Orient v Arsenal – everything you wanted to know, including the score

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Just before we get into this preview I should point out that Phil got the score on Wednesday 100% correct.  Not bad eh?    Tony

Orient v Arsenal, by Phil Gregory

From Wednesday night’s clash against Barcelona, we’re back to earth with a low-key cup tie at Brisbane Road. I don’t think there’s much else to say on Barcelona that the excellent articles from Walter, Tony and Sammy the Snake didn’t cover, so I’ll stick to the task at hand. Three wins and two draws in Orient’s last five at home might have them going into this game a little more confident than you would expect versus Arsenal. Indeed they’re one of the form sides in League One, with four wins and four draws in their last eight league games. A tie to be approached with respect, I think.

There is nothing too bad to be revealed on the injury front:  Djourou is out with a bank injury but it’s not serious, most likely just a case of taking a bit of a knock. If possible Wenger will look to rest him to keep him at 100% for the bigger challenges ahead. Walcott has had a minor hamstring issue and he too will probably be wrapped up in cotton wool for this game. Diaby is suspended after getting sent off against Newcastle a couple of weeks back, while Vermaelen is still out of the reckoning. Injuries to squad players such as Frimpong are a particular shame when these kind of games come up.

The fixtures are coming thick and fast as ever, and it wasn’t surprising to hear Wenger talk about rotation for this game. It was tricky putting an eleven together; in some positions such as centre back we’re a bit light for wholesale changes.


Eboue Squillaci Miquel Gibbs

Denilson Song


Bendtner Chamakh Arshavin

Almunia comes back in goal with an eye on keeping him match fit in the event anything happens to Szcznesy. Eboue may continue at right back even though Sagna missed the last game through European suspension, given the France international will be playing the next two games.

Vermaelen’s injury means we can’t swap our starting centrebacks for two recognised backups, so while Squillaci will come in for Djourou we might see a debut for reserve team captain Miquel to allow Koscielny a breather. It’s not the perfect tie to bring a youngster in for a start and it would certainly represent a gamble, but I feel the priority will be keeping our powder dry for future challenges. Even a defensive mess-up at the heart of defence shouldn’t be a disaster with our forward options.

Denilson comes in to hold alongside Song. I  expect Jack to be left out even after his heroics against Barcelona as Wenger will have one eye on ensuring the youngster doesn’t burn out. In an ideal world Song would be rested too but Diaby’s ban and Frimpong’s injury means this isn’t possible. Song is used to the rigours of a long season and will offer us some height at set pieces which could be useful. Two defensively minded players may be overkill against a League One side but I’d imagine Song will have  more licence than usual to get forward, so he’ll be more box to box.

Up front Arshavin is coming down from a winner against Barcelona to a start at Brisbane Road. I included him in place of Nasri to allow a little rotation, and perhaps Arsène will be cautious with the Frenchman after his recent injury. That said, he might want to give him game time after a two week absence, though Samir was hardly lacking sharpness on Wednesday night.

Bendtner comes in on the right in place of Theo and Chamakh replaces Van Persie. All the big names will be on the bench, and if it isn’t looking like happening with 65 minutes gone, a triple substitution of Van Persie, Nasri and Fabregas might just do the trick.

On paper, this is a game that we should simply be negotiating and making our way through to the next round. However every year there are cautionary tales in the FA Cup – at the time of writing non-league Crawley Town had United under the cosh and are only one nil down – which is how it finished – and our own travails against Leeds and Ipswich are hopefully fresh in the memory. A rotated team going into the game will be enough for a 3-0 to the Arsenal or thereabouts, here’s to hoping.

Title watch – Manchester United have three away games coming up in the Premier League, against Wigan, Liverpool and Chelsea. They have picked up just less than 1.5 points per away game, which is effectively winning half and losing half of your aways.

While Wigan isn’t the trickiest fixture around no away game seems to be easy for United, so a draw isn’t out of the realms of possibility. Chelsea’s poor level at the moment makes me think they’ll at best get a draw from United, but I expect Liverpool to beat United. Fives points dropped over three games for the Mancs would be nice, but if I were a betting man I’d place my money on four. Arsenal draw level, and ahead on goal difference… that would be enough for me at this stage!

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A very personal note from Tony: Barclays Bank made £11.6bn profit last year and paid 1% tax in Britain.  It’s not football, but for me it is just as important.  Read the Guardian article if you find it troubling that more is paid in bank bonuses than in tax.

58 Replies to “Orient v Arsenal – everything you wanted to know, including the score”

  1. I think we will struggle a bit, we will also concede at least one goal, but go through non the less. Any win for me, what is important is our name to be there in the pot for the next round.

  2. priority is no injuries to key players, so i agree with the line up. if kos or dj get inured at this time it would be lethal.
    this team should do it if they don’t loose focus!


  3. If I got it correct Arsene maybe wont be rotating so much. And he will for sure try to send strongest squad as possible. Some players maybe will get rest (RvP, Samir maybe Cesc), but I don’t think we are going to see Miquel yet.
    But on the other side, it just show how good team we have, even if we do rotate it, compare that squad with last night Manure and you ll see how much depth we have.

  4. Phil,
    I too would like to see Miquel to start but I worry with so many changes at the back.. Hope they have the necessary understanding to see off the Os..

    ManUre plays Marsiele away before the 3 away trips in the league.. So I hope 4 away games on the trot will be enogh for them to drop enough points for us to overtake them at the top…

  5. Luis – 25Mil pounds
    Torres – 50Mil pounds

    The look on Cole’s face after crashing out of FA Cup – Priceless!

  6. It’s a tricky one in regards to rotation. I went for the maximum possible, Wenger might not. At this neck of the season, we won’t haave any more chances for a breather, so I figured he might take the chance. That said, he’ll want to maximise our chances of going through. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see!

  7. Tony – wrt the Guardian article – essential reading but very, very depressing – scandalous in fact 🙁

  8. Nice to see you mention Barclays at the end Tony. The more it’s highlighted the better and we should all be outraged.

    I’m going for a 2-1 to the Arsenal today and I’m hoping Stephen Dawson’s innovative game plan (“its about getting in their faces”. Yawn. A***hole.) doesn’t result in any injuries.

  9. Not bothered about this one after the draw – ManU @ Old Trafford (groan), looks like this is set this up for a City/Utd final… City to win.

  10. You know, the “Same Old Arsenal, Always Cheating”-chant is getting annoying.
    Especially when it’s being said after a clear foul.

  11. u know what guys, a replay will be most welcomed. Otherwise we play united(11/12) after barca(8).

  12. yay yay……thank u very much alumunia. This could define our season.
    When will be the replay played? any idea?

  13. Played for and got – there is a fine line between matchfixing and tactics – looks like we’ll use up all the season ticket cup match allocations (anyone know how many are left?). Another bonus.

  14. You said it would be welcomed, i thought you knew.
    It’s the 2nd of March, on a Wednesday.
    So from now on; Stoke midweeks, Carling Cup Sunday, Orient Midweeks, Sunderland saturday, Barcelona midweeks and possibly United sunday. Not cool.

  15. @critic,
    the replay is on wed 2nd march, i dont understand what particular advantage is gained seeing as we play barca and sunderland and united in the following 10 days!

  16. Arrrgggghhhhhh!!!!!

    Aactually not a terrible result considering the team we had out. Miguel put one foot wrong the entire match and it led to a goal. Unlucky. Otherwise I thought the kid looked superb. I didnt anyone played badly, except Chamakh, who looks lost at the moment.

    The club accountants will be happy at Arsenal as well as Orient. Another home Cup tie. We only had 2 last season. This will be no.6 for this year. That’s another 15m in the bank.

    We should still be able to beat them at home with a similar side so the fixture conjestion shouldnt be a big worry.

  17. i thought replay will be played on 11/12 itself, like charity v/s everton was played. BTW their is no day fixed to play the replay. How can u guys say it will be on 2nd march?

  18. A tad anti-climactic eh

    Oh well they scored a good goal and we decided never to get out of 2nd gear.

    To be honest I thought we were a bit on the unexciting side but it is unlikely that that particular team will be put out again.

    The new lad looked like a good prospect though.

    I think a few players could have used this game to make their case for the first team and let themslves down a bit

  19. The team we did have should have been good enough to beat Orient. Think a few are sulking at being overlooked in previous games.
    Still – we will go through on this one and it should be up to some of those players to dig us out ….again.
    Some terrible complacency out there. Certain players shouting they should be starting need to start doing a bit better in these games.
    But as I say, we are going through anyway, just this lot always seem to make things difficult for themselves. If they wear the shirt, they have to do better. They need the games.

  20. I didnt see any complacency nor lack of effort. That was not the best pitch, we had an 18 year old making debut in defense, Chamakh is terribly out of form, and for Orient that was their biggest game in years.

    Why is it that every time we draw a match it is due to complacency or lack of effort?

    Sometimes the opposition deserve some credit, dont they?

  21. the bright side is more arsenal in midweek..
    no more unemployed players..
    everybody got games..
    and more money to us too..
    so? yaay, arsenal on 2nd march..
    ps: the 2nd squad should make way to put this jinx down by themselves..

  22. Critic – yeah, even before the final result today the arsenal.com site had 2 February pencilled in as the replay. Generally they try to do it 10 days after the original match. I think the games like Chelsea-Everton were messed up because of prior midweek commitments.

  23. got it now.
    damn!!!! well, leyton at home will not be a problem, they barely created anything and we rarely got out of 2nd gear. Only problem will be 27th march. It will be a huge match. Then utd at OT. Similar matches happened in 2007-08 which played a big part in destroying our season. Will the same happen again??? Let’s hope not.

  24. “But on the other side, it just show how good team we have, even if we do rotate it, compare that squad with last night Manure and you ll see how much depth we have.”

    Well Utd won… why can’t people just accept that first XIs are, by definition, better than second XIs? It’s not rocket science.

  25. Critic – I think the big difference this year is that AW can play an entire 2nd team and they are capable of getting a result, even just a draw away from home. That is huge. In previous years our squad was nowhere near as strong as it is now. We can just pick pretty much the same team against Orient next time (maybe with Abou Diaby and Aaron Ramsey as well) and feel like the team will do enough to get through.

    I dont get the feeling that ANYONE in the squad is particularly fatigued right now. This time last year we all knew that Gallas and Vermaelen were on their last legs, and RvP was already gone. Right now we seem to be pretty fresh, and that is due to the fact that the guys who played today are able to come in en masse and still get results even when they have hardly played for ages. That says a lot about those guys. I think the replay will do them all a lot of good.

  26. but the 1st team would need to play at both OT and nou camp. That’s what worries me. Both difficult fixtures for different reasons. We know what we gonna get at OT. Barca will be both physically and mentally tiring.

  27. Barcelona and Nou camp and then we have a restof a week. Utd will have to play in the CL the next tuesday I think so they will also be a bit cautious I think.

  28. Should have been Nou camp and Olt Trafford…

    Well that is how it goes in the FA cup. We should have won it rather easy and now we have to play again. In fact it came as a total surprise. I think both the supporters and the players had fallen asleep.
    One good action in 90 minutes was enough to get a replay.
    Our bank account should be happy about it. And even this team will win it at the Emirates and who knows with Diaby and Ramsey back in the squad.

    And I think Miquel had a great game. Feel a bit sorry for the goal for him.

  29. Man u played a reserve team in the FA cup and they could play a reserve team again in the FA cup. btw we are all assuming that the reserves will beat orient at the emirates and I think they will but they still have to do it. Anyway I think that our reserves would beat man utds reserves.

    Have to say that I think Szczesny should play every game from now on though. Almunia will probably leave in the summer so the only reason why he is playing is to give him some exposure to try and raise his transfer fee but if he keeps making mistakes it will have the opposite effect!

  30. @Rob kinda disagree on Almunia we should play him in these games incase Schezny ever gets injured he would need to be match fit.
    The game was very subdued a nothing game really. I think the same 11 would win at home easily enough and probably even try harder like they did after the equaliser. Good news is no damage done.
    If you need cheering up watch Myachi again for Feynord today he didnt score but was great in the second half and unlucky not to score.He would have added something at Orient for sure.

  31. Frustrating but not the end of the world. Arsene’s big challenge in having such a large squad is how to keep everyone on the boil. The team with the exception of Arshavin and Bendtner approached this like a reserve game, they never got out of second gear and Orient were able to stick to their game plan – defend in depth for 80 mins, then attack for 10 and hope to nick a goal.
    Many years ago the British lions rugby team (made up of Scots, Welsh, English and Irish players) had a succesful tour of South Africa. Those lions tours lasted anything up to two months and squads of over 40 players were used to insure cover in every position. The tours generally involve two games a week, midweek and weekend. The crunch games – always weekend games – come at the end of the tours by when the final starting 15 are fairly established. One player when commenting on why that particular tour had gone better than previous ones mentioned the togetherness of the whole squad and the overcoming of the Wednesday vs Saturday team divide.
    How do you keep the 2nd string motivated? When they are young kids it will come naturally and in previous seasons this was clear in the cup teams Arsenal put out. But it can be a problem for former 1st string players who have seen their place taken. Their reaction can be positive if they believe they can fight their way back to the 1st team – look at how Arshavin is playing at the moment – or it can lead to the pedestrian performances Almunia, Denilson and Squillaci seem to be happy with. I certainly don’t know what the answer is but if anyone does it is probably Arsene. Certainly it shows his intelligence in not rushing out to make rash signings in January.
    Finally it is a sign of Arsenal’s strength. All possible replacement players are getting regular runouts in meaningful matches. Arseal are still in the FA cup and go into the Stoke game with at least 9 of the guaranteed starters having had a week off since the Barça game. Is this the season?

  32. @PatAgen, I hope this is the season but there is a lot of hard work ahead of us. We are going for the quadruple BUT ManUtd are going for the treble.
    ManUtd always seem to get some luck Marseille lost their centre forward for the Utd game and Utd get home advantage against us.

    We need them to hit that customary blip they hit each year drop a few points against chelsea and liverpool maybe, so that some doubt creeps in and they loose some momentum.

    Hope its our year but we have BIG away games comming up.

  33. Redgooner, thanks for the link.
    I think the fact that the manager left him on the field for 90 minutes shows how high he rates Ryo.
    And did you see (of course you did 😉 ) that challenge on him. A disgusting and deliberate body check. But just a few minutes later Ryo ran at the players again as if nothing had happened. If he keeps on progressing like that….
    Oh damned why didn’t we get the special talent permit because I really think he is worth it.

  34. In fact I don’t think we should look at it as an extra match. I think Wenger will rotate again LO at the Emirates and I think it will be the same team that comes out with maybe Diaby and Ramsey in it. So we could even give Song a rest. Play Eboue in the place of Sagna.

    For me it is just an extra chance for the other players to keep match fit.

  35. Hey Walter, I did indeed see the foul, I am sure it didnt impress you one bit.
    Can we apply for a special talent visa if Myaichi plays every game this season in the Dutch league ? Would love to know what qualifies a player.

  36. agree w/ most of the sentiment above.

    was angry but in hindsight, i think the outcome will work in our favor because players who haven’t been playing will play. keep the exact same team, take out sagna and song, substitute in eboue and diaby. and bring back ramsey for the bench.

    if that team can’t beat leyton orient at home, then something would be very wrong.

  37. I half expected seeing crankiness and despair being thrown around here. Great to see that people here can show a little understanding and look at things in perspective..

    It was a frustrating result, but it didn’t make me angry.. It’s just one of those things i suppose. I was hoping Miquel would play, and he did. Well at that. The goal was a little bit of confusion between him and Gibbs?? or was it Sagna who also went for the tackle? And Almunia might have done a bit better, but it wasn’t a mistake as such.. Was annoyed, but not at the players. There wasn’t complacency really. Probably lacked a cutting edge. Which more games will help with maybe..

    Stoke is a game we have to win though. Can’t wait for it.. Who’s the referee for it?

  38. Amazing what the spinmeisters say at the official Arsenal Twitter site:

    ‘Wenger didn’t buy a Central Defender because he knew about Miquel’.

    The following comment is factual, unbiased and sadly, unanswerable:

    M. Wenger bought two centre backs in the past four years, both of whom were pretty old, both of them pretty French and both of them pretty incompetent. During that time Arsenal FC season ticket prices were the highest in the land and no trophies were won.

    I am sure that Senor Miquel will be an excellent footballer. It stretches credibility beyond breaking point, however, to suggest that one reasonably assured performance against a team from the third tier of English football in 2011 justifies the purchasing patterns of the past three years and is immediate evidence of the capability of repeating such a performance against the Man Utds, Barcelonas and Real Madrids of this world.

    And it says much about the editorial judgement at the official Arsenal FC website that they cannot see that………

    The same could be said about the position of goalkeeper, advanced in time by about 2 years…….

    Arsenal spin like all the rest of the clubs.

    It’s just that they don’t call it that.

    Think about that……….

    This comments on the communication decisions of the Arsenal website, not on my support for the team on the pitch.

    Lest the usual outraged patterns of ‘you’re an Arsenal hater’ come out.

    Which is on the same level as fat women organising a trade union to say that you’re not allowed to call fat women fat, even though the NHS’ budget for cardiovascular treatment of fat people is through the roof…….

  39. Shard, think the Stoke ref is Peter Walton – if I am not mistaken, he is a scouser – but also the guy Fergie branded not fit enough to referee. Just hope he does not use that game to try and get back in Fergies good books! Think he was also the ref who let Utd off the hook at Blackpool recently – be interesting if Dogface has tanything to say on him

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