Up for the Cup

Tonight we have a chance to improve our ailing home record against Wigan. It may only be the Carling Cup and I for one believe we shouldn’t be bothering but 3 wins and we have a trophy on the Shelf.

Wigan were just the type of team we were looking to draw to draw for this round – they are in poor form and play open football. With what is surely a relegation threatened season ahead of Wigan perhaps Martinez will play a weakened team thinking the CC is unlikely to be won and is a hindrance to his plans. I like Wigan and wish both Martinez (who is just the type of young manager the PL needs) good fortune, but not this evening.

Mr Wenger has already shown he is serious about the Carling this season. He will continue to make wholesale changes but with our depth of squad can afford to do so with confidence.

I expect the following:


Hoyte  Nordveldt JD Gibbs

Nasri  Eastmond  Denilson  TR

Walcott  Bendtner

We need to give Sagna a rest and with the injury to Eboue could play Hoyte (if he isn’t on loan). Thankfully Sagna is one of our strongest players and never appears to run out of steam, so perhaps he will start.

A semi-final awaits the winners of this tie and I am fully confident of a win, but the again, I was confident this time last week prior to losing in Braga who are a much poorer team than Wigan.  Tonight we will see a reversal of that result and hopefully more.


114 Responses to Up for the Cup

  1. Morning all

    Raddy, I think we pressed the button at the same time 😉

    Arsenal are gearing themselves up to possibly have to postpone the game tonight I feel, emails were sent out at 6pm last night to keep checking in.

  2. Big Raddy says:

    Ridiculous. We have had huge dumps of snow of late and no games are abandoned. What is it this time – the directors electrically warmed seats stopped functioning ??

  3. les says:

    Its actually 4 games (to games in the semi).
    And Hoyte’s on loan.

  4. Carlito11 says:

    The last I heard Eboue and RVP might get a start. With regard to the weather- it won’t be snow on the pitch that gets the game called off but icy walkways around the stadium leading the Health and Safety people to have kittens

  5. Carlito11 says:

    I hope Havard gets a game tonight but again it seems he is third choice at RB rather than fifth choice at CB

  6. Carlito11 says:

    And BR I agree, I like Martinez and think he’s got a big future with a better team but hopefully we can put Wigan to the sword as emphatically as Barca did to Real Madrid last night!

  7. Big Raddy says:

    I,m assuming Eboue is out for a few weeks having been injured at Braga.

    les. You are right on both counts, though Hoyte’s loan is not on his bio on the AFC website …. it is such a crap site.

  8. Red Arse says:

    Morning BR,

    I have to confess that I understand (second guess (?) Monsieur Wenger even less than I thought.

    He is adamant that he will not buy in the January trfr window. I thought he would.

    He said he will put out a strong team tonight, (you might have inside info), but if that is the team, it is quite the opposite of strong.

    I obviously know nozzing! 😦

  9. Big Raddy says:

    Barca were stunning last night. So good to see Real’s reaction. A great night of footie, However we would hammer Barca at their place, though they may get a draw at the Emirates 🙂

  10. Red Arse says:


    Our diving swan, Eboue, has made a miracle recovery from his damaged medial ligament.

    He even fools the medical boys, it seems. 🙂

  11. Big Raddy says:

    RA. Good morning.

    If we play Sagna (Hoyte being on loan) it remains a strong team with 8 first teamers (perhaps not first choice but nonetheless with plenty of first team experience)

  12. Red Arse says:

    You are absolutely spot on BR. Despite all the angst Barca have caused us, that was one of the best footbal games I have seen in many a day!

    Brilliant. They are obviously imitating us. 🙂

  13. Big Raddy says:

    RA, The man is bionic!!

  14. 26may1989 says:

    Team for tonight:

    Eboue, Koscielny, Djourou, Gibbs
    Denilson, Eastmond
    Walcott, van Persie, Vela

    I’d like to see Nordtveit play too, but think the more senior RB and CB players will get the nod. Perhaps, as he did in the Bundesliga, Nordtveit could play at DM instead of Eastmond?

    And Raddy, arse.com does have loan details, though not on bios, they’re hidden away on a special page: see http://www.arsenal.com/reserves/arsenal-s-loanees. Amazing number of players we have out on loan at the moment, 15 of them.

    No buying in January must mean the view is Vermaelen will be back soon-ish.

  15. tahsein says:

    barcelona totally following us;)

    i thought real would win last night.not that i like ’em.but it was good to see farca raping madhouse though i hate them equally.

    i am sure we can spank them both.because we are THE ARSENAL FC.

  16. 26may1989 says:

    Completely agree re the Barca/Real game last night, a fab spectacle. And it was lovely to see Mourinho’s boys completely lose it.

  17. Big Raddy says:

    26 May. Fine team yo have there, nice and attacking, and perhaps you are right, it is time for RvP to get a runout. However to play on such a cold night could shatter the young lad!

  18. 26may1989 says:

    Raddy, Robin’s from Rotterdam, it gets even colder there than it does in London, he should be fine – I bloody hope so anyway. But then you never know where the next RvP injury is coming from…!

    The balance of tonight’s side is a small problem, since we don’t have many naturally left sided players these days but Arshavin and Nasri should be rested or at most on the bench. Walcott cuts in from the left well though, so perhaps that’s the answer. Or Clichy could play with Gibbs ahead of him.

    Would love to see Emmanuel-Thomas start tonight but he’ll probably be on the bench. I reckon he’ll get some time on the pitch though.

  19. 26may1989 says:

    Here’s a thought: will one effect of last night’s mauling by Barca be to prompt Real to return to the idea of trying to sign Cesc?

  20. Big Raddy says:

    Let’s hope they play

    Health and safety?? I remember having snow fights on the North Bank!! And the teams having to play with orange football ( yeah and jumpers for goalposts etc etc 🙂 ).

  21. islington gooner says:

    How can they not play the game tonight??
    It will be a embrassement,to us southerner’s if we can’t ge this game on.

  22. Big Raddy says:

    LOL Carlito

    Very quiet on the blogs about AW refusing to buy in January. It may be no surprise but there are some clear messages here.

    Firstly, that AW has been convinced by Fabianski – something I disagree with him about.

    Secondly, he has faith in his second team DM’s. God forbid Song gets injured and we are forced to play Denilson week after week.

    Thirdly, AW is not saying that he will not SELL in the window.

  23. RockyLives says:

    Not sure about Eastmond in the starting line-up BR. He’s looked a bit out of his depth the last few times he played. But I suppose if AW keeps picking him he must see something in the lad.

  24. Carlito11 says:

    I’m only really worried about the DM position. The inclusion of Eastmond in the above teams worries me although Wigan don’t have any midfield monsters as far as I’m aware. The boy has looked out of his depth this season… And you are right BR- if Song suffers a serious injury… we could find ourselves outside the top four at the end of the season- he’s that important to us IMO

  25. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Howdee BR,
    Thanks for the post.
    Didn’t AW say we were not going to buy in the window when AA arrived? I may be wrong.
    Let us suppose that RVP has 15 games left in him this season. Do we play him in the CC?

  26. Carlito11 says:

    Eastmond is something of a joke on twitter as he writes incomprehensible stuff. Doesn’t strike me as what Aw calls “an intelligent player” 😉

  27. 26may1989 says:

    Another thing prompted by last night’s Barca game: does it underline that in the long run we can’t afford to carry a player like Arshavin?

    Odd perhaps to say that when Andrei has just had his best game for a long time, and we all know how talented he is. But he is physically inferior to all his teammates, capable of 70 minutes of effort even without giving his full-back enough cover. If we are to develop a Barca-like style, having the fitness to maintain the pressing game is a key element – every one of the players needs to be super fit, something, much as we love him, Andrei is just not capable of.

    It’s a bit like fielding in modern cricket: where once it wasn’t a big deal if a lardy batsman or giant fast bowler didn’t really cut it in the field so long as they did the business in their specialist area, now every player needs to be able to run fast and hard, have good reactions and hit the stumps from distance. A higher level of fitness and application is needed, and the next level for us, as exemplified by Barca, will require exactly that.

  28. MickyDidIt89 says:

    RvP for Schweinsteiger swap. We would be considerably stronger.

  29. MickyDidIt89 says:

    26 May,
    AA can be infuriating, but I think he is the least of our worries. I voiced the same concerns the other day as BR over how we would cope without Song. I am equally concerned about AA’s opposite number on the right flank. Neither can cross, which is the reason we will never get the best out of Chamakh.

  30. 26may1989 says:

    Good points re transfer window Raddy. Wenger is definitely convinced that Fabianski can be our first choice keeper for the remainder of the season and probably until Szczesny realy challenges. Looks almost certain that next summer Almunia will move on (shame for the Daily Mash….).

    I have a higher opinion of Denilson than you, but, while his passing is efficient, it’s fair to say he’s not sufficiently disciplined when we haven’t got the ball. But the cover for Song from within is better than you suggest: Vermaelen (as Rasp often reminds us) has DM experience, as does Djourou. There’s even Nordtveit.

    All of that said, DM is the position I worry about the most, as Song isn’t as effective this year as he was last year.

    Too early to judge Eastmond I reckon. He looked good in his first few appearances, less so recently, but this is the time for him to learn.

  31. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Going back to your comment about the Barca style. They have full backs that can get forward AND cross the ball. Again something we lack. The only quality cross we have put in all season was from Song!

  32. 26may1989 says:

    Micky, it’s not going to happen but I back you on the idea of swapping RvP for Schweinsteiger. The sad truth is that van Persie may no longer suit our style of play.

  33. MickyDidIt89 says:

    26 May,
    There is also young Mr Frimpong. When is he back? He was looking very good. Also. Ramsey can do a job there, but we could do with the finished article right now. A winner and a leader.

  34. MickyDidIt89 says:

    26 May,
    It was my way of getting around AW saying he would not buy. He said nothing about swapsies!

  35. 26may1989 says:

    But Micky, did you see the ball Sagna sent across when playing for France? Quality!

    I don’t really think crossing is the key component though, Alves and Abidal only have a couple of assists between them this season. It’s all about the pass and move stuff including off the flanks, and frustrating as he is, Clichy can be great for that, as well as excellent interceptions. But I think we’ll be selling him to Barca next summer in order to bring Gibbs through.

  36. 26may1989 says:

    Micky, apols for missing your irony, me being thick. And now I’ve gone and shown my hand re RvP…..

    Good reminder re Frimpong, who is probably the main man for the future. He’s out till Easter time I think.

  37. MickyDidIt89 says:

    26 May,
    I really don’t think Clichy is good enough for Barca, and no, I did not see the Sagna cross. I do think crossing is key when you have someone like MC as the focus of your attack. The headed goal he scored from the Song cross..well, he looked like he could do that all day, whilst blindfolded. I do not think we are getting the best out of him.

  38. 26may1989 says:

    Have just noticed the arse.com injury page says the following re Almunia: “Last Game: Arsenal 2-3 W.B.A. – September 25, 2010”. How prophetic might that be.

  39. SharkeySure says:

    Afternoon All

    Fingers crossed ‘eh 26 !!?? Fabianski and Chezzer will do for me.

  40. RockyLives says:

    Arsene left himself a get-out in his comments about not buying in Jan. He said he would only do so if we were short through injury. Well, we always have a bunch of people in the treatment room so if he wants to buy he can do so without being accused of having told porkies.

  41. SharkeySure says:

    Tonight. NOt sure who’ll play but I really hope that we don’t se Eastmond, and that we do see more than 5mins from JET.

    If Vela doesn’t start tonight hen that surely signals the end (at least out on loan in Jan anyway)

  42. Red Arse says:


    Agree with all that! 🙂

  43. Carlito11 says:

    I’m hearing that rvp and eastmond are both starting (Twitter says so, so it MUST be true) 😉

  44. Anyone fancy putting their name on a match report for tomorrow?

  45. 26may1989 says:

    I haven’t done much recently Peaches, I’ll do the honours.

  46. Thank you 26may, I hope we win then, I know you don’t do the other kind of result 😉

  47. 26may1989 says:

    Don’t worry, if we lose, I’ll do the write-up first and then disappear into work-land……!

    But we’re not going to lose this one, surely………………

  48. Big Raddy says:

    I am confident ahead of tonight. Let there be an early goal for the young boys in red and then a nice few goals to keep the crowd warm

  49. Big Raddy says:

    Will be looking for a stream for the game if anyone can help. It appears that the game will be shown on Arse TV which I cancelled due to them not showing the reserves.

  50. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evening all,
    Agree with many of the earlier comments. Now or never for Vela. Would be great to see JET getting a good 20 mins as well.

    Given up with the onlinefootie?

  51. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Given the temperature, my money says you are all having a pre-match Goan Fish Curry and lightly perfumed Basmati Rice, all washed down with a crisp and fragrant New Zealand Sauvignon with delicate citrus notes. Or a Burger.

  52. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Szczsney, Eboue, Kos, JD, Gibbs, Den, JW, Theo, Vela, RvP, Bendy.
    Wow. Anyone piece together the formation from that lot!
    JET on the bench.

  53. SharkeySure says:

    RVP playing the Fabregas role…???

  54. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Morning all

    The game isn’t televised here 😦 so I guess I’ll have to follow it on Wikileaks 😆


  55. Big Raddy says:

    26/5 Apart from JW for Eastmond your team was perfect. Well played that man!!

    Micky. No but I am on the Mac this evening ….. Would that be the Waitrose Goan Fish Curry which occasionally makes it’s way into my dreams? You have no idea how good the food is in England compared to here.

    The NZ Sauvignon would compliment the fish curry but may be overwhelmed by the Burger. I am on a South African Cab Sauv with a merlot blend. Quite tasty but not the best ….

  56. Big Raddy says:

    Evening /Morning GG. LG usually have a number of streams….

  57. MickyDidIt89 says:

    We’re such ponces!! 🙂

  58. MickyDidIt89 says:

    You are a cricket man. How do you square 700 runs and only two wickets. That game needs my help!

  59. SharkeySure says:

    “follow it on Wikileaks” – thats a cracker !!!

  60. http://www.liveonlinefooty.com costs £2/game if you can’t find anything else

  61. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evening Sharkey,
    Any thoughts on the line up. Very attack minded. How do they line up other than 4-2-4, or is RVP in the hole behing a front three, something I would love to see.

  62. MickyDidIt89 says:

    £6 for 2 months. I know. I do it!

  63. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Eboue in white tights!!!

  64. Carlito11 says:

    That’s a mental formation!

  65. Big Raddy says:

    Not going too well so far. Only chance to NB who inexplicably missed the header!

  66. Irishgunner says:

    Great pass by Jack for Vela

  67. Irishgunner says:

    Oh for feck sake vela

  68. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Love RVP in this role. Brings instant thrust with his eye and speed of thought.

  69. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Despite missing, Vela has caused Wigan more problems that Bendy and Theo combined. I am a complete and utter tool for ever suggesting we get rid of RVP.

  70. Irishgunner says:

    2-0 to Wham 🙂

  71. SharkeySure says:

    RVP’s class and he loves The Arsenal.

    Agreed re Vela…although I do think he needs to score at least twice in the 2nd half to redeem himself

  72. SharkeySure says:

    Oh rto clarify…in my post at 8.01, the ‘decent so far’ referred to the stream not the way we were playing.

    Strangely gflat considering the attacking power that we have on display.

    I blame Pat Rice and Eboue’s white tights !!! Neither can be helping Surely..?? RIP Leslie Nielsen.

  73. Big Raddy says:

    RvP is great in the DB10 role. Vela unlucky but causing problems which is more than can be said for NB and Theo! Though Theo is being tracked by at least 2 players very time he gets the ball.

    JW looks so assured it is hard to recall he is just a baby with hardly any experience. He is the senior partner to Denilson!

  74. Irishgunner says:

    Do ye all hear vuvuzelas at the Emirates tonight?

  75. Big Raddy says:

    Irish. I assumed it was the stream!

  76. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Its the sound of Northerners in pain. Quite normal.

  77. Irishgunner says:

    BR – Must be. It sounds like the ground is in a windtunnel and then Peaches reminded me it sounds like the blasted vuvuzelas 👿

  78. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Vela is under enormous pressure, but is still getting into goalscoring positions, unlike Theo and Bendy.

  79. Irishgunner says:

    Micky – Ha ha so that’s what it sounds like 😆

  80. MickyDidIt89 says:

    You lead a sheltered life!

  81. Irishgunner says:

    That’s it Robin – get up, no more injuries for you.

  82. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. LOL. Let’s hope we hear the sound at OT on Dec7th

  83. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Despite my idiotic comment earlier today about swapping RVP, I have also previously stated that the success of our season depends on his fitness. That bit, I stand by.

  84. Irishgunner says:

    Micky – That I do, an innocent sheltered life 🙂

  85. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Blimey. Big snows.

  86. ShirleySure says:

    3-0 West Ham !!!!

  87. MickyDidIt89 says:

    That’ll be a NO then!!

  88. MickyDidIt89 says:


  89. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Laddered tights for Eboue.

  90. MickyDidIt89 says:

    We need to get a grip here.

  91. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Just got a score 50 minutes in. I’m at work early. Go Boys Go 😛

    Oh, & has that big mouth Sir Alex been on here sprouting. I’d advise you take a stiff bottle of single malt you smart arse wanker. But look @ the upside for that bankrupt load of crap you’ve run financially into the ground, @ least Avraam Grant has saved you from the indignity of being belted by the Rip Roaring Reds next round 😆


    They should change the name of “cricket” to “batsman”. Yep what a joke that was 😆

    England, TBH, do look the goods though 😦

  92. Irishgunner says:


  93. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Great cross Vela. We just got a grip!

  94. ShirleySure says:

    Correction 4-0 !!!!

    Duck me shirley..whats going on…..??

  95. ShirleySure says:

    I’m paying one nights homage Mickey !!!

  96. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Just got another score x 2 70 minutes in. Chaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaammmmmmmmmmmmoneeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!

  97. MickyDidIt89 says:

    You wanna be Shirley for the night, that’s just fine by me.

  98. ShirleySure says:

    Why oh why bring on Sammi ?? Madness.

    What must JET be thinking..??

  99. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    If the JET is Qantas you’d be thinking leave it grounded 😉

  100. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ha Ha GG.

  101. Irishgunner says:

    Will we play West Ham or is there a draw?

  102. Big Raddy says:

    Very happy with that. Good performances all over the pitch with even Vela making some excellent passes.

    An indication of how poor Wigan were is that Chesney had just one save to make and he must be one frozen Pole.

    MoM. JW.

  103. Big Raddy says:

    I guess MU will say they didn’t care about the result (which in reality they don’t). But fair play to WHU. They will cause us problems should we draw them, just as they did at the Grove

  104. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Great result, and many many talking points for tomorrow about formations, RVP, Vela, Bendy, and Theo.
    Must go. Stupidly early start tomorrow.
    Great company as always. Behave.

  105. ShirleySure says:

    Decent performance, controlled the game without ever setting it alight. That’ll do

    Respectfully Mr Radders – I really thought your frozen keeper line was leading up to an ‘ice-pole’ gag.

  106. 😆 ice-pole thats funny, really funny 😆

  107. 26may1989 says:

    @Raddy 7.24pm: Cheers matey!

  108. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Just watched the highlights of the bubbles being blown up Sir Alex’s arse. Humiliated is the word that best fits 😆

  109. gnarleygeorge9 says:


    Manu will say they don’t care, the same as they don’t care about being over €1 billion in debt 😆

  110. Big Raddy says:

    SS. I set them up, you knock them in !

  111. Morning all

    There’s a New Post ……

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