By Walter Broeckx
Arsenal made a lot changes for this match as could be expected. And even a few players making their debut in this match. Glen Kamara and Alex Iwobi made their first start for Arsenal in a match with something at stake. Cech, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Giroud are the only players to keep their place in the team from our last match.
Even amongst the subs a few new faces like Sheaf, Bennacer and Bielik. A few kids being thrown in the deep end it seems. Let us see if they can swim with the big boys already. I think this team is not strong enough for this kind of opposition. Remember that our best kids are out on loan and those still at the club are busy in international youth tournaments.
The team that started was : Cech, Gibbs, Mertesacker, Chambers, Debuchy, Flamini, Kamara, Campbell, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Iwobi, Giroud.
On the beach: Macey, Gabriel, Monreal, Bielik, Sheaf, Bennacer, Walcott.
Within the first minutes the Ox looked a bit uncomfortable after his first sprint. An injury already? Theo coming on within the first 5 minutes. As a result a bit of a slow start from both teams. Theo playing right up front it seems. Arsenal with the ball and Sheffield Wednesday leaning back in numbers. Giroud given offside when he was clearly onside that was a real goal chance taken away by the assistant. Theo completely unmarked in front of the open goal…a simple pass would have been enough.
And to make things worse after 15 minutes Theo needs some attention from the medical staff. A problem with his calf it seems… And Theo also goes off and is replaced by Bennacer. Oh let’s just give the win and make sure our players are not injured anymore from this match. Arsenal now playing with half of the U19 team I think. All these injuries this is why I dislike the League cup.
Arsenal still with lots of the ball but nothing much happening in the penalty area on either side by the way. And suddenly out of the blue with the first attack from Sheffield a low cross to the edge of the penalty area and the effort curls around Mertesacker passed the unsighted Cech. One shot and one goal. 1-0 for Sheffield after 27 minutes.
A lungefrom a Hutchinson with two feet towards Iwobi is only cautioned with a yellow card. Campbell can’t get the free kick passed the wall. Flamini nicking the ball away but the ref gives a foul when the Sheffield striker kicks against his own ankle. The free kick goes just wide. Campbell working hard but a few of the kids are rather invisible. Iwobi with a dribble but his shot goes in the side netting. Iwobi certainly the most lively of the kids. A Sheffield striker outmuscling two kids but Cech can save his shot. But the corner is headed in by Santos Joao. 2-0 to Sheffield after 40 minutes. It looks as if the kids are not really up to this type of battle yet.
Sheffield had 3 shots and two goals, talking about being efficient. The kids seemingly being too impressed with what happened and with two first team players already lost I think Wenger will not risk any other of the more experienced players. Another two footed lunge from a Sheffield player not even punished… Just take all the first teamers off Arsène. Arsenal 2-0 behind at half time.
Theo and The Ox sitting next to each other on the bench. News was that it was both out of precaution that they went off. Let’s hope it’s not too bad. Sheffield get another free kick and the assistant misses the first offside and Hutchinson can kick the ball over the line. 3-0 to Sheffield after 51 minutes. DEebuchy getting a yellow for bringing down Wallace. After the ref and Sheffield didn’t stop the match after a foul on Campbell. Bielik came on in the place of Kamara after one hour. The last Arsenal substitution. Lucky Wenger kept the first teamers on the bench.
Is there a rule that each throw in has to go to Sheffield Wednesday ? A few wrong throw ins in a row against Arsenal. Arsenal couldn’t bring anything attacking wise. The kids not in the match at all unfortunately. Bielik with a cross after a corner to Mertesacker but the keeper claws the ball from under his crossbar. The first real chance for Arsenal.
Arsenal play the ball out when a Sheffield player is down injured, that is the way it should be played. Sheffield didn’t do this a few minutes ago when Campbell was being down injured. Campbell then picking up a yellow card for a late challenge. Campbell then with a last shooting chance in the extra time but his shot went wide.
3-0 at the final whistle. Thank god we are our of this competition that might cost us dear over the next weeks.
In a way I didn’t like the draw against Tottenham a lot. I had hoped for another team so we just could put out a youth team and get out of this competition. Now playing Tottenham we couldn’t do this and now we go out and at the cost of too many possible injuries. The kids who played today need to eat a lot of bacon before they will be real first teamers. Iwobi and Bielik making the best impression. The others mostly invisible to be honest.
I don’t want Arsenal to lose any match but this competition is the one that I surely don’t mind that we are out of this one. I wonder if Wenger is thinking the same inside? He didn’t look too bothered at the final whistle. Unfortunately at a possible big cost injury wise.