Saturday, June 15, 2024

Reading thriller provides mixed night for youngsters

Even now, well over 48 hours on from the event, Tuesday night’s events at the Madejski Stadium remain difficult to make sense of.

The 7-5 victory over Reading in the Capital One Cup must have been particularly incomprehensible for the younger players who were involved in the fixture despite being on the fringes of the first-team squad, and, for many of them, it was a rather mixed night with the performance levels of the majority of the side suddenly experiencing a dramatic increase midway through the second half of normal time.

Goalkeeper Damian Martinez, who was making just his second senior appearance for the club, will not look back on the night with any fondness, though. In fact, had it not been for the seemingly improbable scoreline, the Argentine could be said to have had a night to forget, as he conceded five goals, making a significant contribution himself to the concession of Reading’s third as he palmed Mikele Leigertwood’s strike into his own goal. Shambolic defending did of course play a significant part in proceedings, but Martinez was just as culpable for the majority of the goals and his performance emphasised why he hasn’t been selected in the Premier League despite Vito Mannone’s poor form of late.

At just 20 years old, Martinez has much time on his side, but he also learnt the hard way during his one-game loan spell with Oxford United at the end of last season as he conceded three poor goals. He has many strengths, though, such as his superb reflexes, a monstrous goal-kick and, usually, Tuesday night’s game not withstanding, a calm persona when in goal. It is suspected that he will be seeking to impress more than most if he is called upon against Bradford in the Quarter-Finals.

In contrast, midfielder Thomas Eisfeld, who came on for his debut in the second half, caught the eye with his passing and direct running and, in some quarters, was praised for helping to swing the game in Arsenal’s favour alongside fellow substitute Olivier Giroud. Now over the injury problems that dogged him during his first six months in North London, Eisfeld looks ready for senior action of some kind, although a loan spell is likely to be in the offing before any first-team breakthrough is made.

Eisfeld’s compatriot Serge Gnabry failed to make a sustained impression, save for a couple of efforts on goal, and, like Liverpool’s prodigiously talented winger Raheem Sterling is beginning to discover, it becomes increasingly difficult to make a sustained impact once the opposition is aware of your qualities. Gnabry can look forward to plenty more first-team action this campaign, particularly if Theo Walcott, Arsenal’s hat-trick hero against Reading, departs in January.

There was also a debut on Tuesday for diminutive left-back Jernade Meade. A player who twice came close to being released by the club in recent seasons, Meade has been one of the star turns at U21 and Reserve level over the past couple of campaigns, impressing with his composure on the ball allied with his technical awareness. However, further improvement will probably be needed if he is to make the breakthrough in the long-term, with Arsene Wenger keen to promote 16 year old scholar Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill, also a left-back, as quickly as possible.


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Cool as Eis 😀


Don’t think many of us noted Meade’s performance… he was full of tricks n running. He even delivered 2-3 good crosses . Hoping to see more of him.


Yep, he could just be the remeady for Arsenals LB problem.


I’ve seen him quite a lot in the last couple of years in reserve games, and while he hasn’t been Ronaldo-like espectaularrrr, he’s always shown competence and consistency in defence. This leap into the first XI shows that the club have confidence in him to make the last step – what he needs now with the style of fullbacking Arsenal employ is the confidence and even cockiness to be able to do attacking work. With another couple of years of graft, he could be a new Ashley Cole. Hopefully without the part where he’s a completel bellend.

A N Other

Eisfield could be new Wilshere.

Runcorn Gooner

He certainally looked the part.
Felt sorry for Martinez as it was a shambles in front of him in the first half.
PS Kos seems to make a habit of slicing the ball into his own net at the near post

steve boulds hairdresser

how about giving shea a game instead of martinez against bradford? it will give another young keeper a chance and hopefully motivate martinez to impress during his next opportunity…


I dont think so, Thats a very important game, I think Manoone would start that match considering Szczesny would be back in a week. We can’t take any opponents lightly in Quarer-Finals.

Irfan Ahmed

shea may be behind martinez in terms of development….you can’t judge martinez on one performance…i know he was culpable for the third goal…but he seems assured…we as fans only get to see these players play in the COC and form not only opinions but management decisions? really just enjoy the fucking win..if they feel shea is better than martinez they would probably play him ahead of martinez anyway…


I know he could have done better on the 3rd goal, but was I the only person that saw the deflection change the angle on that shot?

Mohd Isa

Clattenburgh caused Chelsea to lose the game againstMu. For tomorrow’s game, don’t be surprised crucial decisions go against the gunners ie a legitimate penaltyappeal turnd down, agunner rc fora 50/50 challenge,etc. In fact all gunners fans can think of a thousand and one scenarios.
The gunners will be underdogs.But I hope Wenger can park the bus and hit on the counter. Please be careful of the hdl.

Big Chief from Antarctica

Park the bus? No.

If there is one thing I love about Arsenal in comparison with other clubs, it’s that we have a fine reputation of playing the Arsenal way against everyone. All the way. (Although there was a game, just a few weeks ago, we won ugly). If we can play beautiful football against Barcelona and fucking win, then hell no to the Manc cunts. Bring them on and let’s win.

It’s time to send Fergie to the north pole. Effing Rudolph.


umm, I think we parked the bus at the camp nou, big time


Park the bus? Arsene? Is this your first rodeo mate?


I really do not understand why Gnabry is being pushed so much in preference to Eisfeld, who is the far better player and has shown it on more than one occasion.


Perhaps coz walcott is being such a stubborn kid. Gnabry is a winger and right now wenger wants to be ready for an unavoidable “life after walcott”, (hope we keep him though)… in midfied we have plenty of options unlike the wing, so no need to hurry Eisfeld into the fold.


Because they’re played in different positions. And it’s by no means clear which one is the better player.


Park the bus? Are you serious, we haven’t done that since 2005 when we beat Manure in the FA cup final! As there will be no penalties tomorrow and we aleady find ourselves playing catchup in the title race, I suspect we will have a positive style tomorrow. Come on you gunners!

Big Chief from Antarctica

Great minds think alike. Top Gooner.


Thank fuck park has left. That cunt specialised in scoring against us.

Podolski's left leg

My prefered selection would be; Manone, Sagnya, Per, Vermalaen, Santos, Arteta, Wilshere, Carzola, Walcott,Giroud,Podolski. Santos should stay back and concentrate on his primary role on the pitch. ”Defend”. If those whose name must not be mentioned can do it, so can we. A win is possible. COYGs..


I would prefer vermaelen koscielny jenkinson sagna meade or coquelin over santos for left back. other than that u have the best available team on the field. my personal choice would be tv5 at left back with kos coming in. I am a strong believer that against the top sides you should field the best x1 wherever possible. unfortunately the likes of fabianski squillaci santos arshavin dont even make my 2nd best x1 especially in my favoured 4132 formation in which i think our players would thrive. as for gnabry i am not so sure wenger sees him as a… Read more »


Manure are strongest on there right wing, The crosses from Valencia are really threatening, I think we stop that we’ll have more chances to win. Our worst part tomorrow would be the left back with santos who has been poor for us. Lets hope he doesn’t even cross the half line and we play deep tomorrow defending like we use to in the beginning of the season. I do not see much changes in the current line up, it should be the same as last weekend. Walcott just came back from injury and gave a lot against reading so I… Read more »

Dial Square

What ever do you mean??? As soon as the old drunk sees Frimpong warming up he’ll have the dutch cunt of the pitch and in bubble wrap!!!!!!


@Etid, put the controller down mate. That was possibly the worst post I’ve ever read. And that includes the one above about parking the bus. You’re favoured formation? Hahaha

Dial Square

Ref bad posts,seems to be quite common on here lately, i guess that’s what you get when most people on here are 15 or under, and if you dare critisize the team you get slaughtered, so much for common sense and indepth football discussion…


All things considered, Martinez made some really good saves at points in this game, especially late on when we could’ve lost it all (again). The kid had a night to forget, no doubt, but I saw some definite signs of encouragement, albeit if they came in rather spindly flashes. Still, he’s young, talented, and one of Arse!

As for Eisfeld, I really don’t see how he won’t become a major star. Pretty much everything he has done for us at every level thus far has had some sort of majestic quality to it.


not every player as to go on loan!! i think eisfeld will be a regular in the cups from now, i dont really see what a loan will do for him, must of are players who go on loan just spend there time on the bench!!

[…] 周二获得一队处子秀的还有小巧玲珑的左边后卫米德(Jernade Meade),尽管前几个赛季他曾经两次差点被球队解约,不过米德在最近两个赛季已经成长为U21和预备队中的一名新星,比赛中他持球时的镇定以及他的战术意识令人印象深刻。不过他要是想进一步获得长期机会,还需要有更好的表现,因为温格打算尽快提拔16岁的学徒生左边后卫奥尔蒙德-奥特维尔(Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill)。 来源:[Arseblog News] […]

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