There is one reason to envy fans of the so called bigger teams. They get reserve games broadcasted!
A fairly senior West Ham XI played a young Arsenal reserve line and won with an only goal beautifully volleyed by Junior Stanislas, converting an equally brilliant Lopez cross.
I can't say I was surprised by much in this game. The ones closest to a starting position showed why they are, meaning that Collins, Davenport, LBM, Mullins and Sears had decent games. Their attitude was great and in the first half Sears looked very good.
Zola and Clarke were there to watch and that might have been inspiring.
However, of all the players I think Lopez stood out as the one too good for this game. very active in the offence and still performed well defensively.
Mullins was Mullins, holding the area in front of the back 4 relatively clean but was also found out quite a few times.
In this kind of game with the mix of players you get, some confusion is inevitable.
Collison suffered from this I think and was mixing great stuff with, let's say less great things.
Davenport and Collins played in the center of defence. I wasn't overly impressed by any of them. On several occasions in the second half they looked quite confused. I was hoping for a rock solid appearance from these 2 and maybe this was the biggest "surprise" to me.
But again, to play in this kind of team against this kind of opposition is probably much less predictable and may in some ways be harder (but obviously in some ways easier).
I did enjoy watching Stanislas, Sears and Reid. There is a lot of potential in these boys, that's obvious. It's hard for me to predict how Stanislas and Reid will perform against men but they both seem physically ready. It's a shame we're out of the League Cup, were they could be hardened.
Young Spence on the right back did very well. He is so calm and confident on the ball. It's a pleasure to watch him play. Quite good going forward as well.
One last thing - were was Tristan? How do we interpret the fact that he doesn't make the bench for the reserves?