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Tractor Boys next up in the Carling Cup

Arsenal face the Tractor Boys, Ipswich Town in the League Cup Semi-Final. The first leg to be played at Portman Road over Jan 11th or 12th with the deciding leg at the Emirates 2 weeks later. On paper the kindest draw with Birmingham and West Ham meeting in the other semi-final to earn the chance to make the final at Wembley on February 27th.

Nothing in football should be taken for granted and though now a Championship side the team from Suffolk beat us 2-1 at Highbury the last time we played them in the League Cup back in November 2000. A little over 20 years before that they famously beat us in the 1978 FA Cup final with a side managed by the late Sir Bobby Robson.

Despite the popular media idea that we are taking the Carling Cup more seriously this year it remains 5th priority behind the premier league, champions league, champions league qualification and the FA cup. Even so our record in the competition is not that shabby when you consider that we have made the semi-final stage in the league cup in 4 of the last 7 seasons. But our squad is stronger now with 4 of the young players, still in their teens at the time (apart from then 20 year old Diaby), who started in the 2007 CC final Walcott, Cesc, Diaby and Denilson still with us as more mature and experienced players. The others to feature in that game still part of the squad are 'keeper Almunia and Eboue who came on as a substitute. Quite simply we have no choice now but to appear to take the competition more seriously in terms of team selection as the squad by and large offers more mature players.

Whatever team we put out Ipswich will need to be treated with respect but competing over two legs should ensure that any tendency towards complacency is limited.

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The Journalist

Writer: Amos Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday December 2 2010

Time: 9:17AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Agreed that the team really need to avoid complacency. But as fans surely we should be expecting to get through to the final, especially with the game being over two legs. 5th place in the list of priorities it maybe, but Wenger is definately looking at it more seriously this year. I'd be disapointed if we didn't win it from this position.
Report Abuse
02/12/2010 09:36:00

The winning of cup competitions always relies slightly on that bit of luck- in the draw, on the day. A bad refereeing decision or a slip on greasy turf can be rectified over a league season, but one of those in a cup and you're out. Arsenal haven't quite had that rub of the green for the last few years. The F.A. Cup last year for instance, we got Stoke shortly before games against Villa, United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Porto (in that order). Even if we'd beaten Stoke, we'd have got City away in the next round, it just wasn't our year. This now presents us with a serious chance of collecting a cup and serious questions will be asked of the team if they don't win it from here. (P.S. I don't think you can say it's 5th priority, definitely 4th, but the league and CL qualification surely amalgamate into the same objective? I mean, we can't win the league AND finish 4th).
Little Dutch
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02/12/2010 09:37:00

That's a good point LD ... lol
Report Abuse
02/12/2010 09:42:00

I for one as a neutral am looking forward to seeing the gooners and their happy army at Wembley. Barring an unforseen error by Wenger who must realise the importance of gaining another trophy by now, I can see you having a bloody good shout at winning the final.
SFC Forever
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02/12/2010 09:55:00

I see your point but you have to see it as a list of priorities in order of priority. If we can't win the league then CL qualification becomes the 3rd objective behind trying to win the CL itself. On the other hand we wouldn't want to risk CL qualification even if we can't win the title just to win the FAC or CC hence it's a higher priority
Report Abuse
02/12/2010 09:57:00

i feel as a club you really need this cup. Success breeds success and very much like liverpool with the fat waiter it took the carling cup win to inspire a 12 month period that saw them winning 5 trophies. It could be a kick start for you as a whole so i wouldnt underestimate what winning this could do. obviously as a spurs fan i hope this isnt the case but feel you will be a lot better for winning this and again tasting what a cup brings
Report Abuse
02/12/2010 10:46:00

On paper it should be yourselves who go through. But hey, it is a Semi Final with a place at Wembley at stake....Game on lads...I hope we are your BIG banana skin.....Should be a good tussle Roll on 2011..
Report Abuse
02/12/2010 11:32:00

Right now i feel FA cup should be the list priority. Its like a distraction to other things ahead. I will rank them now as CL qualification.i.e 1-4th in the PL, PL tittle, CL qualifiaction to next rounds, CC , FA Cup. Beacuse if we out of the present CL Second Rd qualifiaction, its a huge money loss and Ranking loss, while CC is for prestige and FA Cup is a welcome distraction.
Report Abuse
02/12/2010 17:08:00

Vital Ipswich editor coming in peace - quite a draw here for both teams! Looking forward to these two games; just... try not to stuff us too hard, okay? (Especially as we've already got Chelsea in the FA Cup three days before!) Fountain of confidence, me, y'know...(!)
Darren C
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02/12/2010 23:08:00

So what’s your priority Darren, putting your best side out to play Chelsea in the FAC or saving them for the CC semi against us?
Sir Henry
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03/12/2010 15:15:00

A two-legged semi-final against a side from the Championship and then a final against Birmingham or West Ham. It MUST be our cup surely? Nah, I don’t think so; this whole thing has complacency written all over it which is something we’ve done really well this season. If Wenger and his boys want this trophy they’ll have to be truly ruthless and take it. The players will have to fight for every ball and earn the right to play pretty football.
Sir Henry
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03/12/2010 15:42:00

What sort of pre match talk will Ipswich get from football's Mr Nice Guy Roy Keane.... I can just imagine it now!!!!
Report Abuse
05/12/2010 23:03:00

I hope Vermaelen is back for this one.
Report Abuse
06/12/2010 18:44:00


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