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Arsenal vs. Wigan

Emirates Stadium



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Arsenal v. Wigan

Arsene's Kids go for glory, pride, and recognition once again today in the Carling Cup against a much stronger side than they last faced in the last round, Wigan Athletic. Facing Premier League opposition will certainly pose a greater threat than Sheffield United, though the Young Guns will be buoyed by the fact that it is still in front of the jubilant Gooner home crowd at the Emirates. From what I've heard, the three best atmospheres at Ashburton Grove this season were Tottenham, Sheffield United, and Manchester United. With Arsenal still energized from the weekend result, the home faithful will be in full voice behind the youngsters today.

Vital Quotes:

Speaking ahead of the game, Wenger talked up the talent of young Mexican forward Carlos Vela. 'He is naturally gifted, quick, intelligent and with very good technique, so you now want him to add that combative, determined side that makes the difference,' Wenger said.

'He'll quickly be a world-class striker when he adds that to his game. Some day we all get our chance - the target is to take that chance when you get it, and he has the potential to do that.'

He also spoke of the quality of the English (yes English) talent coming up via the youth system. 'Jack Wilshere scored a good goal (in the last round), and we know that people will be following his progress because there is a big expectation level here for English players to be produced,' said the Frenchman.

'There is such big love for the national team that people want to see big players coming out from the top clubs and we are happy to do that.

'And it is not only Jack - we had a lot of good English players on the pitch (in the last round) such as Mark Randall, Gavin Hoyte and Kieran Gibbs.

'They have all done very, very well - recently I feel we've produced very good English players, and I think that quality-wise we are now more complete than ever.'

Arsenal Team News:

Nobody in the starting lineup against the Mancs will be in the squad for today, except for Bendtner. The Dane might start again at striker, but with the support from Carlos Vela this time. Though if Nik is rested then expect Jay Simpson to come in.

Mark Randall has been bothered with a injury for the last week, but all other injuries are all in the first team, so Arsene should have a plethora of vibrant young talent to choose from.

Amaury Bischoff scored a cracker against Fulham in a reserve fixture and we could see him make his first full Arsenal appearance today, though I see that as unlikely. Also, Robin van Persie is suspended though he was never going to feature in this fixture.

Player to watch: Djourou & Song

The centre back partnership will be tantalizing to watch as they face a extremely talented Zaki for Wigan. Personally I see this pairing being the choice for the future Arsenal's defense, and it'll be interesting to see how they cope against an always strong and well organized Steve Bruce team.

Wigan Team News:

The big injury news for the Latics is the hamstring injury to Emile Heskey. Although not the most talented of strikers, his physical presence and support play make him a pivotal component in the Wigan attack. Zaki's success this year has come mainly off of scavenging off Heskey's support play. Expect Henri Camara to fill in for the brute Englishman.

Player to watch: Amr Zaki

The artistic 25 year old Egyptian has been a major hit at the JJB this season. He has literally hit the ground running in the Premier League since being brought in on loan from Zamalek in July. In thirteen starts he has notched nine goals, and his skill will keep Djourou and Song's hands full all night.

Match Facts & Stats

Anyone that watched the game against Sheffield two months ago will know that these so-called 'kids' can beat anyone put in front of them. Even though I know Wigan are a talented team, the team they will face today will be unlike anything they have ever come across in their careers. These youngsters have what almost no one else in the competition has, something to prove. I see Arsenal moving on to the next round with a 4-1 win over Wigan.

Next Fixtures:

15/11 (Sat)- Aston Villa (H)- Premier League

22/11 (Sat)- Manchester City (A)- Premier League

25/11 (Tue)- Dynamo Kyiv (H)- Champions League

The Journalist

Writer: Brice Coffer Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday November 11 2008

Time: 5:48AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Anyone else get more excited than usual for Arsenal games when you get to watch the young talent in the Carling Cup? I do (with certain exceptions of course). As I said above, Wigan will put up a good fight, but these players won't let anything stop them, I think.
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11/11/2008 05:56:00

I get more excited for these because I am less bothered about the result. And we get to see the likes of Jacky, Rambo, Vela, Bisch and Fabman. But Song - Djourou in the future? No way. Song is one of the worst center backs I have ever seen. Nordtveit on the other hand is a lot more classy and more dominant considering his frame (which will get bigger and more bulky)
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11/11/2008 07:38:00

I agreed with Tom - No pressure on the fixture mixed with some of the most awesome kids you'll ever see makes for some exciting, low pressure footy we can just sit back and admire.
Report Abuse
11/11/2008 08:18:00

Play like you did against Sheff U and it will be easy
Tiny T
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11/11/2008 09:18:00 Bischoff in squad, Bendtner isn't. I think Bischoff will play just behind Vela. I thought Toure would be in there, but I guess he's too busy in Greggs.
Little Dutch
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11/11/2008 09:45:00

Bendtner being left out is no surprise really given that he is virtually the only option for the Villa game with Adebayor, RVP and Eduardo out. I really can't imagine how this team would set up. I would guess that Vela would play behind either Simpson or Fonte with Bischoff on the right and Wilshere left but frankly any permutation is possible. At least Wigan will have no better idea what team they are going to face than anyone else.
Report Abuse
11/11/2008 10:05:00

I dont get to see the match.. Sigh. Hope you guys give a good coverage of the match in the match discussion.
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11/11/2008 11:27:00

Little Dutch - That would be the soup, sandwich, pie & Donut deal for 2.99 then??? Mmmmmmm pie's!
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11/11/2008 11:30:00

I am very much looking to seeing Bischoff, he has been at the centre of so much debate amongst Arsenal fans uynhappy with our transfer policy. I hear he is technically immaculate, very composed and has very good vision. Now we shall see eh? I fancy a 3-2 or 4-2 Arsenal win, bound to be goals tonight though, either way!
Report Abuse
11/11/2008 11:33:00

Fonte is an attacking midfielder isn't he Amos? I think 1st time you were right, Simpson upfront as the battering ram/work horse, then one of 3 playing off him!
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11/11/2008 11:47:00

I'd chance the starting line up will be Fabianski(c)--Hoyte-Djourou- Song-Gibbs--Wilshere-Randall-Ramsey-Merida--Bischoff--Vela. Wilshere played on the right in the last round with Merida on the elft, I'd chance Bischoff would play in the hole behind Vela, with Wilshere and Merida both being very attacking players too, Randall and Ramsey are capable of holding the fort.
Little Dutch
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11/11/2008 13:08:00

Fonte is a striker who is technically adept but basically a goalscorer. Just a fiddler round the box who makes runs. And Amos, I told you before, Vela is not an "in the hole" type of player. He is very much an out and out striker (although he has enough skill to play in behind like Eduardo)
Report Abuse
11/11/2008 13:55:00

And nevidimka, can you not watch it on the internet? Ill PM you some sites if you want.
Report Abuse
11/11/2008 13:55:00

I was always under the impression he was an attacking midfielder?? I've been to underhill a few times and he has always played behind the strikers in the "hole" so to speak!!!
Report Abuse
11/11/2008 14:38:00

He used to have Barazite in behind him.
Report Abuse
11/11/2008 14:42:00

He (Fonte) always tends to play OAO Striker in the Reserves, but definately has the attributes to drop a bit deeper. I think Simpson will start with Vela!
Report Abuse
11/11/2008 15:13:00

Talking of Barazite, is he still out on loan and how is he doing?
Report Abuse
11/11/2008 15:41:00

I think he missed a last minute penalty the other day!
Report Abuse
11/11/2008 16:08:00

I'm loving the Carling Cup this year. Our young talent should be able to make at least the 1/4 finals this year if not further. Coquelin is coming on strong and I feel has the talent and style to make a serious push as a DCM in a 4-4-2 set in future years. Keep up the development of this fantastic youth.
Report Abuse
11/11/2008 16:15:00

Without Bendtner, I'd also like to see LD's lineup. If Randall's not 100%, I don't mind seeing Coquelin come on for him later in the game. Likewise if Bischoff isn't fit enough for 90 mins, Jay Simpson could be the main striker with Vela as his partner up front.
Report Abuse
11/11/2008 16:27:00

I don't expect Bischoff to start but to come on as a sub. Always look forward to these CC games. It's amazing how AW has singlehandedly made this tournament worth watching. Without his policy, people would just watch the final.
Report Abuse
11/11/2008 17:09:00

I dont want any changes to the team that started against Sheffield (apart from Bendtner, of course) as they earned it. I'd like to see Simpson start the game, coz its time we find out if he is good enough to remain at Arsenal. Bischoff to come on as sub.
Report Abuse
11/11/2008 18:27:00

I agree with prits, Simpson is older than Vela and Walcott who seem to both be held higher by Wenger. Simpson needs to be played to see if he should remain...
Report Abuse
11/11/2008 19:06:00

Yay! Lineup: Fabi; Gibbs, Djourou, Song, Hoyte; Merida, Randall, Ramsey, Wilshere; Simpson, Vela. Subs: Mannone, Bischoff, Coquelin, Fonte, Lansbury, Ogogo, Frimpong.
Report Abuse
11/11/2008 19:17:00

Thanks but no thanks Tom14. I'm on a modem. Its too slow for streaming. I'll look for review vids tomorrow.
Report Abuse
11/11/2008 19:30:00

Zaki could really our boys problems tonight .... the dude is a monster! Still looking forward to this one though!!
Report Abuse
11/11/2008 19:39:00

Jay Simpson!
Report Abuse
11/11/2008 20:29:00

I'm only relying on ATVO text and audio. Did the first half look as exciting as it sounded, i.e. Kirkland denying our kids a few times? Were we on top of the game?
Report Abuse
11/11/2008 20:43:00

Relying on text Gamecast myself. Sounded like Fabianski and Kirkland were both tested a few times the first half.
Report Abuse
11/11/2008 21:04:00

Jay Simpson Again!
Report Abuse
11/11/2008 21:13:00

Report Abuse
11/11/2008 21:16:00

take a bow , son !
Report Abuse
11/11/2008 21:20:00

Is there anyone except AW who rates Bendtner above Vela? This guy is freaking amazing.
Report Abuse
11/11/2008 21:22:00

Are the spuddies having a laugh with these goddamn Mansion Poker popups! lol!
Report Abuse
11/11/2008 21:22:00

Another nice result for the kids
Report Abuse
11/11/2008 21:39:00

What a performance. It brings a tear to the eye it really does.
Report Abuse
11/11/2008 21:43:00

Amen Rocky :)
Report Abuse
11/11/2008 22:31:00

Vela is on another level. Randall...perhaps not. Coquelin should have played.
Report Abuse
11/11/2008 22:38:00

I also had a tear in the eye for a different reason - I couldn't watch the second half. :( Reading every single match report I can find online now! :D
Report Abuse
12/11/2008 05:40:00


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