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Sheffield Midweek v Arsenal: Welcome to the Arsenal irregulars

By Tony Attwood
Ah, the Wednesday.  The team we beat twice in 1993 at Wembley to win the Cup, and then the Cup.   The first ever team to do the Cup Double.As I recall it was a dire year of league football – we were the lowest scoring team in the Premier League with 40 goals in 42 games with the second meanest defence (38 let in) but somehow we plodded on, and played the Monday three times in the Cup at Wembley – the FA Cup final going to a replay.   A cup double, the first one ever, but oh… it wasn’t very entertaining apart from the record.

No one quite knows what team we are putting out today, but there is talk of opportunities for Alex Iwobi, maybe Glen Kamara, also maybe Krystian Bielik and Ben Sheaf although I suspect that is left likely.   And a much bigger role for Joel Campbell.

So the injury news (the same as at the weekend) doesn’t really count for much but one snippet of statistic that emerged from the pre-match chit-chat is that Giroud is second only to Sergio Aguero for the most Premier League goals scored over the past three seasons.

Now who would believe that after all the rampant negativity from the aaa about Giroud.   Funny thing, if they had had their way, the second most productive goalscorer would have been thrown in a ditch and replaced by someone who wasn’t quite as good.

So what of the Tuesday?

Team Pld W D L F A GD Pts
1 Brighton and Hove Albion 13 8 5 0 18 10 8 29
2 Hull City 13 7 4 2 19 8 11 25
3 Burnley 13 7 4 2 18 12 6 25
4 Middlesbrough 13 7 3 3 20 9 11 24
5 Derby County 13 6 6 1 18 10 8 24
6 Birmingham City 13 7 3 3 19 13 6 24
7 Reading 13 6 4 3 20 12 8 22
8 Cardiff City 13 5 6 2 15 11 4 21
9 Sheffield Friday 13 5 5 3 18 16 2 20
10 Queens Park Rangers 13 5 4 4 22 22 0 19

Sunday are unbeaten in their last eight games.

The last game between the teams was a Arsenal 3 Sheff W 3 at Highbury.  We’ve played them five times in the League Cup and won the lot.  But they haven’t lost a league cup game since August 2008.

What we do know is that Campbell will play.   Speaking of that Mr W said, “I like Joel Campbell very much for two reasons.  One is that he has outstanding individual quality, but he is also a team player. He works very hard for the team.”

We also know that Wenger Petr Cech will be in goal, because David Ospina is still injured, and clearly the manager doesn’t think the sub keeper Matt Macey is ready for the big time yet.  Emiliano Martinez has been on loan at Wednesday and is now playing for Rotherham, although he seems to have vanished from the club’s web site for some reason.

48 comments to Sheffield Midweek v Arsenal: Welcome to the Arsenal irregulars

  • para

    I think he (Carvalhal) means he is not managing a money club and made it with hard work. 🙂

    Want to see some more youth perform well.
    Hope to win this, but will not be that easy.
    These so called “lower teams” are getting better every season.

  • Pete

    I remember going to Hillsborough on a freezing midweek evening to watch a League Cup Quarter Final about 27 years ago (must have been as stood on Leppings Lane end). I recall Winterburn scoring a late winner after a really uninspiring game.

    My main memory though is of my friend getting blind drunk on the train, finding it hard to restrain himself on the bus to the stadium with a load of disapproving locals, and then having several more cans of beer confiscated at the gate!

    Them were the days.

    By the way Tony, Martinez is now at Wolves.

    Waiting for the team news…

  • Starting XI: Cech, Gibbs, Mertesacker, Chambers, Debuchy, Flamini, Kamara, Campbell, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Iwobi, Giroud

    Substitutes: Macey, Gabriel, Monreal, Bielik, Sheaf, Bennacer, Walcott

    So bits and pieces right in the preview. 8/10.

  • Andy Mack

    I assume Iwobi & Campbell are playing on the left & right, so Ox must be central….

  • Andy Mack

    I notice the system time is still running on BST!

  • Menace

    A day early for the Wednesday Steelers, but it should be a great game. Wenger has shown them all the respect by being very conservative in his changes.

    Mourinho’s mate will enjoy learning from the Professor of the Art of Football.

  • Kenneth Widmerpool


  • Menace

    Horrid colour away strip. Almost inviting fans to support the opposition. What ever happened to blue & gold?

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    I can only get tickers up, can anyone please say why TW and the OX have gone off? Cheers!

  • Jerry

    Not sure about the Ox, Walcott kind of just stopped and asked for medical attention, but held the back of his leg a little bit, so possible hamstring injury.

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    Thanks Jerry!Certainly not good news,does sound like a HS and now we’re 1-0 down…

  • Dazza64

    @ Kenneth Ox had a tweak in the hamstring. This is painful to watch

  • Dex

    what a stupid decision to put Theo on for the hapless Ox

  • I preferred it when he just played the Kids this is going to be a night to forget , shown up by a bunch of hackers and two first teamers injured. Well you could’nt write it !

  • Menace

    Dex – if there is any stupidity its is your approach.

    Theo has a calf problem & Ox has a tight hamstring. Neither are badly injured just being careful. The two off side decisions against Arsenal were both wrong. The assistant is not fit for purpose. The two Wednesday goals were well taken & poorly defended. It is not a big deal. We are not playing with our magnificent midfield so are not penetrating as usual, but we do come good late in the game.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Oh look the moaners are already out…

  • Mick

    Why stupid?

  • Gouresh

    Has anyone noticed that their GK comes out 2-3 feet out of the box and kicks?

  • Menace

    The assistant has been on side for the Owls all game. He sees what he wants.

  • Gouresh

    Is this a horror show.

  • SheWoreAYellowRibbon

    This competition is a joke. I really wish we could simply refuse to play in it.

  • Mandy Dodd

    A competition we clearly aren’t that interested in, except in knocking out the spuds……just shows how desperate the moaners have become. They have had to sit through the first teams recent triumphs, so I guess that breeds an air of frustration in the AAA. Still, not all is good for them, their team and manager of choice losing at Stoke.
    Just hope theo and ox not too bad., these injuries seem to be mounting up again. Unfortunately some squad players are doing themselves no favours this eve, but guess that’s what a lack of game time, and an inexperienced team does.

  • Al_The_Gunner

    i love to see young gunners in action.

  • Yassin

    Screw Capital cup.
    What pains me is that everytime we have a chance at a title, injuries strike.

  • Menace

    Yassin – we do not have injuries. It is just the slightest twinge causes us to take our first teamers off. We are not playing badly considering this defence has played together the first time. The Owls are playing their biggest game this decade.

  • Jerry

    And here comes the Negative Nancy brigade. It was a peaceful 2 weeks.

  • Va Cong

    what happened?

  • Jerry

    Agree with Yassin, think I’m more upset with the injuries popping up than the actual result.

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    Cheers Dazza64 for the info on the OX. Certainly was a bad night out all around.

  • robl

    Wenger’s an idiot, how dare we not win in the magnificent league cup, after all there’s nothing left to play for this season. We’re already way behind in the league and barely scraped past some part time German lot in the euro thingy.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Hard to read much into that game in the bigger perspective of things. Some of the hopefuls clearly need to do better at first glance but hard to take that as a context. But Wenger needs to get some of these players ready to cover for inevitable injuries , not necessecarily the kids yet, but Gibbs, Debuchy et al. They, understandably look rusty, but with such inexperience around them, they might not be at their best
    We did show some …what some regard as traditional Arsenal weaknesses, set pieces, counter attacks etc, but this is a team that has not played together.
    But apart from giving players a chance, I am glad this cursed tournament is over for us, bigger fish to fry these days. I wonder if Wenger feels the same.

  • Pete

    Trying to take the positives:

    Campbell put in a decent audition to play in the big games to come… which is just as well.
    Iwobi showed some flashes, but still has a way to go.
    Bielik showed some promise also – liked the look of him.
    Giroud didn’t seem to exhaust himself.
    Andy Hinchcliffe seems like a decent pundit – correctly calling the Sheff W red card that wasn’t given. That was certainly a game changer (I’m a bit biased as he is the only professional footballer I have ever had a lengthy intelligent conversation with – really nice guy. A great anecdote too – which I can’t really repeat here!).

    And I got a fair amount of my ironing done!

  • Josif

    Bielik looks like a real deal. The first impression is that he looks nice on the pitch. It’s the same feeling I had had watching that skunk that is now at Chelsea and Hec The Flash for the first time. Elegant, brave, composed.

    Iwobi has a lot of potential too. One could bet on him after Emirates Cup. Perhaps with a world-class attacking midfielder behind him he will show his full potential.

    Unfortunately, Debuchy looks really rusty. He reminds me of Sagna after his return in 2012-13. That cretin Arnautović really left him a scar.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Too many changes at once again I’m afraid and few (if any) of the irregulars have taken the opportunity to press for first team selection. Clearly our bench still needs work. With hindsight we possibly would have been better off playing our regular U21 team in its entirety, they at least are used to playing together. Sheffield probably lucky not to have Hutchinson sent off instead of yellow carded in the 30th minute. Overall though we didn’t do nearly enough and Sheffield deserved their win. No complaints and well done Sheffield. I hope you go on to win it.

  • para

    I was surprised that OX and Theo even were on the bench. I can see why AW does not like this competition.
    Glad to be out, and i hope Theo and Ox are not too seriously injured.

    Joel Cambell looks to be quite a handful in the making and i wonder if he would be a Coq equal in midfield. But looks like he will get his chance to play now, only more forward. Hoping for him to impress.

    I’ll bet many players have bruises tonight.

  • Yassin

    Come on… All that mattered in this cup is screwing the tiny totts up… We did it, and then why should we be bothered.

    Menace, what you are saying is the Ox and Walcot injury are just precautions?

  • Pete

    Credit also to the amazing travelling support who kept singing to the end.

    That is what support is all about. Safe journey home folks – I hope the players showed their appreciation.

  • Jayramfootball

    Can’t complain about the result. Fair. Disappointed in Arsenals approach and attitude to the game and gutted at the Theo injury. That’s a lot of pace gone from our team with Chamberlain injured too. Theo is the bigger miss, not overly concerned with Chamberlain. Don’t think he has delivered anyway.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Match report is online

  • Pete

    I think the injury situation is as follows. This is really not good. Mostly medium/long term as well.


  • Pete do you have any firm source of information that today’s injuries are long term?

  • Menace

    Yassin – correct. I watched very carefully & it was tightness not pain that they stopped for. I think both should be good within a week.

  • Yassin

    Hope so, Menace, hope you are right.

  • Pete

    Tony – sorry, bad post. I have no information on Walcott and Chamberlain other than Wenger’s comment that we have “lost them”.

    I would hope they will be back after international break latest – but looks bleak for Swansea/Bayern/Totts I fear.

  • Pete, wasn’t trying to criticise… I changed channels to see what was happening to Chelsea, and thought maybe I’d missed something that was said about Ox and Theo.

  • Pete

    No – on rereading I can see that it is misleading. And it is important.

  • serge

    Alex has this ongoing hamstring problem, and Theo looked as though he didn’t get much of a warm up before he came on. Hopefully they came off as a precaution, but the injuries are starting to pile up again and only one so far (Coquelin v Chelsea) was a contact injury, so this seems to be a fitness issue.

  • jayramfootball

    3 games minimum for Theo and Chamberlain.
    They will miss the Munich, Swansea and Spurs games. Ramsey will also be out for all 3.