Citeh V Arsenal: A Battle of Philosophies

On the back of successive defeats, a difficult Carling Cup tie is upon us. I see this game as a direct battle between two philosophies. Citeh will send out a team largely composed of expensive signings. Wenger will play his “boys”.

The half way line will divide players who have caught the eye with their talent and stars that have caught the eye with their transfer fees. One side is about potential that may some day evolve into greatness. The other is about perceived greatness that is yet to deliver results. Neither approach is a proven formula and both difficult to implement. One needs unending hard work and a precocious football brain, the other a benefactor rolling in dough.

It must be a difficult game for Le Boss. Another loss could severely affect the team morale and supporter confidence. Playing the first team would mean risking more players before a league game and breaking his own principles.

In some ways though, he has already changed his approach. Against Liverpool, the side that was sent out had more senior players than previous years. I think the defeat against Spuds a couple of years ago has made Arsene understand that a young team might suffer if the opposition plays their first team. Our last two visits to the City of Manchester Stadium don’t inspire much confidence either. This calls for the inclusion of some experienced players. On the other hand, Arsene also needs to make sure that we don’t pick up another injury to an important player. An unenviable task indeed!

Arsene’s pre-match interview is not yet available on ATVO, but he has said that we will see the likes of Wilshere and Eastmond. I am really keen to see how young Jack performs on the big stage. Amongst all the exciting young players at the club, Wilshere, to me, is most likely to be a Ballon d’Or winner some day.  It will also be interesting to see the position Arsene gives to him. My guess would be a right sided attacking player.

The dreaded S&S central defence is likely to be restored giving numbers 5 and 10 a well deserved breather. Cruise might come in at left back as it doesn’t make sense to risk Traore. Gilbert might be the right back, although the name of Bartley has also been mentioned.

The midfield might see the likes of Eastmond, Coquelin, Merida, Frimpong and Randall compete for places alongside Ramsey. I would like to see Eastmond and Ramsey get a holding role and Merida given some Cesc like freedom.

The forward line might see the two southpaws (If I can borrow a term from cricket/tennis! What are left footed footballers called anyway?), Wilshere and Vela, joined by Jay Emmanuel Thomas. The other options are Sanchez Watt and Giles Sunu.

The starting line up could look like

Fabianski; Gilbert, Senderos, Silvestre, Cruise; Ramsey, Eastmond, Merida; Wilshere, Vela, JET.

This team does look a little light when compared to the quality and more importantly experience of the opposition. But what is Arsene if not a man who sticks to his (young)guns!

Update: Well, Wenger has put Song, Traore, Rosicky and Eboue in the squad. You can see the whole squad here. I think he wants more experience after all. A good choice in my opinion, Eboue and Rosicky can certainly use the game. Song might support Ramsey and Merida in the middle or come in later. I don’t see Senderos in the team, does this mean the end to his Arsenal career? I hope Song isn’t Center Back. Young Bartley to take on Greedybayor! Should be fun.

12 Responses to Citeh V Arsenal: A Battle of Philosophies

  1. arsenerd says:


    I’d be tempted to play Traore. I think he needs as much game time as possible to feel comfortable in that spot. If he gets injured, we can always bring in Pat Rice in that position.

    In attack, obviously Vela has to play. But, I wouldn’t mind seeing Eduardo as well. I really think that guy needs to score any kind of goal at all to get his confidence up. Maybe this is the sort of low pressure game in which to do it.

    Can’t wait to see the youngsters, Wilshere especially…

    • desigunner says:

      Traore should get a game. I completely forgot we had Pat Rice! Sorry about that.

      Either Vela or Eduardo need to get a run of games. No use alternating them.

  2. Jazbo says:

    It’s going to be a difficult match with certain ex Arsenal players looking to make a statement, however i think what ever team Arsene wenger puts out will give a good account for themselves.
    I would realy like to see Coqulin given a run out in a 4-4-2 line up that would look something like this:

    Fabianski, Eboue, Bartley,Senderos, Traore, Ramsey, Eastmond, Coqulin, Merida, Watt, Vella.
    Subs: Manone, Silvestre, Wilshire, Wallcott, JET, Sunnu, Frimpong

  3. arsenerd says:

    Why is it that so often the Carling Cup youngsters exceed expectations. It really seems like they get a better result than even the first 11 could have managed. Is it 11 pairs of fresh legs desperate to impress? Or something else?

    • Vertino says:

      Arsene plays all his kids together, they are more in tune with each other’s strengths and weakness. On most occassions this is enough to get them through but they do need experience here and there to guide them.

    • desigunner says:

      Agree with vertino on knowing each others game. I think that matters a lot for our style. Although lower expectations also help.

      I think most of us watch these games to see the players rather than the result. And the players might also feel that they are out there to enjoy themselves.

      In that sense, I feel, the constant talk about titles doesn’t help the first team one bit. If only we can just forget about all that and focus on the games, some results might change.

  4. Vertino says:

    I think JET is cup-tied. Our last two visits have been ones to forget. However, in both games the first goal was a bad mistake and this is something the boys should try to avoid.

    • desigunner says:

      That’s possible. I recently read that Szczeny was not allowed to play in the Cup for his loan side so I thought it might be a club policy.

  5. Vermaelen says:

    Merida is suspended from being sent off from their last reserve match

    • desigunner says:

      Merida’s suspension doesn’t begin till Dec 7th or 9th. There was some news of this sort on the Arsenal youth blog.

  6. bobbygee says:

    I know this doesn’t make much sense but I have this sense that Vela, Wilshere and the rest of the Gunners side will come out loaded for bear. This means they will have a chip on their shoulders and play with a fire in their belly. The final score will 2-1//3-1 Gunners.
    Southpaw is also a boxing term as well too.
    Talent doens’t always win games. Desire and fire does.

  7. gooner ji says:

    JET is cup tied and therefore will not play. I would like to see the trio of Vela,Wilshere and Walcott upfront with Ramsey, Denilson and Eastmond in the middle. I think this setup gives the right balance to the team. I also think that there can be a few first teamers on the bench as well. I have a feeling that Rosicky will start today.

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