By Randy Osae
Arsenal’s cunning youth began another audacious Carling Cup campaign with an emphatic walk-in-the-park against Sheffield United.
Wenger’s choice of line-up featured the “ones for the future”. British-born youngsters like Ramsey, Gibbs, Wilshere, Randall and Hoyte tasted competitive atmosphere at the Emirates for the first time.
Left-footed duo Jack Wilshere and Carlos Vela were the remarkable ones though. The Englishman scored while the Mexican forward had a field day.
Proceedings were not conservative at all. The young guns stepped up from the start and created a few openings. Danny Webber also urged the visitors forward, but Fabianksi was there to deny as always.
After a slick passing move, Djourou was sent through by Bendtner, but the Swiss’ effort was quickly parried away by Paddy Kelly. Moments later, Wilshere also went close with a curling shot as Wenger’s youngsters mounted a surge for the lead. But the night’s main provider, Nicklas Bendtner, made an examplary finish after the half-hour mark.This time, Vela had assisted the Dane, who stroke with ease to the right-hand corner of the net – and simply 1-0 it was.
Just before half-time, Fabregas’ deputy, Aaron Ramsey fed a ball with a staggering back heel from the left to Nicklas Bendtner and the 20 year-old netted a second. Arsenal’s front pair exchanged works with Bendtner producing a little chip to a racing Vela who received it well and cooly finished – going into the dressing room, it was 3-0 and nearly done for the youngsters who were expected to lose ideas somehow against a decent Championship opposition.
After the restart, the young Gunners were within their trend again – even fullback Gibbs made his own try from long range. Gibbs then sent in a long pass to Vela who controlled it with precision and impressively chipped over the keeper. The Mexican starlet had finally announced himself in English football with an Eduardo-like composure infront of goal.
The party was introducing wonders for the “first-timers” and it got even better when 16 year-old Jack Wilshere with help from Merida’s inswinging corner drilled a low effort from 22 yards out to register the most memorable moment in his career so far.
That was not not a record setter though. Cesc Fabregas, by just over a month, remains Arsenal’s youngest ever scorer at 16 years 212 days with his goal against Wolves in December 2003. But Wilshere knows what to cherish.
Nicklas Bendtner made a last try for a hat trick before being replaced by Jay Simpson. Alex Song’s injury niggle meant Lansbury made a cameo appearance with Merida also paving way for Coquelin.
The actual treble-man was Vela. He stroke off Ramsey’s pass two minutes from time and completed a magnificent night. Who knows?, the boys might be the first to reward that three-year patience for silverware after all.