Arsene Wenger has said that the team he will be sending out against Sheffield United in the Carling Cup game tonight will be the youngest to ever represent Arsenal. Virtual unknowns like Abu Ogogu and Emmanuel Frimpong – the latter even younger than Jack Wilshere – are likely to feature in the squad, supported by relative ‘old heads’ like Alex Song, Johan Djourou and Lukasz Fabianski.
“You are likely to see Gavin Hoyte, Abu Ogogu, Aaron Ramsey, Mark Randall, Jack Wilshere, Fran Merida and Carlos Vela. Maybe Bendtner will play. Song, Djourou and Lukasz Fabianski will be the experienced players. But you will have players like Emmanuel Frimpong and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas so it will be a very young side.”
At 21, 21 and 23 it is bizarre to hear that the likes of Song, Djourou and Fabianski will be the experienced players in the side. But compared to babies like Wilshere and Frimpong (both 16) as well as the rest of the players named, they very much are. Just as aside, if you read the full article you’ll find out that Frimpong is even younger than Wilshere. Amazing.
It will be interesting to see who Wenger chooses to captain the young group of players. From last year’s evidence you’d have to lean towards Fabianski, but I get the feeling it might just be Djourou, a player who has moved up in the ranks this season and has just been rewarded with a new contract at the club.
I haven’t decided whether I’m going to get up and watch this game tomorrow morning (it starts at 4.45am Brisbane time) but the sheer weight of players that I’ve not yet seen in action for Arsenal might prompt me to take a peek. I didn’t catch much of the pre-season so I’m not very familiar with guys like Hoye, Ogogu, Merida, Frimpong or Emmanuel-Thomas. As such, I’m looking forward to seeing how they get on.
The only other real news of note for today is that Gael Clichy – who bruised his shin in an ugly clash with Kevin Davies on Saturday – is likely to be available for the Premiership clash with Hull this weekend. Whether he starts or not is another matter entirely, and if Wenger chooses to leave him out then he’ll have an interesting decision to make regarding the back four.
Does he keep William Gallas and Kolo Toure together at the back, switch Bacary Sagna to the left and bring Johan Djourou into the side? Does he play Emmanuel Eboue instead? There’s also the option of flicking Toure out to the right and bringing Djourou into the middle, or keeping Sagna on the right and moving Gallas onto the left? We’ll have to wait and see.
Anyway, that’s it for today. Have a lovely Tuesday and get behind the Arsenal babies tonight. Woo!
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