With Arsenal flying high in the Premier League and also doing well so far in this season’s Champions League competition, the Gunners are set to enter their third competition of the season as we look to take on West Brom in the Capital One Cup.
Arsenal will travel to the Hawthorns stadium in West Bromwich to face our opponents. It isn’t the biggest tie of the round, with Manchester United facing Liverpool; however I still expect it to be a highly contested match and one of great significance for Arsenal.
Arsenal may be doing very well in the Premier League and we currently sit top of the table of that domestic trophy. However one other trophy we should be looking out for to end our many years of torment is the Capital One Cup.
Often being labelled as the ‘Mickey Mouse’ cup, Arsenal have concentrated on this trophy far more in recent seasons and we even came close to winning the equivalent back in 2011. Before then Arsene Wenger liked to play a very weakened side and give his youngsters a go in this competition, which I was always a fan of, until the latter stages.
Then Wenger decided to take a more serious approach as the trophy drought became ever worse. Wenger recognised this trophy may be our greatest chance of success and so he began to field a strong side. Despite previously stating he would have the same stance this season, Wenger has confirmed that he does intend on resting a few of his star players.
Wenger told Arsenal.com: “I have to rotate [for the West Brom game] because we have many players on the fringe and I have to make some decisions. We have a game on Saturday and a game against Napoli [in the Champions League] after that so we will have to rotate.
“I will try to find a good balance between experience and youth. At the back you will have players you know well. Up front, you have a bit more improvisation and young players.”
It’s good to see there will be that balance however I would certainly agree that the likes of Ramsey, Wilshere, Giroud and Ozil all need a rest despite how well they are playing for Arsenal at the moment.
Le Prof ended on saying: “[I] take the competition very seriously as well because it’s an opportunity to win a trophy. We don’t want to neglect that.”
If Wenger was really worried about the thin squad, he could rest almost everyone, but the fact he isn’t suggests he is still targeting the league cup. Could this be our first trophy for 8-9 years or am I looking too far into the future for the current moment?