My expectations for tonight are not great. Away to PL opposition is always difficult with a reserve side, but on the other hand these are the type of games when we really see how our lads perform under pressure.
Will Reading prioritise the League Cup (or whatever it is called this season)? Their next two PL games are QPR away and Norwich at home, both games against direct relegation rivals which will surely have an effect upon McDermott’s selections.
Reading’s last game was an exciting 3-3 draw with Fulham, scoring in the final minute through Robson-Kanu who had trials at Arsenal (no relation to the great man). The manager, Brian Mcdermott was of course a Gooner – probably still is. In ’84/5 he played 45 games under Don Howe. Sadly, George Graham didn’t appreciate his talents and he fell from grace, but he was at AFC for 7 years. McDermott recently called Arsenal Football Club “world class” which shows he is a keen and astute football man.
Another ex-Gunner is Stuart Taylor who also had 7 years at Highbury winning a league title, FA Cup and two League Cup medals – almost all from the bench (like Nasri). He may play tonight. Pogrebyak is a Russia regular and a friend of Arshavin, should he play, he will be a handful for our CB’s.
Will Mr Wenger play any of the players returning from injury? If Gibbs is approaching fitness I would give him 45 mins to sharpen up ahead of MU. With Szczesny approaching a return it may be a last hurrah for Mannone but can AW take the risk of an injury? Of course not so Martinez will get another chance to show us why he is considered so promising.
As you can tell I have little idea of the team. Mr Wenger has to make decisions about whether to risk any first team players in what will be a feisty game, though the above team appears too defensive and there is no real left back,
Chamakh needs to start if he is to find a club in January (assuming he hasn’t already done so). Either that or Walcott could be given his chance as central striker. Who would you pick?
Today’s top man: Sir George Everest (1790- 1866) . An explorer and surveyor who spent much of his life in India. Surveying was extremely important in those days because people had no maps and no real idea of the correlation between places, and without maps people didn’t know where there were. Imagine how grateful the natives must have been when they could say “I live 42 miles North West of Faizabad”. Couldn’t have been done without surveying and the British surveyed the world. Knighted in 1861 there is a mountain named after him.
Sir Everest in his Sunday suit
Tough game tonight but one we can win. We are sure to be solid in defence with Martinez given a chance to shine. As Reading are scoring freely and porous in defence we should see an attacking game.
It’s a Cup, we need silverware.
Written by Big Raddy