Arsenal vs Ipswich preview: Wembley, here we come! Plus favourite line-up
Written by Chris on January 24, 2011 20:10
We should not fool ourselves, tomorrow’s is a very easy game and – in my opinion – easier than the just-won game against Wigan on Saturday.
The Carling Cup draw has been kind to us so far and with Birmingham City or West Ham United waiting in the final, it seems this is our golden opportunity to finally secure a trophy and end the crisis which started five years ago. Tony Adams is right, our players will never understand the difference between winning and not winning unless they go through it and this is their chance to finally understand what it means to reach the end, as winners.
We approach tomorrow’s game against the Blues in the best possible shape. The defeat at Portman Road was maybe the most disappointing chapter in this campaign but we managed to bounce back in style and we can look forward with optimism, especially when you consider the fixtures we have from now until we face the mighty Barcelona.
If managed properly, we can take full of advantage of what’s coming up in the next month because with six of our next seven fixtures at the Emirates we can easily reach the Carling Cup Final, the next round of the F.A. Cup and why not, leapfrog Manchester United at the top of the table. It’s not impossible, far from that, it’s all about believe, as Robin said last week.
One man I expect to shine is Andrey Arshavin. Or shall I say, hope to see shine. The Russian is facing his most disappointing spell in an Arsenal jersey and what really worries me about him is that even the goal scored away at Wigan at the end of the year didn’t help his confidence or fighting spirit. I initially thought the lack of goals was his problem but at this stage I don’t know what is wrong with him. Come on Andrey, we believe in you.
As always, my favourite line-up is below. Remember you can submit your own at Arsenal Interactive and then share it on Twitter and Facebook.
Arsene confessed he will rotate yet again for tomorrow’s game but considering we have Huddersfield coming up next, I would only make four changes to his side, keeping in-form Cesc and Robin in the side.
In the defensive department, I would give Gael and Bacary a rest. Kieran and Emmanuel may not be two beasts on the wings in defence but they should be able to cope. In midfield, I would keep the same trio who started last Saturday and replace the wingers with Andrey starting on the left and Nicklas – very good against Leeds – on the right.
Nicklas has to play. He surely knows he will never be a regular this season when all players are fit so these are the games in which he has to feature and shine, else, I’m afraid, he will really ask to leave either or loan or on a permanent basis.
Up front, as much as I would love to give Marouane a start, it would be a bit foolish to keep Robin out of the starting eleven. Although what we said last Friday applies today as well, that is, in case of an easy first half ended with a comfortable scoreline, changes could be made straight away to rest key players and give the likes of Marouane and maybe Carlos Vela some time on the pitch.
It seems our players need to suffer bad things to get the best out of them. After Samir Nasri exploded this season following last summer’s World Cup Finals omission, it seems, according to our manager, that Robin became mentally stronger after suffering injuries because “he had to fight against disappointments”.
Our boss said:
[Injuries] made [van Persie] a lot stronger mentally because he had to fight against disappointments. This is what makes you strong in life. He is now completely sharp and fit – and strong. He looks strong mentally.
What he has gone through has been difficult. A player who is injured a lot is fragile. He feels useless and is without his job. He is without his happiness, of course.
Ipswich boss Paul Jewell already knows who will start tomorrow at the Emirates as he confessed he likes to pick his teams early.
On Monday, he said:
If I can, I like to pick my teams early. I have already picked my team for the Arsenal game. I’m not treating this game any differently.
The Gunning Hawk Coverage
As always, tune in for team line-ups, streaming links, half time and full time reports, post-match thoughts, video highlights and what the press is writing. And of course, do contribute if you want to by making use of the comment box available at the bottom of the post as it’s always nice to hear your opinion. And as a final note, if you want to go one step further than just leaving a comment and want to have your articles published on our website, take a look here for more information.
And of course, don’t forget you’re still in time to pick your preferred team for this game. And when the final whistle blows, don’t forget to rate the players, comment on their performances and share your personal ratings with your friends. All this and more, available at http://www.arsenal-interactive.com.