Leyton Orient v Arsenal – The Preview

From Barcelona at the Emirates to Leyton Orient at the Matchroom Stadium – those are the two ends of the spectrum and this game will help us to land back on planet Earth and focus us back to our bread and butter – the domestic leagues and cups! So, off to Leyton Orient, and hopefully it will ground us, as we’ve got a few games between now and the Barcelona away leg and it’s important we focus on each game at a time.

Arsene is someone who normally prepares quite a lot, but rather surprisingly, he has admitted that he hasn’t had too much time to prepare yet for the match today – despite banging on earlier this week that we must focus on all our games one by one…

“We always try to prepare properly,” he said. “That gives you a guarantee to be at a certain level but, of course, it does not guarantee that you qualify.  This is the charm of the game. To be successful in the end, you need to go through in these kinds of matches. It is a mental test of how much we want to win. If you want to win, you have to play well at Orient. We have had reports of their games and we watched them a little bit against MK Dons. They have a good left back and they have a striker who looks dangerous, Alex Revell. So you see we always look after our opponent. To be fair I have had no time [since Barcelona to find out about Orient]. We watched 30 minutes of the first half against MK Dons and I will watch the rest this afternoon.”

Being a lower division side, you have to think that Arsene is taking a little for granted, but he has done a little homework, which is good, unusual to talk about in the press conference, but nevertheless, he’s going to try and be on top of them by the time we get there…

Team news ahead of the game is that Squillaci will play – Djourou was injured, but is back in contention now – and Koscielny is exhausted after the Barcelona game. Both Djourou and Koscielny have formed a very good partnership and it’s an ideal time to ease Squillaci back into the team after his second half performance against Newcastle. One of the key players will be rested, but we won’t find out who until later today. Personally, I’d like to see Djourou rested as he is more injury prone and has had a few scares most recently. Diaby is still suspended and it is an opportunity for Arsene to rest as many as he can…

My predicted line up is…


Eboue – Squillaci – Koscielny – Gibbs

Wilshere – Denilson

Bendtner – Rosicky – Arshavin


With a bench of Szcznesy, Sagna, Djourou, Song, Walcott, Cesc & Van Persie

There is enough quality on the pitch to win the game and of course, failing that, there is definitely enough quality on the bench to come on and make a difference. It will be tremendously hard for us to take this game as seriously as the tie itself deserves, after the heroics of midweek, but with Jack Wilshere in the middle of a team who is full of players who want to become first team regulars, there should be a good level of desire within the team…

I’ll leave you with a few words from our new number 1, Szcznesy, who everyone is glad to see between the sticks and the boy himself wants to stay number one for as long as possible:

“That’s my target really [a decade], that’s my goal,” said the stopper. “I would love to [do that] but I know I have a few others that want to have the No 1 shirt. I’m going to have to be at my very best to keep it. If I am given the chance to stay the No 1 I would be very happy to [continue]. There is very good competition at the Club so I can’t say there is no threat. I know that I have to be at my very best because if there is any slip up or drop in my performance, other goalkeepers will be happy to take my place. I can’t demand playing time at a Club like this being 20-year-old. I know that when my chance came I had to take it with both hands and try to take the No 1 spot.”

Good stuff Wojciech… keep on playing well and you’ll be the fans choice too!

So, all hands on deck – time of the team to get back to domestic affairs and put half a dozen past Leyton Orient…

Come on you reds!!!!!!!!

  • vj

    dev great preview right lineup, with so many on loan/injured we don’t have much flexibility with our team, hopefully vermaelen will be back in 2 weeks to lighten up our defence, same with ramsey.

  • Thierry Bergkamp-Wright

    That’s a strong line-up, Dev. Although I suspect Wilshere and Koscielny to be rested and on the bench.

    Almunia; Eboue, Squillaci, Ignasi, Gibbs; Song, Denilson, Rosicky; Arshavin, Chamakh, Bendtner

    Subs: Szczesny, Clichy, Sagna, Koscielny, Walcott, Fabregas, RvP

    We might even find a couple of reserve team players on the bench.

  • Arsefan101

    @ Thierry Bergkamp-Wright:
    Maybe Song will play considering he had half a game off against Barcleona – but with Wilshere we have the British fight!

  • Fo

    Excellent article yet again!
    Definitely agree with the team that you’ve put out – reading Wilshere’s recent comments, I’m sure he’s up for the cup… he ready to scrap in!!!

    So excited to see the boys in action again today!!

  • devday

    @ vj:
    Indeed, normally the likes of Lansbury, Eastmond, Ramsey, Randall, JET may have been used for this game… but they are all on loan!

    Will be good to have TV5 and Aaron Ramsey back in a few weeks – hoepfully they’ll get back to form and really help for March / April / May!

  • devday

    @ Thierry Bergkamp-Wright:
    I doubted Miguel would start – but apparently he is! He is starting next to Squillaci!!!

  • devday

    And if we win………… we have Man United away!

  • Gooner Get Ya

    1-1??? Rosicky finally scores after 43 games without a goal and then the O’s get a last minute equaliser with Almunia seemingly transparent as the ball went straight threw him!

  • http://worldofarsenal Josiah

    we just couldn’t finish them off and that was due to the poor team selection at emirates we should do a lot better.