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.
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….]]>