Match Day: Arsenal vs West Brom, Carling Cup

Arsenal v West Brom
Carling Cup, Emirates Stadium
Tuesday, September 22, 2009, 19:45

As the Black Eyed Peas say… tonight’s gonna be a good night… and I’ve very much looking forward to the game tonight… it’s crazy to think all us Arsenal fans get so hyped up for the Carling Cup. We’re probably the only club in the League that get really excited for such a game… tonight’s going to be a very exciting night of football.

As I write this, no real squad information has been announced, but we can gage some of the starting XI by who played last season is various positions, a look at the under 18’s this season and also a look at the fringe players.

Arsene mentioned a few hints though…

“You will see Wojciech Szczesny, Ramsey, Gibbs, Wilshere and certainly Vela. Traore will play.  Some experienced players will guide the team like Senderos and Silvestre. But overall it will be a very, very young team as usual.”

Arsene took out time to specifically talk about Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey and said:

“I believe last year he [Wilshere] paid a little bit of a price physically for a very demanding start. This year we feel that he is strong, more mature, and I’m sure that he will show that. It’s difficult to treat them [young English players] completely the same because you want to speed up a little bit their progress, but physically I will still treat him like anybody else because most people once they get to 19 years of age – 19 or 20 without big injures – they are over-used. A big injury can always happen because you get over-use of the players.”

“You cannot predict that too much, because for a player like Aaron Ramsey you know what can happen because he’s now physically ready. I believe you do not know what will happen throughout the season so for Jack the most objective target is to improve. There are some areas where he can improve and that is most important that you work on everything.”

You can see that both Ramsey and Wilshere have grown in stature since this time last year. Wilshere was a stand out player in last season’s campaign and it will be interesting to see how he plays tonight. His appearances pre-season also confirmed the guile and skill he has, but it will be our first time in a while to see the boy in action.

So, let’s give it a stab… The team that may play tonight… I’m thinking 4-4-2 for these guys, but maybe it’ll be a 4-3-3…


Gilbert – Senderos – Silvestre – Gibbs

Wilshere – Randall – Ramsey – Traore

Watt – Vela

With a bench of Shea, Bartley, Murphy, Deacon, Barazite, Eastmond and Luke Freeman

Or if it were to be 4-3-3, we’d be looking at:


Gilbert – Senderos – Silvestre – Gibbs

Randall – Ramsey

Watt – Wilshere – Traore


It will be Carlos Vela’s first outing this season and I’ve been annoyed that the player had been injured before the season as his cameos last season had been very exciting.

Another player who will be starting for us tonight is Philippe Senderos and if you all remember correctly, the boy was on the verge of a move to Everton after a loan at Milan and things didn’t work out for him, but now he finds himself back at the Emirates. Arsene spoke about the need for 4 central defenders, and the need to rotate and Senderos and Silvestre will both get their chance tonight. Arsene spoke on Senderos too and had this to say:

“I don’t believe he is starting his career with us again because we know how good he is but it is a new start let’s say. We have already seen his quality and he is still very young for a centre back. He’s 24 years-old and he has the future in front of him. The best 10 years are now coming for him. Philippe is an intelligent boy with a very good attitude and you don’t ever question that. His position at the moment is that we have four centre backs and he is one of the four because Djourou is out for nearly the season. In this job you have always to be ready and the day you get the chance you can do well. If you are not ready, everybody will say he is not good enough to play for Arsenal Football Club.  Now he is back with us so we will just give him a chance.”

Okay, boys and girls…… I am off to the game tonight, so I’ll have to leave it up to you to update everyone of what’s going on…

Come on you Gooners!

  • Pissed off

    Yeah, yeah Dev – we are looking forward to the match. Does anyone know what time the match is been played.

  • manoo

    wot about merida, hes better than randall, why isnt he playin?

  • hello

    19:45… does anyone no any way to leagally/illeagally watch the match??… pretty sure its not on sky or espn…

  • wills

    Just seen the 18 man squad published on the Arsenal website, looks like there is enough quality in it to win tonight.

    Wojciech Szczesny, James Shea, Philippe Senderos, Mikael Silvestre, Kieran Gibbs, Armand Traore, Kerrea Gilbert, Kyle Bartley, Mark Randall, Francis Coquelin, Craig Eastmond, Emmanuel Frimpong, Nacer Barazite, Aaron Ramsey, Gilles Sunu, Jack Wilshere, Carlos Vela, Sanchez Watt.

    Line up may look something like this:

    Gilbert – Senderos – Silvestre – Gibbs
    Randall – Ramsey
    Wilshere – Watt – Traore

    I would, however, like to see Coquelin and Barazite starting ahead of Randall and Watt. Randall has had at least the past 2 seasons to impress in the Carling Cup and has generally failed both times, particularly last year against Burnley.

    Barazite also always seems to shine in pre-season and I remember him having a decent game against United in the CC last year whilst on loan at Derby.

    Should be an interesting game none the less, West Brom showed at the weekend that they are most certainly no pushover, although they may make a couple of changes to their side as I very much doubt a cup run is high on their list of priorities when you’re trying to get back into the Premiership.

    Come on the Arsenal!

  • Yemi

    Anyone got a link where i can watch the match? And is Jay Simpson not in the squad ?

  • Gooner Get Ya

    2-0 up so far Watt and Vela with the goals.

  • sam

    Don’t have the game on my TV, please explain the performance if any one has seen the match. Thanks! (Need my fix of Arsenal).

  • joel sequeira

    hey any one knows wats happening and who is playing , how is the performance …. i gt no choice but to depend on you guys … no network in India is covering carling cup … sheesh it sucks , this not knowing wat the young gunns are up to …

  • Pete

    Was at the game last night. We was in posession for most of it, but were forced into one or two good saves from our keeper in the first half. Senderos and Silvestre were actually a pretty good pairing, and there was more of what we’ve come to expect from Gibbs at leftback. In midfield Coquelan put in a number of good tackels to break up play, and Ramsey was getting the ball forward and creating chances. It was pretty evenly matched until one of the WBA players shoved Wilshere after a tackle was made and was sent off 30 mins into the game. Halftime came and went, and with 10 men WBA were getting stretched more than the first half but still holding us off. At the 60 min mark we saw Carlos vela come on, and within a few minutes we started having chances at goal thanks to him. He really did make all the difference, and it was his shot at goal that gave Watt the chance to put us 1-0 up. Ramseys long range chip hit the crossbar and both the WBA defender and keepers couldn’t get it away from Vela, who walked the ball into the net. 2-0 Arsenal.

  • zohaib

    I thought it was Randall’s chip Pete ?

    I wasn’t even able to watch the match online. For some reason there was no stream available. Saw the highlights thankfully. How’d Watt do ?

  • Pete

    Ah my bad, it was Randall’s chip, not Ramseys. Bit difficult to tell who it was from where I sat.

    Watt definately benifitted by Vela coming on, it was the Mexican who made the real difference to our game. Even against 10 men, there weren’t so as many clear cut chances on goal before he came on. He gave us the an edge in the final 3rd. Sunu or Watt, one of the two, slipped a few times in the first half, and I can only remember one or two headers by Senderos from corners and a Wilshere strike as our first half attempts on goal. We almost did score from a corner in the first 45 mins though, it was nearly scrambled in but the WBA keeper just managed to stop it going over the line.

    Barazite did ok too, he was to the left of midfield and linked up quite nicely with Vela just ahead of him.

  • Leeroy.N

    Hey guys and girls. What was the official starting line-up with subs? I was working so I missed it all. Good result for us I saw with the help of my IPhone though HAHA!

  • sam

    It’s official, ManU get preferential treatment! Courtesy CNN:

  • devday

    LOL, Sam, yeah, but apparently we have more stoppage time on average… it just seems that Man United seem to score a lot of goals in extra time!!!

  • Berth

    Sam cheers for the information. We don’t want a biased league. We want a league where winners win on meriting it and by corruption. These things have to be said the ground is not fair any more.

  • Berth

    * and not by corruption


    All those stats prove is that Man U get more extra time at home. I would expect that is the same for most of the bigger clubs – I’d be interested in seeing the stats for all clubs.


    In fact Sky Sports news have just repeated those exact stats and then shown that last season United got less injury time at home than Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal.

  • Yemi

    Yeah kieran, you are correct but man u had more added time than any other club when they were losing at home or drawing


    Yeah, it’s dangerous to rely on statistics though – Hull had more injury time at home than Man United when losing – no one is accusing Hull of cheating (well not in respect to injury time anyway!).