Carling Cup Preview: Are We Singing The Same Toon?

Arsenal travel to St James Park for a League Cup tie for the first time. The three previous meetings between the two sides have all taken place in London, Newcastle yet to find a response to the eight Arsenal goals they have conceded. Indeed, you have to go back to a cold December evening in 2001 for their last victory in any competition when Graham Poll’s influence over proceedings was less than benign. Those looking for omens might seek solace in knowing Newcastle have not triumphed in an October fixture with Arsenal since a 7-0 thrashing handed out in 1925; tonight’s visitors have won eleven and drawn the remaining four in the interim, conceding in only six of those games.

Arsene responded to ‘enquiries’ at the recent AGM that all competitions were being treated seriously, all to be won. A sea-change we are told, a change of policy, something different for the League Cup’s most disrespectful manager. Wenger, no matter what he may publicly opine, could do without this tournament. He would far prefer to have the players on the training pitch, working on the positives from Sunday as well as the negatives.

The benefit to his squad members who are on the fringes outweight this though. They get a runout against decent opposition in the second consecutive away tie this season. A chance for the walking wounded to morph into the running fit; a chance for redemption for others. A chance for everyone to be more ready for the first team if called upon, better prepared than a time spent twiddling their thumbs.

Jay Emmanuel-Thomas is one of those. Arsene may have heard his knocking and until now, he hasn’t let him in. The manager noted though, that the youngster was trying to kick down the doors. JET has been on the fringes of the first team for a couple of seasons and his form for the reserves this campaign suggests that he may have outgrown that level. Being naturally left-footed puts him at an immediate advantage, allowing movement across the frontline with confidence. It is this which Thomas believes that has improved this season, reading the game. Whether he starts tonight is another matter.

I suspect Wenger is going to look to go with Vela, Bendtner and Walcott as his starting trio. Bendtner and Walcott need match time following injuries whilst Vela is back in favour this evening. Whether it is for tonight only remains to be seen. Wenger intimated yesterday that there had been an injury, perhaps a slight niggle but possibly he may have been paying a price for indiscretions on international duty. Who knows, another interesting chapter in the Wenger’s book when he eventually writes it.

One person definitely starting tonight is Wojciech Szczesny. It seems that Manuel Almunia has not fully recovered and will be on the bench. For the young Pole, this is a real opportunity to prove the hype is not misguided or unfounded. No pressure then. A competitive match is entirely different to pre-season friendlies and many believe that the current pecking order is the one that should exist anyway; a remarkable turnaround for Fabianski to be in Pole position. Arsene was a tad disingenuous in his praise for the trio; if his faith was truly unshakable, he would not have bid for Mark Schwarzer in the summer.

Welcomed back into the defensive fold is Laurent Koscielny, recovered from his knack as is Havard Nordtveit and I wonder if that is the central pairing we will see. Whilst the Norwegian can play at full back, that would mean Eboue further up the pitch and I do not believe that is going to happen with Walcott’s rehabilitation being given the perfect opportunity to continue. Johan Djourou might take his place on the bench as cover but Wenger will surely have half an eye on West Ham and want to rest Squillaci as well just in case of a relapse to his compatriot.

Otherwise shuffling the pack will be the order of the day. Gibbs will no doubt appear in place of Clichy whilst Song and Fabregas will drop out of midfield, allowing Denilson and Lansbury to push their claims for first team action on a more regular basis. Partnering them should be Tomas Rosicky, probably captaining the side as well. The line-up I would expect is:

Szczsney; Eboue, Nordtveit, Koscielny, Gibbs; Lansbury, Denilson, Rosicky; Vela, Bendtner, Walcott

With a bench of:

Almunia, Sagna, Djourou, Eastmond, Nasri, Fabregas, Emmanuel-Thomas

The team fielded is a typical Wenger Carling Cup side; youth mixed with experience. Except the youth has plenty of experience and should be favourites to win tonight and the competition. A tough tie is ahead, Newcastle’s win at Chelsea should not be underestimated but it contained a number of positives for Arsenal, most notably their willingness to concede goals.

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

451 thoughts on “Carling Cup Preview: Are We Singing The Same Toon?

  1. Maria,
    Why would you disbelieve or object to Chamakh being gay? You make it seem like the up for grabs guys made some sort of accusation that you want to defend him against. They had no problems with the idea. I have no idea if it is true or not, but if it were I would actually be even prouder of the club and the team for so evidently not caring about that.

    Perhaps I am misunderstanding the implication of your criticism of the podcast, but it strikes me as a strange issue to highlight. Football culture in England is not only often xenophobic but typically homophobic. As always, Arsenal is different; Arsenal is progressive; Arsenal is pioneering.

  2. Szczsney made 2 outstanding we should sell Almunia he’s no use to us and keep use fab and him as our future goalkeepers

  3. LG,

    Before you start with all the holier than thirty sh*t check the posts above. On my post all I saying is that not everything that Alan and co cone up with is legitimate and sexuality is private matter especially for a pl footballer. Who are they to out him if he is gay? And if he isn’t it’s just BS that they are claiming but there are those like Avaris that believe them and put up videos of teamamtes hugging as prove of ‘gayness’. Which is just stupid.

    Also aren’t these guy that are so cool with Chamack the same ones that call Nasri a ‘lesbian’ . It’s just childish gibberish!

  4. Limestonegunner, why do feel that all people should have to think that homosexuality is acceptable? It is an illegal act in some countries, others disagree on religious grounds and others simply consider it an unnatural act. Why do you think that approval of homosexuality is progressive?

  5. Suga3, fuck off. Your praise for Szczesney is nothing but a thinly veiled insult to those of us who supported Fabianski while others said he was shit. Go back to Les Pricks.

  6. sugar,bless, how are you. i’m busy so i’ll get straight to the point. fuck off you annoying little cunt.

  7. Agree 69 just checked Le moan and they were vicious in the first half!! Call themselves supporters, their having a laugh.

  8. That’s what I am talking about I don’t know where my other post disappeared too. But Chamack is a Morrocan international and having visited there I am pretty sure it’s illegal over there in his homeland. Who is Alan narky Davies to out anyone on a bloody podcas??

    Anyhoo i just don’t think they have a right to make such statements on peoples lives especially if it’s just rumor.

  9. Maria,

    Unless Davies knows for a fact and this is because he is Chamakh’s disgruntled boyfriend, its not Davies business to spread rumours which could be seen by some as high offensive.

  10. I agree 100%

    Or unless Chamack comes out himself and dumps the middle aged pompess tawt live on Arsenal Online!! Lool

    Personally I was just amazed reading it on other blogs and what have you on how people who claimed to be ‘medja’ savvy were willing to believe the negative douchbag.

    If you haven’t checked out his podcast stop just after the Hull game last season, that’s when it was last any good.

  11. Gainsborough,

    I think I must have told you that before: stop reading between the lines and finding hidden meanings, because you’re notoriously shit at this – it involves clear mind, lack of bias and intelligence 😆

    trevor hill,

    what are you, a masochist? fancy getting owned again or what?

    you lot should be ashamed of yourself – we have just clocked up an emphatic win and all you do is continue taking petty snipes at other fans instead of enjoying it – pathetic!

  12. I will say this with absolute ease and with no regrets in this lifetime.
    This Polish Keeper that was between the sticks today was superb. There should be no concerns by the manager that we are suspect in goal.

  13. Hey, Suga. You know what’s pathetic? Half hearted support and second guessing a manager who always proves you dumb fucks wrong with every new signing he makes. Now that Theo, Bendtner, Denilson, Song and Eboue have made their predictable improvement all you guys have left to moan about are Vela, Diaby and Djourou. Players who have just come back from injury or playing for the first time after long lay offs. Pretty soon you’ll have to eat your words and that’s eating you negative fuckers from the inside. Have fun as the youth project successfully unfolds before your eyes and go eat shit.

  14. Well, I think the dismantling of Spurs and Newcastle away confirms what many of us thought. Arsenal have the deepest squad in the country, and possibly in world club football. Arsene has passed the test of organically growing a supremely gifted and high functioning squad by focusing on youth development and signing quality players when necessary. He has clearly won that argument over all the naysayers.

    Every player is grounded in the philosophy of the team and knows his role within the team concept. We’re the only team who can field two full teams with experienced and talented cover in every position, with another dozen or so quality squad players thrown in for good measure. When your #23-#36 players (Sczcesny, Rosicky, Vela, Traore, Nordtveit, JET, Lansbury, Frimpong, Mannone, Afobe, Barazite, Bartley, Cruise and Coquelin) would form a team that would have a decent shot at staying in the Premier League, you know we’re insanely deep.

    So far, so good….now for the real test that has yet to be answered. When it comes to the end of the season crunch games, will our top players be able to stand firm against the best players Barcelona, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, AC Milan and Man.United have to offer?

    When you look at the Top 5 ‘difference’ makers in each team, you still have to put Barcelona (Xavi, Messi, Iniesta, Alves and Villa), Chelsea (A.Cole, Terry, Lampard, Drogba and Essien) and Real Madrid (Ronaldo, Xabi Alonso, Higuain, Casillas, Carvalho) ahead of our Top 5 (I would select Fabregas, Chamakh, Vermaelen, Nasri and Van Persie). At our level would be Inter Milan (Eto’o, Lucio, Sneijder, Maicon and Cambiasso) Man United (Vidic, Evra, Ferdinand, Rooney and Nani) AC Milan (Ibrahimovic, Pirlo, Ronaldinho, Nesta and Pato) and Bayern Munich (Lahm, Muller, Schweinsteiger, Ribery and Robben).

    Yes, it’s not a game of 5-a-side and the managers also play a crucial role, but more often than not it’s the star players performing well who make the difference. It means Fabregas and Nasri winning the creative battle against Xavi and Iniesta, Van Persie and Chamakh terrorizing Vidic and Ferdinand and Vermaelen standing firm when Drogba or Rooney come calling again.

    We can bury our heads in the sand, but we’ve been exposed in these types of games over the last two years and we will have to overcome psychological doubts against Chelsea, Man United and Barcelona in particular.

    The good news is that if every major team suffered injury losses to a number of their key players, Arsenal would be able to best compensate with top notch replacements.

    It is also this strength in depth that leads me to think that easily our best chance of a trophy this year after the Carling Cup is the Premier League title, whereas I’m far less optimistic about the Champions League and the F.A Cup. It’s a lot more likely that Chelsea will suffer a bad run of results in the title race if Drogba, Lampard or Terry miss significant time than for Arsenal to overcome at least one of Barca, Real and even Chelsea over two legs.

    My money is on the Carling Cup and no worse than 2nd in the league. Good, pressure-free runs in the Champions League and F.A Cup would be a bonus., but they are not where our best hopes lie.

  15. Maria, if your objection was based on the violation of someone’s privacy (ignoring the hundreds of football and celebrity websites that mention the subject in French), I can understand having a problem with that. Outing people is controversial and quite debatable. However, there is still an implication in your posts (not to mention Champion’s) that homophobic views should for some reason be respected. Bigotry shouldn’t be respected. On the contrary, I do think it is progressive to judge people on the basis of the content of their character rather than on who they happen to love. I am surprised to have to state this in the 21st century among mostly residents of modern liberal democracies that have established rights for gay people.

  16. nah mate, it’s called having an opinion instead of blind faith…

    and it’s not like we are walking the league at the moment and are in the other compos finals playing the opposition where it should be a formality, is it?

    all this time I have been saying that I would love nothing more than to be proven wrong, simple as that – bang, there goes your ‘eating you from the inside’ theory, Einstein…

    what I did not like was that we were not competitive throughout the last few seasons – my point was always that I don’t consider us to be ‘owed’ a trophy, but I wanted us to give each and every competition a good go – finishing miles off the top points wise in the league, crashing out with a whimper out of the CL whenever being drawn against a top team and throwing domestic cups is not what I would consider ‘a good go’, is that clear enough for you?

  17. besides, it is the criticism that drags the individuals out of their comfort zone and makes them up their game, no?

    and I mean reasoned criticism, not mindless slagging off…

  18. with regards to ‘outing’ Chamakh – frankly, I don’t give a damn what his preference in that field is (as long as he is not a paedo, that is): all I care about is whether he is able to stick the ball in the net and that is something that counts…

    I am with Limestone on this: bigoted views should not be tolerated and people spouting such crap should be ridiculed…

  19. Lagooner,
    no, you do not “have to put” A.Cole, Terry, Lampard, Drogba and Essien “ahead of our Top 5”. Not as football players, men or human beings.

    Bigots should be buggered.

  20. Finn,

    arguably, out of these five, Cole, Drogba and Essien are still a notch ahead of their Arse equivalents…

    despicable they may be (well, apart from Essien – nothing wrong with him), but that’s not the point, is it?

  21. I really think the only place for Barton is prison, i mean there are some people in this world that don’t deserve the air they breathe and he is definitely one of them.

    What a scum bag? How can any league allow such a mug to play?

    And how can the FA be so spineless when every one saw clearly that he intentionally tried to hurt two players in less than a couple of minutes? Then we hear the likes of Fat Sam and his thuggish friends defend this kind of behavior.

    Damn stupid fuckers, when they’ll ever learn?

  22. sad, Karim has posted here many times before and judging by his usual posts I suspect there is heavy sarcasm in that one!

    Maria, I agree with you – a player’s sexuality is his own business. If he wants the world to know it’s his place to tell them, not for others to use innuendo and gossip to spread rumours whether true or not.

  23. @ Maria and Passenal
    Absolutely agree. It’s none of our business, basically, true or not. Bigots are to be despised but we live in the real world and there could be repercussions for the player or his loved ones, even on the basis of rumours.

    @ Maria,
    I also agree about the moaning on the UFG podcast. But what they mean about Samir looking like a lesbian is that his hairstyle is favoured by lesbians – which is funny because true and incongruous. It’s not meant to be an insult, either to him or to lesbians. There was an email from a female gooner saying that Samir Nasri now has a host of lesbian fans who have (somewhat surreally) claimed him as one of their own.

  24. Karim is being sarcastic. About Theo’s goal where Bendtner seemed to foul a defender, I thought the defender drew the foul from Bendtner as he knew he has no chance of catching Walcott.
    Has anyone else experienced problems when trying to vote for man the match on the official arsenal website? —-

  25. Let us not get carried away here. I was watching the Manchester City game again and if it wasn’t for the sending off then it could have been a different game.

    It could have also been a completely different game had Arsenal not scored four and Newcastle scored two.

    I still think we lack strength in depth and have this weak underbelly. We need to be made of stronger stuff. If Arsene spends £42.5 million in January (no less) then we can challenge for trophies.

    How do we actually expect to win trophies without getting into debt? Get a grip Arsene and the board, spend of go. Martin O’Neil is out of a job, get him quick.

  26. @ Maria and Passenal
    Absolutely agree. Homophobia is despicable but we live in the real world and there could be repercussions for the player or his loved ones, even on the basis of rumours. It’s none of our business, basically, true or not, and if true it’s up to the player how he deals with it.

  27. Too right, Mean Lean. And if it hadn’t been for the fact that we scored seven goals and conceded none, we could have lost both games. And then where would we be, eh?

  28. Newcastle will have no trouble staying up, they look like a good side. It’s just a shame they’ve got Smith and Barton.

  29. Szczesny was great today, but you guys should catch Brad Friedel’s performance against Burnley, it’s worth your time. He single handedly repelled from a flurry of Burnley shots most of the game, only for Villa to eventually steal one on the counterattack.

  30. Who encouraged that prick from Le Moan to come to ACLF to moan like a drain? A confirmed doomer and sh*t supporter.

  31. How good was that away support?! All game long… “WAN ARSÈNE WENGER!! THERE’S ONLY WAN ARSÈNE WENGER!!” Fantastic. And what a show they got.

    Rotational bloodlust: Smith OFF Barton ON. 90 minutes worth of Wanker.

  32. The pass/assist from LK6 to TH14?
    Almost as good as some of TR7’s from earlier in the game!
    *drools*.

    Fabregas’ expression after he hit a Theo pass (overhit) for JET was also a highlight.

    RE: ‘JET looks lazy’ D**Mer template/meme:
    Nope, not last night.

  33. splendid all round really.
    sugar, you little rascall, why is your head right of center on your photo. have you been trying to get it up your arse again.

  34. Limestonegunner | October 28, 2010 at 5:11 am |

    Maria, if your objection was based on the violation of someone’s privacy (ignoring the hundreds of football and celebrity websites that mention the subject in French), I can understand having a problem with that. Outing people is controversial and quite debatable. However, there is still an implication in your posts (not to mention Champion’s) that homophobic views should for some reason be respected. Bigotry shouldn’t be respected. On the contrary, I do think it is progressive to judge people on the basis of the content of their character rather than on who they happen to love. I am surprised to have to state this in the 21st century among mostly residents of modern liberal democracies that have established rights for gay people.
    ——————————————————————–
    Limestonegunner in response, i’d say your ideological idea of progressiveness and modernism appears to be incredibly closed minded and bigoted. True liberalism would accept differences of opinion and therefore allow people to disagree with your point of view. In essence there is nothing particularly modern and progressive about trying to impose your particular view on someone else.

    I believe in basic human rights and therefore I believe that we all have
    the freedom of choice and people can choose to do what they want with
    there bodies and lives. In the same vein, people have the right to form
    their own opinions, adhere to their own belief systems disagree with
    other peoples choices. The thing with using words like homophobia it can have connotations of violence and prejudice. This is not necessarily the case with people that disagree with homosexuality many are not advocates of violence or ill informed about what homosexuality actually is.

    Regarding your statement about who people choose to love, sounds good but in truth, judgements are made and prison sentences are handed out all the time because of whom people choose to love. For example some people choose to love animals, some deceased bodies, some blood related
    family members etc. How is this different from your reasoning about 21st
    Century modernism. By your reasoning, people have no right to consider these things wrong.

    What I find surprising is that you have an unfounded and baseless belief
    your chosen point of view is morally superior to others. As I said before very, very bigoted.

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