Carling Cup Preview: Arsenal versus Shrewsbury

After a disappointing result against Blackburn at the weekend, the hope is that the Carling Cup will offer a welcome distraction from the travails of the Premier League. Certainly it will be a youthful side put out by Arsenal, but there are a few fringe players in need of game time that will offer experience.

Realistically, trying to pick a team for this game is going to be tricky, as there’s an array of options, even though the eighteen man squad has been announced. Clearly Fabianski, as our second choice keeper, will get some game time to ensure he’s match ready should Szcznesy succumb to an injury. In the back four Djourou could do with getting minutes on the pitch, perhaps partnering Ignasi Miquel, who played against Liverpool earlier in the season. Gibbs is likely to start after Santos played at Blackburn, with Jenkinson at right back.

Further forward it seems likely to be a young midfield, with the likes of Coquelin, Aneke and Frimpong involved. Ozkayup could also realistically start the game, but I’m expecting Frimpong and Coquelin to get starts as the pair have already been involved in the first team this season, with Chuks Aneke further forward. The latter is a young player who has had a lot of hype around him as he developed with the club, almost to the same degree as Wilshere as he was coming up through the ranks. Should Chuks establish himself and develop as quickly as Jack, well, we’ll be set in midfield for a good while!

Up front we’ll see a mixture of youth and experience. Park is certain to make his debut, whilst Chamakh looked dangerous against Blackburn once he came on and will be looking to build momentum. Out on the right the hugely promising Chamberlain should get game time too.

That gives us a line-up of something like the below, though for a much-changed side the formation may well be a little different to the usual 433.


Jenkinson Djourou Miquel Gibbs

Frimpong Coquelin


Chamberlain Chamakh Park

With substitutes: Benayoun, Boateng, Martinez, Ryo, Yennaris, Ozyakup and Watt.

Quite clearly, this game isn’t one that is going to define our season but a win would bring some positivity around the side. While there is an element of nervousness and anxiety after a poor start to the season from the first eleven, such things shouldn’t afflict the collection of youth and fringe players that we have for this game. Indeed this game will be seen as a key opportunity for the likes of Gibbs, Chamberlain and Park to push for a starting berth.

Whilst Shrewsbury have been flying high in League Two this season the above side should have more than enough to ensure a fairly comfortable evening for the home fans. Hopefully we’ll see a few goals and an electrifying display from one of the youngsters, but Shrewsbury shouldn’t be underestimated. I’ll go for a fairly bland 3-0 to the Arsenal.

30 Replies to “Carling Cup Preview: Arsenal versus Shrewsbury”

  1. I never thought someone as class as fab would say anything like that, I’m delighted for him, he is a true gentleman.

  2. All, mike in atlanta, Phil, Tony, Walter, UM
    As for the breaking news:
    Not only does the ArsenalInsider blog report The Sport’s retraction of the false Cesc story, but also calls for a BOYCOTT of Sky and of TalkSport (which owns The Sport) in these words:
    “Now , I suggest that Arsenal fans boycott Sky, Talksport and any other tabloid enterprise connected with these people until decency and integrity returns.” Perhaps there is a natural affiliation between UA/UM and ArsenalInsider and any like-minded others on this very issue.

  3. Though i am looking forward to a win,i am more excited about watching the likes of ryo,oxo,aneke,park play. I was mad when on Le groove,fab was called a blatant liar. Also,a number of blogs reacted negatively to the faked interview but the most annoying part is these blogs who were so quick to slate fabregas,re not so quick to report his suing of and compensation from the crap magazine.

  4. Dogface,
    How about UA/UM joining on to ArsenalInsider’s call to boycott such journalism? Such as issuing such a call? or contacting that blogger? etc.

  5. In other unrelated news. Arsenal have caught up with Barcelona, Real Madrid, ManU, Chelsea, ManCity, Liverpool and Bayern to finally have some Arsenal material available on Indian television. I’m watching it right now 🙂

  6. We do Shard? Where? what time? etc etc

    And is the Carling Cup live anywhere? Any Indian gunners please let me know. It used to be on Ten Sports but I cant find it there 🙁

  7. @Mahesh

    It was on Ten Sports. Right now they are showing the Blackburn game though so I have stopped watching..

    I don’t really know if they have a fixed time, but try getting the schedules of Ten Sports and Ten Action. They show Chelsea, Liverpool etc as well and they do list the timings. I just happened to see it on tv right now, and was excited enough to let everyone know 🙂

    Sadly I don’t think the Carling Cup is being shown here. We’ll just have to wait to watch it on Arsenal Player I guess.

  8. bob, this is an issue that affects all arsenal supporters and all arsenal bloggers who, despite their moaning and groaning, must love the club to some extent otherwise they would blog about stoke or some other ice hockey team. can we round up the email addresses of the arsenal blogs and begin by sending out a group mail of the ref review for instance? untold may want to delay something like that for a day before releasing it to other bloggers but it would be a step in the right direction to push back against the media and the tainted refs.

    if our own blogs won’t use it, perhaps other teams may take the opportunity when they see the analysis of some of their matches.

  9. @ Shard:

    I saw an ad in Ten Sports and I believe they are showing the Man Utd match deferred and not live. But its getting shown as of now.

    About boycotting Sky Spors I really doubt we Indians have a choice as of now and its really really sad.

  10. @Phil.
    I think we may now all pray to the god of Arsenal victory, Phuk.

  11. Idiots with sensationalist headlines. For those that understand /etc/hosts:

    The article doesn’t appear to be as bad as the headline, but I still don’t appreciate what this whorenalist did here with that idiotic headline.

    In terms of boycotting sites, the news organizations (and whatever TalkSports is) don’t care about getting boycotted. What they care about is their advertisers getting boycotted. If there were advertisers to these AAA sites that weren’t present on genuine Arsenal sites, it might be useful to compile a list of them, and adjust your hosts file to ignore them (redirect to the network).

    All that notwithstanding, I was happy to see Arsenal win. Who was the backup goaltender? I was really hoping that Ryo would get a goal when he came on. But it was nice to see Gibbs and Oxlade-Chamberlain score. Not to take anything away from Benayoun scoring as well, but he is an established player, and for Arsenal these games are nominally about kickstarting the young gunners. At least for me.

  12. I went. Shrewsbury acquitted themselves well.

    Thought Miquel was great, he didn’t put a foot wrong all night – excellent judgement on long balls from their ‘keeper, plus a couple of last-ditch interceptions that came off. Boy’s definitely got game.

    Park on the other hand looked like he lacks fitness. Chamakh suffered from lack of service, appeared to be begging for the final ball at times, or otherwise had his back to goal. One nice Zidane-esque turn doesn’t really cut it.

    The Arsenal players seemed quite shirty with each other over misplaced passes, of which there were a number – tensions are high, I suspect, after going 1-0 down.

    Frimpong and the Ox responded, with several shots on goal. Gibbs had a reasonable performance, and of course scored, which should be good for his confidence. Maybe that’s the answer? All our defenders get a goal or two, to get things back on track?

    Nice to see Ryo on the pitch. He is a lot taller than Park, and seems very self-possessed, intense even. I hope he’s absolutely huge for us. (And could the racist twat behind me please stop singing about Park and a f**king labrador? Jesus Christ, some people are thick.)

    Quadruple still on. COYG.

  13. Ha Ha nice one Gord ;). Might I also recommend the Addons of Noscript, Flashblock and AdBlock?

    Nice win.. glad to see that we won. The AAA would have loved it if we hadn’t.. needless to say.

  14. On Sky Sports News and plenty of papers (notably the Sun) the story is the empty seats last night ie fans are voting with their feet in protest against Wenger.
    This is so stupid it is funny.
    Against Shrewsbury
    With a Reserve team.
    What an Amazing turn up.
    Last week Chelsea had 33,000 in the Champions League against a top German side.
    last night Wolves had 7,000, Forest v Newcastle was 10,000
    I believe (any stattos out there who can verify?) that last night was the highest ever Arsenal attendance against a League 2 (4th Division) side in almost 50 years of the League Cup.
    The news agenda is ‘Arsenal in Crisis’ as that sells. Last night Arsenal won, a huge crowd paid to see it and worse of all for the hacks, the crowd sang ‘One Arsene Wenger’.
    They were gutted but they had to find a Arsenal crisis spin otherwise as that was what their news editors demanded.
    Meanwhile Spurs crash out at the first hurdle for the second year in a row. But that isn’t news, is it?

  15. I wonder how Martin Samuel will spin it around in to something negative

    Ian you are so right. A basically reserve team (for the moment) with only one real first team player in it gets a crowd of 46.000 people going to the Emirates. I think this is an amazing number.

  16. With maybe the exception of United, no other team in English football would get 46000 for a cup game played at 7:45 in midweek. It is a great attendance, yes we’ve had better but it’s still better than most.

    Walter, on the ref. Was it me or did he have a bit of a phobia of blowing for a foul?

  17. 46000 is higher than the record home attendances (all seater era) for Luverpool or Chelsea, hows that for a talking point. Only United, Newcastle or Sunderland could hope to match that figure for a cup game against a League side.

  18. Dale,
    my first impression after seeing the game “as live” in the middle of the night was : he let quite a number of fouls go unpunished but he did it on both sides.
    But we have to review the game to see if my gut feeling will be correct. 😉

    So now I would say: not the greatest performances but a consistent performance. And when both teams try to play the ball (and much credit to Shrewsbury for trying to play football!!!!) and not the man you can do this as a ref. As long as you are consistent. And I felt he was consistent.

    But waiting for the ref review to confirm my first feeling…

  19. Fair point Walter, I do think he was quite consistent on the whole (from what I remember). I was getting a little concerned however that our players were not adapting to the unpunished fouls. In a league game, maybe a few more fouls would’ve been blown for and we would’ve kept possession but instead we lost the ball and there was pressure back on our defence. When possession is so key to our game (and our defence), unfairly losing the ball potentially hurts us more than maybe a counter-attacking team. Something maybe they need to work on a little in training.

  20. You can’t blame the media for querying the size of the crowd.
    Five years ago, Arsenal were getting 58,000 for these games.

    ‘Spose it’s time for my yearly observation.
    Here goes……

    I think that this Youth Team v the likes of Shrewsbury in the League Cup/FA Cup is:
    (a) disrespectful to the likes of Shrewsbury,
    (b) always heralded as a major achievement, whereas the Arsenal Youth Team is worth hundred times more than Shrewsbury’s first team,
    (c) limits further the chances of Arsenal winning something, and,
    (d) does absolutely no favours to Arsenal in the long term, because when they are left to fend for themselves away from the the safety-blanket of the Emirates Stadium, a succession of these Youth Teams have found themselves singularly lacking for such a task.

    In a nutshell, Arsenal’s demise over the last six or seven seasons from Probables to Possibles to Maybes to Outsiders can be dated pretty much to the day that Wenger first embarked on this policy.

  21. I think the issue with the crowd is that it’s probably harder to sell tickets to U16s, even at £10, if the game’s midweek in school time and may not finish before 10.30pm if there are penalties.

    I noticed, either last season or the year before, that when the CC game was midweek in schools half term, the ground was sold out and you could tell walking away from the stadium just how many dads had taken their boys/girls along.

    I do sometimes wonder if you would be allowed to start such a game at 6.30pm and do a London-wide £15 for one-adult-plus-one-U16 and £10 for pensioners.

    There are, after all, a lot of folks now priced out of watching right now……..

  22. Forty six thousand has to include a figure for the away ticket allocation. Anyone know what percentage of the away tickets sold? Yeah it would be nice to have sold out for a cup game but in this day and age £15 for an adult ticket is f’all compared to taking the train & tube to the Emirates or worse, driving and parking.
    We’ve also had issues with cup ties in the past where the capacity of the stadium has been artificially reduced to keep a large buffer between home and away fans.

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