Take Carling Cup Seriously? Yes Wi Gan!

Right now Arsene Wenger has too many players who need a game. That’s not been a case in most of the recent seasons and touchwood lest I jinx it. Le Boss has no choice but to take Carling Cup seriously! Of course, that’s not the only reason but you get the drift.

Wigan will visit the Emirates tomorrow for the quarter-final that seems like an easy win. Well, I’m sort of on a jinxing spree here but I promise I won’t mention anything about winning in pre-match posts for the rest of the season if we botch up the game tomorrow.

On a more serious note, I think a great deal will depend on the starting eleven. We’ve seen in Europe and even at the end of last season, when we have 7-8 first choice players missing we can find a way of losing almost any game. And I have no doubt we will have more than half our first choice players either on the bench or not in the squad.

Wigan on the other hand, have a relatively smaller squad. Like Chelsea, they submitted a list with only 19 senior players in their Premier League squad. Obviously, that is all they have because I don’t see any reason for them to keep some players out of that list. The Latics do have some youngsters like Moses, Di Santo, McCarthy, and others but overall they don’t have a big enough squad to make wholesale changes and compete.

I’m not sure if Roberto Martinez will risk his best players in this game given the relegation battle he has on his hands. If that turns out to be the case Arsenal will cruise through and I don’t even have to be superstitious about it.

Nevertheless, Arsenal must go out with full focus and start the game like they’d done against Villa and Tottenham. And we need to finish it better than we did in those games. Sounds pretty simple, eh!

As I mentioned at the start, many Gunners need games. Walcott, Bendtner, Vela, RvP, Denilson, Djourou, Gibbs, and Eboue are some of the senior players who deserve a start. Szczesny, Nordtveit, Eastmond, and JET will also feel they should get a game. Somewhere in the dressing room even Almunia must be wondering if he will get another chance.

Leaving the Spaniard out, that’s twelve players. In effect, Arsene could change the whole starting line-up if wanted to. Just for the sake of discussion we could put out a team that looks like this,

Szczesny – Eboue, Nordtveit, Djourou, Gibbs – Denilson, Eastmond, RvP – Walcott, Bendtner, Vela.

Even then JET would be hard to fit in. While this list is just for the sake of discussion, I do feel we will have at least 7-8 of those players in the starting line-up tomorrow.

I’m not sure how fit Eboue is. So we might see Nordtveit on the right with Koscielny coming in his usual central defender role. I also expect a stronger midfield as RvP can do the creative part of that advanced midfield role but I can’t see him do the defensive bit. Rosicky should continue in his role as Captain and advanced midfielder.

That will mean either RvP goes to the bench or one of the front three sits out. Vela might be the most likely to miss out if Van Persie is fit to start.

To be perfectly honest, I’d also like to see Wilshere or Song play instead of Eastmond. The youngster makes me nervous with his body language and he was part of that capitulation against the same opponents towards the end of last season. Not pleasant memories and I’m not sure if the Latics won’t get a confidence boost on seeing him in the starting eleven.

Having said that, I’ll be surprised if Arsene doesn’t play him. There are some decisions Le Boss makes that I can never understand and his faith in Eastmond falls in that category. If the youngster does play I hope he puts in a performance to banish the ghosts of that disaster.

Ideally, I’d like to see the following line-up,

Szczesny – Nordtveit, Koscielny, Djourou, Gibbs – Denilson, Wilshere, Rosicky – Walcott, RvP, Bendtner.

This team would be a little weak on the right defensively but should make up for it with a relatively strong midfield. It should also be strong enough for any Wigan side and not only the changed one that we’re likely to see.

I hope Szczesny has to make a couple of good saves but is able to keep a clean sheet. On the other end a goal each for the front three should do, although the man I’d most like to see on the score-sheet is Rosicky.

Here’s to a momentum building win and a morale boosting performance, especially defensively.


25 Responses to Take Carling Cup Seriously? Yes Wi Gan!

  1. Miranda says:

    Most important thing is that Szczesny plays. If Wenger gives a start to Almunia it’s a real kick in the teeth for Szczesny after his good performance in the last leg and now he’s signed a contract. It would also be a disaster. I like Almunia as a person but his time is surely up.

    Would like to see Vela do well but am wondering if he too mightn’t be on the way out. For me he’s a really promising talent but he’s not getting the playing time so I can’t blame if he wants out – perhaps a move to Spain where the style would suit him better than England would be his best bet.

  2. Champion says:

    This is a good game to have Almunia start in goal if he is fit.

    Eastmond put in some very good performances last season, but I think this season he has been nervy, unsure of himself and looks like he has lost weight – maybe he needs a bit of reassurance.

    I would rather we didn’t risk Eboue, even if his recovery is ahead of schedule. I agree we should keep Rosicky in the line up as captain, but I am concerned that he will be playing a lot with little rest over the next few weeks.

    Desi – I like the look of your back 4, but I am concerned that this particular combination has’nt really played together before which could lead to misunderstanding.

    I would love to see JET up against Victor Moses whom has bags of potential for Wigan and if he plays will be a threat. Maybe when we are 2-0 up we can sub Wilshire for JET.

    Theo & RVP have a good understanding of each others game and RVP can usually create a chance for Theo and vise versa. I would start Bendtner, but replace him with RVP early in the second half.

    I would be very suprised if Wigan field a strong squad, but you never know with cup games anyone can end up being a hero.

  3. aravindvr says:

    OffTopic:
    It was gr8 to c ‘Mourn’inhos team getting beaten 5-0…
    Hope the SithLord gets a good sleep 2day…hahaha…

    Good day for Football…

  4. Filip says:

    After watching this match , Fabregas is probably even more gutted for not being with Barcelona. What do u think of El Classico , desigunner ? Look at the hunger/desire/will to win by Barca’s players. I dont see that with our players and Cesc doesnt and probably that is why he wants to leave. Let’s hope we win something this season though.We have the quality but not the workrate.The other teams are pretty rubbish so we will have a go.
    I wonder how Cesc will play in this Barca team.The sensational Thiago Alcantara is coming up and people think his 17-year-old brother Rafa Alcantara is even better(scary!) and also the great Affelay coming in January.Therefore, even with an aging Xavi, I cant see Fabregas playing for Barca.

    • SomeRandomGunner says:

      There was no room for Cesc there.He simply cannot replace anybody in that team.I feel Barca might need Denilson more than a Cesc, i know i will be ridiculed for this but Denilson is closer to Xavi than Cesc.

  5. Jonathan says:

    My ideal lineup:

    Szczesny
    Nordtveit – Koscielny – Djourou – Gibbs
    Denilson
    Rosicky – Wilshere
    Walcott – RVP – Vela

    I have a feeling Wenger will go with Bendtner in the middle and RVP in the left wing

  6. jcloud says:

    I just looked at a schedule in December. I have a feeling that we’ll take all 15 point from 5 games, including the ones with Chelsea and Man U. And we should win the Carling Cup!

    • jcloud says:

      By the way, Desi, you mentioned that you live in the US. In what city? Thanks!

    • Indian Gunner says:

      If it happens like the way u are expecting,we might be leading the league by some clear 5 points come january……Anything is possible with arsenal and arsene….

  7. Tommy. says:

    Rosicky is not the kind who plays 3games a week. Rest him. Rvp will captain this game i bet. JW , Denilson & Nasri should start in the midfield. NB52 & Walcott on the flanks. Sagna should start to give a more balanced backline.

  8. sri aurobindo says:

    Unbelievable, we just saw today one of the greatest displays of football seen in our lifetime, and not a word from any arsenal fan here, all those that support the purist notion of the game.
    if this is not provincialism than what is. oh I am sorry one guy here thinks Denilson can be useful to Barca, Oh my god is this the level of delusion Arse fans fell into? maybe time for reality check : Arsenal to play Barca in the next round, we’ll see how far we came

    • La Shiz says:

      Indeed. Great respect to Barcelona for being one of the greatest footballing sides in the history of the game. I like to support Barcelona in La Liga and its really easy to do that seeing the desire of the players.

      I think all Arsenal fans have respect for Barcelona’s game and what Pep is doing for the team. Most fans wouldn’t say all this because of the bitterness that has arisen between the teams in the past few years(well, mostly bitterness from Gooners for Barca).

      I would love to see a rematch of last year in the knockout stages. I sincerely believe that to win a championship, you have to beat the best.

      P.S.: STFU Mourinho!

  9. Gennie says:

    In Desi’s line up: replace Rosicky with Eboue (if Eboue is fit enough), and Walcot with Vela, and move Bendtner to the right of van Persie (remember early last season before van Persies got crocked?), thus Vela to play on the left of the front three. Reasons: Rosicky is injury prone, he cannot play three times a week – he had 90 minutes at Braga, 90 minutes at Villa. Also, with Walcot he cannot keep the ball, yes he has speed, but so does Vela who is better able to play Arsenal’s tippy-tappy. Walcot should come in as a sub. Otherwise play 4:4:1:1 Back four as in Desi line up, Vela on the LM, Eboue RM infront of Nordtveit with Denilson and Wilshere in CM, van Persie behind Bendtner upfront. Or if Eboue is fit enough, let chim play RB with Nordtveit moved to CM (he flourished here last season in the Bundesliga, he will add height and muscle) with Denilson and Wilshere in Cesc position, Bendtner and Vela sandwiching van Persie upfront. So, here is my line up:
    Szczesny
    Eboue – Koscielny – Djourou – Gibbs

    Nordtveit – Denilson

    Wilshere

    Bendtner – RVP – Vela

    Actually I like this better. It will be strong in midfield, defense and in attack. Walcot, Rosicky, and JET on the bench as well as Sagna, Song, Eastmond, and Almunia.

  10. Arsenal4 says:

    Hilarious headline! Should do more of that and take the lighter side of football.

    Not to jink it, but i feel this should be the case of stroll in the park. Martinez mentioned he would rotate, but with thin squad – not much to rotate there. He has bigger fish to fry in the league game itself, I don’t see why he would gamble it for a CC cup game.

    RVP, Bendtner and Walcott should start. Otherwise, i don’t see the point of having world class player but not match fit, particularly RVP. He has been looking sluggish in the 30 mins or so of each sub appearance. I would start either TR7 or JW – not altogether, we need them in league game and the crucial CL game soon enough. Or might as well, rest the both.

    I thought it crucial to give game for Almunia as much as I would love to see chance for Szczecny. I wouldnt write him off yet. He’s after all still have all the experience vs. other goallie. So,we need to help him, and the least is to give a bit of confidence by playing him here. Though, i still think we should keep Fab as #1.

    Still, Arsene knows best!

    • Miranda says:

      Szczesny is going to make mistakes but he’s an immense talent and he’ll learn from them and get better with every game. Almunia is going to make mistakes but he’s not going to get any better; in fact, given his age, he’s going to get worse. Szcsesny needs games, both to confirm that we’re confident in him and that he’s in the running to be no. 1, and to give him experience in the first team squad. What happens if Fabianski gets nervy again or is injured for a crucial game (Chelsea, United, Barca, Real) do you really want a wobbly Almunia to play? If you do, then logically he should be given back the no. 1 spot and Fabianski dropped, but I think this would be a disasterous step backwards. Almunia seems a nice guy, and it’s always sad when a player comes to the end of a not very successful career, but no, no, no!

  11. desi 'GOONER' says:

    Last night it was one of the best games I have ever seen. It was pure, nadulterated, delightful football and indeed a mastercalss in how proper footbal should be played. Pity, we in EPL do not have the privilege of watching such a team. More than the one touch and skilful passes and dribbling, what stood out was the closing down of Real Madrid players when ever they got the possession. And how Real Madrid players took turns to reduce Messi’s legs to pulp. And how he stood up everytime like a real man! Was reminded of how Cesc goes through with special attention given to him at times.
    A proud desi ‘GOONER’

  12. Miranda says:

    I didn’t Barca-Real – couldn’t find a stream, but the accusations of provincialism seem misplaced. The Guardian’s match report has attracted several hundred comments, many from Arsenal fans, and tens of thousands of people without Sky followed their minute-by-minute text commentary. Why should there be a discussion on what’s after all an Arsenal forum? I watch Barca whenever I can, including all their CL games, but this is the first time anyone has complained that I haven’t discussed how they played on this thread or others specifically devoted to Arsenal.

  13. Miranda says:

    And on the subject of the difficulty of finding a stream these days, really depressing that tonight’s game isn’t being shown at all in the UK, nor is it even Five Live’s main radio commentary. That leaves Arsenal TV for those with access or, for those without, the Guardian’s text commentary. Then again, looking out of the window – I live near the Emirates – the snow is falling thickly right now. A real pain for those with tickets who live a long way from London, not knowing whether the game will be called off at the last minute…

  14. mike in africa says:

    what is the difference between barca and arsenal?

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