The Carling Cup Kids
By now we all know that Arsene Wenger uses the carling cup to test some young blood, and this will continue when Arsenal meet West Brom at the Emirates.
This will by no means be an easy match for the young guns, as WBA have been in good form in the championship, and meet the gunners full of confidence having thrashed Boro 5-0 over the weekend.
Here I will preview what I think should be the Arsenal team, but of course it goes without saying that it probably won't be.
Goalkeeper- Wojciech Szczesny
Firstly, if you're wondering why the picture is of Arsene Wenger, then its because there are no current pictures of Szczesny.
That is how unkwown he is. But he is definately a great talent. Standing at around 6'3, he is a huge presence, much bigger than Mannone and Fabianski. Although Mannone has been given the nod recently, it is widely known around Arsenal that Szczesny is going to be the better of the two, but as Mannone is 21 he has been given the nod ahead of the 19yr old keeper. He has great reflexes and reactions, and is very agile. But as he is only 19, he is yet to command his box properly and his kicking must improve, but he has plenty of time
RB- Kerrea Gilbert
Returning from several loan spells, this is the make or break season for Kerrea Gilbert. You may remember he had an extended run in the first team in the 2005-2006 season, but injury ended this spell. Since then he has not returned to the team, and his attitude and commitment has been questioned. At 22, now is the time for Gilbert to step up, but so far this year he has played well for the reserves, just as he did in his run in the first team.
LB- Kieran Gibbs
This would have been a very difficult decision had it not been that Armand Traore sustained an injury in the reserves. Gibbs is a arsenal type full back, in the same mould as Ashley Cole and Gael Clichy and he will be looking to impress.
CB- Kyle Bartley
Kyle Bartley is only 18 years old, but he has been made captain of the second string. He has impressed since he made the move down from Bolton. Standing at just under 6'3 he has a great presence and dominates in the air. He is held in very high esteem around Arsenal.
CB- Mikael Silvestre/Phillipe Senderos
This was quite tough, and I think that if Arsenal do progress, then Phillipe Senderos will definately come into the side in place of him, but I honestly do not know if Senderos is fit enough to play on Tuesday. If he is then he would probably start.
DMF- Francis Coquelin
Francis Coquelin arrived at Arsenal at the beggining of last years season, and has been hugely impressive since his move, forming a great partnership in the centre of midfield with Emmanuel Frimpong, who is unfortunately not fully match fit, meaning he might not be fit enough. Coquelin is good at breaking up the play and distributing the ball.
LCM- Aaron Ramsey
Aaron Ramsey will most probably continue with his rapid development at Arsenal by continiung his run in the Carling Cup. A great passer of the ball with good engine, Ramsey certainly looks like he could be a great player for Arsenal.
RCM- Jack Wilshere
Probably not his best position, but he would play in the more free role out of the three midfielders, like Diaby/Eboue. Although we shouldn't get ahead of oursleves, it is extremely hard not to when Wilshere performs as well as he does at only 17 years old. Could well be an Arsenal great.
LW- Sanchez Watt
If you dont know, Watt is the one on the right of the three. A virtual unknown to even the most loyal Arsenal fan up untill the semi's of the youth cup final, he really broke onto the scene, but he has continued to rise, and was in the Champions League squad that travelled to Belgium. He is very industrious, works hard and finishes well. He is able to play anywhere on the front line. One to watch out for.
RW- Tomas Rosicky (Captain)
Probably further up the pitch than he would like, it would be interchangable with Wilshere. He has looked good since his return after the 20 month lay off due to injury. He is match fit, but I feel it would be a good idea to give him some more playing time. Would captain the side if he plays.
ST- Gilles Sunu
Isn't the biggest but is very quick and strong. He is a hard working player who can do a job in a number of positions. He would most likely play striker, but could easily swap with Sanchez Watt. He runs all day long and is a good finisher. Out of all the players who I have started with, his inclusion is probably the least likely.
Sub 1 GK- Vito Mannone-
Sub 2 RB/CB- Gavin Hoyte
Sub 3- CB- Phillipe Senderos/Mikael Silvestre
Sub 4- CM Mark Randall
Sub 5- Nacer Barazite
Sub 6- Fran Merida
Sub 7 - Niklas Bendnter
Off all these subs, Merida is most likely to start, while Mark Randall in my opinion has no long term future at the club. Barazite could also start, while Bendnter and Silvestre/Senderos provide experienced cover if needed. Mannone would most likely come back into the starting team if Almunia and Fabianski are still unavailable by the weekend.
Carlos Vela- he has not been involved at all yet this season after being battered and bruised while playing for Mexico
Theo Walcott- On the return from injury but is unlikely to be risked.
Jay Emmanuel Thomas
I feel that Arsenal's young guns should be able to see of West Brom, but it will be tough. I'm going for 3-1 as I feel that the Arsenal attack will be very good, but I see West Brom snatching a goal.