Shrewsbury preview: Now is the time to sacrifice the Carling Cup
Tuesday, 20th Sep 2011 11:59
When we were comfortably finishing in the top four we could afford to be distracted by our best chance of a trophy.
Now, we already have a huge fight on our hands for fourth place and Wenger cannot afford to risk any first team regulars in the competition. In truth the Champions League is also a distraction this season but it is a lucrative one and will help secure the club’s finances. If we do not qualify for the competition next season though, we face a very uncertain future and as much as we are all desperate for a trophy, fourth place has bigger implications for our ability to compete in the future.
Wenger has said he will mix youth with experience for tonight’s game at Shrewsbury but we can assume that van Persie, Song, Arteta, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Sagna and Szczesny will all be rested as they are currently crucial members of the first team. Hopefully it will be a refreshing break from the pressurised environment that the squad has almost suffocated in so far this season.
There are suggestions that Wenger may opt for a 4-4-2 formation with new signing Park Ju Chong partnering Marouanne Chamakh up front. It is an interesting development as the manager looks for a solution to our defensive vulnerability.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ryu Miyachi also look likely to start and Emmanuel Frimpong could be partnered by Yossi Benayoun in midfield. Carl Jenkinson and Andre Santos could feature with Ignasi Miquel and Johan Djourou in the centre and Lukasz Fabianski will be looking to make an impression after a long time out of the starting line up.
We should be far too strong for Shrewsbury but with confidence at an all time low, nothing is guaranteed with this Arsenal team.
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