Alright, so here we are. The Carling Cup finals, and an opportunity for Arsenal to shut up all its critics. The bookies have called it, and we know who are favourites. Sadly, I am not bookie, so here’s my problem. Cup finals have never been one sided. For me there is no favourite. Chelsea vs. Manchester united (1-0 Drogba) Chelsea vs. Everton(2-1), united vs. Villa(2-1). There is always the pinch in the notch which tests the competitors. We have beaten Birmingham City twice this season. But the 3rd time is the charm, and this win counts as much as the ones before. Infact at this moment this is the main match because we don’t know will the win over Birmingham City count until may. Manchester United did not go trophyless for a season because of this Cup. So lets look at this from that perspective too. For Sir Alex its :
a pot worth winning
I know people don’t priortise this cup, but you have to work hard to get any cup, and for this one we have worked hard. Spuds, Newcastle, Wigan, Ipswich. Scoring13 and conceding 2.
Birmingham is not known for pretty football. In England, there is only 1 team known for pretty football, and that’s us. Sadly, all these years, we have not won anything by playing this style of football. BUT, this time may, or may not be different. Birmingham will go for it, and we know it. The issue basically is , whether we can go for it or not. March is crucial for Arsenal, because if we look at things from a pessimistic point of view, by the ides of March we may just be competing for 1 trophy. Here why? First its Birmingham, then its Orient, then its Barca, and then if we beat Orient, which I think we will (hopefully), we face Manchester United.
Alright, now let’s return to the tactics for Birmingham. Personally, we should play at a tempo which suits us perfectly. Why I do not want the team to go for the kill when the whistle starts is because when we attack I noticed that we do it completely. This means Song, Clichy are all out of positions and up. Now all this is good, when one has to attack, but it leaves huge gaps at the back, and all theses gaps can be exploited. Birmingham’s main weapon will be its front 2 strikers. Zigic and Jerome. One crosses, and the other heads. One heads and the other shoots. They work in synchronisation, and this is one reason why I am scared that we can concede. DJ and Kosher if they are there will have to take on these 2.
Cesc and Theo will both be missed for the final, so here’s my line-up…
Here’s the line-up :
Subs : Almunia, Gibbs, SQ18, Eboue, Diaby, Denilson, Chamakh, Nikko.
If Cesc is back, by some miracle, then cool. Otherwise forget playing him if we are going to have a Rooney situation last season when he came back got injured against Munich and then his form dipped. Rosicky is a good-player, he scored against Orient and so I guess his confidence is good. His long-balls, when they come through are superb. He and Jack have to work as a team, and shut out the Birmingham midfield. Song ‘should’ provide some cover at the back. Not letting Birmingham play long-balls is going to be difficult through-out the match, so I guess we have to minimise whatever is possible.
This is the Carling Cup. I know people don’t see this as a huge cup. But a win here, will change alot for Arsenal. Come on Gunners, we have to win this one. For our manager, and for Arsenal Football Club.