Which Arsenal reserves impressed you against Reading?

I was going to write “Which Arsenal youngsters” but we can hardly put Oxlade-Chamberlain, Giroud, Perez or Jenkinson in that bracket. Even Martinez and Elneny are 24 years old! So we can hardly say that we put out a youth team which we have done in previous years.

The Ox was certain to win the Man Of The Match after scoring in both halves, but what is your verdict on the rest of the team?

First of all let’s see Wenger’s opinion of the game. “It was a dynamic game between two teams who tried to play passing football and build up the game from the back.” Le Prof said. “For me, it was also good to see some young players who practise every day with a top team, and also give them a chance with the other players who needed competition. It was positive. It was an interesting game which we were able to win in a comfortable way in the second half.”

So which “youngsters” impressed him? “I felt that Rob Holding did well and also Ainsley Maitland-Niles, he did well. Jeff Reine-Adelaide did alright too.”

Carl Jenkinson returned from injury for his first start for Arsenal for two years. So what was Arsene’s verdict on his performance? “It’s fantastic to see him back. I don’t count him as a young player but he did well, he played 90 minutes and had no fitness problems at all. That means he’s prepared well physically. He’s played with the under-23s and we have had no problems with him physically at all.”

Although Alex Iwobi is a first team player, Wenger played him to see how he could operate in Ozil’s role, and Le Prof explained why. “You see, he is not a typical winger and I think he can play in that role. He turns the game forward, he passes the ball through the lines very well. He has a final ball in him. He is now a little bit, I think he has it all in the locker to pass and give the final ball. What you want from him now is the finishing, you know. That’s still a little part that is missing in his game. I think he is too nervous at the moment when he has the possibility to finish.”

So all in all it was a good performance by all. But the best thing was that we won well to give our reserves a little more confidence, and also to ensure that they will get another chance to do it again in the next round. Wenger just wants to keep everyone in the squad happy. “Look, if we stay in all the competitions, it’s not too difficult.” he concluded. “And that’s a positive of qualifying tonight. We have always targets and the players who, for example, we have three top class goalkeepers, because you see Emi Martinez as well. But as long as we are in this competition, he obviously gets his game so they have a focus, something to focus on.”

Although it was a convincing win, the player that impressed me the most was Martinez, who pulled off some brilliant saves when needed and kept us in the game.

Who impressed you the most?


  1. Juhislihis McLovin says:

    Jenkinson impressed me along with Maitland Niles. Jenko looked he wasn’t injured at all recently and was unlucky not to score right away!

    I thought Reine-Adelaide hold on to the ball way too much. There were times when a simple forward pass would’ve opened up the defense but he rather tried to show off fancy footwork. Didn’t like it.

    Elneny is still an enigma to me. Haven’t seen him perform a successful tackle yet..

    Anways OX is showing consistency now. 5 goals and 2 assists in 12 appearances is a great stat. Even 10-15 goals for him this season would be fantastic given that 4 goals was his record tally before yesterday.

    1. bayjerkoff says:


      Giroud might not be the best around but he’s very useful…ozil had just one assist at the 2014 world cup and one in 2016 euro, he had 9 assists for giroud last season….significant.

  2. Uzi Ozil says:

    @ Juhislihis McLovin, Well said..

    I like how you define Elneny. Good passer of the ball but he doesn’t win many tackles. He tries to be extra careful. He holds back. I like him but I feel he is holding something back. He need to unleash that extra bit of him.

    Nile was really good. He didn’t play Rb but was in the middle and impressed me like when he played RB

    Jekinson….Keep improving. Belerin is number one but competition will be good for them.

    Ox..more goals and assist. Well-done.

    1. Break-on-through says:

      Elneny is great at keeping his shape. He doesn’t sell himself he prefers to block the area where he doesn’t want the ball to go. More of an intercepter and a blocker than he is a slide tackler. Some managers tell their players to stay on their feet as much as possible unless it’s a certainty or a last resort. I used to hear often, he needs to stay on his feet, stay with the man and there isn’t too much he can do. Whereas if you slide in, your giving the player a chance that he can leave you in his rear view.

  3. Kostafi says:

    Was at the game last night, and the Ox looked a class above the opposition. Wenger should interchange him with Iwobi in the league to keep both on their toes and the youngster fresh. Emi Martinez was rarely called on but did make some fine saves- a stark contrast to going 4 goals down at half time the last time he faced Reading for Arsenal in the League Cup. Jenkinson had a good game and could have scored from the first attack I think it was. Gibbs had a solid game as did Elneny who did more marshalling and rallying of the players than the captain. AMN, JRA, and Zelalem are nowhere near the first team in my opinion, but Maitland-Niles is the closest.
    Ox and Gibbs are pushing for a place in the starting 11, while Jenkinson and Giroud look should make the PL bench. Holding (£2m) was excellent and makes Chambers (£16m) look a frivolous buy. I dont know if the TV cameras caught Gabriel getting wound up by a reading defender for a free kick and responding looking for a booking or worse. He needs to control that temper and show more of his Brazilian talents in getting the ball up the field in style.

  4. G-Rude says:

    Martinez was brilliant but he wont be getting in the first team soon barring injury.

  5. Break-on-through says:

    The ones you mentioned are the ones who stood out most, Id add Gibbs to that too. The one who impressed me most is Holding, I cant believe his composure at such a young age. A player as young as he is playing in CB will usually cause as many problems as they solve. He didn’t look young, between him and Gab you wouldn’t know which one of them was a youngster. He wasn’t too busy but what he had to do he done calmly. That’s not easy to do as he’s been out of the team for a while. Impressive stuff from the young Englishman.

  6. ruelando says:

    I actually think it is time we sell some of our youth talents and recruit some more players, it sound harsh but the reality is players in the under 23, 21 and 18 cannot improve themselves in these competitions, they need competitive competitions, Championship or league one even, where their growth will be seen over the season

  7. Arsenal007 says:

    I was really impressed with Maitland Niles.

  8. peter zhang says:

    Impressed with Holding,Martinez,Niles and Zelalem.

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