Newcastle vs Arsenal preview: Unleash the young guns! Plus favourite line-up
Written by Chris on October 26, 2010 19:30
Last Sunday’s win was fantastic. Mind you, it would have been better to battle our way past an 11-man Manchester City but the win will surely inject believe in all our players.
Lee Dixon said that it is difficult to say whether Arsenal have turned a corner following the game. That’s true, it’s too early, we’ve been there before. But one feels this time could be different.
And that is because right after the game, our captain, Cesc Fabregas said these words: “The time to talk about if we have matured or are better than before will be at the end of the season”. Seriously, I love this man, I would ask Pedro Almodóvar to put us together in one of his movies if I could. Those are the words of a leader, of a captain and I laugh when I read people asking for our manager to take the captaincy away from him.
Many talk about injuries or this or that but what I feel was a major factor last season in the title race was concentration, lacking in concentration especially following remarkable wins. In a way I’m glad the West Bromwich Albion came so early in the season, it was the wake up call our players needed and as I said in the ratings article on Sunday, five points are not too much at this stage of the season.
But anyway, that was Sunday, tomorrow is Newcastle. From what we saw against Spurs, Arsene Wenger is taking the Carling Cup seriously this year and as he said during this afternoon’s interview, he will use a strong side at St. James Park as well.
The Magpies – who produced a fine win over Chelsea in the previous round – will not have it easy as Theo Walcott, Nicklas Bendtner and Laurent Koscielny are all expected to start.
During this afternoon’s interview, Arsene Wenger also revealed half of the squad so it would be foolish not to include the players he mentioned.
Wojciech will finally start in goal hence fulfilling his dream to show what he can do. Kieran Gibbs will hopefully start on the left – just as he did against Spurs – with Emmanuel Eboue on the right. Bacary was phenomenal against City but needs a rest having just made his comeback from injury.
I believe Laurent will team up with Johan at the back and that’s because Sebastien needs a breather. I would also rest Samir Nasri and Andrey Arshavin and start with Henri, Denilson and Tomas in midfield. Cesc and Samir could come on from the bench in the second half, if required.
And finally the forward line. Nicklas Bendtner will surely lead the charge and hopefully, I will finally get an early Christmas present and see Carlos on the left with Theo on the right, supporting the Dane.
Also in the second half I hope to see Jay Emmanuel-Thomas. He was a beast in pre-season and one who deserves a chance, especially in these type of games.
I am providing below Arsene’s interview in which he reveals part of his squad, confirming the return in the squad of Carlos Vela, who many of us were worried about.
It will be similar to Spurs. We have players coming back like Walcott, Bendtner and Vela. Koscielny is fit to start. They will play.
From the Man City game, we have no-one out [with injury]. One or two will be rested. Vela is back.
In the squad, we will have Eastmond, Lansbury and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas,” said Wenger. “Wojciech will be in goal.
Chris Hughton could make changes to his Newcastle team as he explained how getting past was a formidable achievement for his squad but as he is after the “best interests of the squad and the club”, rotation could be adopted.
To go to Stamford Bridge was always going to be tough, but it was a really exciting day in front of a full house at Stamford Bridge, and you couldn’t have got a more exciting game than that. Now the fact that we are playing Arsenal, albeit that Arsenal will, I am quite sure, make several changes, as we will, it’s exciting in every round.
I am appreciative that it is a very big game for us. It’s a game we want to give the respect it deserves, and it’s a competition we very much want to stay in. But I have a responsibility to look after the best interests of the squad and the club, and I will be making some changes.
The Gunning Hawk Coverage
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