Newcastle vs Arsenal – Carling Cup Preview

It’s time for another dose of beautiful football and this time around, it’s Newcastle away at St. James Park in the Carling Cup. For us, the Carling Cup has always been a competition where we blood our youngsters and in recent times, that style has meant that we’ve been knocked out too early and not gone on to win it. But Arsene has come out several times this season and said that it’s a competition that we are looking to win.

Despite the strength of the squad of the Sp*rs game, I feel that Arsene will change a few heads and primarily use his fringe squad for the first XI. Despite some excellent performances in the reserves, I think Jay Emmanuel-Thomas may not get the nod for the starting line up. Why? Because Arsene is keen to play Walcott, Bendtner and Vela and for that reason, JET simply cannot start. Arsene spoke on Arsenal TV ahead of the game and said:

“It will be similar to Spurs,” said Wenger. “We have players coming back like Walcott, Bendtner and Vela. Koscielny is fit to start. They will play. From the Man City game, we have no-one out [with injury]. One or two will be rested. Vela is back. In the squad, we will have Eastmond, Lansbury and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas,” said Wenger. “Wojciech will be in goal.”

I’m keen to see JET in action and believe there is a lot to come from the striker – in the reserves he has impressed and has a good mix of attack, skill and pace. Considering sometimes we moan that we have a small squad, when in fact we do have a pretty large squad. Today’s XI, I believe will be a completely different eleven then the players that started against Man City.


Eboue – Nordtveit – Koscielny – Gibbs

Denilson – Lansbury

Walcott – Rosicky – Vela


The first XI I’ve noted is relatively strong up front, with the three strikers coming back from injuries and fitness questions, it will be a good run out for them. Where I feel I am certain that Denilson and Lansbury will make up two of the midfield, I feel that if Rosicky doesn’t start then perhaps JET or Eastmond could come in, confirmation of Arsene’s thoughts nearer the time!

Arsene took time out to talk about the fact that Szcznesy will start in goal and was quick to play down his credentials, keen to insist that the player has to prove himself – I can see where Arsene is coming from – as a group of fans, we’ve been quick to hail him as our saviour in the goalkeeping department and the next best thing since sliced bread.

“He can show he is a good keeper and I believe he is one but there again let’s not make stars before they have proven they are,” said Wenger. “He has the talent, he has a good attitude and let’s see his performance in the games. You want of course a good performance but let’s not put him under too much pressure. Let’s let him enjoy the game and not speak about contracts.  He’s a goalkeeper we rate, he knows he has been educated here, we want him to stay here and the only way I can show him that is by giving him a chance when it is possible. Tomorrow he gets that chance.”

Arsene has been prudent not to jump to conclusions and his faith in Fabianski may finally be starting to reap it’s rewards. Szcznesy has to prove to us and prove to everyone else that he is as good as the hype about him suggests he is.

After a few injuries this season, our defensive prodigy Harvard Nordtveit could feature in the centre of defence (instead of the right side of defence as he played in pre-season) alongside the returning Koscielny, who is back to fitness after a short spell out of the first team. I think the game will be good for both players and I really feel they both need some playing time and experience under their belt and where better to get that than St. James Park on a cold October night!

Nordtveit talked about his potential starting berth tonight saying:

“The most important thing is just to train hard, have a good attitude, do what I have to do and [give] even extra. When we played against Tottenham I was unfortunately injured with a twisted ankle but now I’ve been back in training for three weeks. It’s up to the boss to pick the squad for the Carling Cup but if I’m selected I will do everything. Right now it’s a tough squad to come in to. There are some very good players but I hope to be there.”

And he is right, our second string is signifcantly stronger than it was in previous years – but with Vermaelen out for a while, it would really make sense to rest Djourou and Squillaci. We can’t afford any more injuries to key first team players.

It will be a very exciting evening tonight, and I really can’t wait… Come on you reds!!!

  • devday

    The squads have been announced, which renders my bit on Nordtveit useless:

    Newcastle (from): Krul, Soderberg, R. Taylor, Simpson, Perch, Ferguson, Enrique, Coloccini, Williamson, Kadar, Smith, Tiote, Barton, Routledge, Gutierrez, Guthrie, Vuckic, Tavernier, Donaldson, Nolan, Carroll, Ameobi, Lovenkrands, Ranger.

    Arsenal (from): Szczesny, Gibbs, Djourou, Koscielny, Eboue, Rosicky, Denilson, Diaby, Lansbury, Bendtner, Walcott, Fabianski, Clichy, Squillaci, Arshavin, Song, Fabregas, Nasri, Chamakh, Emmanuel-Thomas, Eastmond.

  • devday

    Looks like the line up will be:


    Eboue – Djourou – Koscielny – Gibbs

    Denilson – Lansbury

    Walcott – Rosicky – Vela


  • vj

    surprised nordveit wasn’t included, would have liked to see him play, maybe its too tough a game to throw him straight into. If newcastle play a full team, which i think they will do, then its gonna be a really tough game. Mt team same as urs devday. I think that JET may start instead of lansbury though

  • Arsefan101

    JET is too lazy to be one of the three in the middle – if JET starts, one of Walcott or Vela won’t!

  • devday

    Arsene talks about winning the Carling Cup:

    “Yes [there is added pressure]. There is as well a lot of demands from people who know you are at the top and they try always to find your weakness,” said Wenger.

    “They try to exploit that [we haven’t won anything] and I believe you have take a distance from that. It is because that is always the reproach you get but you have as well experience enough in our job people always wonder what you have not done.

    “That’s what we want to do and we want to achieve. We want to respond with the maximum commitment to the demands of people. We want to go as high as we can.

    “People forget that we have been at the top every year but we want to add what people want from us and we want as well. It is very difficult to respond to that, the only thing I can promise is that we will try to give our best in every competition.”

  • trevor

    Really looking forward to tonight. There’s a real chance to win this trophy and I hope to see Vela/ Bendtner/ Walcott up front. Considering they are all on the fringes of the first eleven it’s a great chance for them to remind us all what they have to offer.

    What a strikeforce! Pace, creativity, finishing ability down the wings and the strength and confidence of Nic up top. They’ll all interchange too; mouth watering stuff.

    Let’s hope the defence/ keeper are up to scratch. We never like going up north and St James has a great atmosphere so it’ll be a good match im sure! 3-0 arsenal, Vela hat-tick!!!

  • Arsefan101

    Vela / Bendtner / Walcott are way too good for this competition – very exciting to see them all play today :-)

  • Gooner Get Ya

    Vela isn’t in the squad?

  • Gooner Get Ya

    It looks more and more like vela is on his way out of Arsenal. If he can’t get in the Carling Cup squad then he has got to be pissed off. I can’t think why he is nit playing though, he is a full international with bags of talent and a clinical finish!!!

  • Bonathan

    Looking forward to seeing our young keeper. Very surprised that Norveidt and Vela haven’t made the squad. Very surprised indeed. Doesn’t bode well for either of them really, unless they’ve picked up last minute injuries.

  • vj

    Arsenal: Szczesny, Eboue, Djourou, Koscielny, Gibbs, Denilson, Eastmond, Rosicky, Walcott, Bendtner, Vela. Subs: Fabianski, Sagna, Fabregas, Arshavin, Emmanuel-Thomas, Lansbury, Nordtveit.
    think you got ur squads wrong dev

  • vj

    great performance all round big shame about gibbs, so clichy remains first chice for now, everyone played really well, i dont think we had quite the quality in the first half plenty of possesion but no real good chances, vela was rusty, but then again he is on his way back from injury, theo did really well in the second half, rosicky has lost it i think, he isnt the player he was by any means, he still is technically very good but just doesn’t have much flair left I think. Djourou and Koscielny were really good, Koscielny’s tackling was amazing and Djourou covered really well making some key interceptions. Finally a big shout to Szeczesny he was unbelievable, he really is a quality player, couple of top class saves with a huge punch at the end! Love him

  • dimi

    How good was Szczesny? Based on last night’s performance, he’s a well-rounded goal keeper. He saved a long shot vs Smith, a 1 v 1 vs Carroll, didn’t screw up a goal-line scramble like Krul, organises his defence properly, had a calm head and saved other routines as well. Perhaps his area of improvement is to pluck crosses from the air, but other than that, give him a little bit more playing time and surely Arsenal have got their own version of Shay Given.

  • edison

    was a great performance, scrappy but effective.

    best defence i have seen in a long time from arsenal, djourou and kosielny were incredible at keeping newcastle out. GREAT defensive game for Eboue as well, who ended up covering left back after Gibbs went off injured for Sagna.

    Szeczesny made some world class saves, brilliant game for the 20 year old. I think for one we actually managed to shut the opposition out of our goal, as opposed to just scoring and hoping for the best.

    Bendtner is a changed man. clinical finish from him for his goal. Fabregas and Rosicky were great but very much played held back roles – allowing our youngsters (and eboue) to attack forward.

    another 3-0 over west ham this saturday?

  • Gooner Get Ya

    What has happened to this site? Slow to update posts!! hardly any comments!! Where is everyone???

  • devday

    Hey Gooner Get Ya!

    Basically, a lot of comments are fed in through facebook now.
    I’m working on a project to merge the comments so everything appears here, and it’s coming soon!

    My match report has been delayed due to work commitments, but I’ll be posting tonight!