An Arsenal side only waking up when they go behind...haven't we heard that sort of scenario before?
Of course, last night's victory over Huddersfield for the Herbert Chapman Trophy was little more than a Carling Cup simulation for the young Guns, but there were still some aspects which would have given Arsene Wenger food for thought.
Jay Simpson was League One PFA Player of the Year last season and whenever he has come on, he has exhibited a combination of determination and an eye for goal that could be useful to the Gunners. It was Simpson’s pass that led to Sanchez Watt cancelling out James Berrett’s opener for Huddersfield.
I fear that his fringe role in the higher profile friendlies suggests that Wenger does not think he has what it takes to reach the top – and I hope the forward is given the chance to prove his manager wrong if that is the case.
Nacer Barazite is another player who looks to have the potential to press for first-team inclusion – and his cameo performance at Blackburn in the Carling Cup last season before dislocating his shoulder suggests he has a future at the top level.
The Dutchman’s fortuitous winner was probably more than the Gunners deserved, but as Wenger said afterwards, this is a steep learning curve for his young charges: “It was a good test for our young players and they needed to be patient. It convinces them that they can come back and they don’t need to panic.”
One young player who did impress was Kieran Gibbs. A left winger for much of his career, Wenger has used him at the back, perhaps mindful that Armand Traore is being groomed to play a forward role rather than at the back. He hardly put a foot wrong all night and I hope, despite his disappointingly under-used spell at Norwich, he proves his worth this season.
Surprisingly, it was the more senior of the young players who struggled to make the impact we might have expected.
Theo Walcott and Carlos Vela had a few hopeful efforts but failed to tear apart the Terriers defence in the manner we know they are capable of. Jack Wilshere also struggled to impose himself on the game but that may well be a good thing - tempering some of the 'world-beater' accolades he has already attracted.
Anyway, I suspect fatigue played a part in the performances of all three.
Although some of the comments we received last night said the contrary, I was disappointed with Aaron Ramsey’s performance as well. He gave the ball away all too often and some of the pinpoint passing I have been so impressed with since he first appeared at Barnet had deserted him.
Still, early days in the season and the most important thing was for the team to come away unscathed and getting sharper for the start of the season proper. Wenger should congratulate himself and his team for the production line of young talent we have coming through.
The night was to celebrate Huddersfield Town’s centenary celebrations and the man who led both sides to title glory – one Herbert Chapman.
Arsenal would not be where they are today without the springboard Chapman gave to the club in the 1930s and, despite the incredible on and off-field contribution Wenger has also made in North London, the current manager was in no doubt about the impact Chapman had made at Arsenal.
Wenger added: “For me he is the biggest legend at the club and certainly the most influential manager the club has had.
“It’s good that people like Herbert Chapman are not forgotten and that the club shows always some remembrance and some respect for what he has done for the club.”
In years to come, Wenger may come to realise that us Gooners believe he has been just as important to Arsenal as Chapman, transforming the club, the training ground and overseeing much of the stadium development while winning trophies on a regular basis.
Until then, watching his young players dig out victory foretells the legacy he is yet to complete.