Carling Cup – Plan A will defeat Clan B

Written by ryandanielwood

It’s been almost as long as AFC have gone without a trophy since I last posted a feature on AA. I don’t know if that makes this post a case of perfect timing and fate, it probably doesn’t. I just can’t help but want to express myself whilst the Arsenal are on the brink of expressing themselves all the way to a little piece of history! Yeah…that’s definitely it!

And what a chapter in our grandest of club histories it could prove to be. After peeling myself off the ceiling from ARSE-BARCE Round 1, I’ve become a little partial to dreaming of a spectacular quadruple don’t y’know?. Come on, don’t roll your eyes now, it could happen. The Red and White machine has been blowing gaskets and valves over the past five seasons, and when the going’s been good, the tank has either run out of gas or the fragile underbelly has suffered from a lack of maintenance. What about if this year “The business end” of matters is met with a head of Ashburton steam!?

The first road block en-route to our clean sweep of glory is Alex “let the dogs off the leash“MacLeish. A managerial figure of Scottish steel, that would scare the living pants off me, if I wasn’t all to aware that his steel is nothing more than cheap economy knockoff compared to that of the Purple nosed nightmare further north.

His plans IMO will be to put the Blues through a fitness and determination cycle the likes of which can only be equalled by the famous montage from Rocky IV. He’ll also no doubt fill Bowyer’s head with one last Wembley hurrah, and a strict instruction to end an Arsenal career on the night.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure Mcleish would love to play beautiful football to achieve results, evidence is suggested by some of his dips into the transfer market . A couple of Blues have even plied their trade in our corner at one time or another, but to put trust in Mcleish to play a fair strategy on CC final day, would be as foolhardy as ever putting your faith in Hleb or Bentley to remain loyal to a badge with a certain cannon on the front. Maybe it is unfair of me to question their integrity, but it seems as though they took it as a literal sign to move on from our club as if being shot from one!

So what of our own chances and tactics?

Well so good is our Plan A at this moment, it can overturn the best team in the world. So I’d go with that, wouldn’t you? “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” doesn’t really do our game plan the justice it truly deserves.

That said, We’ve been spectacular and underwhelming on all competitive fronts in equal measure this season, so caution will no doubt be rife at times.

In fact such an inconsistency in our league and at our level would usually see a club knocked out of at least two competitions by this juncture, if it weren’t for the fact that our telling difference this season, is that we truly don’t know when we’re beat. We are the EPL team that is snatching victory from the jaws of defeat on a regular basis. And I am confident it is that new acquisition of unshakable grit, that is convincing all that watch on, that the Arsenal have finally matured.

And if we are to win it all, after living so long with nothing at all,  it might even plant a seed of doubt in the mind of that smug git Xavi, that Cesc is not all but Barca bound.

COYRRG

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43 Responses to Carling Cup – Plan A will defeat Clan B

  1. Big Raddy says:

    Super stuff Ryan. AA could use more of your entertaining posts!

    The inconsistency is a worry but if one looks at the results from early December, I believe we have reasons to be confident.

    Can’t wait, though the TV coverage here has none of the pre-match build-up which is a big miss for us foreign correspondents (and Irish)

  2. Red Arse says:

    Excellento, Ryan. :-)

    A nice, gentle and mature article which we can all identify with. Well written indeed. More, please! :-)

  3. RockyLives says:

    Nice read RDW
    Just the right tone to get me in the mood, having landed at Heathrow this morning and got myself into my hotel.
    I’m not sure about us being ‘spectacular and underwhelming in equal measure’ – I would say we’ve been mostly spectacular, with a tendency to moments of stunning underwhelmingliness (just made up that word). But I’m splitting hairs, so enough of that.
    Can’t wait for it to be tomorrow…

    Morning Redders :)

  4. RockyLives says:

    Oh dear, my manners…
    Morning BR :) :)

  5. Red Arse says:

    At a bit of a personally problematic time, I have really enjoyed the company of so many on AA over the past couple of days.

    I have missed a couple of realy great comments tho’, so here goes.

    Harry, your summing up of the dodo presenters on Talkevil; Irrelevant Irani etc, chimed perfectly with my own views.

    Can I say tho’ that there is an exception. A programme on TS I listen to every week-end between 6 am and 8 am is called Fisherman’s Blues.

    I have never been fishing, (too squeamish about killing fish—wuzzie I know, but there it is) :-) but the programme is a veritable cornucopia of fishy delight, BUT even better it is normally presented by Keith Arthur, a dyed in the wool Gooner, who often has the micky taken out of him for his allegiance by the other plonkers, but he holds his own, in a gentle way. Excellent! :-)

    Frothing; your score of 102 is simply stunning! Unless the Rasper can match it, He will have to move over and let you run the show.

    Gnarley; your comment about getting things into perspective is well timed and well received. Thing is tho’, with all the terrible things that happen in the world, anyone with any human empathy can simply become overwhelmed with the scale of these huge disasters.

    Having a beef about a bit of nonsense helps us all to stop going barmy with the emotional turmoil of the major events.

    London; I cannot tell you how jealous I felt that I was not around when Peachy offered a ticket (even at £150 :-) ) and you got it! :-) Then I realised that in the circs I could not have gone anyway, and I felt much more magnaminous towards a passionate Gooner. I hope you enjoy!! :-)

    Sharkey; How I love your comments and the mental image of the little sharks!! :-)

  6. Red Arse says:

    Hi Rocky, glad you arrived safely and no doubt all geared up to sing your heart out tomorrow!! :-)

    Morning Raddy. :-)

    Is it just me and you, or do the TV channels seem to give less pre-match coverage for Finals when we are playing, than when we are not, as you are implying?

    Perhaps we are just addicts who cannot get enough of our team! :-)

  7. barumgooner says:

    I so cant wait to sit down and watch another final with the gunners involved. This is exactly what I’ve been banging on about for years when we have played children in these cup games and fallen short.. the fans want a final (and all going well a trophy). The media go on about us not winning for 5 seasons but we havn’t really been trying in 2 of the 4 cups available. The first time we do show an interest and here we are. Alright it is a bit of a mickey-mouse cup but it could be a massive boost to team morale and be the springboard to propel this great team to being a great winning team. Equally I worry a little bit that should we fail to win will we see a collapse and suddenly go from fighting for the quadruple to having nothing but a runners up medal ? Personally Idont think so, the side has finally become a squad with depth in almost every area, we are playing with great confidence and even with El-capitan missing my money is as always on the gooners.

  8. Arsenal 4 ever no 8 says:

    Arsenal maybe favourites but could be undone by the referee and linesmen.I have a sneaky feeling some of these officials don’t want the gunners to win games and trophies.Gooner fans can recall some decisions.
    Recall when the gunners were hacked by bolton Wanderers Feb 2003/Veira was provoked into numerous incidents and was rc/Reyes kicked by the neville bros and no action taken until he was blue in the face.
    So don’t be surpprised there are repeats of deliberate
    provocation so that the gunner will retaliate and rc.
    Btw the ref may not take take action for double footed lunges ,etc. So hold your breath.
    I will only believe the field is level when the ref takes strong action not action to punish the perpetrator of over the hill takles.

  9. The BearMan says:

    The Bear unfortunately has been very naughty all week and has been put on very strict curfew! Only consolation is that he will be allowed to watch TV on his own, but with a ration of one jar of “Best Honey”. Meanwhile, one of his cubs will be doing de- grand tour Wembly Stadium tomorrow, and soaking in the atmosphere among fellow Gooners.

    Come on the Arsenal!

    With much regret for my behaviour this week and sadness, that I could not accompany my young Cub, up the Wembly Stadium among the best fans in the World.

    Come on the Arsenal, do it for the Bear!

    Will all Arsenal supporters give me a Mexican wave, as I will be stuck indoors under Heavy Manners!

    Come on the Arsenal, time to make History Lads!

  10. Gooner in Exile says:

    Quality post Ryan, I hear most of the media trying to convince us that Brum are not “that type” of team, that they play football. In my opinion they are the archetypal EPL mid table avoid relegation team, they serve up a mixture of strong defensive edge coupled with aerial threat from set pieces. They complement this steel with a scattering if players who have the sill to deliver from set pieces and from wide areas where they look to get most of their goals from.

    They follow the FatSam approach to staying in the League, which whilst working at Bolton and Blackburn does not provide the type of entertainment that keeps fans (other than the diehards) flocking back to the stadium to see more. And therefore financially limits there development, how AMc expects to use Hleb within his system is a mystery.

    We need to be prepared for all kinds of dark arts tomorrow, hopefully the team have shown us that they can now cope.

    As for pre match build up on TV, cup final days as one of the few matches on TV used to be great, the build up would start around 10-11am and it would be on the TV on our house from start to trophy presentation.

  11. Red Arse says:

    I know the Carling Cup is dismissed by many, but it is interesting to remember that we met and beat three premiership teams and a tough Ipswich side on the way to the Final.

    3rd Round: Arsenal 4:1 Spuds

    4th Round: Arsenal 4:0 Newcastle

    Qtr Final: Arsenal 2:0 Wigan

    Semi Final (1): Ipswich 1:0 Arsenal

    Semi Final (2) Arsenal 3:0 Ipswich

    Micky Mouse? Maybe, but you have got to beat what’s in front of you!

  12. chas says:

    Nice post, Ryan.

    I particularly liked “a head of Ashburton steam”.

  13. Arsenal 4 ever no 888 says:

    Arsenal fans who watched the Stoke game must wonder why Carew was not yellow carded for deliberately barging into Sagna when the latter had passed the ball to another gunner.
    That’ why the birmingham heavy weights may deliberaely target Wilshire/ Ashvin/Clichy and other
    light weight gunners. A talking to aint good enough.
    This type of offence warrants a card.
    It would nt surprise me if McLeish decides to play rough as it could be his only wnning card.

  14. Rasp says:

    Afternoon,

    Great read RDW and a fitting pre-pre-match post. No gooners are thinking of anything other than tomorrow’s BIG game.

    I agree the officials will play a big part. If they penalise Brum early on for cynical fouling we will definitely be in the driving seat. All too often the subconscious bias that states ……. “Its unfair because Arsenal are too good therefore I must allow the opposition to get away with challenges that I will card Arsenal for….” etc etc

    I personally shall also be praying we do not pick up any further injuries and that by a freak accident a deflected shot smacks McLeish right in his pasty fizzog.

  15. Gooner In Exile says:

    Arsenal 4 Ever, strangely you have chosen the 3 players who can stand up to the rough stuff (if rough is all it is). Arshavin by his own words “heals like a dog”, Wilshere from years in English Youth System is robust, and Clichy is a tough little bugger who I wouldn’t fancy meeting down a dark alley.

    In fact looking through the team now it is very difficult to see our lightweight players, perhaps Diaby, Nasri (although think he can hold his own), and RvP are our most liable to be injured.

  16. Harry says:

    RDW, good write up, some good one liners mate.

    Unfortunately Plan A involves TheoVanNasrEgas and 50% of that is out tomorrow….So i must be plan J…..

    Wenger has one choice tomorrow for me:

    Bendtner or Diaby….

    Chez, Sags, Koz, Jd, Clichy, Wilshere, Diaby, Song, Van persie with Nasri and arshavin…..

    or drop Nasri into midfield and play Bendtner out wide.

    Personally I would stick with my first choice, its what I suggested the other day….For me it is more balanced, strong and tenacious in the middle, Out wide Nasri and Arshavin will be creative and in RVP we have a spearhead.

    The defence speaks for itself, although Squidboy did well midweek and got the winning goal, kozzer should come back in…..

    We need all to stand up and play their A game, but for me the two crucical players for me, who can take this gameaway from Birmingham are Wilshere, wth guile, vision, grit and energy to burn, then the power and strength of Diaby can dominate the midfield and allow Jack to orchestrate the team….

    Jack will have more lience tomorrow with fab out and I have afeeling we will see a MoTM performance from our pocket dynamo……

    I just want a game where I feel that the officials are consistent with both sides, is that possible?

    Top Tips:
    Arsenal to win, Wilshere to score anytime – 5/1….Tasty odds that…..stick a tenner on it.
    Arsenal to in 3-1 @ 11/1….put a fiver on it.
    Arsenal to win by exactly 2 goals @ 7/2, put a tenner on it…… For £25 you’ll get back £165.00………

  17. Gooner In Exile says:

    Just read that Dean Richards died this morning at the age of 36 from serious illness, I’m sure fellow AA bloggers and commenters will join me in offering thoughts to his family and friends, and to supporters of Tottenham Hotspur, Wolves, Southampton and Bradford fans who he played for with so much heart.

    A sad day for football.

  18. London says:

    Great stuff RDW

    Really enjoyed it.

  19. Rasp says:

    Agreed GiE, a sad loss.

    We know who 10 of the players wil be tomorrow which in my mind means that 1 of either Bendtner, Diaby, Rosicky or Denilson will start (I don’t think Chamakh would be in contention)

    I too would go for Bendtner in a 4:5:1 (4:3:3) or 4:4:1:1. I am guessing Bebdy will play wide right which doesn’t always work except that he has put in some very good crosses. The middle 3 has to be Song, Wilshere and Nasri.

  20. goonermichael says:

    It was probably too mauch to ask for the mancs to drop points today. On tv this morning they had a stat that the mancs had beaten wigan in all 12 prem games and averaged 3 goals a game.

  21. SharkeySure says:

    Afternoon all,

    Nice write up RDW, sets us up nicely for Mr Raddy’s pre match tomorrow.

    As others have said, tomorrows referee is very very important to our chances.

    I wonder if Arsene is tempted to play some of those who got us this far tomorrow, ie Gibbs, Eboue, NikB etc. Thankfully those guys if not selected can be consoled with knowing they will certainly start on Weds night. Full strength tomorrow please.

    Strangely enough, I’d be tempted to start both Nik B and Diaby, with Nasri coming on as and when required.

  22. Gooner in Exile says:

    Referee for tomorrow as we know is Mike Dean, those of you who want to know how much he favours Brum style of play should go and look at Unknown Arsenals ref preview.

    He shows how often Mike Dean contravenes FIFA and FA rulings. Quite interesting read but has not made me feel good about tomorrow!!

  23. Gooner in Exile says:

    That’s Untold Arsenal.

  24. SharkeySure says:

    Cheers GiE, Walter does write a quality article I’ll give him that

    I used to read and blog on that site a lot, but it got a little bit sycophantic to Arsene at times, and the layout of the home page was truly awful back then. The new one isn’t much better, which is a shame as it is a decent site, which has some of the most informed and in depth articles that you’ll ever read about our beloved club.

    I find that pic of Tony Attwood on the front page almost unsettling. He seems like a really decent guy though, perhaps its a 1970’s Dr Who fetish..??

  25. SharkeySure says:

    Red – sorry to hear about your ongoing ‘issues’. All I can say is best of luck with them, and me and the little sharks hope things start to turn back in your favour pretty soon.

    Can I respectfully ask if four trophies would be of any assistance ?? Fingers crossed that we see the first one tomorrow !!

  26. Harry says:

    Agreed, condolences to the Richards Family, only 36 very sad loss…..

    Ever since it was announced that Mike Dean was the ref I have tried to ignore the fact, he is one of the most anti arsenal that I have seen, he is equal first with all of the other premiership refs……

    I just cannot believe my son is going and I am not, so gutted, but had to let him go….

  27. Gooner in Exile says:

    Harry it’s a shame that of 90000 tickets they only had just over 26000 tickets for each club.

    I remember going to Highbury box office to queue for League Cup, FA Cup and replay tickets in cup double season. Skipped a couple of early school lessons to queue for mine and my Dads tickets on 3 occasions from memory. It’s so sanitised now it’s all online and balloted.

    So who on here is going?

  28. Me me me I’m going :)

  29. Harry says:

    Ok peaches, dont rub in it in!!! But do enjoy yourself, sing loud and proud and throw a cheer in there from me….

    GIE, I agree, “so sanitised” is such a good way of describing it..

    MY son got one through the ballboys squad, between 20 of them they got 12 tickets and had their names pulled out, but for 6 only (2tickets each), but for my luke very lucky as his mates dad isnt a football fan, so he let luke have it…(at cost)

    He went with me to the chelsea final, so hopefully he will see us lift the trophy……..

  30. Gooner in Exile says:

    There is nothing better than seeing your beloved lift a trophy in the flesh. I’ve only seen 2 (the aforementioned cup double), altho I was there when the FA had to remove 2 points from their rectum, after Liverpool lost to Forest, and we won the title before playing ManUre remember they formed a guard of honour to clap us on to the Highbury pitch, that was an all ticket occasion but they didn’t present the trophy in those days.

    Peaches do you think you can try and get a rendition of Arsene Wengers Magic he wears a magic hat going.

    Perhaps:

    Arsene Wengers magic he wears a magic hat,

    And when he wanted to win the League Cup he said I’m having that!

    Maybe a bit cumbersome :D

  31. RockyLives says:

    I’m going. Can’t wait.
    Been out today catching up with friends and family, but nice to see everyone on here.
    Let’s all stay positive – we’re good enough to win even with a dodgy ref.
    Looking forward to a BR pre-match special tomorrow, although RDW has set the bar high today.

  32. RockyLives says:

    Really sad about Dean Richards. Sympathy transcends rivalry when something like this happens.

  33. SharkeySure says:

    Agreed Rocky, re RDW’s brilliant warm up act for Mr Radders, and even more so with your sentiments re Dean Richards.

    I remember him going to Spurs after a very good season with Saints. I don’t think he ever played well for the Spuds and was shown little or no mercy by the Tottenham ‘faithful’. I wonder now how much of his poor form may have been due to the early stages of his illness/problems.

  34. Big Raddy says:

    Very sad about Richards. Even sadder that he was such a young man, but in the words of the mighty Neil Young… “It is better to burn out , than to fade away.”

    It is interesting to think whether he would have chosen his short life with the excitement and attendant glory for a longer but more mundane life. I know which I would choose.

    As to the theme for my pre match – I a ambivalent as to whether to write a rallying call as per Barca or a more mellow approach. We shall see when I get into the second paragraph …..

  35. Gooner in Exile says:

    Here is an Express article today, I have discussed lack of quotation in poor journalism before but does anyone believe that Cesc found out he wouldn’t be playing tomorrow via the club website?

    http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/231332/Arsenal-s-Cesc-Fabregas-web-of-intrigue

    The only quotes come later when discussing the actual outcome of the game lifting trophies etc. I hope AW has expressed enough humility in the pre match interviews and that the respective media outlets don’t butcher his quotes to make him look arrogant that a trophy tomorrow is a given.

    Seems everyone has been doing duties today to clear decks for tomorrow. See you all for Raddys pre match

  36. Rasp says:

    Wayne Rooney must get a retrospective ban for his forearm smash today or else there is the definitive proof that officials are biased in his favour.

  37. SharkeySure says:

    Rasp, that won’t be about the officials that will be about the FA/PL if its not in the refs report.

    Its clear that the ref doesn’t see it, as he doesn;t even have a word with Rooney, or even bring the ‘warring parties’ together to defuse what happened. Therefore I believe there is no way it makes the ref’s report, which leaves the post match disciplinary route wide open.

    Those tossers better make a quick march down that road.

    Funny thing is that based on how he’s played of late, we might be better off if he’s ordered to play a full 90mins for the next six PL games as opposed to a suspension

  38. SharkeySure says:

    Harry – only yesterday I remarked that any good articles that I miss by not reading sports newspapers will be flagged to me by one of the many good souls on Arsenal Arsenal.

    Today you are that good soul with a big red flag !!

    Many thanks, that was a quality read !!

  39. Harry says:

    No Problems Sharkey…..

    All the refs report can say about rooney is that, I gave a freekick for a coming together which I didnt see to be honest….

    Then……

    I had a little chat with Wayne and just asked him which escort agency he recommended, I didnt want to give a free kick against him, he is such a nice boy….We had a little laugh together, before the game continued……..

    Will he get punished? unlikely…..

  40. All apologies for my late response here. I was bogged down with work etc.

    In all honesty I wasn’t sure if my post would be up to it,my thanks go to Peaches for her assitance with the post, and making an editorial on the title (what was I thinking?! LOL!)

    And to all AA’ers who were so kind to leave me positive feedback. I’ll post this again tomorrow, just to be sure.

    Looking forward to the game!

  41. Morning Raddy, can you tell me when you’re out of the post so that Rasp can put the pitch layout in xx

  42. Morning Gooners

    Wembley here we come

    There’s a New Post :) :D :P

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