Arshavin and Giroud must finally let loose

Arsenal’s League Cup campaign kicks off under the Emirates Stadium lights tonight against Coventry City. The usual press about Arsenal not taking the competition seriously continues apace, but ask any Gooner what they’re excited about tonight, and it will definitely centre around the latest crop of talented youngsters at the club.

The goalkeeper could be anyone between Vito Mannone, James Shea or Damien Martinez. As third-choice keeper (despite his run of starts for the first team), it would still be of value to give Mannone another start against Coventry. Yet the nod could easily go Shea’s way, with the Irishman having been on the bench for Arsenal’s one Champions League fixture this season, ahead of the much vaunted Argentinian Martinez.

Andre Santos should be a given for the left back berth while Djourou and Miquel could make their first starts this season. Nico Yennaris should also feature as Carl Jenkinson gets a well-earned rest.

It’s much more difficult to speculate who will feature further forward, with a number of combinations presenting themselves. The likes of Francis Coquelin, Thomas Eisfeld, and Serge Gnabry will all be champing at the bit to feature, while Emmanuel Frimpong should make an appearance from the bench after his very long injury lay-off.

I’m going with Coquelin as the midfield anchor and Eisfeld to feature further forward, given his encouraging showings in Arsenal’s preseason. If all things are going well, the exciting Gnabry could also make an appearance off the sub’s bench.

I believe Aaron Ramsey deserves another start after wracking up the bench appearances this season, and in the interest of continuity, should get a place after his good showing against Manchester City.

 

I also have a feeling we may see Andrey Arshavin and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain both starting, and perhaps swapping positions between the left flank and central midfield. Many have complained of Arshavin not getting a proper run in his (allegedly) preferred position – a topic I have given my two cents on before – but I believe that scope exists for these two players to swap positions on a whim to confuse the opposition defence.

Finally, I see no real reason to give Marouane Chamakh a start tonight over Olivier Giroud. The Frenchman needs to get off the mark about now, especially ahead of the Chelsea fixture this weekend. Playing Chamakh would serve little purpose and I don’t think a complete overhaul of the starting line-up, even against struggling Coventry, is advisable. Hence my preference for Ramsey and Giroud.

The match is a genuine chance for Giroud and Arshavin to announce themselves (or in the Russian’s case, re-announce himself) by getting their scoring boots on. Against a club in footballing free fall, this is an opportunity to create some havoc and get a feel for scoring goals and creating chances.

It cannot be understated in Arshavin’s case, who can still make a valuable contribution to Arsenal’s season if he puts his mind to it. The manager has come out big for the Russian in the press, saying he is still a fan of a very talented player.

I have personally a great respect for Andrey Arshavin because sometimes some wrong ideas are circulated about him – that he doesn’t care, but it’s completely the opposite. He’s a 200 per cent professional who works very hard in training every day.

It would take the bravest of men to bet against Arsenal beating a League One outfit at their own ground, especially in front of a reported sell-out crowd.

Speaking of which, the tickets sold for this game is reason enough to show what being a big club really is all about. Compare that to the Manchester City game, where half the ground was empty as Aston Villa ran riot last night, or the Spurs sides that have played in front of a mere 30,000 against some unknowns in the Europa League. Trophiless we may be, but it just proves that there will always be something remarkably special about the red and white.

More tomorrow. Enjoy the match.

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5 thoughts on “Arshavin and Giroud must finally let loose

  1. Asher michael says:

    Giroud should be given opportunity to start today match,he is a great player who need more match 2 put his self together and he should also reduce the presure on him,we love him even though he has not deliver much we stil belief in him.

  2. Nyuon Isaac says:

    Arshavin is the really and fantastic player with quality but he is under pressure, Wenger should give him a cahance to express himself, emagine a palyer who score four goals against Liverpool in 2009 and al four goals are hat-trick, do u think such a player cannot do good chance of winning? Arshavin was cristise by Fabregas and Van Persie in his fisrt season when he came from his Country club Zint after scrored his four goals against Liverpool and that was the causative agent for his performance failure….

  3. Abu says:

    Thats one of the best line up, we lead others follow. All penalties to be taken by Giroud to break the jinx of scoring. We are uncious to see Wilshere in fool uniform other than in under 21 team. Arshavin its your time to prove that you deserve a chance in champion league experience matters.

    Mombasa, Kenya.

  4. dum says:

    “Trophiless we may be, but it just proves that there will always be something remarkably special about the red and white.” Nice one.

  5. Olivier and andrie shuld be given a chance so dat dey could cash up fast, arshavin is a great player he is not worthy to be on bench,let give him the chance to challenge his form

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