Grandpa Silvestre to lead the Arsenal kids + thoughts on van Persie

Wilshere will be one to watch against West Brom

Hello again Arsenal FC Bloggers.

It feels like forever since I’ve greeted you like an old friend but here I am, wine in hand, doing just that. I have to apologise for the lack of consistent posting over the past fortnight – the holiday to Malaysia saw me take a week offf and since I’ve been back a move to a different (bigger, yay) room in my house has taken up a lot of time. As a result things like guest posts and the Arsenal FC Weekly podcast have fallen away for a bit but now I’m back and settled in I can’t wait to get things happening again.

I mentioned yesterday that the weekend win over Wigan was a welcome stress-relief after some volcanic encounters and tonight’s Carling Cup clash with West Bromwich Albion carries with it that same relaxed feel. 

As is the norm in this competition the Young Guns will be given the opportunity to show their worth and Arsene Wenger has unsurprisingly confirmed that the likes of Jack Wilshere, Armand Traore and goalkeeper Whydya Justsneeze will be on the team sheet. Joining the very young players will be more established squad members including grandpa Mikael Silvestre as well as Aaron Ramsey and Kieran Gibbs, while Carlos Vela will return from an ankle problem and Philippe Senderos will make his first appearance for the club after a year in Milan. The suggestion from Guardian journalist and Arsenal guru Amy Lawrence is that Kerrea Gilbert, Francis Coquelin and Gilles Sunu will fill the other three places but we’ll have to wait and see.

I must confess that I won’t be watching the game tomorrow – a 4.45am start for a streamed Carling Cup is a little bit too much of a stretch – but given the performances by our young team in recent seasons I expect them to win. It certainly won’t be easy against a recently-relegated West Brom but this is the competition that all the young guns get worked up about and they’ll be raring and ready to put in the sort of effort which says “Pick me for the first team, Arsene! I’m good enough!”

Aside from the Carling Cup there’s not too much floating about the info-bloggo-webosphere. 

Robin van Persie has both praised Thomas Vermaelen for his application and impact since joining the club and admitted that he needs to score more goals as the team’s main striker. He’s definitely right about the first and certainly has the right idea about the second, but personally I’ve been delighted with the effort and quality of performances that van Persie has put in so far this season. The goals might not be flowing just yet but he is throwing his body around well, linking superbly with the players around him and is adapting well to his new position. The impression I get is that he’s probably trying too hard in front of goal and if he can just relax and grab a couple then I don’t think 20 goals in the league is beyond him.

And that’s really it. I’ll have some thoughts on tonight’s game in tomorrow’s post so stay tuned. Cheers!

Have your say on Arsenal’s Carling Cup tie with West Brom by leaving a comment.



  1. The Carling Cup will be interesting. West Brom are in decent form, they smashed Borough 5-0 away last week or so and are top of the tastiest beverage championship.

    Our boys can do it…
    Goooooooo Ross Barclay!

  2. I love the Carling Cup these days because we get to see the latest crop of Arsenal youngsters flexing their muscles – and very often giving some teams a hiding. Surprised to see Kieren Gibbs’ name on the team sheet because I thought he was injured or something? Be interesting to watch Senderos again. Hope someone puts Sylvestre out of action for the rest of the season (arf! arf! just kidding. wouldn’t wish that on anybody).(well maybe.)
    I don’t normally comment on other teams because I don’t give a damn and this is an Arsenal board but since Owen7 (presumably that’s the old Ronaldo7) was on this board just the other day crowing about how entirely justified manure’s mysterious extra time was – perhaps he’d like to comment on Mark Hughes own admission that when he was playing for manure they benefitted from referees allowing them extra minutes. “I didn’t think it was much of an issue at the time.” he said “but maybe I’v exchanged my mind.” That’s right, pal. Now you’re starting to see some of the sh*t we as supporters of teams other than manure have had to put up with officals constant bias to them.

  3. I personally do not agree Wenger’s team management of late, I have no doubt that the young ones must be afforded chances to showcace their readiness and maturity to make it into the 1st team, but, we must value the trophies, we must yield quality in cup games n not quantity in the field which is 11 players, n we have not won any valuabe cup e.g FA, UEFA, EPL, etc, in recent years. I am behind the boys 100% but I am more concern about the result at the end of not only tonight’s game but for all the games to come in this cup! Good luck n may we win the match!

  4. Wenger shouldnt undermine Westbrom. At the end of the day it’s these underdogs that end up embarrassing us. anyway, the young guns deserve to showcase their skills lest they get wasted on the bench. Good luck little ones!!

  5. yeah west brom beat boro 5-0 so our 1st team didn’t do that last year so having a good back 4 will stop them but I can only see tweety as the weakest link as gibbs, traore and sendy in my eyes have done a good job when called on but tweety is nothing but a manure reject and he has lost his pace and football brain.
    Also fifa 10 comes out next month on my wifes b’day might just buy it for her even though she doesn’tplay the 360 haha. but we should set up a blog league if poss and have a few of us online as I know mexican gunner would be keen. My gamer tag is buterfingers01 (1 t though).
    We will win by 2 goals and sunu and thomas scoring with wilshere setting up both goals.

  6. West Brom should not undermine our youngesters. Our junior and reserve squad has the most potential and groomed talent in the English league, and i could go further to suggest in the European league. We have prven players in the squad . Sylvestre, Senderos, Gibbs, Traore, Vela, Ramsey, and Wilshere. THis is a strong bone. And from what i hear the goalkeeper (pardon the fact i don’t know his exact name) put in some subliminal appearances lately. I look forward to this this year fot the same reason i did last year. His name is Carlos Vela, and the other great one in Aaron Ramsey. Lets go gunnners

  7. hi there Andy from Malaysia. It was really nice to have gotten to know you in person at our KL supporters club session. Too bad Man City won and I agree with you that we deserved to win but lost when we either lost our heads or lost the plot. Hope to see us beat QPR tonite. Get in touch with me on my email…

  8. Hey Nonny Mouse – you almost caused me to spray a mouthful of tea over my work computer with that one liner.

  9. I like to delude myself into thinking that every fan secretly likes to see the Gunners youngsters do well. Who can forget the ritual humiliation of Sheff Utd last season? I think we started against Newcastle last year and I’m always apprehensive that we might get knocked out straight away, but we usually end up dominating superior opposition.

    It’s a great sideshow to the season, that not many other fans get to experience.

  10. @SHAMBO – Nice rhymes yesterday about ADEBARNYAWN,
    @BUTTERFINGERS – Spot on with the predictions

  11. Have seen nothing of the match as i have just returned from work. Is there any highlights shown anywhere. Im really looking forward to seeing S Watt play as i have abeen tracking his progress since he was u14 at the academy and i know his dad prety well to. How was the young guns performance and who stood out.

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