By Richard Clarke
Arsène Wenger may name the youngest first-team side in Arsenal’s history for the Carling Cup tie against Sheffield United on Tuesday.
It is now normal for the Frenchman to send out youngsters in this competition however, against the Blades, Alex Song (21), Nicklas Bendtner (20), Johan Djourou (21) and Lukasz Fabianski (23) are likely to be the ‘old heads’.
Wenger intends the field to include a raft of 17, 18 and 19-year-olds. Rising star Jack Wilshere, age 16 years 266 days, is likely to start his first competitive game for the Club. But he may not be the youngest Arsenal player on show. Speaking to Arsenal TV Online on Monday, Wenger suggested he may include first-year scholar Emmanuel Frimpong. He is a full nine days younger than Wilshere.
“There is a possibility [it will be the youngest side ever],” said Wenger. “In the first team there are many players around 20. In the Carling Cup we will keep a few in there but the side will be more between 16 and 19. At Arsenal you can say 20 and 21-year-olds are the experienced players.
“You are likely to see Gavin Hoyte, Abu Ogogu, Aaron Ramsey, Mark Randall, Jack Wilshere, Fran Merida and Carlos Vela. Maybe Bendtner will play. Song, Djourou and Lukasz Fabianski will be the experienced players. But you will have players like Emmanuel Frimpong and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas so it will be a very young side.”
Arsenal TV Online subscribers will be able to see the full interview on Tuesday morning where Wenger talks about:
- The win at Bolton
- Staying top of the table
- Kevin Davies’ tackle and Gael Clichy’s injury
- The buzz of the Carling Cup
- Jack Wilshere bursting on to the scene
- His admiration of Carlos Vela
- The Big Four in the Carling Cup