Andrey Arshavin on the match and his performance against Ipswich

January 27, 2011

Arsenal qualified for the Carling Cup final by beating Ipswich Town in the second leg of the semifinal.

Andrey Arshavin, speaking to his personal website, talked about the match, his performance and winning his first English trophy. He said that Ipswich came to defend their advantage and stop Arsenal from scoring whereas Arsenal approached the game very seriously with the sole objective to crush the opposition from the very first minute and score an early goal.

With the scores zero all at the break, Arshavin revealed that the manager asked the team to continue with the same high tempo and speed things further up to find the goal. He asked the team to keep patience and possession as there will come a time when the opposition would get tired and openings will be created.

Arshavin said that they played that way and it led to the first goal which came at the right time. He further added that the goal lifted the inner tension and the game became easier and eventually more goals were scored. He also acknowledged the skill of Bendtner in scoring the first goal and Wilshere’s great pass that led to it.

On his own performance and assists, he bluntly said that it wasn’t a super match for him but he is satisfied with the result. He added that he is glad he was useful to the squad.

When asked about being favorites to win the tournament, he replied that considering the names they may be but as it is the final anything can happen. He added that it will all depend on how Arsenal play. In the end he said that they deserved the victory and to be in the final and wants to win the first trophy of his English career.

Andrey Arshavin said:

“Ipswich came to London to try and defend their advantage. Maybe they tried to play in such a way so that they could score from a set piece while keeping us from scoring. If they had managed to do so, we would’ve had to score three goals in order to win this game. We took a very seriously approach to this game, tried to “crush” our opponents from the very first minute of the match. We expected to score a quick first goal. But after the first 45 minutes, the score was still 0:0.

During the break Arsene told us to play in the same high-tempo and try to speed up. He said that there would come a moment when the Ipswich players would get tired and then it would get more and more difficult for them to hold back our attacks. The coach asked us to keep our cool, not to make hasty, ill-considered passes, take care of the ball. He was sure that there would come a moment when we’d press them out.

Actually, we played that way and that led to the Nicholas’s goal. I would say that the goal came at the right time. Here it’s worth pointing out not only his skills in finishing this chance off, but also a Wilsheres’s great cross to Bendtner. This goal allowed us to lift some kind of inner tension from the team and our fans. Once we started to lead the score, the game became easier. Soon we scored a good goal from a set piece.

It wasn’t a supermatch for me. But I’m satisfied with the result. I’m glad that I was useful to the squad.

Maybe, considering the names, our club is the favorite. But, this is the final. Everything will depend only on us, on our game in this match … on February 27. We deserved this victory, we are in the final. Tomorrow we’ll find out our rival that we are going to clash with on Feb. 27. I hope for success, and I want to win the first trophy in my English career. It is time to win.”


Wenger on Bendtner’s goal and performance and Sagna’s injury

January 26, 2011

Arsenal qualified for the finals of the Carling Cup after beating Ipswich town. Arsenal scored three goals in the process but  had to wait for an hour to find the first goal. It was Bendtner, who opened the scoring for Arsenal in style when Wilshere found hin with an excellent pass.

Speaking after the match, Arsene Wenger acknowledged that both the goal and the pass by Wilshere that led to the goal were great.Wenger also enjoyed the goal scored on the corner that saying that it was fantastic for him as Arsenal score very few goals on corners.

Speaking of Bendtner’s performance, he said that it he had an outstanding game. Wenger said that he is getting sharper and sharper with every game as players returning from injuries are not hundred percent and get better by playing.

He talked about rotation being vital as Arsenal has played a lot games in December and January. He said that the rotation also shows that he has the confidence in his squad.

Regarding Sagna’s injury, Wenger said that he had a concussion and needed to go to the hospital. He was sick after the game and there was pain at his nose, but wenger said the most worrying was the concussion of his head. However, Wenger was hopefull that there will be good news in the morning.

Arsene Wenger after the match said:

“It was a great goal, yes, with a great ball from Wilshere as well. He had an outstanding game tonight. I must say I enjoyed the corner as well because we score so few goals from corners, for me it is fantastic.

We rotate, I rotate from game to game because we play nine games in January and we played eight or nine in December as well. I show them as well that I have confidence in every player, no matter how big the game is. Of course sometimes when a player has not played for a few weeks, when he comes in he is not 100 per cent, but after a few games Bendtner is getting sharper and sharper.

Sagna had a concussion. He has to go to hospital, he was sick after the game. He has pain at his nose but the most worrying is the concussion of his head. Hopefully we can get good news tomorrow.”


Ipswich Town vs Arsenal: Preview and Starting Eleven

January 11, 2011

After barely surviving in the FA Cup on Saturday, we are up against Ipswich Town in the Carling Cup semifinal tomorrow.

I don’t know much about Ipswich’s team. Only that their dismal performance in the Championship has led to the sacking of their coach Roy Keane and since then they have been thrashed by Chelsea in the FA Cup. But as this is the semifinal of the Carling Cup, they will be a changed team and this can be tricky match. They will no doubt fancy their chances over two legs and try and get something from their home game.

Still, as always, I expect us to win this without much fuss, provided we don’t play like we did against Leeds.

The starting eleven for tomorrow is again going to be a hard decision for Wenger. With three games in seven days coming up, rotation will be a key part of it. And as the semifinal is spread over two legs, I believe a team similar to what we saw against Leeds will be put out.

With Squillaci joining the injured players and Vermaelen yet to return, the choice for centre backs is very limited. Koscielny for me is a sure starter. Djouroru I feel won’t be risked as there is a League match at the weekend. However, we can play Song back there and also give Ignasi Miquel a chance. I will prefer Song. On the flanks Eboue and Gibbs are going to start as Sagna is still suspended and Gibbs needs a run of games.

Szczesny is a sure starter with Wenger already confirming it.

In middle I will go with Denilson and hopefully he will keep it simple and not disappoint. Rosicky should start again and Wilshere to partner him.

Up front it’s time that Wenger picks either Chamakh or Bendtner to start because both of them starting together haven’t helped us or either of them. For tomorrow, I will go with Chamakh. Arshavin hasn’t been performing well and has been highly criticized for his past few performances. Still, I would start with him so that he can get his confidence back. On the right I will start with Walcott or if he is rested then Vela will be the next best option.

Probable starting XI: Szczesny, Eboue, Koscielny, Song, Gibbs, Denilson, Rosicky, Wilshere, Walcott, Chamakh, Arshavin

Hopefully we will not have many problems tomorrow and maybe give Ramsey some playing time as he also needs to up his match fitness.

As far as the result is concerned, a win will be ideal. However, a draw or a draw plus away goal(s) won’t be bad.

Hopefully it won’t come to away goals and we will win both the fixtures and eventually the Carling Cup. Keep your fingers crossed!!