Arsenal v Cardiff Preview

TGIF tonight as we play the first catch-up in the FA Cup. Cardiff’s visit to The Emirates is two days late, purely to suit the needs of Setanta. Little wonder that they lost some of their broadcasting rights recently; even Sky realised the folly of Monday night football on a regular basis. Still, it is somewhat surprising that the TV companies have not insisted that Burnley play the winners on Wednesday.

The draw for the next two rounds is favourable for Arsenal, provided that they win this evening. Arsene made a point of saying that he would not be playing the Carling Cup side in the FA Cup. Looking at it, you would have to wonder whether or not he is changing his mind.

There will be a few changes. Fabianksi is a sure starter whilst Djourou will no doubt return for either of Gallas or Toure. I have a suspicion that it will be the former who drops out tonight, being saved for the league match against Sunderland at the weekend. Clichy is apparently fit for selection although I guess he could be benched with Gibbs starting if Arsene is so minded.

In midfield, the lack of fit bodies makes selection possibly more difficult. Eboue, Ramsey, Walcott and Arshavin are unavailable (or believed to be so) for selection so switching Nasri to the right seems the logical thing to do with Wenger having options on the left. He could bring Wilshere in but I suspect that is unlikely from the start, more likely to be from an hour or so onwards, provided the match is going to plan.

On the left, he could bring in Gibbs or Eduardo but the latter seems unlikely from the start so Vela may well drop in there with Bendtner and van Persie the forward line. There have been suggestions that the Dutchman may be rested but I think that unlikely given there are five days between this and the Sunderland match.

I would expect the line-up to be something like:

Fabianksi; Sagna, Toure, Djourou, Clichy; Nasri, Denilson, Song, Vela; van Persie, Bendtner

It has been a while since there was a good FA Cup run and the draw is favourable so it is not unrealistic to think that there is one in the offing. The crucial thing for this squad is to win something. Once the first trophy nestles on their mantelpieces, I have a feeling that a weight will lift off some shoulders and it would be used as a starting block for global domination.

Enjoy the match wherever you are watching it. ’til Tomorrow.

268 thoughts on “Arsenal v Cardiff Preview

  1. Marc says:

    Sunderland can’t be looking forward to the weekend. I think we could be looking at a real return to form.

  2. Consolsbob says:

    Had a good feeling before tonights game, and that team. It was like a proto Arsenal side of say, two years time. one of so many possibilities.

    Who can possibly say what our best 11 will be in 2010? So many options, so much quality.

    Arshavin, Cesc, Walcott, Rosicky, Clichy, Adebayor. All absent tonight.

  3. team spirit says:

    well eddy is back and so we may well have the excellent second half of the season that will mirror our excellent first half last season… there is still all to play for bar the Carling cup, so who knows?

    I firmly believe if eddy and rosicky had stated fit till the end of last season, we would have been right there at the top!

    Congrats to Eddy on an excellent return and i hope he is okay? There seems to be rumours of him picking an injury.

    Glad for all the scorers, they needed that.

    Its performances like today that make us have a glimpse of what AW must see in these players in training; yes, there are inconsistencies, but they are getting there;

    Am sure even the worst doomer will be able to say wit comfort that the unbeaten run continues and we kept a clean sheet again!

  4. Alex Ice Cream says:


    I am enjoying it. Just not a coincidence that’s all.

    We looked dangerous for the first time in ages.

    Arshavin to come in and Cesc and Theio in the next month or so.


  5. team spirit says:

    yeah had a good feel about the match today too bob. Was really sure that the team will score loads and hence i predicted 8 – 0. (this score line is due a team this season from us for sure) LOL

  6. Consolsbob says:

    Yeah, I know G4E. Still, tonight we are all Gooners.

    I love you all.

  7. Alex Ice Cream says:

    I hope we give Slnad a hiding.

    Its about time we won big in the Prem.

  8. Siva says:

    Damn no MOTD today else guys like Lawro would have been eating there shoes wondering what to say – other than the usual ‘if i have to pay £ to watch a team it would be Arsenal’!

  9. team spirit says:

    AIC, we are on the way to doing that me thinks. Against blackburn would do quite nicely or even sunderland

  10. Alex Ice Cream says:


    Highlights onITV 4. There are enough cun*s on there for you to laugh at.

  11. Siva says:

    AIC, thanks mate…to listen to those guys cringe in their seats is the icing on the cake! Seriously in a yr or 2 when we start to dominate not just the PL, these guys would all quit their jobs & go…actually shameless guys would still sit there smugly saying some shit about how they always knew arsenal will back to their dominating best.

  12. agu says:

    I am still feeling the after shocks of that moment when Eddy scored that header. For me, it cant get more emotional.

    well played everyone, and good support as well

    who cares about what Cardiff fans throw onto the field…they should have cut off their bollocks and fed them to the dogs for all I care.

    Roll on Eddy!

  13. Consolsbob says:

    Thing is guys, you don’t need pundits to talk cr*p about us. there are Arsenal fans on TV right now saying how bad we have been this season, how poor the team is, and so on and on and on and on…

    That’s the point AIC. These players wear the shirt. Arsene Wenger is the best manager I’ll see in my time. the club is building something truly wothwhile.

    It’s beholden on all of us to get behind them and shove as hard as we can.

    I’ve worked in places where colleagues have spent their time moaning about how unfait things are, how awful the company is, why don’t we go and work for Woolworths.. They were an absolute pain. I didn’t want them working near me and I don’t want whining ‘fans’ anywhere near me either.

    We can be something very special. Do you want to be a part of that?

  14. Paul N says:

    A lot has to be said for feilding a more balanced and offensive side, it is when we are at our best. Big ups to Vela, Eduardo, Fabianski and Gibbs. Not taking anything away from our other players but they dont play or havent played as much and made a great Impact.

    AIC, I know you have a big grin on your face!

  15. Alex Ice Cream says:

    Of course I do consols.

    I call things as I see them though – it how I am.

    Its a pity that I didn’t blog on here b4.

    I was the equivalent of Frank in throughtout the AW years with a couple of exceptions (when e sold Overmars and Petit and 2006 in the Prem are exceptions) if you can believe that!

    The loss of players last season – Diarra, Hleb, Flam changed me 100% in terms of outlook.

    Now I am feeling more postive again – since Arshavin

  16. Luke says:

    Welcome back Dudu.

    My God. How we have missed your goals when you were injured so horribly last year…

  17. ArseneMan says:

    Bolloc*ks, all it takes is one bad result and we are back to the norm.

  18. Paul N says:

    Wenger has been singing the same song all year, the fans need to be patient and support the youngsters. You dont have to be Nostradamus to see what future is going to be like at Arsenal.

  19. Consolsbob says:

    The thing is G4E, we are all already a part of something special. You don’t have to join, just don’t walk out on it.

    We have something that no Manc, Chav, Scouser or Tot has. What we have now is of it’s time and place. One Wenger, one new stadium, one unbelievably talented and young squad. One chance.

    No one else has this. They all want it, but they haven’t got it.

    I’d feel sorry for them except I detest them and all that they stand for.

    Time for France.

  20. Paul N says:


    sadly I agree with you, we dont have the vision we need so we are always on a rollercoaster.

    We must believe!!!

  21. Gunner4Ever says:

    LOL ArseneM….you’re right about that.

    Bob Marley said “Time will tell”

  22. Alex Ice Cream says:


    Not only his goals but his link-up play.

    Eddy played in Vela in with a nice through ball down the left hand channel and the headed in the return cross.

    Hell, he even linked up well with Ade!

  23. Alex Ice Cream says:

    Looking forward to the highlights

  24. Gunner4Ever says:

    I think ArseneM was talking about some certain people Paul N. You either believe no matter how bad it gets, or you don’t believe.

    I have no doubt you know that, but some people just go with the flow….I’m with you today when things are good, I’m against you tomorrow when things are bad.

  25. Alex Ice Cream says:

    Lets hope this can result in a consistent winning run.

    An unbeaten run with too many draws will not get us to the CL.


    If you are talking to me; its not like that. I just comment on how I feel things are and this can change.

  26. agu says:

    all i can say, I fear for Sunderland this weekend. Not to sound overconfident and arrogant but i just feel things will start to click…there will be another great moment this weekend and that AA’s debut

  27. Gunner4Ever says:

    Exactly Alex things change quickly don’t they?

  28. Matty says:

    Just got back from the game. I’ve got an early start tomorrow so haven’t had time to read any posts – will do tomorrow.

    Just wanted to say how massively happy I was to see Eduardo back – got a lump in my throat when he scored. And what a lovely header it was too.

    Loved the balance of the team, thought Nasri was super tonight, and Vela added great width on the left.

    I have a special message for the Nik Bendtner haters that seem to have surrounded me in my seat lately – up yours. P1ss off and “support” someone else.
    I thought he had a brilliant first half, with a touch of luck he could have had a hat-trick in 30 mins.
    The sitter just before half time seemed to suck some confidence. And at times his first touch is heavy. but he won a lot of flick-ons in the air, combined well with Eddy, and never stopped wanting the ball.

    All in all, a great night. Massively happy for Eduardo and his family.

  29. Passenal says:

    I am ecstatic – I was there to witness the return of Eduardo and more importantly the return of ‘The Arsenal’ – by far the greatest team, the world has ever seen!

  30. crafty bison says:

    I was really impressed with Bischoff. The French commentators on my stream (who, by the way, I LOVED – really refreshing to hear some positive commentary) seemed to have some kind of in-joke about him though – seems like he’s a bit of a joke player in France, so hope he can prove them wrong. Their producer however gave them some misinformation (said he’s 24 years old) so maybe I misinterpreted that, maybe the joke was they hadn’t heard of him.


    What a performance, and what a season this will now be.

    Ironically, Wenger was probably right: Eduardo is Just Like A New Signing.

  31. Passenal says:

    crafty bison – it’s probably because he chose to play for his mother’s country – Portugal, rather than his and his father’s country of birth – France. It would have been great if he had scored from that chance he had!

  32. LE GUNNER says:

    So pleased for Eduardo he gave us an edge to our game what a wonderful player and tonight we looked like the real Arsenal. The dutch master RVP was out of this world absolutely brilliant and also Vela was excellent more players are coming back Walcott is not far to return and it looks like we are going to have a strong finish to the season

  33. crafty bison says:

    Also I was screaming for Denilson to be taken off for a rest, but he wasn’t. I think I know why – Cesc is back in training in 10 days. Den will be played into the ground until Cesc is back, then Cesc and Song will see out the season with Denilson given plenty of rest time after that. It’s been a long hard season for him, never having played a full season before.

  34. Frank says:

    Well just got back from tha game…had to give some Cardiff City supporters direction…….what a game….pure joy to watch…every single player was outstanding and the interlinking between players was exceptional…..Cardiff were just blown away…some of those moves were just beautiful……so beautiful…..the skill and coordination…..the reception for Eduardo was fantastic…and the ovation when he came off…lead by RvP what a privilege to be there…we have our boy back….our wounded son…..and he will be our talisman…..the stadium came of age today…..Arsene’s brainchild has grown up……worldbeaters…..and for all of those fans who have believed…..your reward is just about to start …..what a night! Loved it!

    Special mention for an outstanding performance goes to the following players…Fabianski, Sagna, Toure, Gibbs, Song, Denilson, Nasri, Vela, Bendtner, Eduardo, Ramsey, Van Persie, Bischoff…..and Arsene Wenger…..and us the Gooners who have stood by this side….

    What a fantastic, fantastic night to be a Gooner…truly fantastic…

  35. Gunner4Ever says:

    Look out for us next season too, with this team and then the back up in the reserves, then the under 18th behind them….it’s like wave after wave after wave of sweeping talent.

    We are hip, We are cool, we are Arsenal and we rule….

    That Eduardo chant is cool too 🙂

  36. arsenalvision says:

    Some of our football was fantastic, so happy to watch us play creative passing again. Yes it was only Cardiff but I feel that many would have struggled against us today. The front players were all interchanging and it was a joy to watch.

    I thought the team looked more dynamic and fluid in attack without Adebayor. The movement from Eduardo and Vela really helped the midfield.

    And to think we have Arshavin, Cesc, Walcott, Rosicky and Diaby all to push for places.

    So pleased.

  37. Siva says:

    Frank, I guess u left out Gallas only by mistake.

  38. Frank says:

    ….I did leave out Gallas…but only to check if you read my posts, Siva…for you…

    Special mention for an outstanding performance goes to the following players…Fabianski, Sagna, Toure, Gallas, Gibbs, Song, Denilson, Nasri, Vela, Bendtner, Eduardo, Ramsey, Van Persie, Bischoff…..and Arsene Wenger…..and us the Gooners who have stood by this side….especially Siva…..

  39. LE GUNNER says:

    Eduardo, Bishoff, Arshavin, Walcott, Fabregas all to come in that is like signing 5 new players.
    Adebayor will have to work his socks off to get his place back as now we have more options with the inclusion for Arshavin and Eduardo, Players will have to compete fof their places now unlike before were some players were in a comfort zone .

  40. agu says:

    imagine the competition for places when Rosicky, Walcott are back. Fabs place is obviously guaranteed.

    This is Depth:
    Left: AA, Rosicky, Bishoff
    Right: Nasri(i thought he did better on the right today), Walcott, Wilshere
    attack: RVP, Dudu, Ade, Nikki, Vela
    Middle:Fabs, Denilson, Song, Diaby, Ramsy
    Back: Gallas, Toure, Djourou, Sagna, Clichy, Gibbs, Eboue

  41. LE GUNNER says:

    When Wnger said we don’t need to sign more players every fan was shoked but you can see why he was saying that there are a lot of players to come back plus the youngsters but Wenger knows he needs a defensive midfielder and I’m sure he will sign that final piece in the summer and we will be ready to rock and roll next season

  42. Frank says:

    …he does not need a defensive midfield player…..nope, nada,niet, non, ne, negative, not at all, naaaah…I think not………….

  43. agu says:

    I agree LE; there is simply no room for more signings…maybe a CM, and i stress maybe because Denilson and Song are playing there full seasons in the team and should be better next season.

  44. LE GUNNER says:

    Frank. I don’t want to sound negative but Song or Denilson are not Viera and if we can find a Viera like player we should get him. and then we will be a complete team.

  45. Alex Ice Cream says:

    We looked more dynamic upfront with Vela on the left and Eddy upfront and Bendtner as the link-man.

    Nik is not a centre forward and I thought he was involved in most of our moves.

  46. Alex Ice Cream says:

    Le Gunner,

    I agree about CM. Denilson looked better with a defensive player next to him. I thought Denilon was excellent today and has done well this season. I am not convinced of his suitability to partner Cesc in the same way that I am unsure about Diaby. Its about complementing Cesc rather than about quality.

  47. LE GUNNER says:

    Alex – Thats right. that is what I was trying to say Fabregas’s quality is wasted when played alongside Denilson or Song. Cesc seems to do a lot of defensive work when played with Denilson we need a towering hard tackling ball winner to allow Fabregas to go forward and do his stuff if you notice Fabregas did not score many goals this season becasue he doesn’t go forward as much as last season.

  48. Paul N says:

    I dont think we need any more players, this year will do a world of good for Song and Denislon, they are good enough to me.

    Was Viera a DM?

  49. Frank says:

    Vieira was not a defensive midfield player, LG…he was an attacking midfield player…as was Manu Petit…they both defended and attacked they shared the roles….Vieira belonged to a bygone Arsenal era…we do not play that way any more…we are small, mobile, technical….the first club side in the Prem to embrace a new model…a new form of football…a new design…we are beginning to get it right….no defensive midfield player required…

  50. Paul N says:

    Thats exactly it Frank, everyone says that our DM’s are not a Vieira but that was not his position. As I read that statement I remembered that it was Cesc who replaced him. Our current players will do just fine so lets support them.
    Talk all we want but we are conceding less goals now, thats improvement, no?

  51. Gunner4Ever says:

    I know it’s hard to change, but the defensive midfielder is from the past. If you don’t have the ability to change, to invent new ways of play, you will not succeed or be a leader in that field.

    Diaby is our Vieira, but he doesn’t have the same strong mentality or maturity as Vieira and he will need a longer time to reach that level. He is as close as you can get, but he is not a DM.

    Did you actually see Vieira playing for Inter? Or even for us? He was not defensive by any means, he had the engine to run back and forth to attack and defend. he had the ability to attack but also get back and defend. Gilberto was the one sitting behind and in front of the back four to break up opponent counter attacks and protect the back four. Gilberto is gone.

    We are the new Arsenal and we will rule….it’s coming…look out for it.

  52. jbh says:

    Le Gunner, your argument doesn’t stack up. Before his injury Cesc was putting in about the same number of tackles, and assist attempts as last year next to Flamini. His shooting numbers are also about the same. What was down was number of goals (like Ade) which is not Denilsons fault. Denilson puts in more tackles and intercepts than Flamini (in total) and much more than Cesc and indeed more than all the other big 4 team midfielders. Get used to it, Denilson is Cesc’s partner for the forseeable future, with Song an improving backup, and also to be used in a defensive 4,5,1 from time to time.

  53. LE GUNNER says:

    True Viera was a not a Defensive midfielder but he did everything, defended llike a defensive player and attacked as well he also kicked the shit out of Roy Keane. someone in his ilk would be excellent for us a dominat figure that can suck up the pressure in midfield. I like denilson he is the most improved player this season and can only get better but is he the final piece in the jigsaw I’m not so sure. I just feel one powerful player to boss the midfield is needed. We don’t have a problem playing good teams but we do find it hard against the lower sides who have nothing in mind but to kick us of the park.

  54. Paul N says:

    I doubt Arsene will buy anymore players and I dont think ho be has to because our players are good enough, we have all seen improvement as far as our mid playing better in defense and i doubt believe they have stopped improving given their age.

    It is a joy to watch Eduardo without the ball, is it me or does he just know where to go to be open, remarkable instincts!

  55. Gunner4Ever says:

    I’m just about the feast of football, I’m so excited.

  56. Gunner4Ever says:

    Ok, I’m so excited I forgot the most important “act” in my sentence “About to WATCH”.

  57. BentleyTheFlyingSpur says:

    Holding me hands up ….. Well done eduardo.

  58. ArseneMan says:

    You should convert before it’s too late! The Flying Sh:t won’t help.

  59. Ole Gunner says:

    I was at the game last night, and the atmosphere was really great. Watching the team from close for the first time in 6 months, I was struck by how much strength we have in this squad.

    I felt sorry for Wenger. He’s created this amazing pool of talent, yet if you’d read the consensus he almost to scrap it all and start again.

    Eduardo: What a night to be a gooner! What a night. The feeling I had when his name was announced was overwhelming. I just knew he would score.

    I was pleasantly surprised to see how much movement he and Vela brought to our game. It was suddenly a different Arsenal.

    This was the result we needed, and now it’s on to Saturday.


  60. Eboue no brian says:

    Ole sorry to bring you down to earth but we beat a championship team.And we all know if Eboue was not suspended he would have started

  61. Eboue no brian says:

    my team for saturday


    Sagna Toure Gallas Clichy

    Nasri Song Denilson


    RVP Eduardo

  62. Frank says:

    What a complete t*sser you are, no brain….

  63. TEAM SPIRIT says:

    I wonder at people that cant rejoice over a good thing without dramatics!

    This is the same cardiff that reached the fa cup final last season and game us quite a game in the first game where the complains were that we should have done better. Now that we do better (4-0) no less, it cannt stilll be something the team should be commended for? Could they not have also won this game with a last minute 1-0? Please lets give credit where it is due. in the end, you can only beat what is in fornt of you… end of!

  64. Ole Gunner says:

    Eboue no brian,

    I am happy to see the team win. To paraphrase the Neocon writer Jonah Goldberg; Every now and then Arsenal has to grab a small club and smash them to pieces.

    It’s what the doctor ordered. In too many ways I dont know where to start pointing it out.

  65. TEAM SPIRIT says:

    Ole. well said. AW definitely sees something that we get to glimpse once in a while. I am just happy for him at times like this…

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