Arsenal will be kick starting their Capital One cup run today when they tackle West Brom in the 3rd round of the competition. Many pundits believe this is the only realistic competition Arsenal can win amongst the 4 they are vying for even if they are on song. Hence, they would advise Arsenal to roll out all the tanks to conquer their opponent as they cannot afford any complacency since there is no second chance at redemption should they allow West Brom record an upset.
Firstly, I don’t believe this is the only realistic competition Arsenal can win. The Gunners are good enough to win the EPL and the FA Cup and have an outside chance in the Champions League but that’s not a reason why we should treat the Capital One Cup with kid gloves. The drought has lingered too long that we can’t wait to end the vicious cycle and the earlier the better.
That said, we cannot afford to field our starting 11 for obvious reasons. We have put together a good run in the EPL and must keep the momentum going at the Liberty Stadium when we play Swansea. To ensure maximum points, we must field our best and in-form legs. Hence, the need to rest them tomorrow to keep them in shape for the weekend. Also, we have a crucial Champions League date with high flying Napoli. The Italians are on song at the moment and we will have to be at our best to beat them even at the Emirates. We need our best legs to prosecute the job.
Besides the first 11, we have experienced players who used to be regulars in the first 11 but owing to additions in the summer and twist of fate, they have dropped a bit in the pecking order. Vermaelen, Arteta, Jenkinson, Monreal, Viviano etc. They need to be kept in shape and a run out against West Brom would go a long way in achieving that.
Now that we have depth, they cannot expect to walk straight into the team. They need to prove they worth their place and a good showing against the Baggies would go a long way in achieving that.