Having missed the opportunity to ensnare London or 26may to write a match report I’m shamelessly using their comments from after the game and adding a few of my own.
Like many I was looking forward to seeing Oxlade-Chamberlain, Park and Ryo in addition to other well-known young guns show off their silky skills. Micky had been banging on about giving Mert and Kos some more playing time together which I also felt was a good idea but clearly Arsène didn’t as he started with Miguel and Djourou – as captain – as the centre-back pairing.
The joy of Carling Cup teams in the past has partly been the surprise at how well a team of youngsters were able to perform in front of an Emirates crowd. I was there the night Nik and Carlos set the pitch alight with their fabulous link up play that put Sheffield United to the sword in the same round in 2008 but I quickly realised that most of this team hadn’t had very much playing time together and so the frailties of the first team were also in evidence.
On reflection, AW missed a good opportunity to bed Mertesacker and Koscielny as a partnership before the coming fixtures. I was disappointed that Djourou was leaden footed for the Shrewsbury goal, he didn’t even jump and needs more time to get his head back together before getting in the first team. I’m willing to listen to other’s thoughts of what Chamakh brought to the team last night, he looked out of his depth to me and if he’s our answer to when van Persie next gets an injury we’re in trouble.
London’s post match comment
Ladies and gentleman
Be in no doubt, we have another star in the wings, Oxo was excitement personified. Not ready for a starting place in the first team but will be making more and more cameo performances as the season progresses. Theo can learn a lot from this young man, yes that is right. The Ox’s ability to operate in tight corners and create chances for others is second to no one in the UK that I can think of right now, there is an Argentinean dwarf overseas but we will cross that bridge when we come to it.
Other thoughts: Park is nowhere near ready for first team duty neither is Ryo but we probably all knew that one already.
Chamakh got better as the game went on but he was pants to begin with; nevertheless, I still say he has a role to play at the end of a game when we need to change to 4.4.2 in order to add more aerial threat in an attempt to get a winner or such like.
Benayoun: will someone give that man a decent meal, his mother’s chicken soup is just not doing the trick, feed the poor boy. Still, he did just fine tonight, I like the way he puts serious pressure on Ramsey for a first team place.
Gibbs was good, Jenkinson is getting better although just how far he can go, I am not so sure. Frimpong was calmer which I liked.
Djourou arrived on a horse wearing a ten gallon hat and proceeded to give a cowboy performance at defending.
By contrast Miguel was as slick as a cat on Vaseline.
Oh well, that was the best £20 I have spent in a while, naturally I joined in whole heartedly in singing:
One Arsene Wenger, there’s only one Arsene Wenger.
Trolls be gone lol
Post match comments from 26may1989
On the train home, I was thinking about what I take from this evening’s game. The fact that London has already covered many of the points I wanted to make in his 10:47pm post (darn you, London), isn’t going to get in my way.
What I learnt:
1. A 40,000 crowd at the Emeratess isn’t so bad after all, especially when so few of the whiners from the regulars aren’t there. The atmosphere was surprisingly supportive – no-one was impressed when Djourou gifted a goal to a side three divisions below us, but there wasn’t any panic and the fans remained pretty supportive.
2. Oxlade-Chamberlain is tops; both in terms of quality and appetite. Shooting, dribbling, crossing and passing, all were on display tonight. If anyone can’t see the potential in this player, their comments don’t deserve to be taken seriously. He oozes class, and £12m already looks like a bargain price to me, even before he’s faced top level opposition.
3. Coquelin’s distribution was a bit wayward at points but he grew into the game and was fantastic by the second half.
4. Miquel was tremendous.
5. Djourou is still very much in the doldrums with zero confidence. Sorry, but he needs to be kept away from the first team.
6. Gibbs had a good and very mature game – he was willing to take on leadership in a very young side.
7. Park was worryingly nervous for much of the fist half but with one Henry-esque cut-in and shot he found himself and did much better after that.
8. Ozyakup was a slick sub – his passing game was very nice.
9. Wenger is determined not to be shaken by the current crisis – he could have played a senior side tonight, but he stuck to his (young) guns instead.
10. The team out tonight, like the first team at Ewood Park, began the game not knowing each other very well. We’re in pre-season and the Wenger Out brigade would do well to bear that in mind. Sack in haste, repent at leisure.
11. Shrewsbury were dangerous for much of the first half, and could (should?) have scored another goal. They may not be a fashionable side, but there’s quality there, especially the two CBs. But they used up so much of their energy that they began to tire before half-time. Their keeper did help us though.
All in all, this evening was more positive than it was negative. Before the game, I would have said the same as Sharkey, that conceding even one goal and not absolutely slaughtering such lowly opposition would mean the evening would be a failure. But the youngsters out there this evening played the second half with a refreshing level of enjoyment and desire – it might have only finished 3-1 but it was still a pretty good performance from the kids and their minders.
It was a lovely prematch this evening, meeting up with Peaches, Evonne and Micky was great. Bit disconcerting being at The Tavern for prematch drinks and being able to get served at the bar immediately.