Arsenal take on Ipswich Town tonight at Portman Road. Ipswich were recently demolished by Chelsea 7-0 in the third round of FA cup which gives you a fair indicator of their quality. The only noteworthy opponent they have beaten during their runup to the Carling Cup semi-final is West Bromwich Albion, by a goal which was scored from the spot. I happened to watch their championship defeat against Nottingham Forest and frankly they were abysmal in that game. Apart from their striker Connor Wickham, no one else looked lively.
But we're Arsenal and on our off day we can make shite teams look great. We managed to do this against Wigan at DW and Newcastle at home. The last time we met Ipswich it was at Highbury and we came out 2-0 winners. I'm sure that Ipswich's recent and past performance will give our team the required belief but it may also be sufficient to demotivate them to put any hard work tonight. As we'd seen and observed that you can't just turn up and win a football game be it at any level. Sports is always about putting the hard work and if you have quality to accompany with that you will, on an average, come out as the winner.
There's no dearth of quality in our squad but what's missing sometimes is the hard work and the desire to win. The team which started against Leeds in our FA cup tie possessed seasoned internationals but still required Theo and Cesc to come on and get them out of jail. Ipswich must have noticed our weak performance and with their new manager, they will fancy their chances. It will be a long shot and they will have to come up with a stellar performance but it's possible. What is required of us is to be wary of the threat and come up with the goods.
I suspect that Le Boss will start with almost the same team which started against Leeds. Song looked knackered so Wilshere will slot in his position and Rosicky will make way for the "real" captain. At the back, Djourou will be given a breather before the league game and will be replaced by Koscielny. Squillaci being down and out looks like an opportunity for Ignasi Miquel to make his debut for the first team. The possible line-up will look like Szczesney - Eboue - Koscielny - Miquel - Gibbs - Denilson - Wilshere - Fabregas - Arshavin - Bendtner - Chamakh.
On paper, our back four looks the weakest possible combination but given Ipswich's quality, they will do just fine if they stick to the basics. I will be burning the midnight oil to watch this game, so please make me happy, come on you Gooners!