Archive for November 15th, 2008

Villa Preview + Arsenal to face Burnley in Carling Cup

Add comment November 15th, 2008

If, as is regularly posited by the media, Aston Villa are the best side outside of the top four, then today should tell us a fair bit about this Arsenal side.  A resounding victory would confirm our superiority over the Villas and the Evertons, and allow us to count ourselves among those sides contesting the title.  Anything less than a victory, and the win over Man U will immediately start to feel like an anomalous result.

There is positive news on the injury front, with both Manuel Almunia and Emmanuel Adebayor available.  I wouldn’t be surprised if the side that triumphed over United starts today, with Adebayor’s pace available as a weapon from the bench.

For Aston Villa, John Carew is a doubt.  I’m crossing every digit in the hope that he’s out: he’s caused us countless problems in the past and holds a bit on Indian sign over our defence.

At yesterday’s press conference, a lot of the questions Arsene Wenger faced were unsurprisingly about our talented youngsters.  Aaron Ramsey followed his impressive performance against Wigan with a call-up to the full Wales side.  It seems John Toshack intends to play him just off Craig Bellamy as a ‘Number 10’, but I think his best position will eventually be as a Cesc-style midfielder (with more goals, please).

Arsene has also come out and said something I uttered myself on Wednesday: that Jack Wilshere could well make the England squad for 2010.  With England coach Fabio Capello toying with calling up Michael Mancienne, a defender whose never played a league game for Chelsea, it’s clear England have a progressive manager who has an interest in nurturing young talent.  There’s none better around than Wilshere, and if his development is handled as well as that of Theo Walcott, they sky really is the limit.

Eduardo could be playing again within a fortnight.  I don’t really need to comment on how exciting that is.

The Carling Cup Quarter-Final draw was made this morning, and we travel to Burnley (where we won in the FA Cup in January).  It’ll be a big test against a solid, physical outfit who’ve already seen off Chelsea.  Hopefully that’s their major cup upset for the season out of the way and we will prevail.

Victory over Villa and it’d be three consecutive wins.  The trauma of Stoke would slip ever further towards the back of my mind.

Come on Arsenal – make it happen.

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