Carling Cup: Arsenal vs Wigan Preview

Tonight's game is an exciting one. Our kids will take on the mighty Wigan at the Emirates. And any of you lucky enough to have a ticket must be quite excited indeed.

Arsene announced the squad and here it is:

12 Carlos VELA
16 Aaron RAMSEY
17 Alex SONG
19 Jack WILSHERE
20 Johan DJOUROU
21 Lukasz FABIANSKI (GK)
24 Vito MANNONE (GK)
28 Amaury BISCHOFF
35 Francis COQUELIN
39 Rui FONTE
40 Kieran GIBBS
41 Gavin HOYTE
42 Henri LANSBURY
43 Fran MERIDA
46 Abu OGOGO
47 Mark RANDALL
50 Jay SIMPSON
56 Emmanuel FRIMPONG

Included in this squad is the mercurial Amaury Bischoff, who's been outstanding in our reserves, really pulling the strings and scoring a few crackers. We'll also see the talent that is Jack Wilshere, who has already established himself as a fan's favourite despite his relatively young age. Johan Djourou may feel slightly harshly treated this year as he's put in outstanding performances in this year with the reward of a place on the bench... if he's lucky. So tonight, he'll be eager to get 90 minutes under his belt and make another statement of intent to the boss.

So here's my proposed line up considering who's available.

Lukasz Fabianski
Goalkeeper
 
Gavin Hoyte
Right Back
Johan Djourou
Centre Back
Alex Song
Centre Back
Kieran Gibbs
Left Back
 
Amaury Bischoff
Right Wing
Aaron Ramsey
Midfielder
Mark Randall
Midfielder
Jack Wilshere
Left Wing
 
  Carlos Vela
Striker
Jay Simpson
Support Striker
 

With Bendtner considered for the first team, Simpson may start up front. I’d expect to see Merida, Lansbury and Coquelin at some point too…

Arsene’s also been speaking on his relationship with Steve Bruce and what his Wigan side will bring to the table tonight:

“We had good connections when he was at Birmingham. Steve Bruce was always ready to take players from Arsenal because he knew what kind of players he would get and because they’d be ready to play for him. I don’t know [if he’ll ask for our players in January]. Maybe. Let’s first see how the players do against his team. Anyway Steve now has a bigger squad than he had at Birmingham. He has Antonio Valencia, Wilson Palacios, Amr Zaki plus all the players he had already like Emile Heskey and Paul Scharner. These are good players so that is maybe why he is less likely to be after our players than before.”

And on our chances tonight, Arsene talked about the test and his will to win this competition.

“I would love to win the Carling Cup because I have never won it. We were very close twice and I want to get even closer. This game is a big test. If we get through I feel we can have a good chance to win it and I am confident we can do it. There is always a congestion around the later rounds [in the New Year] that is why we have to announce now that we’ll stick with the young players. Otherwise there is a huge demand at a period where you play so many competitions. If you are not ready to separate [the competitions] you get punished so I will stick with this squad no matter what happens.”

Tonight’s game should be a classic…

Speak later… Roll on the comments….]]>

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    Really looking forward to this tonight – normally only miss football for the champs league, but I’ve had this diaried for weeks since the TV station was announced. The right wing can miss me for one more night!!

  • Dan

    < ![CDATA[How could you do this to your beloved Back Alley Rovers, Kieran? They need you more than The Arsenal! :P

    I think Wenger playing a different side in the Carling Cup really freshens things up for us the fans. Not that our first team are boring, but they can be frustrating at times, so its great to see some fresh blood in The Arsenal red. We get a sneak peak into the wonders of the future, and are really privelaged to have that in my opinion.

    Dev i bet you had fun picking that line up tonight. Looks like a really exciting team. C'mon Jacky boy!]]>

  • devday

    Definitely, the carling cup is really exciting. I bet you the line up is not going to be as above, Arsene always has a little something up his sleeve.

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    < ![CDATA[Notice the lack of commenter's who are otherwise regulars - some of those who were probably screaming for Wenger's head. The Carling Cup is great fun, something those 'fans' would do well to watch.

    I think part of the reason I'm so optimistic about Arsenals future is from watching the majority of the Carling Cup matches in recent seasons. The casual fans bang on about crisis and problems, and the death of the club and all I can see is the most talented squad in the league.

    Sure they have to do something with it, but the talent in reserve is awesome.]]>

  • Debs

    Definitely agree that we’ve got a talented squad and it was amazing watching the talent on show today. It was out of this world! I’m so happy I’m an Arsenal fan cos even though we’ve got a great squad right now, we can see even now that we’ve got an even better squad for the future! It keeps you expectant and I can’t wait!!!!

  • shawn

    < ![CDATA[it was a brilliant game . . . it just shows why Arsene is reluctant to buy new players. VELA, RAMSEY, SONG, WILSHERE, DJOUROU, GIBBS, HOYTE, SIMPSON all stood out.

    the commentators comment that Arsene probably has some 5 year olds who can play in the Carling cup is probably true.]]>

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    Debs, Rosicky had more surgery this week – no return for him in 2008!