Arsenal v Ipswich Preview: “Break them down and score as many goals as we can”

I don’t know about you but I’m jittery with excitement about tonight’s match.

The incentive of a trip to Wembley and a serious chance of silverware is a huge one for this group of players and this, combined with the challenge of overturn a one-goal deficit from the first leg, could make for a cracking atmosphere at The Emirates. Ipswich might only be a struggling Championship side on paper but they beat us no more than two weeks ago and will do everything in their power to preserve their advantage for as long as possible.

My sincere hope is that Arsene Wenger plays as close to a full-strength team as possible tonight. With Huddersfield in the FA Cup, arguably an easier fixture than this one, coming up on the weekend there really should be no excuse not to play our best team. Fair enough a guy like Robin van Persie could be left out — two games in three days for a player not at 100% is risky to say the least — but aside from that I can’t see a reason to change much else.

Walcott should start tonight

In saying that I do believe there will be a couple of alterations from the side that thumped Wigan. I expect Kieran Gibbs to come in for Gael Clichy and the aforementioned van Persie to be replaced by either one of Nicklas Bendtner or Marouane Chamakh. My fingers are crossed that the midfield trio that dominated Wigan — Cesc Fabregas, Jack Wilshere and Alex Song — will be maintained while I’m also hoping that Theo Walcott in particular is not benched.

The key to tonight will be to attack Ipswich as relentlessly as we attacked Wigan. A fortnight ago we were sluggish and disjointed while on Saturday we were cohesive, energetic and as determined to control the game as I have ever seen an Arsenal team play. If the latter side turns up tonight then overturning Ipswich’s lead and going on to win the tie is well within our grasp. If not, it could be a long and frustrating night.

The truth is that if Wenger plays a strong side I am confident that we can do the business. The longer the game goes on the more and more stressful I will get but even if the game is 0-0 with five minutes to go I still believe we will find the goal we need. We have the quality, we have shown in recent games that we have the endeavour and in front of our home fans that should be enough to overturn the deficit and win the tie.

And if you believe confidence is a problem then just read these pre-match comments from Mr Wojciech Szczesny:

“We have a team from the Championship coming to the Emirates and they probably won’t fancy it too much, but we fancy our chances and are confident we will go through. We are Arsenal and believe we can beat anybody. They have a one-goal advantage which they will try to defend, but as soon as we score the first goal it will be downhill for them. We just have to break them down and score as many goals as we can. We are confident we can turn this around.”

The way I see it, if a 20-year-old goalkeeper with no experience can be as confident as this, then why shouldn’t the rest of us?



Have your say on Arsenal v Ipswich by leaving a comment.



  1. Go on Chezza, will he be dropped when Fab is fut again , I hope not ,he’s done nothing wrong

  2. Well said, AW. Attack, attack, attack. It’s what we do best, perhaps better than anyone. And go full-on we need out best starting XI. I do however, expect to see Arshavin tonight if we throw everything forward and concentrate on creating opportunities in front of net. Would love to see RvP anytime the way he’s playing, but I’d be too nervous every time he’s challenged. Defending a 1-0 lead, many (including me) will expect Ispwich to park their tractors in front of goal so you are spot on that we will need to break them down early and often. I’m excited…COYG

  3. I agree it is a big game and we need to put out the best side we can. The massive changes wreck our momentum. And I don’t see the big problem about two games in a week, specially as most of the players are young. Start with the first choice players then pull them off if we get a decent lead.

  4. will be interesting to see how denilson goes. I think he will play, and should play. it’s easy for us supporters to say, “keep the line-up pretty much unchanged”, but you don’t have a squad with depth as good as ours without keeping players happy. and if we were to not start bendtner and denilson in this game, it would be a big slap in the face to them, and they would begin wondering whether arsenal is the right clubs for them. a lot of people will say “who cares, let them go”, but doing things this way doesn’t help maintain deep squads. if we were in the same situation years ago, with Nasri and Song in the situation of Denilson, today we might be watching Nasri/Song playing for a different club. It’s best anyway that we give one of wilshere/song a rest (preferably wilshere). El Capitan must play this game. Bendtner to play up front IMO (he should be very confident after his game on the wing last week). Marouanne the unlucky one to sit it out. Nasri needs a rest IMO.

    eboue djourou kosc gibbs
    song denilson
    Walcott Cesc Arshavin

    what we need: big game from Denilson. he has the passing and shooting ability to make a big impact.

  5. …not to mention a big game from arshavin. the importance of this game might motivate him to deliver his best.

  6. Oh I forgot to say good on Sczesny for what he said. I hope the whole team have that attitude. I just think it’s worth repeating. “We are Arsenal and believe we can beat anybody” that’s my boy.

  7. I think this will be the team:

    Sagna Djourou Koscielny Gibbs
    Song Wilshere
    Walcott Fábregas Arshavin

    BENCH: Shea, Eboue, Clichy, Denilson, Nasri, Van Persie, Bendtner

  8. wow wow wow….lets not get ahead of ourselves, every players has to go out and put in his shift and if that happens I think the result will look after itself, but lets not underestimate the opposition, under new management they will be revitalised, or underestimate this Arsenals sides ability to fall flat and sometimes beat itself.
    Is Diaby back fit?

  9. Haha Wozzy is a confident one, hope he backs up what he says on the field and turn out to be simmilar to a great Danish goalkeeper.

    He still has alot to improve and in a way lucky to be in the side when the defenders and the midfielders are starting to press the opponents aggresively, unlike Almunia and Fabianski who didn’t have that luxury.

    Wozzy’s distribution is still sunday league but with time he will come good.

  10. you’re right Chris…3:30am here, brain’s beginnin to shut down…ignore the link everybody

  11. No worries, I just hope if RVP doesn’t start Chamakh has to instead of Bendtner, and Denilson needs to learn how to defend, last 2 cup games he hasn’t been closing anybody down, gave away the worst penalty I have ever seen I could see exactly what he was going to do.

    If Arshavin plays and plays well I could easily see him getting a couple tonight.

  12. My starting 11
    szczesny-sagna -djourou-koscielny-clichy-song-denilson-fabregas-arshavin-chamakh-walcott
    Iam confident there will be a cracking atmosphere & our guys can do it.COME ON GUNNERS.IN ARSENE WE TRUST

  13. Guys Guys pls don’t jinx Arsenal am begging you, Yes we have a great bunch of guys, BUT let them prove it tonight.

    (I can’t believe a championship team has us sweating, absolutely ridiculous )

    This match should have ended last game but praise god we have a second chance.

    Wenger if we don’t win this match there will be hell to pay am warning you we haven’t won a trophy in years Pls Pls Pls Pls get your tactics right and let the guys beware of the counter attack, you, wenger have been proven to be tactically dead
    show us that your not, for god sake.

  14. Wenger does not really have an option but to rotate the team. One look at the schedule shows severe congestion in January- Jan 5-15, 4matches, and 4 b/w Jan19-30! And these are followed by another match on Feb 1(Everton).
    It just physically and psychologically impossible for the same 11 to play at their peak through this schedule.

  15. The key to our success depends upon how the opponents block our passing game and how our midfield reacts to it. Anyway if we cannot roll them near to the box , i surely need our team to step up and fire some rockets to the goal. Possibly one from Sagna and one from Gibbs/Clichy.

  16. I would delighted if Szczesny scores a goal from free kick.Does his confidence really count?

  17. Arsenal team: Szczesny, Sagna, Koscielny, Djourou, Clichy, Denilson, Wilshere, Fabregas, Arshavin, Bendtner, Van Persie. Subs: Shea, Nasri, Walcott, Song, Eboue, Gibbs, Chamakh

  18. It gets tiring having to read certain comments-like ” we have a great bunch of guys, let them prove it tonight”…”Wenger there will be hell to pay….” “Wenger has proven to tactically dead”…

    The team has consistently proven how good they are. I assume you have managed a PL team, hence your qualification to judge Wenger tactically dead. Hell to pay? What does that even mean? Are you threatening violence?

    I understand that we get emotional about our team. But it behoves one to apply some restraint and thought in an open forum. Andrew Weber is kind to provide a place for us Arsenal fans to interact. The least we can do is treat the site with some respect.

  19. wow, fantastic win…three second half goals shows great maturity…we didn’t get frustrated

    and what a treat of a goal from Bendtner!

  20. 3 goal again! Well done Arsenal! So happy after watching a really really mature performance last night. I’m kind of sad that it looks like we won’t be BUYING a new CB. I’m sorry but in my opinion, Squillachi is not that good. But of course, there’s no point in buying a CB if he is back….

    Also, now would be a good time for all the Bendtner critiques to step-up. I really wanna hear what criticism they want to give him this time. Great goal. Great performance. By Bendtner and Arsenal. Let’s keep the low conceding and the high scoring up!

  21. Don’t give up yet on that additional center back. Still 6 days left and we know how secretive Mr. Wenger is. Surely he knows that if either Djourou or Kosc goes down, it is a considerable drop off to Squillaci even if he is ready.
    Song would be fine at center back, but Denilson a poor substitute for him in holding midfield.
    We need the extra man back there and I believe there will be a signing, perhaps on the 31st.
    Cahill would be great, we just don’t have the numbers at that position, and Mr. Wenger knows it as well as any of us.
    Redeeming performance by AA and solid by B52!

  22. Chesney was right! We broke them in the end. Wembley here we come. “Wemberleee! Wemberlee!” St Nick does the trick once again. Damn I was nervous though at half time. Fortunately they didn’t panic (like I did!). Well played The Arsenal.

  23. Great goal by Nicky B but that doesn’t take away his glaring weaknesses. At the moment, we tend to struggle when we play him, AA23 & Denilson in the same team. All are average at best on current form.

  24. MTY, there was bound to be one.

    Great result, great to be one match away from a trophy, great that our season is still very much alive!

    Not so great that Blackpool let their lead slip, but Tuesdays are never THAT perfect.

  25. Everyone has their weaknesses. Sure it may not be a good combination to be playing Arshavin, Denilson and Bendtner together, however Bendtner just needs time and more importantly, games. Hopefully, the healthy competition will do him good and it will steadily show in his progress. This match was a reflection of his progress. Let’s hope he can maintain this sort of performance when he’s brought on to play next. Maybe in the next round in the F.A. Cup. That would surely boost his confidence and help his performance.

  26. @ Byo
    Mate your comments above are typical of the world today, we just don’t respect other peoples views.
    Because my comments don’t line up with what you think that makes it hard to read?
    Because someone’s view is different that makes it wrong?
    (get a life BOB!!)

    People blog a whole lot of crazy stuff here but if its their view ,then, SO WHAT!!

    Am a passionate arsenal fan one of the few who is not going to sell my soul to wenger because of past success, NO WAY!!!

    Most Arsenal fans say success in football is based on how well you manage the clubs resources and not how much trophies you win (to cover up the fact that we are not winning any of course) and that’s utter rubbish it is a combination of both.

    This is a blog and its nothing personal if i tell wenger “there will be hell to pay”
    what’s violent about that?
    If wenger or who ever the manager is does rubbish am going to say, i don’t have to be a EPL manager to do that, sh*t is sh*t whether you accept it or not
    Look at the defender issue, not one new defender is coming in the same thing happened with the striking situation last year, wenger is a gambler. If one of the defenders go down, we use song and break the chemistry of the team @ this most critical stage when we can’t afford to drop any points. Where’s the logic?
    and i must accept this every year?
    Every year its the same thing, excuses, the tickets are too expensive for all these excuses.

    wenger said last night that were scoring goals and keeping clean sheets, while i agree am not convinced for two reasons:
    1. The last four opposition teams are teams we should beat if we have ambition, So am not surprised.
    2. This team can be great this week and real poor next week, its been happening for years.

    SO byo if you want to deceive yourself every year then you go ahead, you and who ever else on this blog, cause you know what? you have the right to.
    But me am writing what i think, the time for objectivity is gone, elapsed, expired,and kicked out

    So when i blog don’t read that’s all, read other views like ” wenger is the greatest, in wenger we trust, we will win the title next year”

    As the old saying goes: if you fool me once shame on you BUT if you fool me twice and thrice dam shame on me.

    By the way we won and were going to a carling cup final we’ve been here before and lost so until we win am not getting too carried away and if this is the only trophy we win this year then
    its better than none…………………….

    Go gunners……………………

  27. There is an old saying: “you are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts” I don’t think that one 1 in 100 reasonable fans would say that Denilson is better than Song in the holding mf position, and that’s what we would have if Djourou or Kosc get hurt and Squillaci is not ready. Technically, it would be Denilson in and whichever cb gets hurt out. That’s more difficult to compare, but, again, I don’t think any more than that 1/100 would say we’re okay.
    All of that said, there is no reason for personal attacks on other supporters or Mr. Wenger. If he does not sign a competent cb by next Monday, he has made a serious error in judgment, in my opinion, and most others. We know he must have the money and the opportunity. Wait and see, but save the invective for ManUre, Spuds, Man$hitty and Chelski. My mother used to say: “there is no good excuse for bad manners”

  28. @jjpitman – It is remarkable how many people bring out that “but what if so and so gets injured?” as a reason to buy. If that is the way you are seeing things then the appropriate question becomes “how many players should we buy to avoid every possible injury?”. Should we have 6 central defenders? 6 Full-Backs? 6 strikers? You can see where this is going, can’t you? There is a 25 man limit to squad sizes. At some point you have to say “this is my team and if we get loads of injuries then that is just the way it is”. You cannot keep going out and buying to cope with every eventuality because, according to sods law, if we were to buy another defender then a striker would probably get hurt, and if we were to buy another striker, a midfielder would probably get hurt.

    We won a Cup Semi-Final and are going to Wembley. That is great. Enjoy it. This team continues to progress and improve with very game they play.

  29. Continued:

    Let me get this straight:
    -You expect one of the defenders to get injured? The same old canard that AW needs to spend, spend….
    -”don’t expect to win anything meaningful…”. I guess you know which win has meaning.
    -Would you be kind to explain the purpose of Wenger’s use of the CC to blood in the youngsters? How many of the team that started yesterday were blooded in the CC?
    – At least learn to spell names right- “docile” Squillaci. Take a look again at the league table to see goals conceded by the top 4.

    You are one of those who always sees the glass as half-empty. One who sees the sun shining and say dark clouds must be approaching. It seems to me Wenger’s multi-year plan is beginning to bear fruit, in spite of the nay sayers in the press and on line.

    Walter- You missed the most sublime pass by Wilshere, weighted over the defense at Fabregas in the first half. I remember my wife asking me a while back how old the guy is. Even as a recent convert to football, she remarked that he plays like he is 25! Thank you for an uplifting write-up.

  30. @Glondon: take your point about 25 total, and about spending, however, we do have plenty of midfielders and strikers who are good for backup and hoping for a chance to play. At centerback, we just don’t have enough right now. I’m sure your “continued” is not directed at me. I have no problem with Squillaci and am sure I spelled his name correctly, but he’s not ready.
    The former league cup has been considered second level in the past and still will be, especially when we win it. I can hear my Chelski and ManUre” friends” already, but it will be a trophy.
    Agree that all that “silverware” talk is overemphasized. We play the right way and whenever I get a friend or relative who thinks that American football is the only game to watch an Arsenal match, they are enthralled by our style. I don’t tell them about the one nil to the Arsenal era.

  31. I have to admit, that I switched off at half-time, I couldn’t stand it………… now I can’t find a proper running video about the highlights………… damn it…………. 😕

  32. Glondon-
    Do not plagiarize. It seems you lifted my comments on another Arsenal blog and pasted it here! Come in with some original comments please.

  33. Great win. B52 doubters must have been proven wrong . The guy has put in strong performances for the past few matches he has played and i strongly believe Chamakh has no complaints at all as to why he is on the bench.The first goal was always going to be important. On Birmingham being our next menu i should nt see any huddles to sweat about here.I think a treble is a realistic expectation now.I just hope Sagnas knock wasnt that bad.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.