Bischoff to start for Arsenal? + The Gooner Gazette goes weekly!

It’s a bit of change-up in intensity tonight as the Arsenal ‘young guns’ get their chance to play against Wigan in the Carling Cup.

After the exhausting spectacle that was Arsenal v Manchester the tie is a welcome break for the first team and, I’m sure, the supporters. A young Arsenal side (is that an understatement?) crushed Sheffield United (is THAT an understatement?) in the previous Carling Cup fixture with Carlos Vela running riot in a 6-0 win.

The manager has stated that the side which starts this match will be 90% of the one that started against Sheffield. For those of you that can’t remember, that team looked like this (4-4-2):

Lukasz Fabianski – Gavin Hoyte, Alex Song, Johan Djourou, Kieran Gibbs – Jack Wilshere, Fran Merida, Aaron Ramsey, Mark Randall – Carlos Vela, Nicklas Bendtner

Given the necessity of having Nicklas Bendtner available for the game against Aston Villa I’m quite confident that he will not be playing any part against Wigan. Instead, the likelihood is that the manager will look to summer signing Amaury Bischoff to play in the hole behind Carlos Vela as he has recently done for the reserve team. It will be exciting to see how he goes against Wigan if given the chance.

There’s not much point in trying to predict what will happen tonight, these games are simply a good opportunity for the young players to prove their worth and the supporters (and Arsenal bloggers) to simply enjoy the games without analysing things too much. In saying that I’ll be keeping an eye on a number of players to see how they perform, particularly the ‘experienced’ heads Fabianski, Song and Djourou.

That’s about it for today so I’ll just mention a couple of things about the latest issue of The Gooner Gazette. Regular readers will know this has been going for a while – in fits and starts, I must admit – but I came to a very important decision today. From here on in, The Gooner Gazette is going to available every Tuesday as a weekly feature, instead of the monthly format I had previously attempted to maintain. As a result, it’s a little bit shorter than the older editions but going forward I think this punchier format is going to work well.

This week’s edition sees Samir Nasri featured amongst others in Good Week Bad Week, a wrap-up of the Fenerbahce and Manchester United games and Three Things We Learnt This Week amongst other things. To check out the latest issue simply click here or on the cover photo featuring Cesc Fabregas in this post. You can check out older issues of The Gooner Gazette here.

Enjoy the Gazette, enjoy the match and as always, be sure to let me know your thoughts on all things Arsenal by leaving a comment. Cheers.

Have your say on The Gooner Gazette or Arsenal v Wigan by leaving a comment.



  1. Good post as always Spanishfry. I wonder why you call yourself Spanishfry although you say you are Australian(I think I am right).

    Back to business. Bischoff scored a beauty recently and had few good games in reserve team. Tomorrow will be his chance to show his qualities so that we can understand why Wenger signed him even though he was a crooked player who haven’t played for a long time. When we signed him I thought he is a wide player but he has been deployed behind striker. Same with Ramsey. Wenger love to buy only CM’s for some reason and mould them to play wide like Pires and now Nasri??

    Like SF said, Luck and desire was very important to that stunning win against Manu besides a top performance. I thought Gallas and Nasri made the difference that night although every players contributed their part. There were some nervous moments and careless lapses but a win against Manuutd playing a beautiful way is always sweet. I had a big celebration on that night but I do not need to be too much excited. To win trophies esp league we need to have consistency and force to beat so called smaller teams in the Northern part when playing in a wet, muddy pitch. Remember we won home and away against Manu and ended up scrapping the 4th place hardly. After a resounding win against Fenerbahche at Istanbul we were crushed by a championship side, Stoke United(hmm). It will be good for us if players and Arsenal fans do not get carried away after an impressive performance and a huge result, maybe season determiner as you guys said earlier.

    Lets now concentrate on our next game against Astonvilla, who I think are the best team outside big four in premier league. I have a lot of respect for O’neil and his players. They are one of the few teams who play football here in England. They have a good defence and attack with good pace. Laursen and Carew are dangerous in the air which makes me scared seeing our defense weak in corners and set-pieces. Agbonlohar has more pace than any of our CB’s by a country mile, so Clichy has to cover him. Young is a good left midfielder who can be dangerous in his day also set-pieces. I would highly appreciate if Almunia can come forward and show some command around his 6 yard box (watch what Fabianski did against Manu to take a dangerous cross). The team that played against Manu is the best team available at the moment, so Wenger should start with the same starting line-up. I have no doubts about the Bentdner’s potential but his finishing should improve. I thought he was outstanding except for his finishings. He held the ball well and made good runs which scared the backline of Rio/Vidic after a long time. A goal against Villans will certainly boost his confidence which is always good for the team. He is far from being in the same rank with RVP and Ade but he has potential and passion to be a top drawer.

    If any Arsenal fans or players are over-celebrating the win last Saturday and saying now we can challenge for title is totally wrong. This team is far from being a title challenging team. We need to find ways to beat teams like Boro, Hull, Stoke etc.. to have any chance for league title. Since we have already lost three times, we must collect at least four points each from Chelsea and Liverpool from home and away. I think we have a good chance to beat Chelsea this time around esp if we have both Ade and RVP or at least one of them available to play. Carvalho, Essien and Drogba were alwyas the top performer when playing us. Essien and Carvalho(not sure) both will miss when we play and Drogba is not in his best form (Also we don’t have Senderos, hehh..). Anelka is in hot form but he does not scare me like Drogba’s head given our CB’S being good in the ground. Bring on Chelski Moskow now!!!!

    Cesc form has worried me for few reasons. This team has been developed around his passing game and playmaking art. It’s true that Arsenal always look a far better side when he is playing good. He is the player with Euro cup winners medal at age 21 which is a good start for his career. There is not a single question about his world-beating talent and vision. We need to have the same Cesc who was destroying every team he faced even Milan last season. We need to have the same Fabregas who was scoring wonder-strikes and assists after assists. A player like Flamini would make Cesc happy and this team will reach a point of perfection. De Rossi of Roma has been recently linked to join us coming transfer season but I have a big doubt. He is a wonderful player and a great winner. He can make even bigger impact than what Flamini had to our midfield. He scores freelkicks and crackers more often which none of the Arsenal players are capable of doing bar Van Persie. Actually we don’t need a big big player but a defensive midfielder who can play rough and tackle, like Gattusso and Mascherano.

    I always love watching our young gunners play who can produce romantic football any time they get a chance. Keep an eye on Coquelin(if he plays), Ramsey, Wishere, Vela and Merida, all of them having potential to get to a big stage. We might also get a chance to see Bischoff for the first time. Fabianski and our defense ahould be careful about the aerial threats our young guns will face. I am giving up my work for today to watch our beloved kids play. Hopefully they will make me happy.

    Come on you Young Guns!

  2. think it’s going t be great game,and a tough one….but i think the kids will draw after a difficult game…if they can tackle the corners and the long balls in to the box

  3. If Hleb and Flamini had stayed put…

    Of course these conditional exercises are difficult to see through – there are always far too many variables, but still it is interesting to look at the options…

    Thinking of Hleb I think we would have been far worse off. Nasri would not have been signed, and we would have had a lot of dribbles, but how much more penetration? Would we have had Nasri’s goals? – I think not. The balance of the team with Hleb dribbling but Theo running like the wind would not have been so balanced I think. Of course I can’t tell for sure, but it looks and feels much more balanced with Theo on one side and Nasri (ie Pires II) on the other.

    For me Hleb out, Nasri in, is a brilliant trade.

    Flamini is different – and I can already hear the suggestion that with him on board we would not have lost three games. Maybe. But there would also have been some down sides.

    To have kept Flamini the wage structure would have gone, which would mean everyone would have then demanded pay rises, and that would have disrupted everything. Quite possibly Adebayor would have wanted more, and then if the club didn’t want to go that far (just as quite rightly in my opinion it offered A Cole “only” 50 grand per week,) he might have gone. So might anyone else. How would we have felt if Clichy had said, “well if Flamini is worth an extra £20k a week, so am I”.

    So certainly disruption in the squad – although who knows where that would have got to.

    Then the issue of Diaby, Song and Denilson. Because of Flamini going the players who have occupied that space in midfield would not have. Diaby may be a false issue because he could have still done is magic trick of playing midfield centre forward with Flamini there – although I can’t see it working as well as it does with Denilson.

    Denilson probably would have started to pack his bags, and Song would have known his only chance was at centre half.

    Of course, 3 wins instead of 3 defeats would have put us top of the league and 3 points clear, so maybe Flamini in but Denilson and Song out would be worth that. But… I am not sure.

    It is all imponderable I know, but I just wonder if we did not see the very best of Flamini last season – certainly Milan didn’t throw him straight into their team, which you might have expected. I haven’t noted the teams for the last couple of Milan games, but prior to that Flamini was a bit player for them – just as he was for us in the first two seasons.

    Of course he might have made it big again this year, as he did last season, but there is just that niggle at the back of my mind that he might have drifted back to how he was the year before. He had two rather ordinary seasons with us, and then suddenly it happened. The only other player who I can think of who did that was Hleb. Pires came good after one ordinary year. Henry much the same. Vieira came good after 30 seconds of his game as substitute. I am not sure about what happens when it takes you two years to produce something good.

    Certainly watching Denilson against Manchester Bankrupt what I saw (and I represent a whole one sixtythousandth of the ensemble) was a player of stunning talent coming to life. A player who is going to give us something rare and special in the coming years – a player who is going to be quite extraordinary.

    With Diaby, I am just bemused. I had no idea he could play as he does, shuttling between front line and midfield. No wonder the poor guy got substituted in the Bankrupts game – he had run miles and miles. I think here too we have something unique.

    So, overall, maybe, just maybe, with Flamini we might have beaten the three teams that beat us. But that is based on the premise that Flamini would stay on top form, and not slip back. And if he did it would have been at a cost.

    Nasri to me looks like a player I can idolise for years to come, and I am so delighted to have him, rather than Hleb. If, in some mythical world of otherness, the deal was to have both Hleb and Flam or neither, I think I am tilting strongly towards neither.

  4. I feel sorry for Nicklas Bendtner. He has taken a bit of stick from some quarters after he missed a few decent chances on Saturday.

    He is young and has a bright future ahead of him. Lets not jump on his back before his career has even begun.

    Nicklas is a confident player but will be inconsistent because of his age. He is still learning his trade.

    Yes he missed some chances but lets not forget he played upfront on his own against two world-class defenders in Ferdinand and Vidic. He worked his socks off for the whole game and deserves a bit of credit.

    Bendtner will become a top player, and a top player for Arsenal no doubt. He isn’t rated by so many people in the game for no reason. Let’s show him a little support.

  5. @ kurupt it’s on live 2 6.40 sydney time fox sports 1 have my iq up and ready because I’ll be to busy getting the kids brecky so I’ll be able to watch it when they go to school.

  6. A deflected goal goes in for Arsenal, Manchester United’s perennial big game flop misses his answering goal by mere inches, and those two bits of action were sandwiched by two goals of exquisite quality; one for each side. Ronaldo’s miss, one which you would put certain money that he would take, is all that kept this game from being a 2-2. Of course, on the other side Bendtner had his chances, and Arsenal could easily have come out with a 4-1 or better win. And on the Man U side they could also have come out with a 3-2 or even a 3-1 win.

    It did end up 2-1, however. Arsenal won and now all the stories and the blogs and the tee vee pundits are saying that Arsenal are right back in it. WOO HOO! There will be articles penned that describe in great detail what a tactical genius Arsene Wenger has suddenly become, when only last week the same folks were asking aloud if he should step down. There are now articles floating around penned by Hull City’s Phil Brown that praise Wenger’s inspirational vision of beautiful football that pays for itself driven by bringing young men up steeped in the Arsenal tradition. WOO HOO! Just last week the footballing world and even former Arsenal players were saying that the youth system was a failure and that Arsenal needed to buy at least three players.

    What a difference a win makes.

    But what does it say when the likes of Phil Brown and Roy Keane are telling us to hold the line? When a person for whom I have no respect as a human being (Roy Keane) — a horrible hobgoblin of a man who would deliberately injure a fellow professional because of something the man said — what does it say that that man respects our manager more than most supporters do? In fact, I can’t point to a single Arsenal blog or Arsenal fansite who have spoken as well of Arsene Wenger as Phil Brown, Roy Keane, and Sir Alex Ferguson have this last week.

    I break this phenomena into several categories — the people who don’t understand football, the people who are stuck in the old way of playing football, and the people who are just plain hysterical.

    That first group, the people who don’t understand, are the easiest to dismiss but we do so at our peril because they are a sizable and vocal group. These well meaning folks aren’t stupid, but they just don’t know. They don’t know, for example, how Hull is to be commended for the way they held Arsenal — that it was Phil Brown’s tactics that were dead on and that Arsene got it wrong that day. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, I count myself in this group: I get things wrong, I panic, I over react, and sometimes I make the cardinal sin of this group — I listen to the pundits. This group, more than anyone else, should heed the advice of Roy Keane:

    If you’re going to watch a game of football, just go and watch it. Anytime I watch a game on television I have to turn the commentators off. They say: ‘He’s playing really well’ and I’m thinking: ‘No, he’s not’. My advice to anyone is don’t listen to any of the experts. Will Arsène Wenger be remembered in 25, 50, 100 years’ time? Bet your life he will. Will any of these people on the television yesterday be remembered? None whatsoever.

    Newspapers, after match commentary, in-match commentary, the paid bloggers, and the worst of them all here in the states, Fox Football Phone In. Their job is to stir up controversy — as I write this they are writing off Man U’s season!

    Ignore them, ignore them all.

    Hell, ignore me! Who am I to tell you what to think? I will try, but really you should come here for the jokes, the links, and a place to exchange ideas and nothing more. View all media sources through the jaundiced eye of a skeptic and you really can’t go too wrong.

    The other group of people are the ones who are most hurt by Arsene Wenger’s insistence on doing this thing his way; the traditionalists. These are the folks who love and hate this regime. They love the beautiful game but they can’t stand the fact that football has changed. So, after every 5-2 win they are effusive with their praise and after every 2-1 loss to a side like Stoke, they are the ones calling for a more traditional, experienced, tough side. Everyone I know likes to count themselves at least partly in this group.

    Some people from the know-nothings and from the ‘old heads’ can sometimes get together and, whipped into a frenzy by a well written piece of punditry, they can become hysterical. If you step back from it all for just a minute, the word “hysterical” actually applies in both ways, because it’s actually funny. It’s funny to see grown men with their head in their hands, IN NOVEMBER, saying that Arsenal’s season is over. From a distance, it’s funny to see Arsenal fans calling for Arsene Wenger to step down: who would you replace him with? Steve Maclaren? Put any name here and I can tell you that name would be a joke compared to what Arsene Wenger has done and will do.

    And that’s the point. We are the club, and as a club member feel free to get all tetchy about a loss (I do) it’s your team, but while you’re getting upset, just remember that Arsene Wenger has the club’s best interest at heart. He’s the manager and unless you’re going to be hysterically calling for him to be replaced we need to let him manage and show some support.

    After all, it’s going to be a crazy season this year — more than ever before any of the top four can win it and some of the top four could drop to the middle of the pack. I trust that Arsene Wenger will guide these young men and do his level best to keep them in the fight for the Two Leagues: Premiership and Champions.

    Right… if you want to see some of that young talent on display, tomorrow is the time to see it as Arsenal take on Wigan at the Grove in a Carling Cup tie. 11:45 PST is the time, Doyle’s is the place (so far as I know, right now) and if you want to see what King Ramsey I, Jack Wilshere, Carlos Vela and the like can do to a Premiership side like Wigan, you should come down, have a sandwich and a pint and watch the match, what else are you going to do on Veteran’s Day?

    See you then.

  7. 2 particularly big but Very good posts by harresh and ramugunner. Right on spot about flamini; i still remember that match with AC milan where Flamini was playin like a shadow of KAKA givin him no space to work.WEll , we all know that we need a dm but why to ridicule on that point ever and ever again,,,, just wait for january and lets see what arsene has for us under his bags.
    No doubt , i’ll go for NASRI then HLEB .
    I believe Bendtner will soon show his class…better late then never.PLus his workrate his xcellent. any one who could push RIO-vidic back for their lives has got quality.
    Waiting for the demolition of WIGAN by our YOUNG GUNS.

  8. @ rulib – Where did you get that post from? Was that taken from another blog? If so I’d probably prefer you post a link as opposed to the whole thing because it kind of clogs up the comments. Cheers.

  9. I just love the CC. Too see our young guns beat well almost any competition. All my friends say we have the best young squad and who could argue when you see our recent cc runs. We have reached the 1/4s for 4 years running

  10. Yeah SF – don’t know what’s going on lately with the re-posting of other blogs in the comments section here… It’s happened a few times… A link accompanying some well-thought out comments might actually boost their readership more in comparison to simply re-posting their own blog here…
    Foxsports 1 at 5:40am here in Brisbane – I will be up and watching the young guns getting the better of yet another premier league team! It is a little disheartening to see that the average age of the team will be younger than me though… Oh to be young again :-p

  11. Intresting points coming of the 2 long pieces.
    Good to see some positivity in the camp and thats what we need to get out of the dark and gllomy side,
    i sincerely hope we thrash wigan tonight so the young guns play on with full confidence!
    GO gunners

  12. .. I feel good, I knew that I would now….

    Anyways, that’s why I wasn’t a singer/or a comedian.

    @ Pavon, Judging by what AW has on our reserves, I would be surprised if in January we will buy any experience, unless it is a “Sylversteritique” or “Gallas’que” kinder deal. I am looking at the Carling Cup squad for toninght and I can’t help fearing having to sell someone of good quality just because the ones ahead of them are just 20 or 21 years old.

    @Jay/Jay/jay-jay: Sorry I don’t know which jay but scratch as appropriate; You said one time that you will start paying attention to the technical/passing display of Denilson. How do you find it so far?

    To echo what rulib mentioned, there are times where, after watching a game, and reading comments on blogs or the media, some even from former players who should know a thing or two about the game, I ask myself if I was watching the same game or I had too much whisky/beer in me already while watching. Sometimes it could be the cheap TV I am watching it on could only get fake signals. Damn, I need a new set.

  13. @TAY GOON its time to change ur TV set…. OR may be the brand of ur beer…..LOL nice comment though

    Sent on a phone using

  14. I think the young guns look tougher then the senior squad. They look more commited in tackels and our midfielers were making tackles you’d see Gattuso type players make. I’d fancy the young guns beating teams like Hull, Stoke and Fulham, teams our senior squad lost too. Fabianski’s save is why i favor him over Almunia. Fab’s reaction time is amazing, where as Almunia looks like an old man at times. What an amazing finish by Vela!!!

  15. @ Demetrio – They were exceptionally tough in the tackle. It was brilliant to watch.

    However I do find it interesting that you’ve conveniently overlooked Fabianski’s troubles with the high balls in the comparison to Almunia. 😀

  16. What a match and I was thinking the same thing demetrio about how these players would do against the likes of stoke and fulham and on that performance we would of crushed them. Also they had 5 english (boys?) on the starting 11. Vela is a star and I would like to see him and edu up front next year and ramsey instead of denilson would also be welcome as his free kick was awesome. If I was kirkland I would of wanted to come off after 10 mins and the look on his face after the vela goal had mastercard written all over it priceless. haha and now back to the underacheivers like ade and co on the wkend against villa. can’t wait for the next round draw.

  17. Im just happy for the lads, im really proud of them! They were sensational in every department! Le Boss is doing a great job with these kids, i love it! Everyone was great, it was a flawless performance! What a goal by Vela, i think he is ready to play for the first team! I could go on and on about this team, they are special indeed! UP THE YOUNG GUNS!!!

  18. Yeah but I reckon he will beat clichys and coles record for goals for a lb between them by the time he’s 25. Manure just pulled through and they had tevez in the team and he could only score from the spot and we have vela got to love the mexican wave that’s the 1st time I’ve seen the crowd get behind the team in a while.

  19. Simply Outstanding!

    Are Arsenal youths better than so-called first teamers? I think so. They showed their class tonight where midfield was so dominant and the attack full of pace, movement and flair. I would pay to watch this kids than watching our first team anytime. Cheers!

    1. Fabianski is still not ready but is better than Almunia.

    2. Can anyone argue that Denilson is better than Ramsey? No way. This kid is class and he is a superstar in making.

    3. Wilshere is a future for England along with Walcott. Who say Wenger do not produce English talents.

    4. I wonder how good Vela will be in years to come. Can Ade score a goal like he did today with a sheer precision anytime, I doubt it. It’s nice though Ade was cheering him when scored a class goal. Vela is as good as Eduardo with his finishings and mile better than RVP, Ade and Bendy. Good time Arsenal!!

    Lets hope our team will not get carried away after two impressive wins one for first-teamer’s and other class kids. Aggression and desire to win shown by our youths should be followed by the senior players. I would not mind if Wenger play this youth team against Aston side this weekend. I am serious!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. Good lord, what a performance from the young guns tonight! Wiltshere is an absolute genius! Vela – what a lob, and what a great double save from Fabinski!

  21. Oh I forgot to mention Simpson. Two goals in his debut against a premier league side at a age of 19 is excellent. Hopefully he can make at Arsenal.

  22. Totally agree with the 4 points of ramugunner and yeah butterfingers it was awesome to see the crowd making the wave!!!

    does they do it in every game??? cuz I never see it, or they just do it for Vela??

  23. I think it probably had something to do with Vela. I’ve never seen a Mexican wave at Emirates before. It seemed like the fans were enjoying themselves 🙂

  24. 3-0 Two goals from Homer Jay Simpson, and a splendid strike from Carlos Vela after a Johan Djourou pass… Fantastic. Fabianski had a slow start but at the end made a rediculous double save denying Zaki. Ace..

  25. @SF
    I’ll improve over time mate, but you have to admit, that’s not a bad performance for a 19 year old kid. Hahaha

  26. Vela is pure genius… I cant stop tihnking about that performance… He needs to play and stay with Arsenal for years to come…

  27. Wilshere and Ramsey were also great, they both played like Fabregas, those defense-splitting passes were precise! It was embarrassing for Wigan! Hey SF, do you know if this was the same Wigan lineup that scored 2 goals against Liverpool?

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