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Vermaelen set to make comeback as Arsenal Welcome Bolton.

We play Bolton at The Emirates later today in a Carling Cup 5th Round encounter. This game comes off the back of a good weekend for us, a successful weekend in all ramifications.

L’pool drawing at home to Norwich was good news, getting all 3 points against Stoke was great, United getting thumped at home (even though it was by another of our rivals) was even sweeter, then Chelski losing at QPR put the cherry on the cake.

We seem to have built some momentum now, and having 1-6 [I just had to -;)] in 7 games, we are currently 4th on the form table, ahead of Man United, Chelsea and L’pool! Not bad considering we are “a club in crisis”.

Tonight’s game brings good news! The Verminator who has been training with the lads for some time now (his twitter account, @T_Vermalaen05 says so) is expected to make a return to the team. This is the biggest boost we’ve had since the start of the season. And with our defence improving steadily, Vermaelen’s return will only make us stronger.

He’ll most likely partner Mert4, with Kos getting pushed to RB. It will however be interesting to see how we line up when Sagna returns. Were I Arsene, I’d play Verm-Kos against fluid, “football-playing” teams, and play Verm-Mert4 against the physical sides. Makes a lot of sense to me, but what do I know?

The likes of Miquel, Benayoun, Fabianski, Oxo-Chamb, and Ju Yong Park will get a chance to lay claim to starting berths.
Park in particular will show how bad he is that Wenger has refused to give him even one minute of EPL action! Oxo will like to make his case for a slot on the right wing ahead of Theo, while Fabianski will be eager to show Wenger why he should start instead of Sz13.

It’s the Carling Cup, we are on a good run, the fans are happier, and the tickets are cheaper, so I expect an almost full house. Bolton is the opposition and as such I do not envisage an easy game. A win, and I mean any win that will take us into the quarter finals will do just fine!

If had to put my allowance on the line though, I’d go for a 2-1 win…to the Arsenal of course!

As usual, let us know what you think concerning tonight’s game.

Have fun wherever this post meets you!

Cheers!

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Arsenal vs Shrewsbury : Carling Cup Preview, AOC & Miyaichi Set For Debuts

If there were any perfect game for the club to use as a springboard to better performances, this is it right here. Nothing less than a 3-0 scoreline or 3 goals difference is expected. This is not a league game so hopefully the league form is not carried into the game.

Not the best of mornings for me, it rained all night and it still is meaning I’m stuck at home till it stops and then to make it worse, my favorite rapper’s(J.Cole) album leaked a week before its original date(damn! Cole World) but I trust Arsenal to make that all right against the boys from league two.

Team News
AW confirmed yesterday that there’s going to be first starts for summer signings AOC, Ryo Miyaichi and Park Chu Yung, but its not going to be a weak squad as the likes of Koscielny, Mertesacker , Chamakh, Gibbs are in it.

If anything, I’m excited to finally watch AOC play, he’s our biggest signing this summer in terms of fees and he’s been in electric form for the England U21’s bagging 6 assists in 2 games, fancy he could grab a couple again tonight.

Shrewsbury should be a walkover but don’t expect them to come to the Emirates and fold, as they are a good footballing side who move the ball well and make use of their fast & exciting wingers. Also, striker Marvin Morgan has already scored 7 league goals this season so expecting him to be looking for more.

Possible Line Up : Fabianski-Gibbs-Djourou-Miquel-Jenkinson-Coquelin-Frimpong-Benayoun-AOC-Park-Ryo-

Let us no what you think the scoreline would be. See you in the comments.

Escobar

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Victoria Concordia Crescit!

Collective Victory

I cannot seem to get enough of the highlights from last night’s game. I was close to tears after Mike Halsey blew the final whistle as I could finally sense the end of my wait for an Arsenal trophy. The players shared my sentiments too, evident in the lap of honour after the game. You could see what this win meant to the fans in the stadium. We finally have a chance to get those haters off our backs.

The first leg was an extremely poor performance from us and as such we had the task of overturning a lone goal deficit. This would have to come against a team who had no intention of attacking us in the second leg. We needed a big, big performance from the lads, one capable of taking us into our first final in 4 years, and boy what did we get?

Just three changes to the side that destroyed Wigan, Arshavin, Denilson and Nikky B coming in for Nasri, Song and Walcott respectively. These changes surprised me but they obviously paid lots of dividends.

The game in itself was one way traffic. Ipswich rarely ventured into our half not to talk of our box but one of their trademark long balls left Sagna with concussion and he had to be replaced with Eboue. That did not affect our play though as we set to rip them apart right from the first minute. I guess we were a bit too eager to score atimes and it was clear in the way we finished our chances in the first half. A little more calmness would have seen us lead at half time. But the writers of this particular script had other things in mind.

We picked up in the second half where we had left off earlier. But we just did not have the composure in the final third. I had been on the edge of my seat up till this point and I think I speak for majority of gooners if I say my heart was beating real hard when I saw 60 minutes on the clock but no Arsenal goal. How long did we have to wait? Just a minute, fellas! It was Nikky B’s voice!

His goal was pure class and this is the sort of attribute Bendtner believes will make him a world beater. That goal had composure written all over it, from the control, to the movement into the box, to the finish. I celebrated it as if we had won the Cup itself. You know why? It’s because, a goal was all this Arsenal team needed to get it firing. It would only be a matter of time before they got the other goals, I thought to myself.

The second and third goals came in the space of 15 minutes and I could breathe easy again. I could actually smell silver in the pub I saw the game. It wasn’t from the cutlery or anything in the pub or nearby, I bet it was all the way from Wembley!

In David Hytner’s words,

“The players have vowed to end the wait this season and, in the second half, the sheer force of their collective eventually wore Ipswich Town down and propelled Arsenal to their first final since 2007.”

A few positives before I close the post, Lil Jackie was astonishing last night. I was actually praying they passed the ball to him in midfield every time as he seemed to do something definitive with it each time my prayers were answered. He’s already stamped his authority on his position in this team and Arsene would be crazy to drop him for Diaby or anyone else for that matter. The performances of Arshavin and Bendtner were also encouraging as it showed that our bench players can deliver the goods. Arshavin, albeit a quiet performance, delivered two quality assists while Nikky got the goal of the night.

If you were looking for a perfect night, last night will surely fit that definition. The only blot was Man United’s win against Blackpool after going two goals down. There’s talk of Blackpool being denied a stone wall penalty early in the second half but I do not wish to be drawn into that. We all know how these things work, don’t we? And it will definitely take something special to beat them, won’t it? But hey, we are special!

It’s a bright day gooners, we have one trophy already IMO, and it would be an abomination if we did not destroy either of West Ham or Birmingham in the final. We are second in the League, with the leaders still to play Chelsea twice, and Man Citeh. They won’t win all of those, believe me. It is our duty to take advantage when they finally slip up. We are in the Champions League, and contrary to popular opinion, we are not out yet, irrespective of who the opposition is.

We have the FA Cup this weekend with Huddersfield paying us a visit. It’s a chance for some players to also show what they can bring to this team. Don’t expect anything other than an annihilation!

Oh to be a gooner!

From wherever you are reading this, it’s happening this season!
9jabred says so!

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We’re Going To Wembley, YES WE ARE!

Gibbsy
Like many gooners worldwide, I have no doubt in the outcome of the game later tonight. Confidence is sky high and the players know a lot is on the line. The added incentive of winning a silverware for the first time since 2005. But wait, do we really want this? If our performance in the first leg was anything to go by then our opponents seem to know what’s at stake more than us. I’ll just call that game a ‘bad day at the office’.

Okay, we seem to have put our poor run of form behind us, emphasis on the seem, but again you would have bet your house on easy wins against Leeds (1st leg) and Ipswich as well. But now we find ourselves needing to run the latter of the green grass of our stadium. Ah well it could have been worse, I do remember that they could have been two up in that game. Yet this game is actually easier to lose than the 1st leg, because its no longer even ground seeing as the away goals rule counts and they are one up.

Now do you see Ipswich not scoring? Well with the tactic they are sure to use (long balls) no, especially if we’re crazy enough to play a high line in defence. If we’re to concede at all, I’ll prefer we do so very early so we can roll over them but its a cup competition, no easy games here. A clean sheet is essential for our progress. Wigan 2006 anyone???

Another thing which concerns me as regards this game, is what the team selection will be. I have no reason to believe that these people shall be in the line up. I mean Samir, Cesc, RVP,Song Theo; you get my drift? Need I mention that all our goals at Elland road came from our usual starters, but If Arsene decides a rest is needed by at least 3 of these above mentioned names,we might be in for a long night.

They will definitely park the bus, yes, the same one Man Shitty brought with them to the Emirates, albeit a less expensive one. That being said, we should have enough to move their vehicle out of our space and throw it where it belongs. Yes, you geddit, we throw it out!

As such we’ll need our wingers dearly this evening because what we should do is stretch their back four and move them out of place which should make movement easier down the middle; a fast paced game will also be just what the doctor ordered cue Mr. Walcott and Mr. Nasri maybe even the enigmatic Russian. My ideal line-up looks something like this:

    Chezzney

    Sagna JD Koscly Gibbs

    Denilson Wilshere Nasri

    Bendtner Chammy Arshavin

This way have Cesc, RVP and Theo on the bench in case things go out of hand. It’s been rumoured that Ignasi Miquel might get the nod ahead of JD just to rest him and Eboue might come in for Sagna, I say we leave Sagna on seeing how in his absence the Ivorian got some games. I’m looking forward to this game as I believe can be the turnaround of Arshavin’s slump and fancy Chamakh to nab a brace.

We hope Arsene gets his tactics spot on for all gooners the world over will stand behind me when I say, we need a trophy, BADLY!!!

From wherever you choose to watch,have fun and I’m sure we’ll all be rejoicing come the end of 90 minutes.

Ita!

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