Ismaël's Arsenal assessment


Valérien Ismaël believes his young players will have learned invaluable football lessons on Wednesday night against Arsenal.

Nine youngsters were handed debuts at The Hawthorns, with six starting and a further three coming off the bench during the defeat to the Gunners.

Albion’s inexperienced XI made a confident and energetic start. Wingers Taylor Gardner-Hickman and Tom Fellows both went close, but the Premier League outfit soon opened up a comfortable lead and went on to win the game handsomely.

But the boss insists there are plenty of reasons to look back on the night in a positive light.

He said: “There were some moments in the first half when it was 0-0 and 1-0 to Arsenal where we played some really good stuff and we looked really promising.

“We created the first big chance early in the game and we managed to put Arsenal under some pressure.

“Unfortunately, we made some mistakes and we were heavily punished and you have to accept that with young players sometimes.

“It’s all about trying to control your emotions and your game after you make them. That’s how you get stronger as a player.

“But overall, in the 90 minutes, we reached our purpose which was to give plenty of minutes to Snoddy, to Ken Zohore, to Adam Reach, Cedric Kipre and Alex Palmer.

“We also have an overview on the younger players because they were involved in a competitive game for the first time.

“I want to say a huge thanks to our fans too. They understand what our priorities are this season and they supported the guys for the full 90 minutes.

“It’s a learning process for the young lads. They dream of being Premier League players and they’ve seen tonight that there is a long way to go, with lots of hard work required.

“But everyone has to start somewhere and they have to learn, get back up and go again because that’s what’s needed for success.

“It’s important to move on now and the focus is very much on Peterborough.”

Watch the full post-match interview in the video above.

  • Ismaël