Keown comes home? / Madrid will be after Vela! / Kids on fire!

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Madrid aren’t after Vela yet, but be prepared for it! Carlos Vela has landed and the talent that he has brought with him must have exceeded his baggage allowance at the airport!

Tonight was once again a superb event and I am jealous of everyone who attended because it really was an exhibition match. Yes… I was even jealous of yesterdays prize winner Ronald (Many thanks to Alan for donating the tickets)!

What Ronald... Le Grove is the best Arsenal website around? Cheers!

What Ronald... Le Grove is the best Arsenal website around? Cheers!

I get more excited about watching the kids in the Carling Cup than I ever do over a game versus one of the lower league teams in the Premeirship. It seems even the older players do as well! Cesc, Eboue, Adebayor were all in the stands… and interestingly… so was Keown? What was he doing there, eh? If he was just there to watch the game… surely he’d be sitting in Bergkamps box? Not with the players!

I’m not one to start a rumour… but I’d definitely say he is coming back to Arsenal… without ever really committing to the statement of course.

The kids were on fire tonight… and what is frightening about them is that they seem to play the game even quicker than their slightly older counterparts. Everyone is comfortable on the ball, everyone knows there job and everyone of them believes they will be good enough for the first team one day.

So… this is how the team lined up.


Hoyte Song Djourou Gibbs

Wilshere Randall Ramsey Merida

Simpson Vela

I’m just going to get straight into the player ratings… for a game like last nights, I think those who didn’t catch it will be more interested in the unknown players and how they performed.

Player Ratings

Fabianski: To start with he was trying too hard to show his worth. He made a hash of a few balls into the box, but you have to put that down inexperience. He did make a super save at the near post from Koumas to settle the his nerves. and later on he came out well to deny Zaki a shooting opportunity. My opinion on Fabianski is that he is not ready to takeover from Almunia yet… but what he will offer when he is ready, is the ability to make the impossible save possible. Right at the end De ridder fired a shot in, he parried it… Zaki fired the ball back at him and he miraculously tipped it onto the bar. It was an amazing save and one I doubt Almunia would have made. He is a work in progress, but once complete… he’ll be something else. 7

Hoyte: I don’t really have too much to tell you on this young full back. He is quick and solid, but he rarely stood out. Which must mean he did a good job, becuase I don’t remember him doing anything badly? He is similar to his brother… more of a defender than a show boater… which is a good thing! 7

Song: Played well considering he was out of position again. He made a particularly good interception just inside the half way line to prevent a 3v2 attack by Wigan. A clean sheet is impressive in a young team and he must be given credit for that. He isn’t ever going to be a great centre back… but he is an option. 7.5

JD: I thought he had a great game. He was good in the air, composed on the ball and even good with his hands at one point. Hey… if it’s good enough for Maradona, it’s good enough for our JD! Wenger, you have to give him a chance next time Silvestre gets injured! 8

Gibbs: He lacks experience in defence, but going forward the boy is a dream… he looked superb with the ball at his feet and he reminded me of a young, uncorrupted Cashley. One for the future I feel… maybe at the expense of Traore? 7.5

Wilshere: Plays the game like Hleb on Speed. He dances around players like a seasoned pro… he’ll recieve the ball on an angle, jink left, jink right, poke a pass out wide, play a long ball… you just have no idea what he is going to do! He also uses his limited body weight to great effect. Last night he picked up MoM… His assist was a beautiful through ball to Jay simpson who poked it past an in form, slightly injured Kirkland. What made the ball special was that he threaded it through about 7 Wigan players! The question on the lips of every gooner will be, how long can Wenger keep him on a leash for? 9

Randall: I am a big fan of this boys talent. He always manages to give himself time on the ball, which is the sign of a good player… my only reservations about him are whether he has the attitude to match the talent. I wish he’d play the sensible ball as his first option instead of mucking about with the tricks and flicks. He could be good if he wakes up and reads a few stories about why David Bentley plays for Spurs. 7

Ramsey: Smashed a fantastic freekick in the first half that was well saved by Kirkland and he worked his socks off. He also started the move for the Vela -> Simpson goal. I wrote him off at the start of the year, but the more I watch him the more I think he is only a season away from being a contender. He is as big as Flamini already and just as tenacious… he is also a lot more creative and I hate to say it… but if anyone is going to become the super player (Paddy, Pires, Henry mould) we so desire… it is this boy. 8

Merida: He is clearly a very tidy little player, but he is as quiet as a door mouse most games! He did hit a rasping shot in the second half that forced a great save from Kirkland… I just wish he’d do a little more and show us that he merits the Cesc comparisons. 7

Simpson: His first contribution was hitting the bar early on. He looked pretty good on the ball, if not a bit awkward but the important thing is that he kept the Wigan defence busy with his hard work and perseverance… Then his break came… he latched onto a Wilshere through ball and poked it into the bottom right corner. His second came after Carlos did all the hard work and played him in… Simpson still had to finish it, which he did with cool composure. He isn’t Carlos Vela or Thierry Henry, but too many people were writing him off last night which I thought was unfair. Isn’t it great to have an English forward in the team who can hit the net when called upon? He might not be ready for the first team… but give it a year and you never know what you might have on your hands! 8

Vela: He was involved in everything attack wise tonight, he was shooting, creating and defending from the front. The lad is special… and he showed that when he was played through on goal in the second half… he waited and waited… then he played the right pass to an open Simpson. Superb play. Then JD played Vela in, he knocked the ball in front of himself, then arrogantly chipped Kirkland! What a nerve, what a talent… what a goal! Carlos is knocking on the first team door and the noise he is making is getting harder and harder to ignore. We have a superstar in waiting… so forget your David Villa’s and your Sammy Eto’o’s … we might not need them! 9

In conclusion, another great performance by the kids… another quarter final… another reason to be pleased this week!

So… who did you rate? Let us know in the comments!

P.S. I have Man City away tickets, Villa at home tickets and Kiev at home… e-mail if you are interested!

691 Responses to “Keown comes home? / Madrid will be after Vela! / Kids on fire!”

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  1. A

    3-0, campbell again, liverpool defending is absolutely appalling. I’d much rather have had liverpool in the next round, hopefully get spurs in the final.

  2. kelsey

    Another video coming out tomorrow to help pay for the spuds new stadium

    rico i made you a cup of tea and biscuits about 5 hours ago,but you went out,so i drank it myself :)

  3. David

    football is a cruel game…3 goals in 6 minutes..tisk tisk…with liverpools luck they might win this game…u never know.

  4. A

    you forget who they’re playing against david, spurs have been the luckiest team the world has ever seen since redknapp took over, against us then liverpool at the weekend, i’ve never seen anything like it before! Even if liverpool come back there’ll be an invisible forcfield in front of gomes goal that’ll direct every shot onto the inside of the post, then the bar, then straight into the keepers arms. and any wild shot from spurs will deflect 3 times before going in, or hitting the post then rolling straight out to one of their players

  5. Sparrow

    I hope we get the scum in the next round and spank them, its fucking crazy that the scouse are playing so badly!! There just giving the bastards more confidence!!!

  6. Paulinho

    Yeah, the sun one. He’s messing up what is a very good team, Bent, Nasri, Ronaldo, Lampard, Gerrard er…Alves.

    This will give redknapp the perfect opportunity to banish him from the first team.

  7. A

    I told you, spurs are so ridiculously lucky at the moment, it’s incredible! how was that not a penalty?! the football gods are smiling on spurs to an unheard of extent at the moment, it worries me if we were to draw them

  8. rico01

    Oh well, spuds are through, actually, i think i hate the dippers more than the spuds, and trust me, thats a lot!!

    sleep time calls me, so best get my hot chocolate and head off

    Be safe all, and sleep with one eye open 😉

    Night night

  9. HusAllmighty

    Serves them right….What an Idiot that Wilkins is. No more Drogba to haunt us lads…
    Come on you gunners….After what i saw the kids do last night, there’s a great chance we could win the cup this year….

  10. andy c

    it would appear that Wilkins and his chavs didnt give Burnley the respect they deserved! Get your own house in order first shit lips!

  11. Paulinho

    “It’s all about winning trophies when you’re a big club.

    “The fact we’ve won the Carling Cup twice in the last four years and Arsenal have won none justifies our policy,

    “You enter a competition to win the competition. Why go into it if you’re not concerned whether you win it?

    “Playing a young or weakened team undermines the value of the competition.

    “And we have not and will not do that. We want to win it, big time.”

  12. Paulinho

    They’ve actually been pretty shit at Stamford Bridge for a while now, something that’s been lost with the hype about their unbeaten record.

    Draw an awful lot of games there, stretching back to last season.

  13. Lou

    I must say that Wilkins looks a prize dickhead this evening doesn’t he? When I read his lame-brained opinions this morning I couldn’t really work out why he had bothered to open his mouth. And slagging Ince off doesn’t seem too clever either. But that’s the Chelsea way isn’t it? You speak from a position of strength and financial security rather like looking down on the poor relations before kicking them in the head. He’s a class act old Uncle Fester eh? Sitting next to Kenyon, their two ashen faced shiny headed bonces shimmering under the floodlights, trying to work out what spin they can put on this defeat or how they can justify Drogba throwing a coin into the crowd. Yes Ray, it’s all about respecting the competition isn’t it?

  14. DeeOzGooner

    wilkins the tosser must be wishing he kept his trap shut now!

    near full strength side losing at home…lets hope the wheels are startin to fall off, drogba threw a coin back into the crowd, so hopefully he’ll be suspended vs the arse in a few weeks…but then blunderos wont be playin so cant be too bad…

  15. ethangunner


    it could have the opposite effect too ..
    like us when we were down we bounced back !
    i think this is fucking bad timing for us playing them soon !
    given the result last night ..

    it is funny thou :)
    but i just hope they dont come back stronger for it !

  16. DeeOzGooner

    well theyre bad run had been on for while now…’pool, roma and now burnley lol! – and two of them at home…

    im actually looking fwd to the game…as we gooners know, any team that tries to attack arsenal 99% of the time end up losing, and scolari aint gona defend…he’s brazilian, he’ll think ‘i’ll show this arsene how to play real attacking football’…and he’ll get done…

    bring them the fuk on…cant fkn wait, we just gota stay clear of injuries over the nx few wks

  17. ikon

    “If I’m angry it is with me. If my players make mistakes it is because I don’t give good lessons. Burnley deserved it, they took better penalties.”

    Phil scolari after the loss….

    I can safely say they are not goint to win anything this year.

  18. khoune

    As I am aN Arsenal fan, the winning game of the kids is made me very happy,but I would say that how far could they able to go to win mre. that winning was great from the top class players, but how is it will be the game with good preparing the defend to the kids,is it will still win?

  19. ethangunner


    its a touchy subject , i think even arsenal fans who want the club to do well would agree with part of this statement . But i do think the youth team have a part to play ! and why not if your good enough?

    but i agree that wengers lines shouldn’t be so cast iron . I wonder what team wenger would field against a full strength chelski ? I think if our club does keep disrespect the C.C we will never win it!

    And as a fan i would dearly like to add it too a trophy cabinet that hasn’t been opened for 3 years !
    I believe he should play his 2nd team when he has a realistic chance of winning .. No one can forget the game last season that knocked us out of it , and whilst we can be bullish now ..
    most of us know its a matter of when will we be knocked out ?!

    So it is a lack of respect for the cup that gives us none or little hope of ever getting it ..

  20. iceman

    ikon you sure about that mate?

    Not that I wouldn’t love it if they didn’t…..just feel they have a squad able enough to compete on the remaining 3 cups…………..

  21. xeeez

    Well ethangunner I agree it is debateable but if it gives our kids a run out then why not? maybe its different for others fans but I would prefer our youth team having a run out as they are doing and go out to someone big. We like it or not Wenger always keeps a thin squad and going into 4 competitions for the same set of players will be asking too much…

    anyways no doubt it was stupid of the Chelsea # 2 to speak about Arsenal’s policies.. And I hope Drogba gets a ban for throwing a coin at the burnley fans last nite!

  22. xeeez

    and about last season I think it was mistake mixing Cesc, Bac and other senior players with the youngsters at the lane..I know it hurt a lot but there you have it.. Spurs opened their trophy cabinet and their coach is gone..who cares if you win the CC or not! I know most English fans may respect the trophy but I don’t see anyone putting any worth to it.. Ray Wilkins was just having a swipe at Arsenal. spurs can play their best team coz they are not playing UCL. Even pool and Unite play their fringe players. So I believe its not just Arsenal. The only issue is that all our Fringe players are 5 year old :)

  23. ethangunner


    i think last season it just wasnt our night with spurs (plus some bad subs again ) .. but wenger did show a keen attitude by mixing in a bit of experience(on the bench).. and he brings these footballers all the same philosophies on the training ground , so they can play together .
    i dont think mixing in some experience is a bad idea .. He just entered the experience into the game a little too late for it to have a bearing on the game ,also i do agree to play the B team when there is a chance of victory SURE . why not ..
    But all silverware should be treated with respect .. especially since its been a long time inbetween drinks for us !

  24. kelsey

    ethan good morning/ said in part of your comments

    also i do agree to play the B team when there is a chance of victory SURE . why not ..

    in refering to the CC,wenger has said that we can’t challenge on all 4 fronts with this squad and uses the CC to to see how the reserves perform,and this season they surely haven’t let us down.not one player who played against wigan was a regular first team player and i enjoyed it immensely.

    on the other hand our so called first team lose to fulham,hull and stoke yet an understrength team beat united.

    If we progress wenger will not change his principles even if it meant not winning the CC.I also would like to see us win some silverware but he will keep faith with these boys.

  25. Geoff

    That’s my point, we have a squad, use it, I remember when we won the double with 16 or so players, we have plenty, it’s time we won something.

    If the Mancs draw the spuds it will be great, it won’t happen though, we always get the bad luck so if that’s the case, I hope we draw the Spuds at home.

  26. ethangunner


    i think if the trophies there for the taking then play your best team ..
    the youth got us up to the quarter finals last season .. but wenger needs to
    make a judgment call on his timing ..

    Also its a bit hard to tell who is 1st team and 2nd anymore ..
    if vela- ramsey- johan – fab2 and jack etc can play then why not stop to including gallas
    and cesc etc when the time calls for it to ensure the best chance of progression ..

    thats all i mean ! .. and not sub them on at the 70 minute mark when your already 4 goals down.
    Id like to secure the C.C this season … after all even if we win little else , at least we can boast of glory to some degree .. it would be a step in the right direction ..

  27. iceman

    We shouldn’t fear the spuds………..these boys can handle it……….I say bring on shite hart whatever…………..

  28. Damian

    whats all this deserves a run in the Premier League 4 Arsenal no1no matter how well they play gets a run if the guy in already is doing a good job only way in is if your better or the 1 in front of u gets injured

  29. Chris

    I think it would be more beneficial in the long run to let the “young ens” play the final if we made it and lose than to take the chance away from them with first 11 & win