The Importance Of The League Cup
It might not seem like a big match, playing Ipswich an all, but we're so close to a trophy now this game is massive.
As trophies go the Carling Cup isn't exactly the most prestigious, but it's silverware that will stop the phrase 'it's been 5 years since Arsenal won a trophy' being uttered ever again ... and that alone is worth it.
Not to mention getting that winning feeling back again. It's very important.
I was quite nervous about this game until I was reminded that the away goals rules doesn't come into play until after extra time. If Wenger plays a near full strength side (which I feel he needs to, the 'star' players can have a rest on Sunday) I think we'll walk it.
Ipswich will feel like they have something to defend, something to hold on to, and they've already said they'll be here to park the bus, and whilst other teams have successfully put up a brick wall we were unable to break down, they were, with the greatest respect to Ipswich, alot more accomplished defensive teams.
One of the main reasons Ipswich managed to beat us in the first place was their willingness to get forward, sitting back won't do them any good, and I don't think Wenger will allow us to make the same mistakes twice .... especially when a day out at Wembley beckons.
So whilst the match-up might not appear to be the most tantalising, again with the greatest respect, this is a huge game, and one that needs to be taken seriously, we need to strike fast and keep up a high tempo, we can't let Ipswich get out of their own half, because all it takes is one free-kick, corner or ill-advised dangled leg in our area and it leaves us needing to score 3 goals.
We don't often lose at home (if memory serves, we've never lost at the Grove in the league cup) so Ipswich, despite their lead certainly face an uphill task, but then again we don't need to lose to go out, but I think the quality of this team and our nice run of form will be more than enough to see us through to face either West Ham or Birmingham, both teams we've beaten 3-0 in 2011.
I think it's going to be a pretty exciting match.