the first team against players 10+ years older than themselves. Arsene has turned this competition into something that excites fans in a completely different way than regular Arsenal games. Some might say he is disrespecting the competition, but I think he is putting life into it.

Many managers have tried to recreate the success that Arsene has found in this competition but to no avail. When Manchester United plays their reserves, they get dumped out unceremoniously by teams of poor quality. Though this is the only domestic competition Arsene has yet to win with Arsenal.

Vital Quotes:

Arsenal boasted in his pre-match quotes about the youthfulness of his squad. "There is a possibility [it will be the youngest side ever]," said Wenger. "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."

Mark Randall talked about his eagerness to impress Le Boss. "Jack playing against Blackburn just proves that the boss will play young English players if they`re good enough," said Randall. "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."

Sheffield boss Kevin Blackwell is worried about his injury situation. Blackwell told BBC Radio Sheffield: 'It's a bit of a dilemma, because I've used the cup to get some of the lads fit.

'But with the injuries, numbers are down so my options are limited.'

Arsenal Team News:

I'm not going to pretend to know much about these kids, you will have to check Young Guns for that. So just refer to Wenger's quotes above to know who should be involved.

Player to watch: Jack Wilshere

Arsene has confirmed that the young Englishman will get his first start for the club. Unfortunately the media's eyes will be watching him like a hawk. But if he performs like he did against Juventus, Real Madrid, and Stuttgart in the preseason then he will have absolutely no problem with the extra attention. He is the most exciting player to rise through the Arsenal youth system in a very long time. He plays with the confidence and panache of a player much more mature than he really is. When you watch Jack play you can't help but be left in awe.

It will also be interesting to see how Ramsey fits into the main creative role in the centre of midfield.

Sheffield United Team News:

One positive for the Blades is that Premier League veteran James Beattie will be fit to start. Darius Henderson and Matthew Spring are out injured, while Sun Jihai is suspended. Lee Hendrie, Keith Gillespie and Danny Webber have all been tipped to start.

Player to watch: James Beattie

I'm not to familiar with the Sheffield squad but this man has been a constant threat in England's top division for some time now. He will surely pose a problem for Arsenal's very young defense.

Match Prediction

I can see this one maybe turning into a shootout. Arsenal will have a frighting attack but I am not sure about our defense. Other than Song and Djourou, our defense and midfield will be very lightweight and inexperienced. I could see this being a potential problem for Arsenal.

Im going to go with a 4-2 win for Arsenal. Bendtner x2, Vela, and Wilshere

Next Fixtures:

27/9-- Hull City-- Premier League

30/9-- FC Porto-- Champions League

4/9-- Sunderland-- Premier League

Writer:Brice Coffer
Date:Tuesday September 23 2008
Time: 5:40AM

Best of International Football News


cant wait to see the young guns in action. who's airing it?
23/09/2008 08:12:00
if only havard was around
23/09/2008 08:14:00
Bring on the young Guns, I hope they will give us fans plenty to cheer about, roll on tonight!
23/09/2008 09:27:00
The youth in this side is astonishing. Only Arsene Wenger dare be so bold, and I wouldn't be surprised in the least if they tonked Sheffield United!
23/09/2008 10:07:00
If any other team was putting what is basically schoolchildren out i would be very confident, but what your lot call reserves & junior's are frighteningly good. It will be a good game, but i think you'll do it basically on the legs. The likes of Wilshere will tire Gary Speed out in no time. You never know, we could nick something
23/09/2008 12:00:00
Players to watch: the whole Kids XI.
23/09/2008 12:43:00
12. Carlos VELA (Age 19) 16. Aaron RAMSEY (Age 17) 17. Alex SONG (Age 21) 19. Jack WILSHERE (Age 16) 20. Johan DJOUROU (Age 21) 21. Lukasz FABIANSKI (GK) (Age 23) 24. Vito MANNONE (GK) (Age 20) 26. Nicklas BENDTNER (Age 20) 35. Francis COQUELIN (Age 17) 38. Jay EMMANUEL-THOMAS (Age 17) 40. Kieran GIBBS (Age 18) 41. Gavin HOYTE (Age 18) 42. Henri LANSBURY (Age 17) 43. Fran MERIDA (Age 18) 46. Abu OGOGO (Age 18) 47. Mark RANDALL (Age 18) 50. Jay SIMPSON (Age 19) 56. Emmanuel FRIMPONG (Age 16) Squad to face Sheffield Utd, avergae age 18 years old! Amazing stuff!!
23/09/2008 13:30:00
Shepblade, your team is well capable of nicking something they have years of experience over the lads but not the ability, so it's all down to which team applies their respective strengths better in the situations that arise!
23/09/2008 13:32:00
Gunna be sweet :)
23/09/2008 15:42:00
Get in there Nicky my son! Great goal. Vela was quality too
23/09/2008 20:20:00
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