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Arsenal v Doncaster. The Arsenal team, and memories of thumping Sheffield Utd 9 years ago.

By Bulldog Drummond

23 September 2008 was one of the most famous days in the years of austerity.  For it was the day that a team of youngsters was put out by Arsenal in the league cup, much to howls of derision from the rest of football.

We were told it was unfair on the youngsters to expose them to the hardened pros of not just a Championship side, but a Championship side that came third in their league that season.  It showed Arsenal lacked any strength in depth.

Here is the team for that eventful evening

Fabianski

Hoyte, Djourou, Song  (Lansbury 70), Gibbs

Randall, Ramsey, Merida (Coquelin 71)

Wilshere, Bendtner (Simpson 71), Vela.

Arsenal won 6-0, and just look at that team.   Fabianski won the FA Cup with us and is now a PL goalkeeper with Swansea.   Djourou played over 60 games for Switzerland and over 80 games for Arsenal.  Song went on to play for Barcelona.  Gibbs, of course is still fresh in the memory.   Bendtner although an exasperation played 108 games for Arsenal.  Vela is still knocking in the goals for Real Sociadad.  171 games and 53 goals at the last count.

And then those who are still with us: Ramsey, Coquelin and Wilshere.

Now take a look around: how many clubs could put out a group of youngsters against a league team, win 6-0 and get good value out of so many of them?   And indeed have three members of the first team squad still at the club nine years on.

Of course today it is different.  Austerity is over, and although we will see some younger players we will also be using more members of our full 25 man first team squad.   Yes we have suddenly lost a goal scorer, and a playmaker, but we have others; and I say this knowing perfectly well what our position is in the league.

Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac will probably be replaced tonight, but we could have Reiss Nelson on one side and either Nacho Monreal or Ainsley Maitland-Niles on the other.

And I rather suspect that Alexis will have a reversal – instead of being a sub late on he might well play from the start and come off on 70 minutes, so he is ready to take his regular full place in the squad from Monday.

Elsewhere we might well see Per Mertersacker, Shkodran Mustafi, Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere.   Plus even possibly another start for Giroud although I am guessing one of the younger players might get a go.

Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey might be expected to have a rest but they could be around either to bolster to bench of to stabilise a side that has a number of youngsters in it.   Eddie Nketiah, Marcus McGuane, Joe Willock, Chuba Akpom and Josh Dasilva seem possibles, with one or two starting and the rest making up the bench.   And I haven’t even mentioned Elneny, or Iwobi.  Or Chambers.  Or Reine Adelaide.

I’ll be fascinated to see if Ospina stays in goal; I suspect he will as with the Europa League games, to keep him ticking over.  After all, our back up to Ospina (with our third choice man Martinez, now out on loan), is Macey who is young enough to play for the under 23s, so he’ll be getting regular games.

Put all these names together, swirl it all around, close my eyes and pick the numbers out of the hat, and we have got around a full squad, with enough to play on the beach as well.

So that would give us

Ospina

Chambers,  Mertersacker, Mustafi,

Nelson       Maitland-Niles

Xhaka    Wilshere

Reine Adelaide     Nketiah    Alexis

Beached perm seven from: Ramsey, Walcott, Monreal, Macey,  Elneny, Marcus McGuane, Joe Willock, Chuba Akpom and Josh Dasilva.

I’ve put Xhaka in the team as a way of helping to protect Jack Wilshere from any industrial challenges, and I think we need Alexis up to full speed for next Monday, hence his run out.   As I said, he won’t play the whole game, but could be good for 70 mins.

Of course I usually get it horribly wrong when it is a straight first team game so with a match like this, I’m probably way out.   All contradictions welcome

Recent Uprights

Today’s anniversaries

Arsenal in wartime

71 comments to Arsenal v Doncaster. The Arsenal team, and memories of thumping Sheffield Utd 9 years ago.

  • Jax

    There’s no reason not to expect a comfortable win tonight; probably by three goals. Your team looks well capable of achieving this and the next generation players that are included can stake a claim for continued selection.
    UTA

  • Jax

    Mark Samson gets sacked. Now there’s a surprise.

  • Gord

    The Guardian has started their commentary on tonight’s games. One entry in the page, and it doesn’t bash Arsenal. Maybe they will have a good article tonight?

    COYG!

  • From the Sun’s website

    “What TV channel is it on?

    THE game isn’t being shown on TV”

    It is the first prediction they have got right in over six years

  • para

    Team is according to ArseBlog:
    Ospina, Chambers, Mertesacker, Holding, Nelson, Wilshere, Elneny, Maitland-Niles, Alexis, Walcott, Giroud

    Subs: Macey, Monreal, Willock, Dasilva, Iwobi, Nketiah, Akpom

  • Arsenal

    Ospina; Chambers, Mertesacker, Holding; Wilshere, Elneny; Nelson, Walcott, Alexis, Maitland-Niles; Giroud

    Beached: Macey, Monreal, Willock, Dasilva, Iwobi, Nketiah, Akpom

  • Sorry Para you beat me to it. Didn’t mean to repeat you. I was fiddling with the phone

  • Wonder what happened to Reine Adelaide.

  • Gord

    The referee tonight is Scott Duncan from the Championship I believe. Here is snippet on him.

    Championship _ Sa 05Aug 2017 _ _ QPR _ _ _ _ 2 – 0 _ Reading _ _ _ _ 3 1
    EFL Cup _ _ _ _We 09Aug 2017 _ _ Oldham _ _ _2 – 3 _ Burton _ _ _ _ _1 0
    Championship _ Sa 12Aug 2017 _ _ Leeds _ _ _ 0 – 0 _ Preston _ _ _ _ 3 1
    Championship _ Sa 19Aug 2017 _ _ Wolves _ _ _1 – 2 _ Cardiff _ _ _ _ 6 0
    EFL Cup _ _ _ _We 23Aug 2017 _ _ Stoke _ _ _ 4 – 0 _ Rochdale _ _ _ _0 0
    League One _ _ Sa 26Aug 2017 _ _ Blackburn _ 4 – 1 _ MK Dons _ _ _ _ 2 0
    Championship _ Sa 09Sep 2017 _ _ Aston Villa 0 – 0 _ Brentford _ _ _ 0 0
    League Two _ _ Tu 12Sep 2017 _ _ Notts Co _ _1 – 0 _ Swindon _ _ _ _ 1 0
    Championship _ Sa 16Sep 2017 _ _ Sheff Utd _ 0 – 1 _ Norwich _ _ _ _ 7 0

    Games: 9 Totals: _ _ _ _23 2

    The last 2 columns, are yellow cards and red cards. So far this season, he has issued 23 yellow and 2 red.

    COYG!

  • Gord

    Football London is reporting that the Doncaster allocation of 5500 tickets was all sold, but the stadium appears almost empty. How many Arsenal fans are in attendance?

    COYG!

  • Gord

    Commentary is very scarce on this game, to go along with no TV appearance.

    The twit feed says that Walcott has had a shot on target, assisted by Elneny.

    COYG!

  • para

    Giroud with an overhead kick, just missed

  • Gord

    I gather Doncaster had a shot on goal inside of the first 30 seconds of the game.

    The twit thing is saying that Giroud has had a shot on net (bicycle kick), and rattled the crossbar from 12 yards out.

    COYG!

  • Gord

    Sorry Para, I should have hit refresh. 🙂

    COYG!

  • Vince

    Giroud should also have been awarded a penalty after being wrestled (literally) to the ground, but we know (and the Doncaster players probably know it too) that they will never give it to Arsenal, no matter how blatant the foul is…

  • para

    1-0 theo

  • Gord

    According to Wikipedia, Carabao is an anglicized version of the phrase for a red water buffalo in Thailand. The company in question, produces the second most popular energy drink in Thailand.

    Alexis has a shot from a 25 yard free kick.

    Maitland-Niles is apparently getting lots of room. On one of his runs he feeds Wilshere, but alas no goal.

    Elneny feeds Giroud, who places the ball over the crossbar.

  • Vince

    Goal for Walcott (assisted by Alexis). Nothing but deserved so far

  • Gord

    Wilshere misses wide with a long shot.

    COYG!

  • Gord

    Doncaster apparently getting some play with the ball, here late in the first half.

    COYG!

  • Gord

    ESPN has some statistics on the game so far.

    shots on target Elneny:1, Alexis:1, Walcott:2
    _Kongolo:1, May:1
    _off target Wilshere:2, Giroud:5, Alexis:2, Walcott:1
    saves Ospina:1 Lawlor:3
    fouls committed Mertesacker:2, Chambers:1, Holding:1, Giroud:1
    _H

    COYG!

  • Gord

    That last line should read:

    _Houghton:2, Mason:1, Coppinger:1

    Arsenal has had 58% possession.

    COYG!

  • Following the footie on Sky Sports this evening (the match isn’t part of the season ticket programme), and the panel are really hammering Liverpool!(!) Turning on the players and the manager. Only a little while ago they were full of how clever the manager was in getting the Ox.

  • Gord

    According to ESPN, the fouls are even at 5:5 (I must have missed one in my reading). For someone who is actually at the game watching it, is the fouling even between the two teams?

    COYG!

  • Gord

    The second half has started.

    COYG!

  • Gord

    We did have a substitution on the restart. Chambers is out, and Da Silva is in.

    COYG!

  • Gord

    Walcott breaks clear, but his shot is saved.

    COYG!

  • Gord

    TheGuardian has a completely different version of events (Walcott’s break).

    COYG!

  • Gord

    So far tonight, all the teams that should win, are leading. Eleven goals have been scored in the 5 games. Three cards have been issued, all yellow. None in our game.

    COYG!

  • Gord

    Giroud tries another overhead kick, but that shot is blocked.

    Nelson was out of position on a Doncaster attack, and Maitland-Niles dashes back to deny the goalscoring opportunity.

    COYG!

  • Gord

    Doncaster makes a double substitution.

    Referee waves away a penlty shout for Giroud.

    Nelson has a shot on target saved.

    COYG!

  • Gord

    We are into the last quarter of the game. Mason (Doncaster) picks up the first yellow of this game.

    TheGuardian staff must be reading their own output. They are bored silly.

    COYG!

  • Gord

    Giroud goes down with an ankle problem and gets some treatment for it. It looks like he is okay to continue. Absolutely no idea how he developed this problem. Did the referee kick him?

    COYG!

  • Gord

    Iwobi replaces Walcott.

    COYG!

  • Gord

    Doncaster also made their last substitution at that time.

    COYG!

  • Yommex

    Annoying that Wenger and the team seem to be reverting back to type. Not taking lower league opposition seriously

  • Yommex

    The longer it takes to put the game to bed, the more the opposition grows into the game

  • Gord

    Walcott was replaced after injuring his hamstring.

    Willock is about to substitute for another Arsenal player for our last substitution. Nelson is the player to make way for Willock.

    COYG!

  • Yommex

    The opposition is being made to look better than they actually are.

  • Gord

    WBA has scored to tie the game with Man$ity.

    COYG!

  • Gord

    Yommex, thank you for your wonderful Arsenal support.

    Forest manage a goal at last breath, in their play against Chelsea who got 5.

    COYG!

  • Gord

    We will have 4 minutes of time added on.

    COYG!

  • Yommex

    Sanchez has been a waste of space today imo

  • Gord

    And we hear the final whistle. Congratulations Gunners!

    Man$ity scored to regain their 1 goal lead. WBA is looking to score again.

  • Yommex

    We won but with the usual unnecessary raising of blood oressure

  • Gord

    Arsenal finish the game with 57% possession, taking 27 shots with 8 on target to Doncaster’s 7 shots with 2 on target. Doncaster committed 10 fouls to our 7.

  • Gord

    Come on WBA, tie up that game!

  • Menace

    1 – 0 to the Arsenal & thank God Giroud has not got a broken leg. It has been weakened so it will go if kicked again. Poor display by officials again. Giroud pulled in the box but selective blindness is rampant. The win is key, so well done Wenger your boys did a good job despite fergies sprog managing a bunch of sloggers who can play football.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Fourth round draw we are at home to Norwich

  • MickHazel

    Arsenal v Norwich next round.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Full draw

    Spurs v West Ham
    Bristol City v Crystal Palace
    Swansea City v Manchester United
    Arsenal v Norwich City
    Chelsea v Everton
    Manchester City v Wolverhampton Wanderers
    Leicester City v Leeds United
    Bournemouth v Middlesbrough

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Matches to be played week commencing October 23rd

  • Well done Arsenal thoroughly enjoyable game and well done Doncaster a spirited performance . On a sad note what a poor turn out by Arsenal fans the stadium looked half full , no fans no noise . Must be a sale on some where

  • Sorry yes I was there worst I have ever seen the ground hope it’s a one off

  • Gord

    From the post game interview:

    _Theo may not be seriously injured, it might “just” be two kicks.

    _Alexis is close to being completely back.

    _Chambers has a hip injury.

    _I don’t see any mention of an injury to Giroud.

  • Gord

    Metro is reporting that 44,064 attended the game, of which 5500 were Doncaster supporters. Which suggests there were about 38564 supporters there. This is about 63.8% of capacity.

    This is a new “record”. The previous record was Arsenal 3 – 1 Shewsbury Town in 2011 with 46,539 attendance. This was another League Cup game.

    Chambers is expected out for about 2 weeks. Walcott may not miss any games.

  • Pat

    I have to say, the stadium looked pretty full to me, and there was plenty of noise where I was. It was nice that families with kids got the chance to see a match because of the low prices. The programme was geared to kids with an interview with Gunnersaurus as well as all the usual things. A little boy did some of the announcements too and there was a shadow team of kids in various functions. I thought the atmosphere was nice.

  • Pat

    Arsenal.com highlights the performance of Jack Wilshere. He looked really assured so let’s hope he stays injury free.

  • Sorry Gord Bollocks I’ve been to every home game at the Emms and that was the worst ever for any cup any game or in fact any game

  • Pat you must be on drugs please share

  • Nice = desperately quiet

    5,000 Doncaster fans made more noise than us Embarrassing time for all these so called Arsenal fans who spend there life on key boards get off your lazy arses and get a bloody ticket and support the team

  • Gord

    Well Hannibal, you should probably send your bollocks to Metro. I didn’t make up the numbers.

  • para

    Yommex
    Sorry i could not answer you earlier, but you wont get very much understanding with truthful comments about the game. 🙂

    Anyway, it was clear that Arsenal were a little lacking tonight. This collection of players, although working hard and trying things, just did not get them right.

    Had Doncaster being also a little more clinical, we could have come out losers, especially when we went into defence mode.

    I will never understand defence mode(especially at 1-0).

    It stands to reason that when the opposition is 90% of the time in your half, it makes their chance of scoring even more viable.

    Anyway, i get what you mean, but contrary to some others, i know this does not detract from our enjoyment at the win, we just both realise that we were a little lucky and accept it, that’s all.

  • para

    Before anyone gets shirty, i will repost Gord’s post:

    “Arsenal finish the game with 57% possession, taking 27 shots with 8 on target to Doncaster’s 7 shots with 2 on target. Doncaster committed 10 fouls to our 7.”

    27 shots with 8 on target really verifies Yommex’s and my comments dont you think?

  • Yommex

    @Para 👍

  • Gord

    Shirty? I’m wearing a shirt with a big hole in it, not intended in its design.

    You should be able to say something about a team’s intention by how many shots that they take. Doncaster attempted 7 shots on goal, Arsenal attempted 27. Which team wanted to score more?

    Once a person takes a shot, the shot could be blocked. A blocked shot is not a shot on target. If a shot is not blocked, it can either be wide/high or on target. If a shot hits the post or crossbar and does NOT go into the goal, it is by definition off target.

    If none of the shots not on target are blocked, and they are all so wide/high as to be laughable attempts on goal, you might have a point. I don’t believe that was the case with this game. There were a number of shots which were blocked, or which hit the post or crossbar.

  • Dom

    I watched the whole game on Genti.stream , frustrated in the first half, and very concerned in the second.
    For the life of me, I really could’nt see what strategy was dictating our second half display.
    I’ll content myself with the win and trust that we just misfired a little last night.

  • 44,000 includes all those that pay and don’t turn eg club level . Therefore stated figure and actual attendance figure are different

    The club for some weird reason likes to overstate the attendance number

  • Jax

    44+ thousand isn’t too bad a turn out for a match (no disrespect to our opponents) of this stature. If regular supporters opt to vote with their feet & stay away it sends the Football League a message that they’ve been ignoring since its inception.

  • Gord

    I guess there is another complication, and that is for shots which are not quite blocked, in other words a deflection.

  • Menace

    Gord
    21/09/2017 at 12:31 am You must have a good imagination Gord. He lost his climbing the Alps.

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