Another reasonably fine day, and my exam preparations are warming up. It’s just 3 days to go, so this will be a short preview of tonight’s Capitol One Cup clash with Reading.
First things first, and of course it is about Wilshere’s highly anticipated return from injury over the weekend against QPR. To be fair, he provided much of the spark that the team needed in midfield, and has gathered praise from all over.
What was impressive that he managed to run the midfield despite being out for nearly 17 months, and showed signs of rustiness only after 65 or so minutes, which is quite understandable. And special mention also must go to Bacary Sagna.
Of course, leaving Jenkinson out was always going to be a hard decision, but I think Sagna gives something extra at the right back slot. His experience will be vital, and both will be expected to be rested ahead of the small game this weekend.
Thomas Vermaelen was quick to praise the young English midfielder.
He’s an amazing player,I think he can be one of the best midfielders in the world because what he did in his first ye.ar was great.And you could see he looked sharp. In midfield he was a lot on the ball and he can only get better in the following games and he can grow. What I’ve seen today is really positive.Everyone knows how good he can be and everyone wants him back for the England team as well but don’t forget I’ve been out for eight months and he has been out for 14 or 15 so that’s double.I know how hard it will be. But what I saw today was positive and we have to be easy with him. It’s going to be a long way to get up to the biggest level.
Wilshere himself was quick to praise the medical staff, and the team especially Mikel Arteta for easing the transition. Onus, however, will be on not heaping too much pressure on Jackie boy at the moment. As he said, he expects to play 10 more minutes every week, as he builds up his fitness levels.
Right, team news then. Carl Jenkinson and Laurent Koscielny are expected to start, as Arsene Wenger now has a host of options with him to begin with. We can also see the return of the Frim-Coq axis, which so annihilated Samir Nasri and his chums last season, that the latter wanted to leave the pitch.
Elsewhere, Marrouane Chamakh may get his first start of the season, with Olivier Giroud expected to start at Old Trafford at the weekend. There will also be a host of youngsters, looking to impress, including Serge Gnabry, Nico Yennaris and Ignasi Miquel. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Wojciech Szczesny are however ruled out, as they haven’t fully recovered yet. Also expected to start will be Andriy Arshavin, whose cross against QPR proved to be decisive.
Reading, under former Arsenal midfielder Brian McDermott have fielded strong sides in their previous round games against Petrborough and QPR. However, there are suggestions that tonight may be a different case with a relegation battle at the weekend with QPR.
Here is how I can see the teams lining up.
Arsenal will have their work cut out at the back, with the tricky duo of Jason Roberts and Pavel Pogrebnyak up front for Reading. You may do well to remember Jason Roberts knocking Arsenal out of the then Carling Cup sem-final, in the last season at Highbury.
It will be a good chance for Theo Walcott to impress again, as well as for Chamakh to get some playing time under his belt, with rumours of a move away being floated.
Enjoy the game wherever you are!