Wednesday 21st September 2016
There was a time when many of us Gooners lost total interest in the League Cup. If my memory serves me right a 5 nil thumping at home by a Chelsea first choice eleven had many deciding the youthful team choices were not worth taking time and spending money to see.
Mr. Wenger has been enormously consistent with his policy in this competition and although he has never won it, we have reached both semis and finals on a few occasions. And as time has gone by the fact we have all grown to understand why he uses the competition to give fringe and young players a chance to experience first class action, the crowds have flocked back with sold out home games and huge away followings more the norm.
Personally I have always loved the competition. Our assaults on the Littlewoods and Coca Cola versions back in the late eighties and early nineties are packed full of fantastic memories and the fact we get to enjoy cracking old fashioned cup nights like this week’s trip to Nottingham Forest add to my reasoning.
4 of us made the trip in our mini party and once checked in to our hotel we enjoyed the pre-match hospitality of the city with many of the usual suspects.
It’s a long time since we’ve made that walk over the River Trent past the cricket ground and to the City Ground’s away end. But, with a full house expected it certainly was as atmospheric as any previous visit.
Even with every single player being different to those who started against Hull on Saturday, it looked an exciting combination of well known names, new signings and our most promising younger talent that took the field and it was to prove a thoroughly enjoyable evening.
Lord Bendtner of Nottingham was given an excellent reception and although I am genuinely pleased he did I’m not sure if I was surprised or not. He certainly had his moments as a Gooner and although we are aware he was never quite good enough to be the ‘answer’, I don’t think he deserved to get any stick.
The start of the game was relatively even but once Granit spanked home his 2nd long range effort of the week the result never looked in doubt. Lucas’ penalty pretty much finished the game off as a contest and his 2nd and Ox’s strike were pleasing and put the icing on the cake for the thousands of noisy travelling Gooners behind the goal.
So into the 4th round hat we go and we celebrated into the early hours as always.
I’m writing these notes before tonight’s games so my preferred choice for the next round might not even be relevant! But Bristol City away would make me very happy!
Chelsea at home comes next, always one of our toughest fixtures. The game needs no build up but like every other fixture it is one we can win if we are on our game.
Come on you mighty reds!