Tag Archives: League Cup

Back to the football..

I wish we could get back to talking about football was what a pal solemnly said last night.

He was fed up, we were all fed up. No game at the weekend had led to us having very little to talk about bar the fall-out from the Hector Bellerin comments. It had become dull and was giving hot hair to those that really do not deserve the attention.

So it is a new week, and with a new week brings new vigour. Bellerin’s comments are last weeks chip paper. The 3-0 victory away from home in Europe ended up a side note. Time to move on and concentrate on the next 7 days.

Beating Ostersunds so comfortably in Sweden means that the pressure is off for the first half of this week. The side can train with one eye on next Sunday’s game – the League Cup Final against Manchester City.

Whilst it is still important to take Ostersunds seriously, they showed nothing when playing in the sub-freezing climate of Scandinavia. We basically need to split the squad into two groups this week.

Those who are set to start Sunday. Those who are set to start Thursday.

The likes of David Ospina, Calum Chambers, Rob Holding, Per Mertesacker, Saed Kolasinac, Mohamed Elneny, Riess Nelson, Joe Wilock, Danny Welbeck, Henrikh Mkhitaryan (cup tied) and Eddie Nketiah should all get a run out on Thursday.

This leaves Mesut Ozil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, , Laurent Koscielny and the rest of the strongest XI available free for the week to concentre on Manchester City.

Ostersunds should be comfortable. Get an early goal and it is done. It is probably done already. The Ostersunds players have the game of their life. A match against a big team from London, England. They will be star struck.

That brings us to Sunday.

I do not care what anyone says, the League Cup Final is important.

It might be 5th on the wish list behind Premier League, Champions League, Europa League and the FA Cup, but it is still a final, still a trophy.

Perhaps it shows how spoilt Arsenal fans are that some are disregarding it. Saying they do not care – and in some cases saying that they want Manchester City to win. We should be excited about playing in yet another domestic final.

You never know when your next chance to play in a final is. Next time you have a chance to win a trophy. Look at the likes of Aston Villa & Everton. Back 30 years ago, they were big names in English football. It has now been over 20 years since either won a trophy.

Chuck in Newcastle as well. What ha sit been? 50 years without a trophy?

Liverpool have not won anything since 2012. Spurs 2008. You never know how long your side might go between trophies, so to write off a chance of winning one as unimportant, even if we have labelled it the Micky Mouse Cup in the past, is just silly.

I want us to win the League Cup. I want us to win the Europa League. I wants us to win the Premier League, the Champions League and the Super Bowl. A day out at Wembley without needing to hire it. A trophy lifted above the grey skies of North-West London. Not much get better than that in life.

It might be a low priority at the beginning of the season, but for this week, the League Cup is the priority.

For those saying Arsenal will not win. Well you probably said the same last season when we played Manchester City in the FA Cup, and the same again in the final against Chelsea. In recent years we have shown up in these games. There is no reason to not expect us to show up again.

I look back at 1993. Does anyone care that we finished 10th? No you do not. That year we won the domestic cup double. The first team to do so.

So we have football to look forward too this week. And I am buzzing for Sunday already.

Keenos

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10 Reasons Arsenal we will beat Chelsea + Starting XI

  1. Chelsea have beaten Arsenal just once in 8 games
  2. In that time they have lost the FA Cup Final and Community Shield
  3. With Alvaro Morata injured, and failed bids for Andy Carroll and Peter Crouch, Chelsea have no decent strikers available
  4. Cesc Fabregas is also out. He has slithered into the jungle
  5. With Arsenal having no FA Cup game this weekend, Wenger has not reason NOT to play the strongest XI
  6. Arsenal are 9/5 to win To place a free bet without a deposit on this game on Arsenal
  7. With 9 trips to Wembley in 4 years (without needing to hire it), Arsenal will be motivated to make it a magical 10
  8. Chelsea have won just 1 of their last 6 games in all competitions
  9. Arsenal have the advantage going into the tie, having drawn 0-0 at Stamford Bridge
  10. With Sanchez gone and Mkhitaryan in, Arsenal feel refreshed

Expected line-up:

Ospina

Chambers Mustafi Holding

Bellerin Elneny Xhaka Kolasinac

Ozil Wilshere

Lacazette

Result:  So everytime I write one of the e, I get abuse. “Here he go’s again” many people write. Sometimes I get it wrong, such as the Nottingham Forest game, but often I get them right.

And once more, Arsenal beat Chelsea, taking it to just 1 defeat in 9 games against the West London outfit.

I have read some pundits saying Arsenal were “lucky” and “did not deserve to make the final”. Well over 2 legs, we scored twice, Chelsea once.

Our goals might have had some luck in them, Nacho Monreal’s pinball first and the deflection from Alexandre Lacazette’s pass for Granit Xhaka’s second, but as long as they hit the back of the net, they all count.

It is not like suddenly we can pick and choose what goals to count depending on whether there was a bit of luck in them.

Imagine the scenario: A goal is scored, the referee go’s to VAR to see if it was a valid goal. Any sign of luck and the goal is disallowed. What a load of rubbish.

So Arsenal are off to Wembley for the 10th time in  5 years, and we have not had to hire it!

Up the Arsenal.

Arsenal sleep walk into League Cup semi final

And just like that, Arsenal are into the semi final of the Copacabana Cup.

Without even trying, putting in zero effort, Arsenal are still on course for a visit to Wembley in early 2018 and a chance of a first bit of silverware for the season.

Having already beaten Doncaster Rovers 1-0 without breaking a sweat, Arsenal fans got a little bit of excitement with the late Eddie Nketiah equaliser and subsequent extra time winner. The 1-0 win over West Ham was back to boring boring Arsenal in the League Cup.

1-0, muted celebrations at the end, fans barely bothered to turn up, even less staying till the end, and even less celebrating making a semi final of a domestic competition.

The fact that Arsenal have made the semi final without putting any effort in is testament to our current status as the premier cup kings of English football.

Whilst the likes of Liverpool and Tottenham failed in the competition, ensuring a continuation of their trophy droughts, Arsenal made the semi final in 1st gear.

Contrast the muted celebrations of Arsenal to that of Manchester City.

The Premier League runaway leaders celebrated making the semi final like it was a World Cup quarter final that they had just one.

Yes, they had the excitement of penalties, which always raises the adrenaline, but seeing their fans and celebrate like mad, and Pep Guardiola fist pump and sing along to his own song, well it was a little cringe. Although in hindsight, making any semi final is something to celebrate for a small club like Manchester City.

The League Cup is the only trophy they have won in the last 3 years and Guardiola is still searching for his first piece of silverware in England, despite spending half a billion quid.

The players City used to beat Leicester cost them over £250m. When you take into account this was their B team, it shows how much they have invested. It was only a little less than what Arsenal’s entire squad cost.

With City through, and Chelsea and Manchester United with fairly routine ties, it could make for 2 gigantic match ups in the semi finals.

It will be interesting to see who sticks and who twists in terms of squads.

League Cup semi finals, and progression into the 4th round of the FA Cup, will make it 8 games in January. A heavy work load. I have already expressed my opinion that Arsenal should prioritise the cups over the league, putting our resources into competitions we can win rather than a competition that is impossible to win this season,

Do that and we might have a final to look forward to. A trophy to lift at Wembley. A 4th trophy in 4 years.

Not bad for a team in crisis.

Keenos