Off up to Wigan we go then……

Ok, I know we are playing at The Emirates but the way we’ve been playing away from home this season, maybe we need to approach tonight as if we were away from home. Why can’t they play with the same grit and steel as they do on their travels is beyond me.

Anyway, I think our home form will take a turn for the better tonight and see us through to the semi-finals of the Carling Cup. Semi-Finals of a cup, it’s been a long time hasn’t it and right now I don’t care that it’s the Carling Cup, a trophy is a trophy and let’s start by winning this one. Then you just never know what will follow!

No doubt a few changes will take place but I’m sure we don’t want or need to many. Wigan may sit eighteenth in the Premier League but this is a one-off game and every club wants to go and play at Wembley so Wenger can’t take tonight’s fixture in any other way than seriously! Wigan have lost their last two games, and are without a win in six away from home, they were on the wrong end of a 3-1 score line at the weekend against West Ham but their manager is a good man, a footballing man who wants to build his club the right way.

Martinez had this to say about the set up at Wigan

I think developing players is key for a football club and, as we all know, for the nation. I think it’s a clear model that has produced outstanding talent and is carrying on doing that. That’s been a great example throughout football and for many people to follow.
To have the ideas very clear, to have those strong beliefs, they bring you success. It’s quite clear that it’s someone who started a model and football in general has benefited from that work.

Martinez plans to stand by that approach heading forward, with Wigan set to reap the rewards in the long run.

We’re following that philosophy, we want to have young players with huge potential, players that haven’t reached probably the best moment of their careers, and that’s something for us to develop, to carry on working and make sure Wigan Athletic gets that sort of football and gets that talent. That’s our philosophy and that’s the way we’re going to work.

Mme, I wonder who bought that model to the game in England?

So, Eboue has suddenly recovered from what appeared to be a season ending injury and could play tonight, Fabregas we know is out as is Frimpong, Diaby and Vermaelen. Next up for us is a home fixture against Fulham and for Wigan it’s another home fixture against Stoke. Martinez had made it clear that the Premier League is his priority so no doubt he will make a few changes to his side tonight.

We played Wigan in the Carling Cup in 2006 It was at the semi-final stage and they won on the away goal rule, two years later we got our own back by knocking them out by a 3-0 scoreline. In the league we can remember only too well what happened earlier this year so we need to be on the ball from the kick off!

Our head to head record against Wigan is good, we’ve won 10, and Wigan have won only two of the 13 previous matches between us.

This is the eighth successive season we have made it this far in the Carling Cup, the last two seasons though has seen us exit at this stage.

Not today though, not tonight, this is the season we finally get to lift this trophy!

56 thoughts on “Off up to Wigan we go then……

  1. rico

    November 30, 2010 at 9:33am

    Is it snowing in London??

    Morning all….

  2. rico

    November 30, 2010 at 9:34am

    How lovely it was to hear that Barca thrashed Real Madrid, maybe Jose will shut up now….

  3. Sid

    November 30, 2010 at 9:43am

    There’s 4 inches of snow outside right now, if it gets worse the game maybe cancelled …….:( AND ITS NOT EVEN DECEMBER

  4. rico

    November 30, 2010 at 9:46am

    Hi Sid, thanks for that, its not that bad where i am, bet it gets called off if the freeze comes in later, poor old travelling fans…

  5. Colin

    November 30, 2010 at 10:00am

    shock headline….“My policy is to stick to the squad I have, we will not be on the market,” said Wenger.“I want to keep my squad and I want to continue with these players. We will not be on the market unless we lose some.”

  6. arsenalDK

    November 30, 2010 at 10:07am

    i’ve cancelled my shift from work tonight, so that I can watch the game, i’m hoping that it wont be cancelled. greetings from Denmark, and thanks for a nice and insightful blog! 4-0 to the reds tonight!

  7. rico

    November 30, 2010 at 10:09am

    Hi Colin, its good when he says that, nothing worse to listen to wenger say he’s going to buy someone only for him to get no-one…

  8. rico

    November 30, 2010 at 10:10am

    Hi arsenalDK, good to see you here all the way from Denmark :) Thanks re the blog, the way the weather is here though it could well be off..

    what was the game last year when they called if off really late??

  9. Gunnernet

    November 30, 2010 at 10:22am

    Morning all! It seems that Wenger keeps faith in Denilson, Clichy, Koscielny, Diaby. Anyway imo the real season is about to begin with big matches between the top 3. Whatever happens today Nasri needs to be protected and therefore rested. Just don’t use him. Neither Arshavin. My line-up :

    Van Persie

    Vela to come when we are 3-0 up to score a cracking one. Bring on JET as well.

    PS : “special one” and my arse.. Barcelona from other planet yesterday, CR7 sucked, Messi the best player i ve ever seen in my life.

  10. rico

    November 30, 2010 at 10:28am

    Morning Gunnernet

    Don’t think Rosicky will play sadly, would be his third in a row, i’d play him though, really looking forward to seeing chesney in goal again…

    re wenger’s comment, his last bit is just like reading the ‘small print’ – ‘unless we lose some’, well we have already lost TV so i fully expect him to get a CH at least…

  11. dazz

    November 30, 2010 at 10:29am


  12. arsenalDK

    November 30, 2010 at 10:34am

    hmm that’s a good question rico, I remember a game being cancelled, but not quite sure which one, i believe it was a cup game as well.. although i remember that we had a league game against bolton cancelled because of the snow, that was in January this year though… Let’s hope the weather gods are with us, and that we come a step further Wembley tonight! btw. am I the only one dissapointed about the amount of chances Denilson has had in the team, compared to Vela? :/

  13. rico

    November 30, 2010 at 10:38am

    Ah, i think Dazz has just answered that one DK, Bolton.. It was this year when we had the patch of really really bad weather…

  14. Gunnernet

    November 30, 2010 at 10:39am

    Well this could be too good to be true Rico. I don’t see him sign anyone unfortunely. He didn’t even say “unless sth special becomes available at the right price..” On the other hand, i can’t remember the last time Wenger said so and did buy.. However he kept faith last season in cartoon-Silvestro, unready Djourou, aged Campell and TV. RESULT : we got smashed by Barca and our defence was a joke when TV was absent. We need a first-choice CB if TV is out for a big period.. But imo AW won’t buy.

  15. rico

    November 30, 2010 at 10:40am

    no DK, most of us don’t understand why vela isn’t getting time in a game, my thought is that its down to his naughtiness with mexico…

  16. rico

    November 30, 2010 at 10:43am

    Gunnernet, if wenger thinks we can stay in all competitions and have a chance of winning he needs to add in jan, a CH is the minimum needed. howver, i don’t hold much hope of that hapeening…

  17. arsenalDK

    November 30, 2010 at 11:05am

    yeah he came before me I see :). What’s with the naughtiness thing? I must have missed that story?
    I don’t understand why Wenger doesn’t buy Cahill, young, strong, english and PL proven.. plus, he’s not cup tied in the CL!

  18. SD-London

    November 30, 2010 at 11:11am

    Gunnernet, Good to see you here.

    But i must say that your midfield is weak and a Martinez mind will spot the weakness and take advantage of that.
    Song will play alongside Wilshere and Eastmond.
    RVP and Bendtner , Vela on Bench , Chesney will man the goal and the defence is right.

    But the Game might be cancelled because it is still snowing and if it continues for the next 4 hours, the pitch will be unplayable.

  19. rico

    November 30, 2010 at 11:12am

    Carlos Vela and Efrain Juarez have been suspended from international football for six months after breaking rules while on duty with Mexico.

    Arsenal striker Vela and Celtic midfielder Juarez were also fined £2,500 each following an incident in Monterray earlier this month.
    The pair are alleged to have organised a party after Mexico beat Colombia 1-0.
    Team director Nestor de la Torre said: ‘Carlos Vela and Efrain Juarez will be suspended for six months from the date of these events (September 8), for calls for the national team, because there were faults in four sections of the national team rules.’

  20. rico

    November 30, 2010 at 11:14am

    Morning SD, the pitch should be ok shouldn’t it? It has the under ground heating etc, its the walkways to the ground that could be the pain… is it still snowing in london…

  21. rohan

    November 30, 2010 at 11:28am

    Morning all!
    Sad if the game does get cancelled! I remember us playing everton in snow last year.. Difficult it was.. If i am not wrong then Rosicky got us the equaliser, didnt he?
    I am having sun burns here in mumbai! 😀

  22. arsenalDK

    November 30, 2010 at 11:31am

    thanks for the story rico, didn’t know that!

  23. rico

    November 30, 2010 at 11:43am

    morning rohan, you keep that sunshine gloating to yourself please 😆 😆

  24. rico

    November 30, 2010 at 11:45am

    hopefully he’s learned from that DK, wenger doesn’t take to kindly to his players messing around, still think he’s off in jan, maybe a loan..

  25. arsenalDK

    November 30, 2010 at 11:47am

    that’s true, wengers top priority is discipline, but i don’t recall Vela getting many chances even before the mexico scandal.. correct me if i’m wrong mate..

  26. rico

    November 30, 2010 at 11:59am

    i think he was in and out injured DK, added to that he kept jetting off for his country which impaired on his fitness, he’s a quality player who really needs to play and gain confidence..

  27. SD-London

    November 30, 2010 at 12:05pm

    Oh yeah Rico :) i forgot we have the best pitch in Britain. Yes the pitch will be as smooth as a Pro evolution Pitch .It is access to the stadium that could be a problem and right now the snow is just getting worse.

    Trust the health and safety kill joys, they will definitely cancel the match. Not AFC but Health and safety people (Kill Joys)

  28. arsenalDK

    November 30, 2010 at 12:06pm

    I can see your point, i really hopes he gets over his injuries and starts getting playing time, along with walcott i really rate him highly, i’m off to a friend so that we can watch the game together, he’s a wigan fan, it will be interesting!
    have a great day, untill next time!

  29. rico

    November 30, 2010 at 12:16pm

    Best pitch, best squad SD 😉

    Doesn’t sound so good then, would be a real pain if it gets called off, the plus side is though is the snow didn’t fall yesterday and then had a freeze overnight… still, we know H&S will be kill joys if they can….

  30. rico

    November 30, 2010 at 12:18pm

    Have a great day too DK, catch up soon…

  31. rico

    November 30, 2010 at 12:24pm

    Squilli is out of tonights clash, looks like JD and Kos then….

  32. SD-London

    November 30, 2010 at 12:39pm

    i am not really keen for us to play today because our guys can get the necessary rest because their legs will be heavy right now.

    Anybody or media can say what they want but i know Wenger wouldn’t play a strong side, he needs to rest his players.

  33. rico

    November 30, 2010 at 1:25pm

    but with the fitures we have Sd, it will be the same any week :( :(

  34. rico

    November 30, 2010 at 1:51pm

    I’ve only just realised our game is not on television tonigh :(

  35. rico

    November 30, 2010 at 2:04pm

    As it’s so so quiet, i’m off for a bit….

  36. oliver

    November 30, 2010 at 5:46pm

    hi rico…busy morning here and i am only now getting the opportunity to check in, after lunch.

  37. rico

    November 30, 2010 at 5:53pm

    hi oliver, its been a slow old day….

  38. oliver

    November 30, 2010 at 5:55pm

    not much news i see. i take it that we are still waiting for the official decision as to whether tonight’s fixture will proceed or not.

  39. rico

    November 30, 2010 at 6:02pm

    it will be on i’m sure oliver, its far too late to call it off now…

    wonder where all the others are, haven’t seen WATH in ages, nor sammy, and KT, RA, agag haven’t been around and Erick, well i miss them all….

  40. oliver

    November 30, 2010 at 6:08pm

    it seems rather quiet. hopefully a win tonight will give us something good to discuss.

  41. rico

    November 30, 2010 at 6:09pm

    oliver, are you watching the game tonight? Its not on here in the UK until really late :(

  42. oliver

    November 30, 2010 at 6:13pm

    i shall still be at work when it kicks off, so i will have to see if i can catch a replay or something online while at home tonight. but i will certainly not be able to watch it live.

  43. rico

    November 30, 2010 at 6:23pm

    i thought so oliver, would it be easier for you if i do the report?

  44. oliver

    November 30, 2010 at 6:30pm

    i expect i shall have time to do a report after we tuck the kids in bed tonight, but i do not know if i will be able to see a replay of the match. if i cannot, i won’t do a report. just to be safe, perhaps you should do one. by the time i know whether i can or cannot, it will be well past midnight, uk time.

  45. rico

    November 30, 2010 at 6:53pm

    no probs oliver, i totally understand, i’ll do one to and if you manage to yours can go up, mine are usually rubbish 😉

  46. rico

    November 30, 2010 at 6:56pm

    i’m off to find a stream to watch and have my dinner…..

  47. oliver

    November 30, 2010 at 6:59pm

    ok, sounds good. good luck finding a stream and here’s to a semi-final berth and winning this cup. it is the only domestic trophy that arsene has not won with us, and winning it will show our players that they can win things.

  48. rico

    November 30, 2010 at 7:10pm

    Team in full:

    Szczesny, Eboue, Koscielny, Djourou, Gibbs, Denilson, Wilshere, Walcott, Bendtner, Van Persie (c), Vela


    Sagna, Nasri, Arshavin, Eastmond, Emmanuel-Thomas, Nordtveit, Shea.

  49. rico

    November 30, 2010 at 7:11pm

    fingers, toes, arms and legs all crossed oliver….

  50. oliver

    November 30, 2010 at 7:35pm

    no complaints with that side. i would have been frustrated if al was named to the squad and if eastmond started ahead of jack. arsene has to consider the upcoming matches and interests of the entire squad – particularly fitness – so it is natural that some rotation is done. he did not go overboard, and that squad should be more than capable of winning outright tonight.

    surely manuel almunia’s arsenal career is over?

  51. rico

    November 30, 2010 at 7:57pm

    i hope it is oliver we cannot lose another game at home and not in this compettion and yes, surely almunia’s days with us are numbered…

  52. rico

    November 30, 2010 at 8:28pm

    i’m done for the day all, catch up tomorrow – be good and stay safe :)

  53. rico

    November 30, 2010 at 9:13pm

    Come on you Hammers, 3-0 up as i type 😆

    and we are 2-0 up too….


  54. rico

    December 1, 2010 at 10:07am

    New Post up

  55. t-buzz

    December 29, 2010 at 9:44pm


  56. t-buzz

    December 29, 2010 at 9:44pm


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