League cup: Sheffield Wednesday – Arsenal 3-0: The kids still need a lot of bacon.

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.

34 Replies to “League cup: Sheffield Wednesday – Arsenal 3-0: The kids still need a lot of bacon.”

  1. Its not the kids that needed bacon, they were fine, its the seniors that needed a kick up their arse. They were shambolic

  2. Just hope those injuries…were…precautions. Wilshere, Ramsey, Wellbeck, Ox, Theo…ok Rosicky and Arteta…..but is there some sort of English disease going on there?
    Good point about the best of the kids being out on loan already to get experience for games like this, didn’t see a Bellerin or Coq. In the making….or not yet anyway, but at this level, that would be expecting too much.
    Glad to be out of this competition, it is a curse these days,and really hope Ox and Theo are ok, as we are getting down to bare bones in some areas.

  3. I see people getting angry with Arsenal tonight, tbh I couldnt give a flying f***, I’m just glad we rested the players who needed resting and now we are ready to go against Swansea and Bayern.

    Who actually cares about the Capital One Cup?

    (was is amusing is Chelsea fielded their strongest team against Stoke, it kinda shows how desperate they are atm, its reassuring for Arsenal fans)

  4. Not easy for some rusty seniors trying to play into form when playing with so many kids. An Ox or Theo would have made a big difference in that game, Giroud could have got service, and they would have been more wary of countering at will, hence giving Per an easier job.
    Just one of those games, nobody covered in glory, but not important enough to apportion blame.
    And yet another shit ref.

  5. Walter, I’m a bit surprised by your report. I thought Kamara, Iwobi and Bielik were all reasonable. Yes they mis-placed the odd pass but they didn’t do much badly. Bennacer was very quiet and Iwobi was in and out, but that’s what happens with wingers and kids.
    Although I was concerned by the lack of much creative midfield, I hoped Ox could drive the game forward and make things happen, but he left too soon to know if that would work and we didn’t have a replacement. In my opinion it was the fringe 1st team players that looked slow and disinterested.

  6. In a way I had hoped for Chelsea to go further. They also will be able to take a bit of rest when the next round is played. So I hope the rest of the top 4 goes to the next round… hopefully after extra time and penalties 😉

  7. I had the impression hat Giroud clearly was only thinking about not getting injured. And can’t blame him to be honest…

  8. Wise words Mandy!

    Good report Walter. Your feeling about the youngsters coincides with Arsene Wenger’s closing remarks – not ready to play at this level.

    Fingers crossed for Theo and the Ox. We’re running short on midfielders.

  9. What I don’t get is…

    How the f”’ could we lose our first three options for the right wing in a week?!

    How the f”’ most of our injured players are members of our British core?!

  10. I would well imagine that is true about Giroud doing his best to avoid injury.
    As for Chelsea, heard Costa was injured, they played a lot of first teamers, have gone out in a long, physical game, may not bode well for this weekend.
    But I repeat, we are well out of this. If we had gone through, a likely physical battle would have awaited
    Let the kids develop in the under 21s, let the fringe players get game time on rotation and be ready when called upon, as they will be , and let theo and Ox recover quickly.

  11. My brother who mainly supports his now local club Wimbledon these days (due to despair at the money and greed in the Premiership – ironical given he is an investment banker) only ever reverts back to being Arsenal fan when we lose.

    Not in a bad way but because he seems to enjoy getting depressed when we lose more than he does getting happy when we win. When I asked him this evening why that was he said he was a “foul weather supporter”.

    I liked that a lot more than the AAA / AKB name calling.

  12. Not sure regarding the British core Josif…..but it is either coincidence, or some issue. Our medical and fitness facilities are advancing, Shad and others have arrived. Maybe these players are suffering the effects of a fitness regime less efficient then it is now, OR AND maybe they are the ones that have been around long enough to suffer from the lack of ref protection that has hit so many of our players. With the treatment the likes of Rambo , theo and Jack have received, much of it unpunished, their current predicament is not completely surprising.

  13. Just saw the Costa incident. He was elbowed in the ribs by Charlie Adams. Red card offence but not for PGMO. Maureen has to suffer them also. Who said what goes round comes round?

    Josif – don’t be so critical. There are injuries & concerns. I think our boys had concerns tonight not injuries.

  14. the kids put in a decent shift tbh, especially Bielik in his brief cameo
    a full u21 team might have done better

  15. We have a number of loanees out at the moment that could greatly benefit from playing in the standard that we played tonight. Iwobi and Bielek look that they may have a chance to progress but need to physically step up. The gap between reserve which really means youth football and the first team is too wide . Tonight these kids showed themselves to be capable players out of their depth and after The Ox and Theo went off too lightweight to fully influence the game. It’s not their fault,but the blame rests with the F.A for not insisting in either a proper reserve league or else allowing clubs to play their reserves in the lower leagues to allow kids to continue their development within the structure of their own clubs.

  16. Walter & Tony…….I believe we have found the perfect acronym for the aaa: foul-weather supporters! Thanks SheWoreAyellowRibbon for that great and insightful nom de plume for the most loyal of UA Gooners and all-weather supporters for most AFC supporters. The darker cluster of our aaa plastic fanboys fill the fair-weather supporters description perfectly.
    The game had the Football and entertainment value of a friendly, pre-season exhibition match where Wenger could trial some youngsters and offer some beach-boys a run out…..that was it….hardly worth the effort and as everyone suggests, a welcome loss to help us avoid further injuries to first team players. If memory serves me well we used to field an almost entirely youth team with one or two experienced players to round out the numbers. Why do we even bother to enter this ‘Cup’ or is this another archaic rule for EPL teams?

  17. A disappointing night. Our game plan was wrecked by the two injuries, after which we were not really good enough.

    Some strange refereeing – just the usual on that score!

  18. Opps, here is the proper attribution:

    Foul-weather supporters = UA supporters who are loyal regardless of results
    All-weather supporters = most AFC supporters
    Fair-weather supporters = aaa plastic fanboys who only accept wins

  19. Pat,
    Although the kids clearly don’t have the consistency to play at this level, I think AWs comments are more about protecting the fringe players. He can’t say Debuchy or Gibbs etc aren’t up to it when an injury to Bellerin or Monreal etc in training could mean we need them for the next game. Especially as we know they’re good enough but need to gain some confidence to get back to a real first team level.
    Debuchy started to show in the last quarter and Gibbs best game this season was for the national team, but they’re still nowhere near the level we’ve seen them at in prior seasons.

  20. Am I the only one that thinks that kit looks terrible?

    It looks like a Wigan or Everton 3 kit, not an Arsenal kit as all.

  21. Good summary of the match Walter! I agree that if we had to lose, this was the competition to do it in.

    A couple things I noticed throughout the match was that the players seemed unable to get up for this game and match the aggression of the Wednesday players, which I think is a bit of a concern. The fringe players should be trying to take every chance they get to push the regular 11 which may have factored in their poor play.

    The other thought I had when watching was that Chambers and Mertesacker have similar styles at CB, reading the game vs the aggressive styles of Koscielny and Gabriel. The different styles are what make the Koscielny-Mertesacker partnership so successful, so perhaps that should be something to consider for future matches (i.e. Chambers replaces Per, Gabriel replaces Koscielny). Similar to the debate we had last year on the best FB pairing (not both aggressive (Gibbs + Bellerin), but a mix (Nacho/Bellerin vs Gibbs/Debuchy).

  22. Well played AW. Taking no chances with the players.

    I do not like this cup, because this is where we usually get some injuries. These teams tend to be very physical and if you are not playing that way, we get hurt.

    Good riddance to the League Cup.

    We should remove PL teams from this competition. Yes, yes yes.

  23. Some of the youngsters were quite inexperienced and the midfield was over run. Did like Bielik’s contribution though . Hope that the injuries are not too bad.

  24. @Menace- I hope you’re right. I’m not being critical but frustrated. And, if there is a criticism, it is aimed at the youth coaches in England.

    Wilshere, Welbeck, Rambo, Theo, Ox, don’t forget all that time Gibbs had spent on the sidelines…and you can add Sturridge and Carrick from other clubs. I don’t know if the basic elements of physical development were done properly. I think it is that part of lack of coaches in England and poor treatment of grass-roots football in England that is the main reason for these troubles.

  25. I thought Campbell worked hard, and Iwobi will be a very good player. But they’re the only two positives from the entire night I can see, unfortunately (other than being out of the competition).
    That 2-footed lunge by Hutchinson was a disgrace, who does that to a kid?! Iwobi is lucky to get away without a serious injury, and Hutchinson with just a yellow. Even the Sky Sports co-commentator claimed he should have been sent off.
    That really would have changed the complexion of the game, as would’ve Giroud’s early chance that was stolen from him by the linesman.
    I was particularly disappointed by Flamini. I’ve defended him in the past, but he really went missing yesterday and his passing was terrible. He must have had 3 or 4 simple sideways passes that went straight to Wednesday players who were then able to run at our central defenders. I thought at the start of the game the lads were just taking time to get into a rhythm, but Flamini seemed to be running into positions where it wasn’t safe to pass him the ball, throwing off young Kamara (as well as everyone else) who was clearly meant to be depending on him in that midfield.
    All in all, a terrible night. Bring on the next one!

  26. I must say that Bielik made me think of the young Cesc when he came on. Arsenal looked a lot better then but the 2nd string players did not look like they were up for this match. I was looking for Flamini when the 1st goal was scored and found he was next to the scorer. But I did not see an effort to try and get to the ball first. It explains a lot as to why some players lose their places in the first team.

  27. @Andy Mack,
    I join you in expressing horror at the Arsenal away-kit last night.
    It looked as though the shorts and shirts were each from a different kit, hastily put on in a last minute rush. 😉

  28. Was it Arsenal that played against Sheffield Wednesday last night? The kit was nondescript just as their play was. As Arsene said “… a bad day at the office…”. That match is best forgotten as one those that should be wiped out of the ‘hard disk’. Good experience for the kids though.

  29. First off congratulations to SW for sticking to their game plan, they defended and counter well. Our team after the two injuries look like a 2nd tier friendly-type squad playing against a full strength Championship team, so I’m not really surprise of the lost. Although, I think this competition is not top priority but I was hoping we would win so the kids can have more exposure to high level competitive games.
    Let’s hope the injury to theo and ox is not serious.

  30. I’m getting fed-up with telling Gibbs he must learn to use his right boot, because he takes no notice of me.
    Against the Wednesday, he joined in the attack, was passed the ball on to his right side, had to get the ball on to his left boot by which time he was facing his own defence which caused him to release the ball AWAY from the direction of the attack.
    He’s got to learn if he wants to succeed. 😉

  31. Cutting inside ,we do a lot of it . We are a team blessed with pace but rarely use it . Going back to Stan Matthews that was his game , at one time the best player in the world . He played push and run , he was fast over 5 yards . From where I stand I see yards of grass and our players are rapid over 20 – 30 yards but rarely take their fullbacks on and prefer to come inside and pass square.

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