Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Wenger’s “top class” Vela makes everyone sit up and notice against Real (plus Video)
By 1970’s Gooner
I made a point of watching Carlos Vela during the summer in the FIFA Under 20’s World Cup which took place in Canada.
He was after all a relatively recent Arsenal signing and obviously any youngster who is spotted and signed by Wenger must have the special qualities of exceptional technique and skills (coupled with a good character).
I was not that impressed. He was not involved much during the games and stayed peripheral to the action. He was however deployed more in the centre forward areas of the pitch or just behind the forward rather than the wings.
He played in all five matches but Mexico were knocked out at the Quarter-Final stage by eventual winners Argentina.
He has since been loaned out to Osasuna in Spain (he was on loan previously to second Division outfit Salamanca)and has been almost a regular for Osasuna in recent games.
You may remember him scoring a wonderful goal against Real Betis which caught everyone’s attention.
So I made a point of watching him in action again last Saturday in the match against Real Madrid which Osasuna lost 3-0.
I was hugely impressed with his performance as he was a constant thorn on Real Madrid’s defense who had their hands full to contain him. They more often than not reverted to fouling him. He was that quick.
He reminded me of a committed and energetic Reyes who was forever dribbling past his marker with pace and ease only to be felled to the floor unceremoniously. He looks like a carbon copy.
Let’s hope he takes to the English weather better than Reyes did.
He was playing on the left hand side of midfield, as an out and out old fashioned winger. Osasuna’s counter attacking tactics suited his style of play very well. And he certainly ran the line with exceptional technique and skill.
On one occasion he nutmegged Sergio Ramos from a very tight position on the corner line and left him wondering where the ball was. Make a point on watching this particular skill on the video screen on the right hand side of this page.
Vela feels himself richer for the experience having played at the Bernabeu against such high quality opposition:
"These matches are a source of motivation, and we were all keen to play well. We went with the intention of winning and we gave them a good match he said.
When Vela signed a permanent deal at Arsenal at the beginning of the year Wenger was 100% convinced of his ability.
"He's top class. I like his intelligence and his pace. He scores goals but he can also create them. "He's a special talent and I believe 100 per cent that he will make it at the highest level."