It wasn’t meant to be was it. A bunch of youngsters isin’t really going to match the multi-millions worth of players. With Mark Hughes desperate to land his first trophy with Manchester City to save his ass, he started with his first choice players and duly sent Arsenal packing out of Carling Cup.
The final scoreline was again a 3-0 defeat to us but it was a bit harsh on the boys to have lost by that margin. The first half was a tight affair with only Bellamy shooting wide, the only chance for Man City while Vela replied like for like by shooting over the bar after being put through by Wilshere. The 2 goals by Tevez and Wright-Phillips in the second half killed off the young guns. Question marks over the defending but the finish was sublime and gave Fabianski no chance at all. When goals like that goes in, you can only sit and wonder why does it only happen to you. Can someone tell me why we always concede “Goals of the season“.
The outcome of the match is irrelevant compared to the experience gained by most and match fitness by few of the others. For the younger boys, this competition has always been earmarked by Wenger as the avenue to expose them to competitive first team football. Therefore it is safe to assume that winning the competition while will be very good but was not the prime objective. We’ve seen the success of this ploy in recent seasons after the progression of Fabregas, Clichy and RVP just to name a few who started their Arsenal career via the Carling Cup.
Fran Merida, exceptional in the previous round but found the going a bit tougher in this match. He failed to impose himself in the game and mostly only able to pass sideways. Craig Eastmond was given another chance in the defensive role and again showed good reading of the game but occasionally found himself without an outlet to release the ball. While Vela huffed and puffed but seems to go to ground a little bit too easy for my liking. Sanchez Watt got a run out late on but didn’t have the ball or time to show his capabilities.
Funnily enough, it was some of the senior players who needed game time who performed disappointingly. Eboue started at right back for Arsenal last night but had an anonymous game. He was no where to be seen when Bellamy skipped past Song and Ramsey to set up the third goal. His positioning last night was just horrendous. His usual drive was also missing as can be seen from his forceful runs and dribbling on the right flank, or rather the lack of it.
At just 19 years of age, it would be unfair to categorize Aaron Ramsey as one of the senior players but given his involvement in the past one year, he has had his fair share of chances. He is somewhat of a conundrum for me. He has received a good amount of plaudits but have yet to really convince me. Yesterday was another one of those performance for me. Not enough maturity in his games and always seemed to want to go for the spectacular. He really needs to learn to keep things simple.
Jack Wilshere has another 90 minutes for Arsenal and although was largely shadowed by the bodybuilder that is Micah Richards, he did showed glimpses of his sublime talent. His first touch is phenomenal and had good awareness to release Vela early on in the first half. We also manage to see the other side of him, the fiery side. There was an incident where he lunged into Bellamy which resulted in the Welshman confronting him. However, rather brave, Wilshere stood up to Bellamy. Talent and heart, god knows we need that in our team.
So, the journey ends her for the young guns. Some will leave for loans while some will continue to wait for first team oppourtunities. The learnings and match days experience of the Carling Cup will put them in good stead for those chances.