Morning all… and it’s time to switch our attention away from the league to the Carling Cup and it’s time to see our fringe players and a selection of our kids battle it out at the City of Manchester stadium. Our first team couldn’t get the better of Tevez and co, so it’s definitely going to be a tough one for our youngsters, but it’s part of their development and of course with injuries to a few key members of our squad, the kids have a massive chance to impress and potentially make a claim for the first team.
Arsene hinted that we’ll see two of the kids in Wilshere and Eastmond.
“I believe we have a good mixture of experienced players and young players but we will play young players that is for sure. It will be a typical Carling Cup side. For example, you will see players like Craig Eastmond and Jack Wilshere.”
Craig Eastmond has featured earlier in the competition and did well, and looks to have jumped ahead of Frimpong, Coquelin and Randall in the defensive midfield role. With Alex Song travelling to the African cup of Nations in January, we’ll need some alternatives in that role, and if Eastmond plays well, he could become a realistic option.
It’s hard to predict who will play tomorrow as we’ve not heard the squad yet, but let’s try anyway!
Gilbert – Senderos – Silvestre – Eboue
Coquelin – Eastmond
Wilshere – Ramsey – Merida
As you can see, I’ve chosen Eboue at left back – the Ivorian hasn’t featured much and I don’t think Arsene wants to risk Armand Traore, who I think he wants to give a extended run in the team as he is a natural left back who suits the way we want our full backs to operate in the 4-3-3. I also think Vela will get the nod up front as the Mexican is short of match practice and needs some game time under his belt. With Wilshere and Merida both available (I think), we should see them both be deployed in midfield alongside Ramsey. I think we’ll play two defensive midfielders in Coquelin and Eastmond who have both impressed.
The official squad should be released around midday so we will know if Arsene will spring any surprises or if someone is not available.
So interesting news outside of the Carling Cup and Arsene gave a hint that he will look at adding another striker in the January transfer window if the opportunity arises. Obviously this has come off the back of the Van Persie injury and the fact he is now out for the season…. Arsene saying this:
“It has to [change]. I didn’t feel we were in the need to buy anybody but we will be out on the market that is for sure now. However we will only make a decision if it suits us.”
Interesting… Vague… But at least some hope in adding to the team… David Villa? I doubt it… Chamakh… Maybe? Random unknown player who has potential… Probably!
Anyway, let’s see what happens later today and I’ll be back around 7ish for Match Day Live! Til then…