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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Five Arsenal youngsters show bright promise at Underhill (plus video of goals)

By 1970’s Gooner

I expected that the Arsenal of the first half, containing a lot of first team players, would create a large enough goal scoring margin to allow the reserve side that was to come on in the second half to play with more ease.

It was in the end a very pleasant surprise that the opposite happened.

The first half eleven were as a unit too relaxed and not up to the fight to face a Barnet side that were obviously determined to make life as difficult as they could for their Premiership opponents.

The first half players that disappointed included the following:

Bendtner, looked not interested

Walcott, not effective enough in the middle of the attack but not helped by Bendtner

Traore, did not put in a decent cross all game

Lansbury, tried but was not effective enough- will he ever be?

Hoyte, left gaps in the middle of the defence- he is not a centre back

Denilson above all else, who after boldly staking a claim to take over from Flamini in the centre of Arsenal’s midfield failed disastrously to back it up with this insipid and ineffectual performance.

The only bright sparks of the first half were Nortveight and Ramsey.

Nordtveit always impresses me with his decisive tackling, accurate long balls and positional sense.

These will only improve with time and more exposure but I think we have here a centre back who will be a first team regular very early on.


Ramsey was the best player on the pitch, playing along side Denilson and doing all the playmaking and ball winning that Denilson should have been attending to.

In fact it was for this reason that Ramsey was hampered in going forward to help the attack.

He has the technique and the body strength to be a very effective central midfielder and it is obvious that he too has a bright future ahead of him.

The second half eleven consisting of reserve and youth team players were certainly up to the fight and more “street wise”.

They upped the tempo and tightened up in the centre of midfield with new boy Francis Coquelin carrying out his destructive duties efficiently thus allowing Randall to dictate the flow of the game from midfield quite well.

The ones that really stood out included Jay Simpson a no nonsense goal scorer who is not afraid to shoot.


His loan stint at Milwall has done him a lot of good. He scored the first after a delightful through ball by the exciting Jack Wilshere and set up the second for Barazite.

I cannot but be really eulogistic about 16 year old Wilshere. He is in the Alexander Hleb mould, full of trickery and technique but he will be a much more effective and goal scoring midfield schemer.

He was sensational once again receiving the ball on the right hand side of midfield avoiding opponents in his stride and putting in a wonderful reverse ball down the right hand side of Barnet’s defence for Simpson to latch on for the equaliser.


Wilshere also a hand in the second goal. Again cutting in from the right passing the ball to Simpson down the right channel who then cut it back for the on coming Barazite to slide home in off the right hand post.

You can watch the goals and highlights of the game on the video bar on the right hand side of the page.

The other player that also impresses me whenever I watch him is Nacer Barazite.

He is a Bergkamp style of player who possesses skill and the confidence to hold the ball up, create time to look up and find players.

He scores goals too and I think he also has a bright future. He may need however a loan season somewhere to get first team football behind his belt.

Arsenal’s future taking into account the talent that exists in the reserve and youth teams looks quite exceptional. What Arsenal needs now however is more experience and mature first team players to get that balance right.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

lansbury was not good but what do you expect he was played out of position and has just come back from a very big injury

Erik said...

The talent we have waiting to come to the first team is well known.

I even have a friend who is a Man Utd fan telling me that he thinks in 2-3 years Arsenal will completely dominate football for a while because of the young talent we have.

This is Wenger's plan, first he said: "season unbeaten" people laughed at him then he did it, now I am sure his next target is the treble/quadruple with just kids.

Anonymous said...

lansbury was not good but what do you expect he was played out of position and has just come back from a very big injury

he had flu?

Internet Gooner said...

He had glandular fever. Quite a bit more serious than flu.

Anonymous said...

Your comments are completely over the top for a first pre-season friendly of the year. You cannot read much into what we saw out there as the first half team have not been training for as long as the second half team. Also there were a lot of players in the first half who are unfamiliar with each other in a match situation.

It was just good to see the team back out on the pitch. The rust will come off and we will start to see more of what these players are about.

Anonymous said...

Ramsey did alright only. The illusion that he performed well was because the entire team was not up to the task. He initiated a move that gave a half chance for Bentdner and didn't concede any possession. But yes, he certainly has a bright future.

For Nordtveit, he gave away the free kick which led to our goal. Plus We were almost never pressured by Barnet, therefore his performance was at best average. He is far from being ready for first team football.

Anyway this is the first match. Judge them in the Emirates Cup.

gazzap said...

Barazite is so good, he simply cannot wait. He should be in and around the first team straight away, especially in the absence of Rosicky. Let me put it this way - he is as good as Cesc and Cesc was playing in the Arsenal team when he was 16. Barazite is older and I cant see anything else he needs to improve upon. Only first team experience can help him now.
Wilshere is probably a year behind Barazite but equally as exciting.

Ramsey looked the business. he already looks better than Denilson. On that display, i cant think of a better partner for Cesc from day 1. Diaby, Denilson and Djourou dont have the right game to partner Cesc. However, I feel that the DM position is the one that Wenger wil strengthen with a new signing.

Anonymous said...

once again almunia was terrible.

Anonymous said...

most of the young guns looked good but are still far too lightweight for PL. It will take them 2-3 more year at least before they challenge for a first team spot but there is raw talent there

Anonymous said...

Denilson is irritatingly slow and frustratingly defensive. Can he pass the ball up the field ?because all I see him do is passing back to defence over and over again

He will never make it as DM

I think Ramsey should play DM this year just throw him in the arena he might shine

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