Arsenal 3-0 Wigan
Amazing, eh? Wenger’s second string never ceases to amaze and will this morning get the headlines it deserves. A ludicrously young and talented side took Wigan apart.
We created chance after chance – (“[Arsenal] created more chances against us than any other side this season” said Steve Bruce) and were a joy to watch – driven on by 16-year-old Jack Wilshere and 17-year-old Aaron Ramsey. Anfield ’89? Half this side weren’t even born.
So, who caught they eye? Most of them really, that’s what’s so amazing. Ramsey, Wilshere and Vela are obviously all in the first-team squad already, but Gavin Hoyte, Kieran Gibbs and Jay Simpson looked good too. With Randall, Ogogo, Lansbury and Frimpong added to the mix, Arsene had 8 English and 1 Welsh player in the squad – a double fingers-up salute to those who argue he ignores British players completely.
Who can make it then? Well Ramsey, Vela and Wilshere for sure – all looked excellent. Gibbs and Hoyte looked good at full-back too, with Wenger citing the former as one of the reasons he let Traore out on loan. Randall, Simpson, Merida – hard to say they won’t make it too, isn’t it, on last night’s evidence? We might need a few more years to pass and a few loan moves, but this collection of young players has to be one the best ever assembled by Arsenal.
Most gooners of a certain era will never forget the conveyor belt of the mid 1980s, which over the course of 5 years produced players like Adams, Keown, Davis, Rocastle, Thomas, Campbell and Merson – all of whom went on to be top, top players.
That for me is the challenge here – and that’s the potential we have at our disposal.