Carling Cup Preview: Arsenal vs Bolton…

The BIG news of the day is the return of Thomas Vermaelen to the squad. When Arsene said he was coming back soon, we all just thought “yeah right, of course he’ll be back”, and in reality none of us expected him to come back in time for when scheduled. But he is back and will start tonight – and perhaps at left back…

“We want to win so there is no perfect game [to bring a player back] but Thomas has worked very hard physically so he should be ready. I have not decided who will start yet but we will try to find a good mixture. Vermaelen might play, Squillaci might play and of course Fabianski too. We will have an experienced team out there but of course some young players.”

My predicted line up is…


Yennaris – Squillaci – Miquel – Vermaelen

Frimpong – Coquelin

Oxlade – Benayoun – Arshavin


The captain for the night will be Vermaelen if he starts, or Arshavin if Vermaelen doesn’t start. I think the inclusion of Arshavin is a good idea – the player isn’t starting much for the first team and could do with some game time. Also, some experience is needed in the squad. I am also keen to see Miyaichi in action but in reality, patience is a virtue – he must be out of form in the reserves or something for him not to feature this season.

The bench should be Mannone, Boateng, Ozyakup, Meade, Miyaichi, Watt, Aneke.

I am surprised not to see Rosicky or Chamakh on the bench – in fact, I am surprised that Chamakh hasn’t started this game. If the player is number two to Robin Van Persie in the striking order, then surely he should have some game time. Game time = goals = confidence = can do a job when Van Persie is injured.

I think Arsene Wenger was in a super-jinxing mode when he last spoke, as all the stories on the site are stories which basically jinx each one of our players!

  • Coquelin is making a name for himself
  • Vermaelen is back
  • Ramsey will score double figures
  • Frimpong will be a top player
  • Van Persie is in good shape
  • We’re looking much more stable at the back

When I read all of those, all I think is…. JINX!

Having said that though, Francis Coquelin has actually been very impressive in his various games so far this season, and it will be good to see him in action. The quality of youngsters coming through at the moment is top top, and the playerm, who has been with us for 3 years now, spoke to Arsenal Player yesterday:

“I didn’t expect to play that much at the beginning of the season. I came back from the [Under-20] World Cup and then played straight away at Manchester United, which was a really hard game. He [Arsène Wenger] gave me another chance in the Carling Cup and I grabbed it. I think I have done quite well.  Against Tottenham again it was a really tough game. I am a bit disappointed because we came out of those two games with two defeats – I think we could have done better at White Hart Lane.  But overall I was pleased to play and hopefully I can get more games. I just try to do my job – tackle, keep the ball and play things easy. Obviously you are always happy to receive a man of the match award but it is about the team.”

Personally, I am looking forward to the performance of Park & Oxlade – these two players have potential for sure – Oxlade having started a few and scored a few for club & country and Park having scored a bucket load for country. Arsene has been keen to protect Oxlade and also mentioned several times that Park needs time to adapt.

Tickets are still available if you want to go, they are just £20 a ticket.

It’s going to be an exciting night at the Emirates… come on you reds!!

  • michael

    Get ready to change your attitude then as unless drastic changes are made we are going to struggle majorly to get in the top 4!

    For a club like Arsenal we should not be thinking in October that 4th place is an acceptable finish.

    And i am worried wherever Djourou plays as he is useless!

  • robin

    We will win and all will be rosy in the Wenger garden

  • michael

    This is going to be a very interesting game, because I expect to see a very unique Arsenal line up.

    If we play our fringe players and we lose, honestly I won’t really care. It’s the Carling Cup. Yes it would have been nice to win last year, but it shouldn’t be a priority – nor a goal – of a club with our stature. Additionally, it would only give the board and the manager something to say they “achieved”, when really it would be not much more than a scapegoat.

    Anyway, for the CC game, I’m hoping Ox-Chambo puts on a proper performance. We need him in the line up and I hope he makes a good case for himself as he has been doing lately. From what I’ve seen of him briefly, admittedly against weaker opposition, he looks far more dynamic than Walcott and has a lot less complacency in him.

    I’m also hoping to see Fabianski, because I’d like to see WS rested, and I think LF can do a decent job against Bolton.

    Lastly, Squillaci, if he plays it will be a great opportunity for him to really come back with a vengeance. I hope he’s been working hard on the off-season and has the personal pride to salvage himself from a downright embarrassing first season at the Arsenal.

  • afc4life

    @ michael:
    JD was quite good against Stoke at right back
    Stop being so negative

  • Yemi

    Who !s watching d match?