With Arsenal now deprived of their FA Cup win last season, what team will play to try and win it again?

By Bulldog Drummond

So as we now know, the end of last season was all a myth and Arsenal did not win the FA Cup (see FA insist that Chelsea are the current holders of the cup).  So we move onto today’s little outing to try and overcome not just Forest, and the raging media, but also the FA news deniers.

But it is, we now understand, all to no purpose because if Arsenal win the cup again it won’t count. And anyway football doesn’t matter any more as the whole thing has been reduced to a sort of celebrity shouting match (see for example “Chelsea Conte brands Mourinho ‘little man’ and ‘fake’ in new attack” in the Guardian).  Indeed although that article is there, yet again no preview of the match in that paper – just more attacks on Mr Wenger from Amy Lawrence.  She’s probably preparing an article now that says “Arsenal only had one manager in the last year”.

Mind you the Telegraph has “Premier League clubs should not disrespect the FA Cup – if winning an honour is not a priority what is the point?” written by the old coin thrower J. Carragher, but then also doesn’t have the time to present us with a preview of the Arsenal game either.  One might well ask about newspaper web sites, “what’s the point?”

Still, it hasn’t quite sunk as low as Talk Sprout with its “There’s a bad smell at Arsenal” piece today, although if you want something more tasty you could try “Arsenal fan favourite opens kebab shop” on the unstoppable Daily Canon.  It’s a load of balls.  And forget that bit about “tasty”.  I withdraw that.

Shkodran Mustafi is not playing so the other place could go to Calum Chambers or Rob Holding.

Sead Kolasinac won’t play so the hugely talented Ainsley Maitland-Niles who seems incredibly calm and assured and not prone to being overloaded by games or the situation, presumably gets another game.  Also presumably (which is a fancy way of saying I don’t know) Bellerin is going to have a breather so Reiss Nelson could come back in as an attacking wing back, which ought to suit his desire to play in every position simultaneously.

If it is right that Xhaka is unavailable, or that the boss simply does not want to play him then we could see Francis Coquelin and Mohamed Elneny in midfield.  We were enormously impressed with Elneny’s performance in the last league cup game with his ability to play attacking and defending midfield at the same time.  On that performance alone he deserves another run out.

Up front seems fairly obvious, in that Ozil, Alexis and Lacazette are not likely to play and Giroud is still out so that leaves Welbeck, Iwobi and Theo to start – although every time I say any line up is obvious then something completely different happens.

But for what it is worth that would make a team looking roughly like this

Iwobi Welbeck Theo

Maitland Niles, Elneny, Coquelin, Nelson

Holding Mert Debuchy



What happens for the beach I don’t then know apart from the fact that Matt Macey must be there as the sub keeper.  Do you put in more youngsters (yes, presumably a few) but also one or two more senior players to help stabalise things if something starts to go amiss or we get a major injury early on (these championship sides can on occasion include one or two hearty roughs in their line up).

Chambers would certainly be there, but beyond that, I don’t know who might be made to sit in the cold just in case.

But, but, but, but, but… we have the League cup semi-final against Chelsea this week, and that in theory is also a match for the Arsenal II team.  So will anyone be held over for that, and if so, who will come in?

There are other players who could be given a try.  Krystian Bielik and Julio Pleguezuelo might be ready for a game, as could be Josh Dasilva.  Then there is Joseph Willock who looked terrifically talented when I saw him last, and of course Eddie Nketiah who surely must be on the beach.

Plus we have two players who are listed as first teamers but really not being seen.  Jeff Reine Adelaide and Chuba Akpom.  Both are still shown on Arsenal’s site as in the first team squad, but simply not breaking through.  I know Le Jeff has been injured, but I thought he was making his way back.  Mind you Jeff is still only 19 so he’s got plenty of time.

I think the beach could be an indicator of who is still in the manager’s mind.  As for my mind, it is, as you can see, more muddled than ever.

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55 Replies to “With Arsenal now deprived of their FA Cup win last season, what team will play to try and win it again?”

  1. On Liverpool FC website, the Liverpool U23 vs Arsenal U23 match is reading: postponed. Reason? I don’t know. But Le Boss will have more flexibility in the Gunners availability to select from for this our away match against Notts Forest today.

    I made my own starts and 7 on the bench Gunners for this our FA Cup 3 Rd match against Forest yesterday So, this no point for me to repeat them. Notwithstanding, the Arsenal Ii team whom I belove Le Boss will use to get a good result for us the Gooners today will not shy away from their responsibilities to see Arsenal gets over the line unhurt this afternoon but take Forest by the guns to leave them suffered 4 casualties in the game to 0 casualty to Arsenal at full-time +

  2. Our Women are second best against Chelsea with one minute to go and despite my involuntary shout have been awarded quite correctly as shown on the replay a free kick on the edge of our area. The kick was deflected out for a corner which came to nothing. Chelsea one nil at halftime and significantly the better team. Have to improve in the second half.

  3. Arsenal have equalised. They have been the better team in the 10 minutes of the second half. Only the third league goal Chelsea have conceded this season.

  4. I’m sorry I know this is off topic, although it is with the theme of the abyssal way we are treated in the media and how it differs from how others are treated:

    Firstly regarding penalties.

    The following is from the Telegraph in March 2015:

    “Chelsea complain of “abnormally low” penalty tally – on their own website

    Club’s belief that there is a ‘campaign’ against them spreads as official website complains of lack of spot-kicks this season”


    Then regarding Paranoia.

    This is from the same article:

    Mourinho has made a point of complaining about a “campaign” against his side this season, complaining of their treatment by referees, the newspaper and, in particular, Sky TV pundits such as Graeme Souness and Jamie Carragher.


    This is from the Guardian at the same time.

    Jose says:

    “That’s a campaign, that’s a clear campaign,” he said at the time. “People, pundits, commentators, coaches from other teams, they react with Chelsea in a way they don’t react to other teams. They put lots of pressure on the referee and the referee makes a mistake like this. We lose two points, Fàbregas earns a yellow card. In other countries where I worked before, tomorrow in the sports papers it would be a front-page scandal because it is a scandal.


    Around the same time this is the Headline from the fawning Martin Samuel in the Daily Mail:

    Exit, the man with a God complex: MARTIN SAMUEL on why Jose Mourinho is a charismatic genius addicted to conflict.

    This despite this from the same article:

    “When he feels hard done by, he positively radiates a burning sense of injustice. Twice recently he’s accused ball boys of opposing teams of conspiring against Chelsea”

    So that’s alright then.

    It seems when GOD’s feeling aggrieved by ball boys, referees and pundits alike he ‘radiates’.

    On the other hand if your name is Arsene Wenger the conclusions are somewhat less admiring.


    Just as a footnote, I know for a fact that Samuel actually did an entire article supporting Joses whinging about the penalties but I’ll be buggered if I can find it. If anyone can help it was either in the Mail, or possibly the London Evening Standard.

    The difference in the way others rants and whinges are reacted to compared to Wenger is ridiculous.

  5. Chelsea regain the lead not at all sure the whole of the ball crossed the line. If it did it was only be a millimetre or so. The replays were certainly inconclusive and they don’t have goal line Ssistance.

    Arsenal have now made it two all. Really end to end stuff now.

  6. 84 minutes and Chelsea take the lead again. Van Veenendaal as the ball deflects in off her body after a narrow angle cross hits the post first then her body. Mind you if the ball hadn’t hit the post it would have been in the back of the net. Unlucky as the second half has seen Arsenal as the better team.

    Unlikely now that Arsenal will finish in the top two places so a cup win realistically our best chance of silverware this season

  7. Chelsea 3 Arsenal 2 final score. Basically undone by a poor first half performance.

  8. Interrupted by a short lunch but I was going to conclude with:

    Regarding Jose’s remarks on Chelsea’s lack of penalties he actually had a point. There was a period, running from the end of November until the beginning of January I believe it was, when Chelsea were being awarded less penalties than you would of expected, and indeed were not getting some pretty good shouts.

    But there was a reason.

    It followed a particularly unsavoury period of diving around like a demented Swan from the odious Costa. Even the media were calling him out, hence the referees feeling they had been given the green light to give Chelsea a little pay back.

    But let it be said, following Joses whinge, and the accompanying media sympathies, things soon returned to normal, as the long term stats show.

    So what this shows is, is that the media, when it suits, are quite capable of saying, “okay, if that’s what he thinks lets have a look at the stats and see if he has a point”

    That’s what Samuels did. I haven’t got a problem with that. That’s exactly what the hacks should do.

    The problem is, you have to ask yourself, why, in the interests of good journalism didn’t Samuels bother to look a little deeper and check the stats for the rest of the year? The last couple of years? You know, just to give a bit of context.

    But of course he didn’t, because that would of shown that Mourhino in fact was on very shaky ground, because as we know, Chelsea get more than there fair share of penalties.

    But hey, if your aim is simply to support someone you clearly see as a GOD, then you are not interested in context, accuracy or anything else that doesn’t support your preordained ideas.

    And further still, it begs the question, why hasn’t the statistically savvy Mr Samuels, or any other hack for that matter, especially the Arsenal loving Amy Lawrence (LOL), applied the same diligent ‘investigative journalism’ to Wengers claims?

    May I be as bold as to suggest it’s simply because they know they wouldn’t like what they find.

    One thing is for sure, they KNOW exactly what the stats show.

  9. Thank you Andrew for keeping us informed on the game. I had high hopes … but ah well…

  10. Team
    Debuchy, Mertesacker, Holding,
    Nelson, Willock, Elneny, Maitland-Niles,
    Walcott, Iwobi,

    Chambers, Reine-Adelaide, Akpom, Da Silva, Macey, Nketiah, Osei-Tutu.

    Not too bad a prediction and at least our two selected forgotten men (Jfee and Akpom) made the beach

  11. Apparently Mr Wenger has said he is allowed to talk to the team in the dressing room at half-time.

    The media is appealing this “getting round the rules in typical Arsenal cheating fashion.”

  12. Was about to come here to complain about Moss when he awarded another soft penalty. 3rd penalty in a row.. It sure will be a very libg season.

  13. Nothing soft about either pen, Al. Both were obvious fouls and poor defending. The second should have been re-kicked, though.

  14. Yet Arsenal have not played well at all, and likes to wait til the opposition get tired. We should have been well away but with only a few shots on goal, how could we?

    But Moss has ruined the game too.

  15. so minimal touch from arsenal defender is a 100% penalty
    but anything against foul must be stonewall ..

    second game refs prove that they can do anything if someone hurt they feeling

  16. Debuchy got the ball. The first one the player did not have control of the ball. Very soft penalties any day.

  17. My stream isnt english but the commentator has repeated mosss name like 20 times in last 2 minutes.. says it all

  18. 4 mins extra time? This game was total bullshit as far as the officiating goes.

  19. Both BBC and Guardian are queurying second penalty AND saying the Forest player kicked the ball twice. Miss was not sure and checked with linesman then gave goal. Has sent a Forest player off but it’s a little late for compensation.

  20. Awful performance, no chemistry, but given the lineup we rolled out there, not overly surprising. Not too fussed about it, tbh.

  21. Al_the_gunner
    You’re right, the most minimal contact from an Arsenal player will get punished. That way the cheats will always justify giving the decision. But everyone knows were this to be the case then we’d see 6 or 7 penalties per game. Cheating bastard. Cowards too.

  22. Even though we haven’t played great this is getting beyond a joke.

    Just 4 minutes time added on is a joke in itself.

    Just about every penalty claim against is given and virtually none when we have a claim.

    But it’s been like this all season.

  23. Three games running we have been fucked be the referees. Second penalty should never have been given. Debuchy got the ball cleanly.

    Wellbeck and Walcott less than impressive again

  24. i understand if you from russia you’ve no chance to prove anything on any level
    but if you in uk, why nobody try to do something about this shit?

  25. Scuba your blind if theu were penalties the same happened more than twixe to welbeck so wheres the penalty? Even savage couldnt defend it was a penalty. 1st penalty he fell over himself

  26. Moss in PGMOL style gave a penalty that wasn’t & also allowed so many fouls to go unpunished. Stopping & backing into a player without playing the ball is a foul. But Moss gives it the other way. It is a typical example of cheating against the Arsenal without recourse to any higher authority.

    It is what Arsenal supporters have to live with despite playing clean football. 5 or 6 yellow cards for Moss reasons not for fouls.

  27. Nitram ecen the bt commentary was sayinh 4 minutes? They talked about penalty for more than 1 minute. You know uts seriously wrong when yhe Bt wrong uns say it’s weird

  28. The 4 minutes were interrupted by another substitution – 30 seconds at least? but this cheat Moss doesn’t give a fcuk for the Laws.

  29. and why a little touch mean so much if it not arsenal?
    when chelsea fuck almost kill bellerin and score a goal… it was an ok touch even for henry
    but any little touch is must be a penalty if wenger was so rude with little reffie?

  30. 3 against Utd 3 against Liverpool 2 against cfc 4 against a champinship side any one got any clues why we are getting worse week on week. No hope of a title challenge now not even going to get top four we are going backwards very quickly

  31. Two penalties wrongly awarded to Forest (first was a dive, second a perfect tacle from Debuchy)
    One penalty wrongly denied to Welbeck when he was shoved by Mancienne.

    The Mike Riley mafia will be happy. To all those who have been asking for years why the club and Wenger doesn’t take a bigger stance on the corruption in the league, there is your answer…

  32. Strangely I’m not upset at all, calm in fact. Maybe I’ve finally given up on this league? Whoever fails to see this robbery unfolding before us surely must be blind.

  33. I’ll be honest, even though soft I can see why both penalties were given.

    Probably 50/50 both off them.

    But the problem is, as I have said elsewhere on many occasions, we hardly ever, if ever get those 50/50’s.

    This is why I keep on about this cheating without cheating.

    Because if you analyse each decision on an individual basis you can at least see why they were given, even if you think incorrectly, but this is the rub, if 90% of 50/50 penalty shouts against us are given, and 90% of 50/50 penalty calls for, go against us, then something is very very wrong.

    What is so depressing is that apart from a few of us on here, nobody gives a f***. In fact most go to extremes to justify this very real anomaly that is cheating us out of point after point, match after match.

    No, we were not great today but is that really justification for this blatant bias?

    I don’t think so.

  34. Al

    “Strangely I’m not upset at all, calm in fact. Maybe I’ve finally given up on this league? Whoever fails to see this robbery unfolding before us surely must be blind.”

    I’m feeling something similar.

    Going out hurts.

    Not playing that well is disappointing.

    But my overriding feeling is a kind of sadness.

    I’m sad at the realisation that until Wenger is forced out this cheating at every corner is never going to stop.

    It doesn’t matter how blatant or how often we get cheated the media will not acknowledge it. They will continue to slaughter Wenger at every turn. They will actively applaud every nail the refs hammer in to our coffins.

    I think sad, dismayed, and numb is how I feel at the moment, and yes I think I have given up.

  35. Nitram, I feel the same way. Look at the advertising, all betting sites. Corruption, no chance.

  36. Terrible display all in all. Who’s the ‘engine’ in this side? Singled out for particular lack of support and disinterest is Walcott. Just terrible. Gave the ball away, never came back to get it and where are the runs?

  37. Guys I feel the same too Well I was angry but why? its gone past blatant its mockery I feel so sorry for Wenger

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