Blackburn Preview: All eyes on this Cup for today 16 February, 2013Posted by lasagnechef in Arsenal News.
There’s something special about FA Cup days. Not so long ago this was a competition that was discarded as an unnecessary interruption to the league and European campaigns. Now, it seems to have regained it’s importance as another major trophy and I’m glad. In many ways its a product of how competitive the league has become, you can see that by how seriously the Capital One Cup was taken by ourselves and Chelsea but you can always count on ourselves and Chelsea to fuck things up. However the FA Cup in undoubtably twice the competition of the League Cup and I expect us to give everything to see us through to the next round.
There’s no escaping the thought of the Bundesliga Champions-elect visiting in 3 days time but we have to try, for 90 minutes at least, to forget about them. You might even argue today is the more important of the two games, if we are to force Peter Hill-Wood to go looking for the keys to the silverware cabinet come May you’d have to think the FA Cup is our more realistic chance of winning something. Not saying we should just give up on the Champions League, but today’s match is just as important.
Despite that, we will rest players today. It is a lower league opposition but we have to remember they are not far off a Premier League club. The engine of the team, Jack Wilshere will certainly be rested. Of him Wenger says:
“I will not take a risk. [I have] the rest of the season in mind and what happened to him before.
“Wilshere and Koscielny have a test this [Friday] morning and Thomas Vermaelen should be back. He has a definite test today.”
“We have plenty of people in training today who have a test and we’ll see how well they come out of it. I am confident 50:50 with Wilshere and Koscielny, and Vermaelen 90:10.”
So you’d have to think Wilshere and Koscielny will be on the bench at very, very best. Vermaelen as well I’d be very surprised to see even if Wenger rates his fitness levels, he’s got a huge job to do at left-back against Bayern. I think we’ll see the captain on the bench but then again a rest for Mertesacker could also be as beneficial so we’ll see. It’s hard to call how strong Wenger will go for this one, but if it were up to me I’d go:
Sagna – Mertesacker – Miquel – Monreal
Diaby – Rosicky
Chamberlain – Giroud – Gervinho
Bench: Mannone, Vermaelen, Bellerin, Coquelin, Cazorla, Walcott, Podolski
Still a fairly weak team I’ve named there, but they are players that can/have individually shown class and I’d hope they can do that today. For the record, I haven’t been impresses with Diaby since this most recent return but Wenger keeps his faith with him and I’d expect him to start. I’d start Giroud too, he’s still getting into this run of form and I think it’s important to keep that going. A goal today and he’ll be raring to go on Tuesday.
I’d go for a strong bench, a replay is something we definitely need to avoid. Not only for fixture congestion but who the fuck wants to visit Ewood Park? No, no one. Vermaelen, Cazorla, Walcott and Podolski would all benefit a rest before Tuesday but I we could see some of them today. Maybe even from the start with a mind to bringing them off. Wouldn’t it be nice for a change to have a game seen off before the last 20 minutes and not having to chase it?
As for Blackburn they’ve just signed David ‘Rat-Faced Mustard-Eating Banter-Twat Anyone-Can-Lob-Almunia-You-Cunt Mega-Cunt Chav’ Bentley on loan and is eligible for today. The little shit-bag he is. I hope he does play, scores a tremendous own goal, ruining his hair-do, goes off crying tears of Colman’s Extra Strong Mustard forcing him to scratch out his eyes and… okay I’ll stop there. As for the rest of those cunts, they’ve still got some half-decent players despite going down. They’re a strong Championship side and cannot be taken lightly. I do worry with Arsenal when it comes to lower league opposition but hopefully we’ve got enough to knock them out.
In the last round we saw off Brighton but t wasn’t comfortable, we had to grind that one out in many ways as we did last weekend in Sunderland. I would take another ground out win here today but I’d much prefer a convincing win. Going into a tough game on Tuesday, a 3 or 4 goals today would ignite a bit of much needed confidence. I’m not expecting another 7-1 but I would rather enjoy us going out and putting them to the sword. Draw or even lose today, well that’s not going to do much for our beliefs going into Tuesday, never mind our ambitions in the FA Cup itself. I’m confident we’ll do it today, but with Arsenal you just never, never know.
I’ll set off and walk down to The Tollington in a few hours and then it’s game time. Your typical Saturday 3 o’clock FA Cup fixture, I can’t wait. Come on you Gunners. Thanks for reading.