Arsenal’s kids, misfits and subs earn Gold Star in Belgrade

Arsene Wenger has been adamant that he wants his Arsenal team to concentrate on the Premier League this season, and he has confirmed that by playing weaker and weaker sides in our three Europa League games so far. It may have been a little risky but our makeshift sides have done him proud by winning all three and practically assuring that we go through the Group Stages with ease.

It has certainly given our kids and reserves a chance to gain valuable experience in front of big crowds, and a massive 50,000 welcome in the Stadion Rajko Mitić made it a real test of nerves. But they held off a team that has lost just one League game in their League in the last year and were unbeaten in their 5 previous Europa League games this year. But our kids, in the form of Reiss Nelsen, Chris Willock and Maitland-Niles impressed everyone, including Arsene Wenger, who said afterwards: “I agree with you not only in their performance, but they showed character as well, it’s not easy to express yourself at 18 years of age. To play in such a heated atmosphere shows how much resilience to stress [they have], which is an important quality at our level.”

And some peripheral players like Debuchy, El Neny, Giroud, Holding, Coquelin, Walcott and Wilshere all played admirably to try and stake a claim back in the first team. Wenger was especially pleased with Debuchy’s return: “I am pleased for him because he survived 90 minutes without any setback, he had only played one half in the under-23s on Monday night and overall he had a positive performance for someone who has been out for such a long time.”

And our ex-wonderkid Jack Wilshere stepped up again and earned our Man Of The Match award, and according to Wenger he will now get more first team chances. “He will get a chance in the Premier League, don’t worry about that. I think at the moment it’s going like that. He got a big kick in the first half on his ankle but he managed to get through the 90 minutes and games of that intensity will, of course, help him a lot.”

So it was a positive night for our second string squad, and after winning our first three they can carry on for our last three Group games, while our A-Team tries to get back on track in the League. Without an away win so far, our trip to Everton this weekend is now of the utmost importance. Come on you Gunners!

Sam P


  1. We cant win europa(fact).some team will come from CL to win it. we r behind 5 teams in epl. ppl need to stop celebrating a win againest some unknown teams in europa

  2. The first few games of the Europa League would be a good competitition for the fringe players and the youngsters to learn and prepare themselves for the tougher competitions. But it would get harder in the later stage of the Europa League.

    Arsenal would get whacked in that advanced stage, if they still have not changed their system. The formation change only masked the real problems and new amunition would definitely be needed in January.

  3. Wenger plays fringe players in the EL because he wants to concentrate on Premier League.

    He concentrates on PL and yet, we are down to 3 defeats already with zero wins in 4 away matches.

    What happens to us when he doesnt concentrate?

  4. If he put that team out in the league cup against a lower league team it might not have won. That goes to show the poor quality of opposition in this competition. If this is how he judges himself he might as well go and manage a league 2 team.

  5. Wenger needs to dump some of his league selections, because they have been awful. Start playing the likes of Xhaka, and Ozil in Europe, and Wilshere in the league.

    1. That’s a really good idea
      Wilshere is a harder worker and will do a better job than Ozil is doing in PL. Ozil should do a bit better in Europa and league cup

      I’m all for giving Wilshere a start over Ozil

  6. “… all played admirably” – I burst out laughing… you owe me a new computer monitor because mine is covered in coffee that I spat on it. Perhaps you were watching a different game? The one I did was the worst football I’ve seen in years. Credit to Giroud for scoring a wonder goal but prior to that he didn’t exactly do all that much. I’m not a Wilshere fan by any means but he was probably the only one who actually played the game of football. The rest were absolutely horrible.

  7. Have to take the positives where we can these days. Here’s one: a guy who wants to play for the shirt, works his socks off and deserves more credit for playing with great credit completely out of position: Mohammed Elneny. Give me the like of him any day over spoilt, overpaid ‘superstars’.

  8. The so called big stars cant win against Watford, what a disgrace. Give the fringe players a chance because they can do the job. Wenger should just chop Ozil, Ramsey, Xhaka, and Giroud from first team.
    Include Wilshere, Elnerny, and Walcott

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