Its snowy, cold, minus god knows what temperature – yet 60,000 people will venture out of doors to lay witness to an event. It could only be football…
We have a chance to get into the semi-finals of the Carling Cup tonight and it looks as if things are starting to go our way already. It looks as if Hugo Rodallega and Tom Cleverly are out for Wigan which when you have a defence down to the bare bones, is no bad thing at all. I am a fan of Rodallega, he is powerful and has a good technique – he has been linked loosely with us in the past but in all probability nothing will even happen there.
People expecting Wigan to lay down and let us tickle their bellies with pretty football will be wrong, they will come to the Emirates knowing they could possibly get a result tonight, it is no longer any kind of fortress and that will always give the opposition a bit of belief, it is down to the players to crush that belief early doors and really make their mark.
This game is in my opinion the biggest of our season so far, we have a brilliant chance of going all the way in this competition and just winning a trophy, any trophy, will give this squad the belief and hunger for more; in theory anyway. The fact that the boss is taking this tournament more seriously than he has ever probably done before is down to the fact the club are desperate for a trophy – there is no way of making that sound pretty – we really are getting desperate. I realise that in years gone by the club have gone for a lot longer than five seasons without silverware, but this is the modern Arsenal – built to win trophies, the proper way too.
I have a feeling that we will go through tonight, quite comfortably in the end as well. The firepower up front should be sizable, literally, with Bendtner starting down the middle, van Persie being accommodated down the left (or the reverse, Bendtner out wide), and Theo Walcott starting down the right – leaving out Carlos Vela, and I will move onto that in a moment. In the middle it looks like Craig Eastmond will get another start, presumably with Tomas Rosicky but the filler of the third midfield role is something I have no idea about.. Jack Wilshere may be in with a shout but that is mere speculation, I guess the first bit was too…
Another area of interest will lay with the goalkeepers – if the ever-ambitious Szczesny starts it must spell the end for Manuel Almunia who isn’t even in with a sniff it looks like, the manager will have a dilemma in front of the ‘keeper too – with Squillaci out options are running out with the only two fit recognised center-backs being Laurent Koscielny and Johann Djourou.
Now, to the bit you probably want to read -
I have been told by a reliable source with connections to the club that Arsenal are currently listening to offers for Nicklas Bendtner, it is thought that his outburst a few weeks ago is a moan in the press too far, his relationship with the manger has deteriorated to such an extent that the club are willing to sell him, preferably in the summer, but if an offer comes in that is too good to refuse then who knows? I will be watching the situation with interest as Bendtner is one of my favourite players. Lets hope it can be resolved and the Bayern Munich interest isn’t as strong as I fear it is. He will be a brilliant player.
On the subject of Carlos Vela, I am aware that two clubs in Spain have been in contact with Arsenal looking at taking him on a loan deal, Sevilla and Valencia are said to be the interested parties. Over the past seven days there have been a number of articles saying that Vela may be shipped off out on loan in January and with the interest being shown it would be no surprise at all if he goes out to Spain for the remainder of the season. Vela has been training seperately from the rest of the squad recently, working with Robin van Persie to improve fitness – a loan move is probably the best way for him to start on the road to hopefully reaching his massive potential.
I would be interested to hear your thoughts on that news in the comments – I will be en-route to the Emirates but I will get round to reading your comments.
Til tomorrow… COME ON YOU REDS..