Arsenal v The Wobbleyous. The result before it happens

This is it: the big one for the little one’s. Or “le grand un pour les petits” as they don’t say in foreign parts.

Who can ever forget one year ago?

There was the memory of the fact that our little guys (with one or two biggies) had a year before smashed Liverpool at their downtrodden home 3-6, revealing for all to see just how impoverished junior football north of Watford actually is.   And the came along came 23 September 2008.

A day when the rest of the footballing world started to realise that Arsenal really were developing something that had never been seen before in the history of the western spiral arm of the galaxy.

Arsenal Kiddies 6 Sheffield Untidy 0

Oh joy.  Oh memories.  Oh ****ing incredible (as we say in the East Midlands).

Average age about 3 and a half (actually 19 years 5 months compared with 27 years for Sheffield Saturday).  Average height (for readers of the Sun) 5 feet 11 inches which is about 24 litres in metric.

We played

  • Fabianski the injured
  • Hoyte the younger, Song the not yet ready, Djourou the not injured, Gibbs Who Had Not Yet Been Discovered
  • Wilshere we’ve heard about but not yet seen, Randall the impetuous, Ramsey the Welsh, Merida the not quite yet
  • Bendtner the “he’ll never make it”, and Vela the Mexican Hat

Oh it was incredible.  It was unbelievable.  And as for Carlos Vela, the story that he was about to become the greatest Mexican player ever, and ever, and ever, was finally revealed to be true.

Where are they now?

  • Fab is injured
  • Hoyte the younger is playing for his country
  • Song is in the first team
  • Djourou is injured
  • Gibbs shone like a shiny thing last season and has revealed himself ready for anything thrown at him
  • Wilshere will win the world cup for England (says so in the book of Revelations)
  • Randall is still impetuous
  • Ramsey can now slip into the first team anytime and plays for Wales
  • Merida has shown us all his brilliance, and is now playing for his country
  • Bendtner is a first team fixture who got us out of jail in Belgium
  • and Vela, thank goodness, is just back from injury.

So to replace the injured and those who have moved on to a higher plane we have Szczesnyxyzcsxzynz the Unpronouceable in goal.  Senderos the Milanese is back, and Traore the Disappeared will play with Gibbs on the left.  (Actually the last part of that sentence is ambiguous, but I mean both will be on the pitch on the left hand side.)

If you don’t follow Arsenal Reserves (how could you not, they are bloody brilliant this year) you won’t know that they have played three, won three scored eight and let in none.

(Incidentally you also might not be fully conversant with the fact that the all powerful, all forward looking, all monied Tiny Totts are in such a staggeringly brilliantly organised situation that this year they suddenly pulled out of the reserve league about a week before kick off.  I wrote to them and suggested that if they don’t have any players who can stand up against our 3 year olds they could play a brown paper bag, but they didn’t reply to my letter).

If you read Highbury High you will know (when you pick up a copy tonight) that I have Coquelin down as one of my players to make it – watch him – he looks ungainly with that movement of his, but ever since he suddenly turned up at the Austrian camp a year ago, he has been amazing everyone.

Phil Gregory, in his excellent analysis of the game, has a forward line of Barazite, Watt, Wilshere, and believe me (if you don’t watch the little ones) that is some forward line.  Writing later than Phil I now know that Carlos the Hat is playing.  And I also want to include Sunu – although he didn’t play in the last reserve game so maybe he’s injured – but he scored two in the second reserves game of the season and is superb.  (He is also Thierry Henry II but don’t tell anyone).

In fact no one corresponding on Phil’s article included Sunu.  What’s going on?

Anyway, back to the future.  What happens?

Kick off is delayed by 25 minutes following a fight in the special guests section as 268 visiting managers, scouts and coaches jostle for position, waving loan documentation and bribes at our players, our support staff, and Gunnersaurus.   Manchester Arab sign the mascot.

There is then a second delay as it is discovered that five of the team are caught up outside the ground where over-zealous stewards are trying to charge them £5 to get in.  Two are arrested for being out after dark on their own.

There are further problems at half time where five of the squad are promptly marched off by their mothers who announce that it is way past their bedtime.

Commentators from the “media” (the so called “journalists”) spend most of the game saying that Wenger has lost the plot as last year’s side (the youngest ever to represent Arsenal in a competitive match since the club was founded in 1886) was younger than this year’s.

“Has Wenger lost the plot?” screams the Sun, but fortunately no one listens.

Arsenal win 18-0.

“At times it was hard to believe what was happening.  A side with an average age of less than 20 containing one 16 year old and four players making first starts, played through their more experienced opponents as if they were ghosts, only pausing to catch breath or to celebrate the stream of goals.”

The Guardian, 24 September 2008.

It is fashionable to say “I nearly cried” at such events.  That would be wrong.  I cried.  I couldn’t believe how wonderful it was.  Everything that I believe in, in football, served up in one game.  I just raised my hands to the Lord Wenger and said “thank you for this”.

More of the same would go down rather well chez Attwood.

(c) Tony Attwood 2009.

15 Replies to “Arsenal v The Wobbleyous. The result before it happens”

  1. An absolutely brilliant article!
    The names you chose for the players had me in stitches, especially “Vela the Hat”, a Fantastic read!

  2. A 3 – 1 win may not go amis, ehm… Tony? Ofcourse I do not mind if we score more. But I will take a 2 – 0 win if I must. And incase WestBrom feel agrieved, I will personally be will to give them a BFH.

  3. thank for all Tony. This is the best ever blog I’d never seen. keep going with you hilarious and fabulous articles.

    Gooner from Algeria. and we are a lot.

  4. Hey Salem…

    By a curious coincidence I lived in Algiers for a year – way back in the last century – and in fact watched the Cup Final of 1971 which completed our double, on Algerian TV.

    I couldn’t believe it, my one year away from London and the club go and do the impossible!


  5. Another great article Tony. I must say the win last year was one of the best games I have ever seen from such a young side. I just couldn’t believe my eyes.
    Sunu will be a great player imho. Love his speed and running and yes… he looks like the younger brother of TH : fast, brillant technique… what a great prospect.
    And then Jack an Aaron and Carlos…. hope I catch I live stream over here. Or else it is gonna be the “as live” on
    I settle for you score.

  6. Excited to watch the Younger Guns as usual. I still cant forget last year’s match. In fact, I was jumping around my TV room as a 4-year old when I was watching the match. That match showed everything I believed in Football. Today’s match will be even better with the new formation and the performances from the Reserves. Sadly the match is not shown live here and I cant access stream from home. So, it’ll be just text updates on my mobile tonight and extended highlights from ATVO tomorrow..

  7. As per usual another great post,Tony.I believe it is impossible to see the game tonight,even auntie isn’t broadcasting it on either of the radio 5 live channels, and absolutely no streams to be found.

    please tell me otherwise.

    Strange decision that the most outstanding kids including several british against the championship leaders is not worth showing.

  8. So I fear it has to “as live”. Will be another short night I guess. When the game ends in 90 minutes and they start immediatly it will be 22.45 over here, so a start at 23.00 mmmmm bring it on. 😉

  9. My God, I lelt I was part of the Flinstones tonight. This is years ago I “watched” a game by listening to audio commentary. 😉
    So I heard the kids won it and Vela was having an immediate impact in the outcome of the game. Great.

  10. That’s it then. 2 – 0 is not too bad a result. We’ll take it, thank you very much.
    OH! You’re my new favorite blogger fyi

  11. Great game by the lads, must also point out the contributions by Senderos and Silvestre, they both had good games considering the lack of match practice, Gibbs looks like a great replacment for Clichy, Gibbs and Traore tied up the left hand side of the pitch and gave Westbrom a torrid time.

    Unfortunately we had a lack of penertration up front untill Carlos Vella came on and showed the youngsters how.
    Maybe it could be pointed out that the game changed when Thomas got him self sent off for his stupid actions against Wilshire but i’m not so sure, i think the introduction of the three substitutes changed the game in our favour.
    Mark Randell played surprised me, i’ve never seen him play that well before i never thought he had it in him, a great chip from around twentyfive yards by Randell which came back of the bar and then walked into the net by the star of the show Vella.

    Nacer Bazerite this boy is a great player in the making, he reminds me of the great Robert Pires, i just hope he gets the oppertunity at the club, unfortnatley we have so many players who have the potential to become great players maybe even world class in some cases but we can’t keep them all!

    The Westbrom game was just what was required for the lads it bought them up to speed and now can go foreward in this competion without fear knowing that they put out the team at the top of the championship.

  12. Vela pulled it out of the hat one might say.
    I’ve watched the game “as live”, with the commentators Statler and Waldorf I guess from Sky (?), and saw a great game. WBA played also some nice stuff at times but I really think that playing with the first team we would have torned them to peaces.
    Like Jazbo said we lacked a bit of penetration up front but over all Watt had a decent game. Could have scored more and “Szczesnyxyzcsxzynz the Unpronouceable in goal” had a solid game. Only once he want swimming on a corner but for the rest some good saves on vicious low shots in the first half. Imho I think he is going to be better then Manone and maybe the making of a great keeper in a few years time. I also have seen him do good things in preseason in some games.
    Wilshere has grown up and he surely is not affraid of “big players”. He goes in to challenges without fear and is not affraid to give a knock back now and then.
    We stayed calm after the red card and didn’t rush our game so we showed some maturity.

    And on the ref…. can any one tell me when we are going to get another penalty ? Since the Eduardo incident the may kick us to peaces in the penalty box and nothing is giving in ouf favour ? Not that it made any difference yesterday, but this has to stop.

  13. Good game last nights for the kids (plus the oldies of Senderos (24!) and Silvestre – I’d love to know the average age of the match squad without them, but am too lazy to work it out!!)
    I was particularly impressed with Coquelin, i know Tony has mentioned him before, so it was good to see him in the flesh – and if he continues maturing and progressing we have a feisty tough central midfielder waiting in the wings.
    Gibbs was outstanding, as we knew from last season the lad is going to be a top class full back.
    Sanchez Watt worked hard, and finished for his goal well. Not the finished article yet, but you can see why Wenger has his eye on him!
    Wilshere and Ramsey in the middle are of course both quality. I felt Jack was a little off form last night, but that says more about the expectations on him than anything else. Ramsey looked mature and ready for anything.
    And the unpronouncable goalie? i had to laugh when the stadium announcer did the line-ups and did the usual thing of saying the first name of arsenal players and letting the crowd finish it. No-one near me knew how to pronounce his name at all. all I heard was a mumble of consonants “swyzcwhchxhhsw…” But he played very well. very well indeed. Its no surprise poland called him up to the squad for the world cup qualifiers recently.
    And I agree with jazbo that the real turning point was our substitutions. Randall looked classy. vela looked like a man among boys, and barazite showed enough to make us hope he gets some more chances to shine with us before he gets fed up and leaves for an inevitable post-arsenal career of failure, culminating in a red card the next time he appears in an opposition shirt at the home of great football and the future of the game! or something.

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