Monday, October 25, 2010

Newscastle vs Arsenal: An Early Preview - Carling Cup

Traditionally, this is one competition where Arsene Wenger bloods his next generation of stars. Throughout, names like Fabregas, Clichy, Wilshere, Walcott et al got their debut in this competition. However this year there may not be so many places available for the younger generation as the Professor is under pressure to deliver some form of silverware to the club after six barren years.

When asked if he would send out a strong team for the match against Newcastle during the post match interview on Sunday, Wenger said that he is definitely sending out a couple from the team at the weekend to face the newly promoted side.
From the manager’s words, my guess is he would be playing most of the players who sat on the bench on Sunday.  That would mean a start for Rosicky, Walcott, Gibbs, Bendtner and Eboue. Having said that I am sure the manager will pepper the squad with some youngsters so expect to see Szczesny and Lansbury included as well. Lansbury gave a good account of himself scoring the first goal against Spurs in the last round so he would be expecting a prolonged run with the team in the Carling Cup.
I know he won’t start but I do hope the manager gives Benik Afobe a chance to show the fans what he is capable of against established stars. Afobe has come in for some great reviews from the academy coaches, even Arsene is captivated the young man and has predicted him for stardom in the near future. The last time he was so upbeat about a player was Jack Wilshere and look how he turned out.

Newcastle would not be an easy opponent to take on especially at St JamesPark. They beat Chelsea away in the last round and confidence is high after the weekend’s 2-1 away win to fellow relegation contenders West Ham.  Their dangerman Andy Carroll is a talented centre forward would give our defenders a hard time. Former Bolton hard man Kevin Nolan is another threat .

It is an excellent chance for the Gunners to go all the way and claim their first title in six years given the competition this time around have already seen the top teams like Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool and Spurs all fall by the wayside.

Go Gunners!

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