Time is short as football approaches but I will do my best to sum up the news and preview the coming match as fully as possible.
As covered yesterday this is an opportunity to give some of the squad players the opportunity to make a statement. I am expecting a mixture of youth and squad players with the likelihood of seeing youngsters such as Oxade-Chamberlain and Ryo Myachi. But how would you feel if were to name a near full strength team for tonight and really try and get our confidence up in the best way possible and that would be with a thumping win. Of course that could in itself give out a very negative message let alone not winning with that team would heap the pressure on exponentially and that is certainly something we cannot afford.
I suggest we are unlikely to allow the risk of that or even the appearance that Arsenal’s best chance of winning things is the Carling Cup but looking at the interest level from our fans and the level of ticketing still available for tonight it could be a potentially embarrassing night none the less.
I dread to think what the headlines will be if we have half the stadium empty which seems to be the case at the moment.
Either way, we are looking at an interesting tie and a good game of football so that is certainly something to be excited by despite the general anxiety that surrounds The Arsenal at the moment. As I reported yesterday this has clearly shown on a frustrated captain but now it seems the Manager is the one to vent his frustrations. In what the tabloids have described as a vicious and uncharacteristic attack on his own team we see that he is not happy with the performances. Despite the typical hysteria following the media’s reporting on the matter the comments are reflective of a man clearly unhappy with the level of performances by individuals. He spoke of individual errors constantly cropping up and that is something we should not have to deal with.
He did not attack his own players as has been claimed but careful scrutiny of his comments suggests a clear anger at individual errors.
“I believe as well, that when you score an own goal you have to look at yourself. Its never, never, never, never, never out of reach, or very rarely. Out of 100 own goals there are maybe 5 or 6 where you have no chance at all, all the rest you have to look at yourself.”
This is hinting that the problems may not be a fundamental problem with the teams defending but that the problem is lying with individual error. This seems to contradict my message from the past two days and I certainly don’t agree with the overall sentiment but feel that individual errors are far more prevalent in our defence than most other teams in the league.
To blame just these two instances though is to ignore the inept defensive team performance for the duration of the second half. Blackburn Rovers, the majestic attacking presence that they are, were able to inflict pressure onto the defence with long balls and some good deep crossing which some may argue cost us more.
If players are losing concentration and haven’t the right level of focus then what on earth are the consequences. I blame Gervinho’s lack of team play for not passing to Van Persie when the score was 2-1 just as much as an individual defensive error. Where is the consequence? Will these players be dropped? Told off? Anything? I doubt much has happened in the past but do these comments spell a change in direction for the future. I personally doubt it. It has never been Wenger’s style to deal with things in such a way but I guess we shall see. One thing I will say though dropping the two players would be a huge call if things go tits up but if successful in the following result would certainly send a strong message to the team.
Enough of that though, onto tonight’s fixture; the result will be unimportant but this is a great opportunity to give some of the younger players the opportunity to prove themselves as well as others to gain some valuable experience of the English game. Of course there is some cross over but all in all I expect a decent side to be picked that is capable of winning the game. I hope Park Chu Young starts today as he is someone that could prove useful over the course of the season.
I expect the line up to be: Fabianski, Jenkinson, Djourou, Iguansi, Gibbs, Frimpong, Colequin, Chamberlain, Ryo Miyachi, Park Chu Young, Chamakh. Could have a few that may not be starting for instance he may want Chamberlain out on the wing and want to have Rosicky in the middle so that could throw things but gives us a rough indication.
I hope we win but a good showing will do me fine.
Good luck to the boys and make us proud!
Up the Arse!