Archive for September 24th, 2008

Live write-up of Arsenal vs. Sheffield United

59 comments September 24th, 2008


I’ve managed to avoid the score of tonight’s game all evening, and am now watching full coverage on ArsenalTV.  The line-up is the youngest ever named, with an average age in the matchday squad of eighteen and a half.

First thing worth noting is the presence of a few English players in the side.  Kieran Gibbs, Jack Wilshere, Mark Randall, and Gavin Hoyte.  With Welshman Aaron Ramsey there too, it’s evident that the academy is starting to produce British talent.  Now let’s see if they’re any good.

Fabianski is tonight’s captain.  The two relatively experienced heads of Song and Djourou are at centre-back, flanked by Gibbs and the younger Hoyte brother.  Ramsey and Randall hold the middle, with two hugely antipated first starts on the flanks: Fran Merida and Wilshere.  Bendtner and Vela are both full internationals, and should hopefully provide the cutting edge.

Seven minutes in, first half chance.  Gibbs is slipped in by Merida, and he charges to the byline and crosses – sadly, no-one has gambled.

I’m sure Sheffield United keeper Paddy Kenny used to be both fatter and balder.  Whatever he’s taking, I want some.

Could of neat early touches by Aaron Ramsey.  Arsene recently compared his progress in training to that of Theo Walcott, so I’m expecting to see some good signs of promise from him tonight.

Jack Wilshere’s frame and movement are very reminiscent of a sixteen-year old Joe Cole.  Whatever you may think of Cole, if Wilshere can became as effective we’ll have quite the player on our hands.  Wilshere’s direct running from the left has earnt a free-kick in a dangerous position.  With Bendtner, Djourou and Song all forward, there are some good targets.  Randall to take…  too much on it.  Not a good delivery.

Bendtner nearly slipped in as the game begins to stretch.  And that’s Djourou!  So unlucky.  Dummy from Vela, dragback from Bendtner, and Djourou’s curled effort is tipped wide.  In a game like this, Djourou and Song can afford those forays forward.

Nearly half an hour gone.  Carlos Vela just produced a completely instinctive nutmeg – beautiful.  The move ends in Bendtner’s flick-on finding Wilshere, who should do better but curls high and wide.

GOAL!!!! Carlos Vela took the ball with his back to goal, turned brilliantly, and found Bendtner, who bent it low into the corner from outside the box.  Beautiful finish – almost Bergkamp-esque, and Vela’s take and run was outstanding.  The Mexican’s touch is very impressive.

The goal has given the side confidence and Ramsey and Randall are beginning to dominate.  I have the feeling that if we can get to half-time in the lead, space will open up in the second half and the likes of Vela and Wilshere will run riot.

I’ve been impressed with Gavin Hoyte, who seems to have a composure his elder brother often lacked.  To be fair, each of the young players have impressed in their own ways.

Goooooaaaaallllll!!!  A move that started in our own penalty area and included a wonderful stepover from Wilshere, then a Ramsey dribble and backheel sees Bendtner in the right place to tuck away his second.  The Dane will smell a hatrick tonight.  Great work from Ramsey.  Arsene enjoyed that one.  2-0.

Vela’s in and it’s three!!!!  What a finish!  Arsene said he was like Eduardo and that was as good a finish.  Far too easy as Bendtner clips it through and that’s Vela’s first for the club.

Half-time.  What a performance so far.  Stunning.  The front two are too much for Sheff Utd to handle.

Second Half

Sheffield United have brought on a striker for a midfielder.  Oh God.  That’s surely suicide.

Untied appear to be defending only within the width of the penalty area.  That allows Gibbs to overlap and have a good shot which Kenny turns away.

OH MY GOD.  VELA SCORES A WONDER GOAL.  Wow.  Takes a long ball on his chest, turns the defender, and produces the most impudent chip over the keeper.  Stunning goal.  If Vela had been signed from a top European club, he’d have cost £15m.  Now it’s a race for a hatrick.  Arsene suggested Vela would get the full ninety, which means he’s got 40 minute to net a treble on his first start.

This is pretty humiliating for seasoned pros like this Sheffield United side.  But then, our kids really are just that good.

The corner is pulled back to the edge of the area, and local boy Jack Wilshere fires in his first Arsenal goal.  Lovely goal.  Lovely moment.  Thankyou Arsene.  5-0.  Are the Sheff Utd boys going to lose their temper and start hacking at our kids?  I hope not.

Lukasz Fabianski must feel weirdly disappointed – he hasn’t had a chance to impress at all.

Arsenal’s give goals have come in the space of 27 minutes.  Stunning.  Gibbs, who has done well going forward, crosses but no-one has gambled at the far post.  Merida swings the resulting corner in, and Djourou’s header hits the top of the net.

Merida with a lovely through-ball but Bendtner can’t convert.  Great chance for the hatrick.  Song, meawhile, appears to have picked up a knock.  One to keep an eye on…

Arsenal are playing like… well, Arsenal.  Unfortunately Song appears to be coming off, which with our lack of options in midfield would be a blow to the squad.  The man replacing him is, of all things, a Frenchman: Francois Coquelin.  Oh, actually, a triple change is going down.  Coquelin is joined by Lansbury and Simpson, with Bendtner and Merida the men to depart.  Coquelin is a tenacious midfielder who impressed in pre-season.

The ArsenalTV Co-Commentator, who may be Perry Groves, just said of sub Lee Hendrie that he is “their Eboue”. Anyone who has any idea what he means, please let me know.  I don’t think he means that he’s their Ivorian winger.

Coquelin is filling in at right-back and going a decent job of it too.  Djourou, meanwhile, is in complete control at the back.

The game is petering out.  I, meanwhile, have done that thing where you bite your fingernail too short.  Stings like hell. 

Simpson has a crack at goal held by the keeper.  Four minutes to go.  Randall has been named man of the match by the commentator.

HATRICK! Ramsey’s through ball sets Vela away and the Mexican fires in his third.  Fantastic start to his Arsenal career, and it’s six nil.  Vela is my man of the match, no question.

What a performance from Arsenal tonight, and what a showcase of the talent coming through.  Think what it would cost to buy some of these kids on the transfer market, and it suddenly becomes clear why Arsene doesn’t regularly invest in the squad.

Full time.  Worth staying up till 2am for.  No wonder Arsene says this is the best crop of kids he’s ever had.

Search Gunnerblog

Get your Gunnerblog t-shirts now!

get regular updates from GS with twitter

Top Gunn

Cesc Fabregas
The man in form.

    Retro Arsenal T-Shirts from - Bringing Back The Good Old Days!: Click Here!

Latest Posts

Sponsored Links


September 2008
« Aug   Oct »

Posts by Month

Most Recent Posts

Posts by Category


Powered By

eXTReMe Tracker