Arsene Kidding the Greek Champions

The Carling Cup campaign might be over but the youth experiment continues. I don’t know about others, but I really enjoy these games. The expectations from these games are not really low but different. Once you take out the importance of the result from a game, the sheer pleasure from the football increase manifold.

It’s a gamble as well. A poor result can adversely affect the confidence of the youngsters. I am sure Arsene can handle this pressure but it might not be so easy for the players, especially if someone is unfortunate enough to make a blunder. On the bright side, it gives them an opportunity to experience a fanatical atmosphere and helps them grow as individuals. This might be a crude way to put it, but such games can separate the wheat from the chaff.

I don’t know how to classify the players in this game. For instance, Song is just 22, but is nearing a hundred appearances for Arsenal. Theo, 20, has already crossed that milestone. Do we call these players young or do we call them experienced!? Of course, there are some rookies in the squad like our very own Tom Cruise who is likely to get his first start. The only real veteran is Silvestre and we have to give him some credit for maintaining his focus and motivation for such games.

Olympiakos needed a heroic effort from their keeper at the Emirates. If we can work Nikopolidis half as much, this game will be a success from our point of view. The Greek champions, though unbeaten at home this year, have only scored three goals in the competition so far. Hopefully our young defence will be able to keep them at bay.

The hosts need a point to go through and I will be surprised if they throw caution to the wind. I think Olympiakos will try to contain us. It would certainly be easier for them to hold a youthful Arsenal side rather than outscore us.

My hopes from the game are quite straightforward,

  • None of our players pick up an injury, especially the likes of Song, Ramsey, Walcott and Vela
  • The youngsters don’t get overawed and enjoy themselves on the pitch
  • Everyone puts in an honest shift

The team is likely to be,

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

I think it would be better to keep Theo on the bench as he has had too many injuries while making comebacks. It also gives us an option later in the game.

Here’s to some unadulterated pleasure


4 Responses to Arsene Kidding the Greek Champions

  1. 0.9 Calibre says:

    Your team is almost right.. But i think Bartley will partner Silvestre.. And as for Theo you cannot be sure what the boss is thinking.. He could be rested on the bench owing to his injury woes or he could be fielded in the starting line up for some much needed match practice for the game against Liverpool… Its the Boss’ call.. I feel Song will play DM while young Eastmond gets a few minutes (Probably when we are cruising).. The poor lad had a nightmare of a game against Citeh (Was excellent against Liverpool though!).. A few minutes for the sheer thrill maybe.. I would love to see JET upfront.. isnt he a big guy? maybe he could relieve arshavin his duties.. am just saying 😉

    • desigunner says:

      Yeah you never know what AW will do. I just wrote my opinion that Theo should not be rushed back.

      I would love to see Bartley but it might be against Arsene’s nature to tinker with the center back pairing.

      JET is big and quite skillful on the ball so he can certainly come handy at times. But as we saw in the Citeh game, there is quite a gap between the junior/reserves level and the league. Doesn’t hurt to be wishful though 😛

  2. John Muhindo says:

    It is now carling cup not champions

  3. Walter says:

    Tonight will be a night were I can sit totaly relaxed and enjoy our kids. In fact the result is not important to me. A win would be great off course but the most important thing to me will be to see how the young players react to the occasion.
    So I’m hoping for a good performance from the youngsters, and the old guy at the back. But I will not crucifie the manager or any player if things go wrong.
    I just hope that what the result may be tonight, that Standard does not get through to the next round. After kicking Gibbs out for months I hope this team of bastards gets out of the CL.

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