By Giuseppe Muro
A fantastic derby win over Tottenham in the previous round showed Arsène Wenger’s intent in the Carling Cup this season and he and his squad now travel to Newcastle United with a place in the Quarter-Finals at stake.
The Tynesiders have impressed on their return to the Premier League and defeated Chelsea at Stamford Bridge to set up the tie with the Gunners.
But what threat will Chris Hughton’s side offer on Wednesday night? We spoke to Lee Ryder of the Newcastle Evening Chronicle to get a Newcastle perspective on the game.
“The fans will turn up expecting them to get through. They will want everyone to give it a real crack. I think everyone respects what a good squad Arsenal have and their good young players but I think what happened at Chelsea in the last round will give the Newcastle fans confidence that they can get through. If they can get an early goal and get the crowd right behind them they have got a genuine chance but it’s going to be tough. There are still a lot of fans who would like to see us progress in the Carling Cup as well so I think it will be a reasonably strong team and hopefully with a big crowd behind them they can make that push into the next round.”
“Hughton will stick with the same style of play that has got us to where we are in the table at the moment. It’s a mixture of long and short passing. It depends if Andy Carroll plays because there are a lot of balls that come into the box because of the aerial ability that he demonstrated against West Ham on Saturday. [The Carling Cup side this season] has been strange really, 50 per cent of the team was decimated against Chelsea but we still got through. He played some of the youngsters like Ferguson, Vuckic and Ranger but he also blended in a lot of experience with that in Shola Ameobi, Mike Williamson and Fabricio Coloccini. We’ve got a bit of a goalkeeping problem at the minute with Steve Harper injured so Tim Krul will play but he’s also been playing in the Premier League games. I would say they are treating the competition with respect.”
THE MAN IN CHARGE
“I think you’ve got to give a lot of credit to Chris Hughton first and foremost. I think when he first got the job in the aftermath of relegation and Alan Shearer leaving the club not many people wanted him to get the job to be honest. He’s got everyone organised and he’s got everyone going in the same direction. A lot of the credit [for the Newcastle’s good start to the season] has got to go down to him really.”
THE ONE TO WATCH
“They’ve got a lad called Nile Ranger, who is an Arsenal fan actually, and he may get a run out. He scored in the last round against Chelsea and is an England Under-21 international so he is one to look out for. Shane Ferguson is another teenager who already has a cap for Northern Ireland - he played at left back in the last round and did well. You’ve got Haris Vuckic who is a Slovenian Under-21 international, he was wanted by Real Madrid and AC Milan a few years ago and is a player that will be looking to start in the game. They are the main three that will probably be included.”
MAN OF THE MOMENT
“The key one is whether Carroll is going to start the game. I’ve heard that he’s not because they are looking towards Sunderland [at the weekend] and keeping him nice and fresh for that game which is obviously massively important up here.”