Match Preview: Arsenal vs Cardiff

We take on Cardiff tonight, and it's live on Setanta at 7.45pm - it's also a bit more live at the Emirates. The fire has been stoked ahead of the game by Cardiff manager, Dave Jones, who insists they can and will win tonight. Thanks for the extra motivation. Let's take a listen to what Dave Jones had to say, then we'll take a listen to what Nikki B has to say about himself being the best striker at the club (yeah I know) and finally take a listen to Arsene and preview the starting line up for tonight.

Dave Jones had this to say:

“We will go out to win.

“And I don’t think that is out of realms of possibility to do that – if Arsenal are not at their very best, then we obviously stand a better chance of turning them over. Arsenal are like us, they simply can’t turn up and turn the tap on and off. They will have to be at full pelt to beat us. Even with 10 men (after Emmanuel Eboue was sent off), they were outstanding. We know what we are up against, but we can only prepare and be organised for a hard battle. That’s what we will do, but we will do it knowing that we have a decent chance. I don’t see any point in me or any of my players going to Arsenal in any other frame of mind than being confident. What’s the point of thinking any differently?

“I want to keep that winning mentality in players’ minds, even if the opposition is Arsenal.”

That’s a statement and a half from the manager, but of course, what else can he say, and with our form so random at the moment, there is an element of truth to that too!

In light of Bendtner woeful finishing this season, the Dane thought it was a good idea to reveal what he thinks about his position in the team. I don’t want to get on his back or anything but this is quite silly considering his very very very bad form earlier in the season (where he supposedly had a niggling injury but still started ahead of non injured players!)…

“I’m very sorry to see Adebayor injured as we need him fit and to be playing in the league. But it does not really matter to me who is fit and available.

“I should start every game, I should be playing every minute of every match and always be in the team.”

Every minute? Yeah right – at least Ade admitted that he was in bad form.

Sagna at least knows how important the cup is and will do his best for the team. For the team Bendtner, for the team.

“We have to be focused and try to win because we want to go through. The FA Cup is really important for the fans and for the club and for ourselves. It is one of the competitions we can win, along with the Champions League.”

News this morning suggested Eduardo may start ahead of Bendtner. We will see…

The possible line up could be:

Almunia

Sagna – Toure – Djourou – Gibbs

Nasri – Denilson – Song – Vela

Eduardo – Van Persie

Clichy had a bad clash to the head, so could be rested and with many games coming up, it may be a chance to see if Eddie can get some time under his belt and give Nikki B a rest / drop to the bench.

Come on you gunners – can’t wait to see Edaurdo in action tonight!]]>

  • Debs

    < ![CDATA[Bendtner's such a joker! I actually like him, but I think he needs to be sat on the bench for the next few games to bring him down to earth! Lol

    Yeah, I think Clichy deserves a rest, I just hope his injury wasn't a very nasty one and he's back playing on saturday.

    Should be a fabulous game today, one we should definitely win, but Cardiff will be no push-overs, so we've got to be on top of our game. We haven't played a game in a bit so the players should be fit and raring to go! Looking forward to a smashing performance from everyone!!!]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[Oh no ! I just read on SkySports that Usmanov has increased his stake in Arsenal FC !

    Can someone just take this guy out please !]]>

  • Debs

    Lol Zohaib! Would it be that bad? Let’s do it as WorldofArsenal! Hehe!

  • Debs

    Oh my word! Eduardo IS actually starting! Albeit alongside our self-proclaimed best striker!

  • http://deleted Dan

    That just made my season. I fucking love you Eduardo!

  • Debs

    Words out of my mouth Dan!!!

  • Debs

    That actually brought tears to my eyes!!!

  • Fabrez

    Lovely! 1 for Eddy! Yessss! And 1 for the best stiker at Arsenal, Bendtner lol Penalty as i type!!! Yesss..maybe 2 for Eduardo??? AHHH! I’m flippin happy & CANNOT contain myself! C’mon Eduardo! C’mon! YESSSSSSSSSS…2nd for Eduardo :D :D :D On a hatrick…sweet!

  • Fabrez

    Did it actually bring tears to ur eyes Debs? Must be awesome to be there. Gosh…wish i were at the Emirates!

  • Debs

    < ![CDATA[Yes it did Fabrez! After BOTH goals! Didn't think it would, but it did! And I wish I was at the Emirates too :(
    I predicted a hat-trick yesterday, and it's on!!!]]>

  • Fabrez

    Ah man! He had a chance for the 3rd…the hamstring is a bit tight & he’s off. I thought u were there actually! C’mon RVP! 1 for u as well :)

  • Debs

    No hat-trick tonight, but I couldn’t have asked for more from Eduardo. Great emotional comeback-performance from him and the goals were very well deserved. The rest of the season’s got to be amazing!

  • Debs

    < ![CDATA[No I'm not there, but I wish I was! Damn and blast that thing called Uni! lol
    Hope his hamstring isn't too bad though... and yeah, it'd be good for VP AND Vela to get goals today, but the 'keeper's been great though.]]>

  • Fabrez

    Same! But yeah…the keeper is well up 4 it seeing he is Man U’s! He seems to be good. Now i’m well excited about the weekend! A clean sheet would make my night now. Will be looking at the hightlights on telly later 4 sure :)

  • Fabrez

    I don’t want to say it too soon…but i think we’re on the up! This season must surely get better! 4-0!

  • Debs

    It’s better already, right at this moment! ;)

  • devday

    What a game!!!

  • Fabrez

    Absolute cracker!

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[That's more like the Arsenal I know. For the first time in many many games, I've actually felt our side was threatening. It was scary good in attack ! And this is still without Rosicky, Cesc, Walcott, Arshavin, Adebayor and VanPersie (at the start). Wow !

    Vela and Eduardo really seemed to be playing well together. They understood each other's game so well. Picking each other out with precise passes, and moving very well. It was surprising to see Eduardo play so well in his first competitive start back from injury. And what a feeling, as a supporter, to watch such a fantastic game. It felt like Arsenal were back from the dead. Just spine-chilling. And what a strike by Vela - the 25 yard which had the Manutd keeper fumble. It was so hot for him, he was actually trying to cool his hands down afterwards :P - I didn't expect Vela to have that much power in his tiny feet but wow. This guy along with Wilshere are our very own Messi's. Both left footed. And then we have the right footed Walcott who's finishing has glimpses of Henry to it. And Arshavin who could be our version of Ronaldinho depending on how he performs. Then Rosicky Nasri VanPersie and Cesc all have their own silky skills too. Mouth-watering.]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[I thought Bendtner played well. Certainly no worse than Adebayor's best performances this season. If you thought Bendtner missed too many, you're forgetting Adebayor who would've missed twice as many. I guarantee it ! Bendtner was inches wide on a couple of occasions and its not because he did end up getting a goal, that I'm not too worried about his misses. He was just unlucky as VanPersie was with his header at the end, that hit the outside of the post. What I feel however, is that when Bendtner is playing on the pitch, the team for some reason, does seem very united. It seems like it works well together, that it has a better understanding and even in the celebrations it seems like Bendtner is more of a friend than Adebayor, to most of their team-mates, if not all. And for this reason coupled with Adebayor's lack of desire and form this season, I'd have Bendtner start ahead of Adebayor. Of course, this is all irrelevant since we already have VanPersie and Eduardo up front now, with Vela an option as well. With Van and Edu, Bendtner vs Adebayor takes a backseat. Which is good in a way. I'd rather have Van and Edu than the other two right-footed guys. It seems our attack has become very left-footed. Vela, VanPersie, Eduardo. Then we have Wilshere and Merida coming up.

    Nasri seemed to be helping out in midfield as well as make some attacking runs like Vela. It worked well. He wasn't as attacking as Vela and sometimes it felt like a 4 - 3 - 3 but it was working. Song and Denilson were pretty decent as well but it was all about Vela, Eduardo and to an extent Nasri and Bendtner. And there was more to come from the bench ! Woohoo. Now we can comfortably say, we have strength in depth. Hopefully no more damn injuries !

    What would it have been like if we had Cesc in place of one of Denilson and Song. And maybe Arshavin off the bench as well ! Wow.

    A word on Bischoff. It was his first performance outside of the Carling Cup. Its good to finally see him in action. He didn't have too much to do. But he looked in the mood to mix it up in the tackles and win the ball back. He reminded me of a determination and bravery in tackles as Wilshere has. He seemed quick as well. And he nearly scored from an acute angle. He's got good footwork. Can use both feet. Has a bit of skill about him from what I could see today. All in all, a good package that will hopefully get much better and provide us with another option in midfield.

    It seems like things are finally coming together (fingers crossed). Everybody is returning from injury at about the same time. Great stuff.]]>