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Arsenal vs. Birmingham

Wembley

27/2/11

16:00

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




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The Journalist

Writer: Brice Coffer Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday February 26 2011

Time: 9:07AM

Your Comments

Interesting match to see.
ACLamp
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!
Naijagunner
I thought its Mickey Dean? No? They changed the ref?
MrE._Man
well, anyway, good luck to Capt. RvP..
MrE._Man
I read it was Mike Dean too...
Chipo
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.
Eboue=GOD
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: http://www.football365.com/story/0,17033,8689_6781247,00.html Proper stuff from our club captain.
GoonerLou
I'm sorry. You two are right. Mike Dean is the referee. It was very late when I was writing this! My bad.
gunnerkid107
Fixed now!
gunnerkid107
Some Villa fans put up this banner at their home game today: "Good luck Arsenal" :D http://ladyarse.tumblr.com/post/3525806021/banner-at-aston-villa-today-26th-feb-2011
GoonerLou
Haha. Thank you Villains!
gunnerkid107
Think I might wear by blue pants tommorow.
Tony Rocky Horror
Why TRH are you going to work tomorrow?
Deltaforce
No Deltaforce he shat his white one's on Tuesday night....
Armory
TRH surely you meant brown pants and not blue then.
Deltaforce
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...
GoonerLou
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.
Deltaforce
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.
Naijagunner
That said, I'll prefer Szczesny all day long.
Naijagunner
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 http://yfrog.com/hsdx1xzj
GoonerLou
Latest news indicates that Rosicky will play the Cesc role freeing Nasri to play in a more offensive role on the right flank.
Deltaforce
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: http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/ivan-gazidis-on-carling-cup-and-fabregas Best bit is that a club's objective isn't to generate profits, but to create pride. Well said boss!
GoonerLou
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.
Armory
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!
GoonerLou
casue it just the worthless beer cup lou lol
123spurs
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
GoonerLou
Nervous start that.
Armory
Hmm we need to get started playing can't say B'ham don't deserve the lead after the pen they should have had.
Armory
oh the young team pharse again, still been used lol
123spurs
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.
Armory
oh dear, waste of 10euro
123spurs
Bad luck Arsenal. Congrats to Stevie Carr and Birmingham.
Clive 49
Lol don't tell me you were betting on Arsenal winning 123?
Armory
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???
Zarch
Players to watch: Koscielny & Sczezny lol
unknown2022
 

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