Bischoff and Coquelin – both played for about an hour in the reserve game vs Stoke City – Bischoff went off first after around 55 minutes – presumably a sensible precaution for a guy who hasn’t played for a year or whatever it is. Coquelin: I don’t know why he went off – but we won 3-2.
Both midfielders were really good. First half we were knocked around a bit, second half we did one of those 30 passes in a row things. Didn’t actually get us anywhere, but it shows the kids are getting the hang of things.
If you don’t go to reserve games (and I must admit I go rarely, because of the distance involved) what you get is this. Think of Arsenal v Sheffield U in the Diddly Cup thing that the Tiny Totts won last year. Our youngsters out there, but without our reserve goalkeeper, and people like Vela, Merida and Bendtner. Take those out of the equation, and then take out all the really good next level players who are out of loan, and you have a younger less experienced version of that side.
In short it is our third team plus a few who need a run out or are coming back from injury.
Silvestre was there, but otherwise is was teenagers all the way. The opposition tend to play the guys who will come into the first team if there are any injuries. And my guess is they utterly hate being given the run around by a bunch of teenagers. So there’s the pushing, shoving, some slippery tackles (not as many as a league match but don’t believe the people who tell you that reserve football is tackle free).
Wilshere didn’t seem to me to do much in the first half, but was back to proper form in the second half – as were most of the team. But it was the central midfielders who took my eye. OK, what do I know? But for what it is worth there was more toBischoff and Coquelin than anyone else apart from ‘oor Jack (as they used to say ‘tup norf).
So maybe, just maybe, that’s the production line – along with Cesc II in Fran Merida of course, who as I say, wasn’t playing.
Oh and Sunu looked good – he only came on as a sub and the game was losing its shape a bit – especially after Stoke had a guy sent off for two strong challenges – but he seemed to stand out in that last period of the game.
Watching them brings me back to an earlier thought – we need another league. A league in which we have a team that plays competitive matches and uses the players we put out on loan, plus the best of this lot. Imagine that team playing in League One for example I’d go and watch them every time I couldn’t get to an Arsenal match.
And during International Week.
Meanwhile – no football for 13 days. That’s no way to run an industry.
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