Arsenal should lose tonight and do us all a favour

By Avenell Dave

The League Cup has been such a mixed bag for Arsenal over the years.

One of my favourite memories is of Charlie Nicholas scoring a deflected winner against Liverpool in 1987 that saw Ian Rush's unbeaten run when scoring end and our first silverware in eight years.

It also came at the end of a run that included that magical night at Sh*te H*rt L*ne when Rocky and Ian Allinson put us in the final when the home fans were already contemplating their Wembley ticket allocation.

Fast forward a year and one of my most traumatic memories is the 3-2 defeat against Luton. Yes Luton. 2-1 up with a penalty that Nigel Winterburn missed, the Hatters scored twice in the dying seconds. It took me months to recover.

During Arsene Wenger's reign, we've never won the trophy but it's proved to be great for the development of young players. I don't feel Wenger takes it particularly seriously until the last couple of rounds and the opportunities for youngsters has helped bring through a lot of talent we now rely upon.

But when you look back on the finals Wenger has led us to, the consequences have been far-reaching. When we lost to Ch*vski in Cardiff a few years ago, the suspensions for Kolo Toure and Adebaywhore hampered our Premier League pretensions.

Last season, the team fell apart emotionally after that horrible defeat against Birmingham.

Of course I want us to win tonight. What could be better than to see a team packed with our reserves and kids beat a multi-million pound Citeh side whose bench is better than most first teams?

As one of my Arsenal neighbours, Henry, said to me on Saturday, the ground will be packed with proper fans - the half empty corporate seats filled with those usually unfortunately unable to go on a regular basis.

A win would be another feather in the cap of Project Youth and we really need to see Chamakh and Park start to score goals.

In midfield, a trio of Frimpong, Coquelin and Oxlade-Chamberlain is mouthwatering while in defence, Miquel looks to me like a fine prospect.

But while no defeat is ever easy for us Addicts, it's fair to say that none of us will lose a great deal of sleep if we lose. We have far bigger targets this season.

*A post script about Gary Speed. Yesterday's blog was written on Sunday before news of his death was announced. I think we can credit the former Leeds and Everton midfielder with helping Aaron Ramsey become the player he is today. Handing him the Wales captaincy at such a young age has done wonders for Ramsey's confidence and given him the belief to take more responsibility on the pitch.

Speed was one of football's nice guys as well, someone no one has a bad word to say about.

Tragedy is a word over-used in the media but his death really is devastating and from all here at Addict, we wish his family all the best at this awful time.