Arsenal vs Ipswich Town: Preview and Starting Eleven

January 25, 2011

So this is it, the final obstacle in our way to Wembley. A top performance from us today and we are there and hopefully it will be a start of more great things to come from this team.

Ipswich is leading by a goal coming into this game and their game plan will be to frustrate us by parking the bus and hoping to score on the long balls. And mind you they are much disciplined at the back. But seeing what our team did at the weekend against Wigan, I have no doubt that we will go through but we have to be at that level and never switch-off.

We just have to give our best and not take them lightly. Wenger has said that he will rotate for today’s game also. I feel that we should start with the same team that started against Wigan, with one or two changes, and kill the game off early. The more we delay in killing the game the more Ipswich will fancy their chances.

For the starting eleven, Szczesny is going to stay in goal with Djourou and Koscielny retaining their places. On the left, Gibbs should replace Clichy but on the right I will start with Sagna.

In the middle I will keep the same trio of Wilshere, Song and Fabregas as it is vital that we dominate the midfield today.

Up front I will start with Van Persie and Walcott but rest Nasri and bring in Arshavin on the left.

Probabale starting XI: Szczesny, Sagna, Djourou, Koscielny, Gibbs, Wilshere, Fabregas, Song, Walcott, RVP, Arshavin

Start with this team today Wenger and we will be in the finals with one hand on the trophy and hopefully we will claim it.

I won’t make any score predictions but  keep everything crossed for this one. This game won’t be a walk in the park but we can make it by giving a quality performance.

Come on Arsenal!!!Wembley is waiting!!!


Player Ratings: Ipswich Town 1 – 0 Arsenal

January 13, 2011

I don’t know what to say about last night’s game. I am simply at a loss for words to describe what type of a performance was given by our team, who are supposed to be the favorites for at least this cup.

There was no desire, no urgency and no organization. The passing was slow and mediocre and most of the players were always out of position.

Djourou and Koscielny were left alone throughout the game to deal with the long balls. The fullbacks were playing I don’t know where.

In the middle there was no movement as we struggled to find space and the forwards failed to make any impact.

Coming to player ratings:

Szczesny (6): His performance was average at best yesterday. Made some bad decisions and his distribution was also poor. However, did make an important save near the end.  

Gibbs (4.5): He too had a poor game. Defensively was absent and offensively except one good cross didn’t do much.

Djourou (6.5): He had a decent game as compared to others. He was solid for major portions of the game. Made some vital interceptions and clearances. However, he too had his fair share of bad moments.

Koscielny (6.5): Same as Djourou. Both he and Djourou did their best without the support of midfield and fullbacks.

Eboue (3): He is supposed to be our fullback whose job is to cover the flanks. Sadly last night he was playing in no man’s land. Always out of position, didn’t contribute in attack and defensively was nowhere.

Denilson (4): The usual as always, poor. This guy is going from bad to worse. Enough said.

Wilshere (5): Decent first half but again gave away the ball plenty of times. Not a performance I expected from him.

Fabregas (5.5): He too had an off game. Never really got hold of the game and his passing was off. However, the few chances we did get were through him.

Arshavin (4): His confidence would have further dropped after yet another bad game. Don’t know what else to say.

Bendtner (4): Poor touch, poor control, poor positioning and no contribution at all. Granted there was no supply but he was in simple words pathetic.

Walcott (6.5): He was a constant threat whenever on ball. Used his pace and did well with the space he got. Should have done better with the chacnes though.

Subs:

Chamakh also didn’t get any supply, Song continued with what Wilshere was doing and Vela was brought on too late. No ratings for them.

I don’t want to draw any conclusions from this game and just want to forget this. However, this game has shed light on quite a few things that we need to look into now or else we will ourselves suffer.


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!!