Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Arshavin to start in correct position shocker! Wenger hands huge chance to...

Morning Gooners.

The league cup takes our attention away from the league tonight for 90 minutes (and lets hope it is all over in that time and there is no need for extra time) as we take on Coventry City in the newly sponsored competition.

It's a chance for the manager to give those players on the bench against Manchester City a run out, along with those who can't even get in the squad and also some of the youngsters who will get a taste of first team football with a place on the bench.

If the manager is true to his word the likes of Damien Martinez, Johan Djourou, Andre Santos, Francis Coquelin, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud will all start.

Then there is the likes of Andrey Arshavin, Sebastien Squillaci, Marounane Chamakh who have hardly been involved with the first team at all this season.

The manager has heaped praise on the Russian who has played just 13 minutes of football for the club this season. He says that Arshavin is a  200% professional, despite all the rumours which say the exact opposite.

But tonight we might get to see the Russian played in his preferred position! Now that would be nice, remembering what he did there last season in the same competition against Bolton.

Wenger said:
"At the moment he’s a victim of the high level of competition that exists for places. He has a huge respect from everybody in the dressing room, and especially from the staff. 
"I feel he’s unhappy that he doesn’t play because deeply he loves football and he practices every day with 100 per cent commitment. I’m happy to give him some competition on Wednesday night." 
It's odd that the manager feels like he has to defend the reputation of one of his players. At the Sunderland game the little Russian was given a good reception from everyone in the stadium. I think everyone knows he's a world class player and can produce something from nothing. But one of the reasons he gets so much stick is because of his work rate if played on the left.

He makes little attempt to track back and is a like a chocolate fireguard when it comes to defending. Look at the difference Lukas Podolski has made. However we all know that Arshavin's best position is behind the striker and should the manager play him there I think we'd see the best of him.

I certainly don't lay the blame of Arshavin's abject performances in an Arsenal shirt 100% with him. I think the manager has got to take a large proportion of the blame for playing him out of position.

Anyway, I look forward to seeing him play behind the striker tonight where he should play well (hopefully).

The manager has said a number of youngsters will be involved. Hector Bellerin, Kris Olsson, Serge Gnabry, Nico Yennaris and Craig Eastmond could be amongst the substitutes along with James Shea and Emmanuel Frimpong.

And the boss has said Ignasi Miquel will be picked to start the game.

Wenger said:

"We will have a good mixture of experience and professional top-class players. 
"We want to put out a talented side that has a good chance to win the game. We will give a chance to some players who have not played as many games recently.  
"The players that did not play on Sunday [at Manchester City] will get a chance and it’s a good opportunity for them to show they can do well."
With Manchester City going out of the competition last night along with Everton and West Ham, I'm sure we're going to take the game seriously. It gives us a chance to win silverware after all!

I expect the team to line up: Martinez, Yennaris, Djourou, Miquel, Santos, Coquelin, Eisfeld, Walcott, Arshavin, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Giroud.

I'm really looking forward to seeing Thomas Eisfeld play. He's not had any opportunity to play for the first team since pre-season and I'd like to see how much he has developed behind the scenes. The youngster seems to certainly have something to offer us.

And the manager looks set to play Olivier Giroud. I would like to hope he'd score but I don't think we should worry even if he doesn't. He's playing well for the team and that's all we should care about. He might play the furthest forward of all our players but it's not just his sole responsibility to score.

The game has sold out and the club should be congratulated for their ticketing policy with the league cup.

That's it for today. Enjoy the match later. Back with more tomorrow.

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