Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Wenger makes Carling Cup changes -RVP frustrated -Wilshere hopeful of quick return

Morning Gooners.

The focus switches today to the Carling Cup and the chance to pick ourselves up after wallowing in the Blackburn defeat. It will be a chance to see some different players get 90 minutes on the pitch and I'm quite looking forward to it.

I say quite because you never know at the moment what this side are going to do. Generally though we've performed very well at home in this competition against teams from the football league and I don't see tonight's match being much different.

The manager has said that he's had the team for this match in his head before what happened on Saturday and that result hasn't changed who he'll play with. There will be chance to give some of the first team squad more game time. So we're likely to see Lukasz Fabianski, Johan Djourou, Yossi Benayoun, Park Chu Young and Marouane Chamakh given an opportunity.

And Wenger will mix this up with members of his reserve team squad and younger members of the first team squad.

Wenger said:

"I will give a chance for young players to shine and find the right mixture in this competition between keeping our faith in young players and, of course, winning the games. That means having the right balance between experience and youth. 
"We will have Frimpong, Coquelin, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ryo, and maybe one or two more. There is an also opportunity to see Park for the first time."

I think I'm probably excited most about seeing what Oxlade-Chamberlain can do on the big stage. He impressed for the England under-21s earlier this month and tonight he'll get the chance to do the same at the Grove for the first time.

The other thing which interests me is how we line up. From the players who are in the squad, it seems we could switch to a 4-4-2 or use a 4-4-1-1. The only doubt in the back of my mind about changing the formation is that Benayoun is set to play and he can fit in anywhere in the front line of the 4-2-3-1.

I think what excites many is the opportunities the Carling Cup presents Arsene Wenger with. The chance to change the team, the formation and  to experiment.

It also offers the distraction of moving away from our poor league form, something that captain Robin van Persie wants us to make a priority when we play this weekend.

He said:
"There is lots of time [left this season], but at some point you need to pick yourself up and prove what you are capable of. We are not doing that at the moment and are not consistent enough.  
"It just frustrates me, and it is happening too often. Every time we start positively we just keep making the same mistakes and that is surprising.  
"It's very important [to get back on track]. Even before the game on Saturday I said to the boys, 'today is a big, big day'. We have to get back-to-back wins, and we just cannot do that at the moment. That is our aim for the next couple of games, we have to win them after each other.  
"We just need a couple of good weeks in the Premier League where we get a lot of points, and hopefully we can start next week against Bolton." 
We heard what Cesc Fabregas said about the same cycles of form happening at the club. That we were never able to get over the line and win  The squad has been changed and yet we appear to be having the same luck as in previous seasons.

What can this be down to? The only ever presents at the club for the past six years are the coaching staff. But these were the same men who helped develop the best team in the country prior to the move to the Grove.

It can't all be down to the defence. Unsurprisingly George Graham has given his thoughts on the matter. Quite rightly he points out that the new players need time to get to know one another's game and to be coached as a unit. Hopefully that's what is going on at the club behind the scenes this week.

And to end on a positive, Jack Wilshere tweets he's feeling better and hopes to be back playing soon. Personally I can't wait to have him back in the team!

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