Arsenal | Carling Cup Final
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Arsenal vs. Birmingham




On Sky

Carling Cup Final

Almost 6 years since we were mauled, yet not beaten in Cardiff. Almost 6 years since Vieira hit the side netting. This Arsenal team is almost at a breakthrough, and tomorrow could be the catalyst.

Vital Quotes:

Wenger talked about the weight of the trophy drought: "To win this trophy would give us a lift," said the Frenchman at his press conference on Friday."

"There is a weight on the team at the moment. We have to deliver trophies because we have not won any. "

"I`m not the only one for whom that is important. There`s the players` feelings too. They say: 'Ok, we want to win a trophy to show you we can win one`. And I believe to win would give us a lift for the rest of the season."

Arsenal Team News:

Obviously everyone already knows the big news. Cesc Fabregas will not play. With so many important games left to play, it is too much of a risk to play him. Theo Walcott also will be out, as an ankle sprain will keep him sidelined for several weeks. Good news though that van Persie, Koscielny, and Diaby are back in the squad.

Possible Starting XI: Szczesny, Sagna, Djourou, Koscielny, Clichy, Song, Wilshere, Rosicky, Arshavin, Nasri, van Persie

Player to watch: Jack Wilshere

Not a hard one to pick here. Without Cesc, Jack will have to carry at least a good chunk of the creative load. Just ask the boss: 'Our game goes naturally through Fabregas. When he`s not there, it will go more through Wilshere. " You can't see it bothering the nineteen year old, especially after that performance against the big-mouthed Catalonians. Hopefully we see Wilshere's best Arsenal DNA shine through tomorrow.

Birmingham Team News:

Former Gunner Alex Hleb is a doubt for this one, while another former player, David Bentley, is cup-tied after playing in the 4-1 spanking we gave Spurs at White Hart Lane in the 3rd round. Curtis Davies is also cup-tied, while Scott Dan is out for the season.

Possible Starting XI: Foster, Carr, Johnson, Jiranek, Ridgewell, Larsson, Ferguson, Gardner, Bowyer, Zigic, Martins

Player to watch: Nikola Zigic

Birmingham will look to play the long balls up to the giant. No surprise there. Failing to deal with this is often a big criticism of Arsenal, so it's a nice opportunity to put these claims to bed and win a tropy.

Match Facts & Stats

Mike Dean is the head official for tomorrow's cup final. Yay. Not.

Match Prediction:

Who wouldn't be nervous going into a cup final without your best player? I believe in our other players though, and I feel it's about damn time we won something. A nervy 3-1 to the Arsenal.

Next Fixtures:

2/3 (Wed) - Leyton Orient (h) - FA Cup

5/3 (Sat) - Sunderland (h) - Premier League

The Journalist

Writer: Brice Coffer Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday February 26 2011

Time: 9:07AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Interesting match to see.
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26/02/2011 10:49:00

Yep! It will be nervy but an Arsenal win is on the cards, barring a collapse of calamituous proportions (unexpected injuries/ forced changes, Ref blunders, dismissals). This team plays now like a "band of brothers", a gang, borne out of being together so long with little joy and looking to end that state. It is that "one-for-all- and-all-for-one" spirit that must come to the fore tomorrow and we'll get there. Good luck lads!
Report Abuse
26/02/2011 10:51:00

I thought its Mickey Dean? No? They changed the ref?
Report Abuse
26/02/2011 11:04:00

well, anyway, good luck to Capt. RvP..
Report Abuse
26/02/2011 11:06:00

I read it was Mike Dean too...
Report Abuse
26/02/2011 13:11:00

Alan Wiley's a decent bloke. He should be able to call a fair game. If it's Mickey Dean, let's hope he doesn't attract attention to himself by giving wrong decisions. If that is the case, the name "Mickey Mouse Cup" will attain new meaning.
Report Abuse
26/02/2011 13:41:00

Can't bring myself to quote the original source. (Hey Cesc, what are you doing writing a column for the Sun anyway?!?!) Here's the very nice things Cesc has to say about missing the cup final, wanting the players to win it not for him but for the club and the supporters, who've been supporting them going everywhere through thick and thin, etc etc:,17033,8689_6781247,00.html Proper stuff from our club captain.
Report Abuse
26/02/2011 14:23:00

I'm sorry. You two are right. Mike Dean is the referee. It was very late when I was writing this! My bad.
Report Abuse
26/02/2011 17:18:00

Fixed now!
Report Abuse
26/02/2011 17:19:00

Some Villa fans put up this banner at their home game today: "Good luck Arsenal" :D
Report Abuse
26/02/2011 17:30:00

Haha. Thank you Villains!
Report Abuse
26/02/2011 18:01:00

Think I might wear by blue pants tommorow.
Tony Rocky Horror
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26/02/2011 21:01:00

Why TRH are you going to work tomorrow?
Report Abuse
26/02/2011 22:10:00

No Deltaforce he shat his white one's on Tuesday night....
Report Abuse
27/02/2011 00:27:00

TRH surely you meant brown pants and not blue then.
Report Abuse
27/02/2011 11:06:00

Has anyone like been thinking absolutely nothing other than this?? I'm getting used to my nerves and this excitement and anticipation is almost unbearable...
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27/02/2011 11:38:00

Definite buzz about today, cant wait for the match to start. Had a nagging thought about Almunia starting instead of Szczesny but have brushed it off now. The young pole should start as this is an important game.
Report Abuse
27/02/2011 11:49:00

The young pole will have to come out strongly and more decisively in this game given that a lot of long balls will be sent in for their bean pole striker to feed upon. One area Almunia is reliable at.
Report Abuse
27/02/2011 12:47:00

That said, I'll prefer Szczesny all day long.
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27/02/2011 12:49:00

Lovely to see some of the Fabregas family are going to Wembley in Arsenal shirts. Wondering if we're converting of them from you-know-what to the famous red and white... :D
Report Abuse
27/02/2011 15:03:00

Latest news indicates that Rosicky will play the Cesc role freeing Nasri to play in a more offensive role on the right flank.
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27/02/2011 15:03:00

Nice interview with Ivan Gazidis, who says all the right things about how the club is run, how we approach the game, and how we keep our best players including Cesc: Best bit is that a club's objective isn't to generate profits, but to create pride. Well said boss!
Report Abuse
27/02/2011 15:05:00

What?? The Spanish waiter is more decisive in the box? Since when? My biggest criticism of manuel has always been that he does not command his box and is poor on crosses and high balls.
Report Abuse
27/02/2011 15:09:00

People are tweeting saying the Gunners are appearing in tracksuits. I mean why aren't we making a proper entrance in shiny new suits with red and white neckties?? It's a Cup Final my dear Arsenal!
Report Abuse
27/02/2011 15:18:00

casue it just the worthless beer cup lou lol
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27/02/2011 15:37:00

Yep it's just the beer cup true but the confidence the young team could potentially take from this is enormous for the other 3 competitions. Not sure if other CC winners could say the same. Not interested in banter at this moment hahah unless you're here to wish us good luck :D
Report Abuse
27/02/2011 15:47:00

Nervous start that.
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27/02/2011 16:05:00

Hmm we need to get started playing can't say B'ham don't deserve the lead after the pen they should have had.
Report Abuse
27/02/2011 16:30:00

oh the young team pharse again, still been used lol
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27/02/2011 16:42:00

Well done Birmingham if this does not teach our players that concentration is the name of the game nothing will but i have to say that i despair anything ever will. This was a collective ***** up but I fear that people will now round on one or two players and blame them for how things went were as we should be looking at the team as a whole and the manager.
Report Abuse
27/02/2011 17:54:00

Bad luck Arsenal. Congrats to Stevie Carr and Birmingham.
Clive 49
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27/02/2011 17:59:00

oh dear, waste of 10euro
Report Abuse
27/02/2011 17:59:00

Lol don't tell me you were betting on Arsenal winning 123?
Report Abuse
27/02/2011 18:00:00

what the hell guys! now we'll have to hear about it every bloody derby day. you guys are downright rubbish sometimes. How do you go from beating Barca to loosing to Brum???
Report Abuse
27/02/2011 18:07:00

Players to watch: Koscielny & Sczezny lol
Report Abuse
27/02/2011 19:29:00


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