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Who will play at Wembley? Walter’s preview before preparing for the 5am start.

By Walter Broeckx

With the final final match of the season just 24 hours in front of us it is a bit strange that apart from 2 doubts the whole team is fit. A bit of a bummer when we look at some parts of the season when half of the first team regular starters were injured at the same time.  But of course with the cup final to play having all fit with only 2 players doubtful is great news.

The two players that were considered doubts are captain Vermaelen and Oxlade-Chamberlain. The latter was said to be joining the team this week and on pictures that could be seen on Arsenal.com I have spotted him in training running around with the rest. So I assume that Oxlade-Chamberlain will be fit.

Vermaelen is having a kind of Diaby year. Each time when he could get a sniff of the action he gets some kind of injury. And as a result had to wait each time for another player to get injured or getting a rest before he could join in. I think that Vermaelen would have played at Norwich but once again he was unlucky as he cut himself below the knee and needed stitches. And once again he missed a chance to play.

According to newspapers in Belgium he hasn’t started training yet. As the problem with flesh wounds is that if you start too soon, they might open again. So I do think that Vermaelen will miss this match and he might be the only player to really miss the cup final because of injury. As things stand it will be his last chance to win something with Arsenal. But for the rest all our players seem fit.

Which leaves Wenger with a big choice. Not like in the semi-final when we had players like Eisfeld and Akpom sitting on the bench. Not really the players you want to have on the bench for such an important match. But I think it is fair to think that they will only be watching it from the stands this time.  So for once Wenger has a lot of players to pick from. And he will have to make choices.

The 3 players that form the heart of the defensive unit are no doubt on the team sheet. I think only a last minute injury would keep one the triumvirate of  Per Mertesacker – Koscielny – Arteta out of the team. A nice thing is that Mertesacker could be on a hattrick this Saturday. He has scored in all his appearances at Wembley this season so far. Two matches, two goals. This is his third match at Wembley….

I have seen people claim that Wenger should play Jenkinson at right back because of the possibility that Sagna would leave after this match. As much as I love Jenkinson I think that we should only look at the qualities of both players and I think Sagna is the better and more experienced player. So for me the choice is simple. Would we have left out Vieira for our last cup win? Of course not. I think Sagna will be more determined than ever to win this cup.

At left back we can choose between Monreal and Gibbs. The latter is the player who can join in more in attack and as we can expect that Hull will try to park the bus I think Gibbs will be the best option on the left flank.

The last piece of the puzzle in the defensive department will be the keeper. Szczesny or Fabianski. For some reason people still look at Fabianski and call him names and consider him as  a non reliable keeper. So far this season the FA cup he has been outstanding. And not just in the penalty shoot out. He was excellent against Tottenham, Liverpool and Everton. I’m not counting the Coventry match as I don’t really remember them being a big threat for our goal. But he hasn’t put a foot wrong so I would be fine with Wenger picking him.

Putting Szczesny there is also fine for me as he has been one if not the best keepers in the PL this season. Most clean sheets together with Cech. So both are fine with me. Will Fabianski get his reward and a place in the team for his previous cup matches or will Szczesny get the reward for his great season? My God, what a difficult choice to make.

Let us move up front. Giroud should start up front. Sanogo can sit on the bench for this match. No hesitation about that for me. So that leaves us up to now with 6 places filled up. 4 to go.

And those are probably the most important places of them all. 3 of those places are for Ramsey, Özil and Santi Cazorla. As I said Hull will probably try to start with a park the bus tactic so we will need all the imagination, skill and power from those 3.

And then there is one place left. And I would give Podolski that place. I have noticed that when Podolski scores or has a great game against a team he usually repeats it the next time we play them. West Ham are one of his favourites teams to play against. And he also did rather well at Hull. And I think he will probably want to impress the German manager to take him to Brazil. So I hope he can produce a better performance than he did in the semi final.  The other option might be Oxlade-Chamberlain who had a great semi final but as he was doubtful I rather have him on the bench at the start.

So this would be my starting 11:

Szczesny (decided by flipping a coin)

Bac- Per – Kos – Gibbs

Arteta

Ramsey – Özil

Cazorla – Podolski

Giroud

On the bench: Fabianski – Wilshere – Monreal – Jenkinson – Flamini – Sanogo – Kallstrom – Oxlade-Chamberlain

Just noticed that the bench looks rather big but if there is one name too much I would leave out Kallstrom then.

—————-

A footnote…

On Saturday with most of us on our way to a big Untold get together at Wembley (apart from Walter who will be at the Emirates) Dominic has drawn the short straw and has to stay behind to put up his regular match preview.

But we might manage a bit more.  Not from myself, as I am either going jiving after the game, or eventually crawling into bed – depending on how I feel.

However Walter is experimenting with his mobile, so something might also appear that way.

We will (subject to M1 roadblocks) all be back on Sunday getting ready for the next match – the Women’s Cup Final on 1 June.

Good luck everyone and have a great day, no matter what.

Tony

37 comments to Who will play at Wembley? Walter’s preview before preparing for the 5am start.

  • Steve Vallins

    Walter what about Tomsa Rosicki on the bench instead of Kim Kalstrom

  • Steve Vallins

    Walter what about Tomsa Rosicki on the bench instead of Kim Kalstrom agree with your line up

  • para

    I really feel for AW to have to choose with most of our players fit, and for the players that do not get chosen, but this is the way it pans out sometimes, and only hard work and performance in training today is all that a player can do.
    COYG.

    A film for the AAA to watch to see how we got where we are(and the problems we had):
    “Building the Emirates Stadium ”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-t-5JCIkzg

  • para

    I really feel for AW to have to choose with most of our players fit, and for the players that do not get chosen, but this is the way it pans out sometimes, and only hard work and performance in training today is all that a player can do.
    COYG.

    A film for the AAA to watch to see how we got where we are(and the problems we had):
    “Building the Emirates Stadium ”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-t-5JCIkzg

    Untold very slow today???

  • Gord

    @Para

    I’ve seen two messages about not being able to contact the database. I suspect Untold might be under attack again?

    COYG!

  • Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    Ox not a contender yet, so I would go with Rosicky.
    Fab should start; he got practice time last week, and another win at Wembley may well convince him to sign a new deal.
    Incidentally, Didier Deschamps has started legal proceedings against Na$ri’s WAG. La Deche was never a pushover as France’s 1998 World Cup captain and winner, and he is even less of a pushover now that he is the coach of the French National Team.

  • para

    Gord, if so then we know what we are in for on saturday.

  • Jason Brogden

    I am sure my brother Adam Brogden would be commenting here, but sadly he was laid to rest today.

    My only hope is that Arsenal can win tomorrow and we can class this as a tribute to him.
    He will be watching the game with the best view

  • Jax

    I had problems loading the site earlier, but it’s fine now. Can the IT people detect where the attacks are coming from?

  • leany

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2629638/Arsenal-brand-fading-Arsene-Wenger-needs-prove-winner.html

    Jens and Martin were so good, love them for never falling into the trap.
    Jens did insist “He is the club.” about 3 or 4 times. Brilliant!!

    Very longing to the Final 🙂 Hope for all the best for all of us.

  • soglorious

    Jason, may your brother’s soul rest in peace.
    Regards the FA final match, I hope Fabianski starts cos he deserves it.
    Walter, I wanna ask you a question about the medal thing. If we win tomorrow-which I pray we do – who and who gets a medal? only those that played in the final ? or only those that participated in the FA cup run? or all the members of the Arsenal team either they play or not?

  • Jax

    soglorious
    The whole match day squad whether they play or not get medals.
    If we’re in a strong position with say 30 minutes left, Arsene could bring on the subs including the keeper.

  • nicky

    Tony, I hope during your busy day tomorrow, amid all the brouhaha of the Big Game, you will spend a little time reporting on the Food of the Day.
    After all, without it you will never get through the long day 😉

  • jambug

    Para

    Thanks for the link.

    Amazing achievement.

    Wont make a tad of difference to the AAA’s as I’m sure they’ve noticed the stadium, I mean you can hardly miss it can you.

    The problem is they think the fairies built it for nothing over night.

  • jambug

    Para

    While I was over there had a watch of the reading 5-7 Arsenal and the Milan 1-5 Arsenal matches.

    Wonderful memories. Lets hope we make another one tomorrow.

  • Gunnerjoe

    Man city have fessed up and excepted FFP penalties and agreed only to spend €60 million on new players this transfer window on top what they earn from sales. They also have to keep wages at the club a current levels for the next few seasons.

  • Hi Jason,

    How’s Adam’s wife and kids doing? The best to your entire family!

    I hope the team wins it tomorrow for Adam and other dear departed Gooners.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Best wishes Jason, and your family. Hope the team do Adam proud.
    Feel for TV, he just seems to have bad luck, would like to see him get some time on the pitch tomorrow, hopefully lift the cup, then stay on with us and be a major part of a defence rotation next season, the man is a class act. But that all remains to be seen.
    A big big day awaits…..

  • menace

    Fabianski will be in goal. Kalstrom must be in the squad he scored in the semi pen shoot out. Go out there and play ruthless professional Wenger style football.

  • Pat

    Best wishes to you and to Adam’s family, Jason.

  • Gord

    Best wishes to you and your family Jason.

    In terms of who plays and who does not, it is kind of unfair that not everyone who has appeared (either on the field or on the subs bench) couldn’t be present for the final, should a team make it that far. But, the rules are what they are, and so some people who should be there, won’t be.

    I hope Arsenal starts smartly and plays well.

    COYG!

  • Gord

    19:24 May 16 locally, which means it is 26:24 May 16, or 2:24 May 17 in the UK. Still no announcements as to who is playing where (including Fabianski for Menace).

    Maybe Wenger says let’s try something!

    Vickers
    Sagna Mertesacker Vermaelen Gibbs
    Coquelin
    Ramsey Ozil Aneke
    Gnabry Sanogo

    Pretend you are Steve Bruce, and you have sent your lineup in and you hear this from Arsenal. I’m not a manger, probably lots of problems there. That’s why Wenger is paid the big salary.

    Start sharp. play skillfully, try not to give the idiot referee excuses to discipline you. And have fun.

    COYG!

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Jason Brogden May 16, 2014 at 8:03 pm – As one of those who had inter-reacted and engaged with your brother, Adam, on this site , I do hope we win it in his memory .
    My best wishes to the family .
    Cheers !
    Up the Gunners !

  • @jambug
    “fairies built it for nothing over night”

    Totenham are searching for those fairies, so are Liverpool, and everton… come to think of it so are 80% of the clubs in all 4 divisions of English football.

    glad the fairies chose us first 🙂 🙂 🙂

    To the final, harsh decisions for some of the players, unfortunately AW can only choose 18 ( seven can be named in subs bench). Hope Mr Energy man – Tomas makes it in to the squad though.

  • And a gem that stood out in the tom fx interview,

    “We want to win to make our fans proud and we feel we’ll generate the most pride by doing it in the right way”

    Hope the players can turn in a good performance and give us the MOST PRIDE.

  • Pete

    I did finally find some tickets (hard work) and will be heading along later today with my son who, for once, is almost as excited as I am. It was also my birthday yesterday – in fact a whole decade just flashed past. But the last time I had a “big” birthday we completed the season unbeaten (you may say that the final game was on 15th May – but as I was living overseas at the time my birthday had in fact started as Vieira waltzed around the Leicester keeper!). We also won the FA Cup in 1998 on my birthday and, most amusingly of all, Keith Houchen sent his rocket header flying in for Coventry in 1987 against our friends up the road!

    I know it is the day after my birthday, but I plan to be celebrating all weekend!

    …Just watched the goals from the game in 2004 on Youtube again – what an unbelievable pass from Bergkamp for the 2nd.

  • Sammy The Snake

    COYG!
    May Adam rest in peace and enjoy today’s match from up above.

  • Mick

    I am sick and tired of hearing for the 1000th time we have not won a trophy for 9 years, so lets win it and stick it up the media wankers bottoms.

  • blacksheep63

    poetry Mick, sheer poetry 🙂

  • jambug

    Mick

    I know what you mean. Even on a day like this the negativity in the press is unbelievable.

    Here’s just another example of how we get this 9 year shit rammed down our throats every friggin day.

    The Scum have another of those ‘What was the price of a beer?’ ‘who was Pm?’ yada yada yada.

    I didn’t notice similar shit aimed at Liverpool when they was in with a chance of the title.

    I mean how much was a beer 25 YEARS AGO? PM anyone?

    It was all sweetness and light.

    GOD I HATE THE FUCKING MEDIA.

    Right, I’ve got that off my chest.

    The Sun is out.

    I am aiming to win the ‘Scoop six’

    And, fingers crossed, we are going to give Hull one hell of a beating……..although 1-0 will do me 😉

  • Jason Brogden

    Thank you all.

    Adam worked on the new Wembley Stadium, so it would be quite fitting for Arsenal to do it today.
    His son has his 4th birthday party today.

    Fair play to Hull for getting this far, but we’ve beaten you twice in the last year.

    @Walter, I hope the rest of your journey goes without any problems.

  • Mick

    @jambug
    Did you catch Durham last night giving his 10 reasons why Arsenal will bottle it today. One reason was that the players would be scared of what would he would say on his moronic ‘daily Arsenal’ next Monday. What an arrogant wanker Durham is.

  • menace

    @Jason Brogdan God Bless your family and wishing Adam’s son a wonderful day with lots of love from Arsenal fans all over the world.

  • menace

    @ Mick Get ready for this ‘Arsenal who hadn’t won a trophy for 9 years till 2014 …….’

    They cannot really live without our beautiful game played the Arsenal way.

  • Durham last night giving his 10 reasons why Arsenal will bottle it today. One reason was that the players would be scared of what would he would say on his moronic ‘daily Arsenal’ next Monday. What an arrogant wanker Durham is.

  • I am sick and tired of hearing for the 1000th time we have not won a trophy for 9 years, so lets win it and stick it up the media wankers bottoms.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Arsenal , please give Adam’s son a winning birthday present today !
    And a belated one for Pete !
    Many happy returns of the day , guys !
    Cheers !