Resident Blogger : SimonSEEZ
So it’s the Hawthorns today for our thirdround Capital One Game today, should prove to be an interesting encounter. All our visits there have been, last game of the 2011-2012 season was at same venue and we needed points to guarantee Champions league qualification which we got by the skin of our teeth. I remember that game for the last ditch clearance Kieran Gibbs had to make to rescue us. It wasn’t any easier last season, even with our bright start with two wonderful goals from Tomas Rosicky, West Brom got a goal back and the last 15mins had us run ragged by Romelu Lukaku. We survived.
It’s a different competition today and Wenger is noted for giving young talent the opportunity to play here. Recently however he has mixed it with a sprinkling of experience stars. Players like Jack Wilshere, Alex Song, Kierran Gibbs, Cesc Fabregas , Fran Merida (remember this guy? I used to love him), Carlos Vela are among the many players Wenger has tried to introduce to the competition via this means, some successful like Wilshere others not so successful like Merida and Vela.
This competition should be important to a few Arsenal players for various reasons and I’ll try to outline why I think so here
Song for Bendtner – Time to say goodbye – Andrea Bocelli
I am not a big fan of the Dane ever since he made the infamous statement about never wanting to wear an Arsenal shirt again. Wengers recent comment about him having the ability to be unstoppable doesn’t fill me with much confidence either. The clubs first choice was always to sell him, this is a position the club has held for a few seasons now, sending him on loan to Sunderland and Juventus were just avenues the club wanted to use to market him to potential suitors. We can write a whole blog post on Bendtner and all his ways and Arseblog paid a lot of attention to that subject during the transfer window. We have run out of how many times Niklas would and should have been sold but for his desire to keep earning what he gets from Arsenal without any willingness to do the work that is required of it. Bendtner is a perfect example of Arsenal paying young players way to much way too early. How does Wenger want us to believe a striker he refused to let go on deadline day during the transfer window because he couldn’t get Demba Ba is now unstoppable?
The relationship between Bendtner and the club in my eyes is a mutual one; it’s like fattening a cow for a potential sale. Arsenal needs him get games, score a couple of goals, be in the spot light for a while to enable potential bidders come for him and Bendtner needs to perform for the club so he can get bids from clubs still high up in leagues in Europe else by the time his contract is over he would find his career so low he might be looking at sides struggling with relegation in need of a bulky striker to lump balls to.
Song for Serge – Forever Young – Jay Z
Young Amazing talent we got on our hands here. Signed for £100,000 from VFB Stuttgart, Serge has become one of the brightest protest in Arsenals new youth project. Excelling in the Next Gen series last season and his showing at the game during the weekend against Stoke has put Serge in the spot light as one to watch out for. Taking advantage of Walcott illness during the weekend he showed what skills he had, looked very comfortable on the ball and was amazing helping Sagna out at the back displaying his huge amount of football intelligence. Serge won’t be forever young though as he turned 18 in July and has to start making first team appearances soon, Fabregas made his earlier. This competition would give him the chance to show us what damage he can do.
Song of Lukasz – I am like a bird – Nelly Furtado
Another one whose career is definitely outside the Emirates. Running into the last year of his Arsenal contract with no imminent discussions for renewal currently taking place, Lukasz has been a faithful servant and errors and injuries have been the highlight of his Arsenal career. Making a comeback last season at the Bayern Munich game, Lukasz was part of the team that showed great spirit to win that game and push for a champions league place, sadly he returned to the injury table and his Polish compatriot Woijeich is back to been Arsenals No 1 keeper .
Lukasz needs this competition to show he has the quality to remain in a top quality side and the longer we stay in it and the FA Cup the more games he would have to show his qualities
Errr…look at Jenks eyes…does he listen to music??
The Corporal, the only person is who is most likely more Gunner through and through than Carl is Nico Yennaris, from club mascot to player. In my eyes, there is no better story than that. It’s not everybody who is a fan that gets to play for the club they love, that is part of the reason RVPs departure hurt so much. Carl is sure talent and he his application to the game anytime he wears a jersey cannot be doubted. Sagna has been terrific this season and Carl has got games due to Sagna been deployed to centre back early this season. Thomas Vermaelen return from injury means that Sagna will not be required to deputize in that position which translates to less first team chances for Carl.
Wenger most certainly will rest Sagna for this competition and depending on how Arsene wants to play he might do same for FA Cup games meaning Carl will have to take this opportunity to stake his claim to the right back Jersey should Sagna leave at the end of season as he is running into his final year. This competition would also offer him a chance to stake an outside claim for an England jersey going to a world cup year.
Hopefully a great result today with no further injuries to the squad as it seems we are one player injury per game now. #COYG
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