That FA Cup Night Feeling – Coventry Sent To Arsenal

Today’s post is by arse_or_brain


fa cup

Putting the ‘Friday’ into FA Cup


“I think he has done a remarkable job and the one thing about him is that he has been true to himself and true to his beliefs and the one thing that has been difficult for him is that I think other clubs have abused their spending powers and indulged in what could almost be considered financial doping at times.


“He has managed that club in a truly brilliant way and he has never compromised on the style of play and what he believes and I have the utmost respect for him for that.”


No this is not a quote from our own George but from Sky Blues manager Steven Pressley, so  let’s sign him up for PA;  I’m sure his post would be very interesting.


As we go into the next round of the cup let’s first look at our opponents. Well they are eleventh in the first division table, their leading scorer is Leon Clarke with eighteen goals in all competitions, they are sponsored by Puma and they got to this point in the FA cup by beating Barnsley, Hartlepool and AFC Wimbledon.  Generally their away form is not bad with five wins and four draws from 12 games so far.


The last time we met them it was in the League Cup, in September 2012 and the score was 6-1 to the Gunners.  Coventry’s captain suggested the score-line didn’t reflect the match and really his team were overawed and the same won’t happen this time.  He also said of their fans:


 “The world will see how passionate and vocal city fans are.”


Whether the Friday evening rescheduling of the match has any affect on this remains to be seen.


I’m sure most people are aware at the moment Coventry are being forced to play their home games in Northampton because of an argument between the owners of the club and the owners of the ground and there may be a protest on Friday at the Emirates.  I hope all Gooners give that protest their support – at the end of the day we are all football fans.


As far as we are concerned the spectre of last year’s exits from the cup competitions hangs large. Normally you would assume picking a team for this fixture would be quite easy with squad players and talented members of the U21 squad making up the team; this formula has served us well over the years.


Last season we went the more Chelski route, playing primarily a full strength side and were duly dumped out of both domestic cups.


Being at home and with the standard the U21 players have set, I think we can go with our former policy and pick an exciting team easily able to cope with a pumped up Championship side and at the same time give some of our First Team a rest before our squashed February and March fixtures.


As far as team news is concerned, it looks like TV5, who you would expect to be a shoe-in for this game, will not make it, unfortunately and another player, SuperNic, who this game would prove ideal, looks like only having a small chance of making it.  We may get another a chance to see Sanago and Benik Afobe who have both been out with long injuries with the latter who is right back on goal scoring form.  Fab should be in goal with Jenks as Right Back and Poldolski and the Ox also definite starters.   


And then I’m lost.


Which first teamers are in least need of a rest and which youngsters are to be trusted I really don’t know.  Oh and then there’s Park who doesn’t really fall into any category.  Of the youngsters I would assume Hayden, Olsson, Yenneris, Eisfield, Frimpong, Zelelam and the aforementioned Afobe stand the most chance with an outside chance for Jon Toral.


Whatever the team, where ever you are this Friday night enjoy the game, and of course, COYG. 

You can help find arse_or_brain on Twitter @arse_or_brain

About ArsenalAndrew

Optimist and lifelong supporter of the finest football club the world has ever seen.

49 comments on “That FA Cup Night Feeling – Coventry Sent To Arsenal

  1. Good preview.

    I agree with your idea of mixing youth with 1st teamers in need of games. Last season’s experience should teach us that using our 1st team guarantees nothing.

    I am looking forward to an exciting injury free game.


  2. Nice write up a_or_b, and a nice game to look forward to though It does seem strange playing on a Friday (although our friends over in Middlesex are well used to turning out on Thursday nights so one shouldn’t complain).

    Aside to my childhood visits to Highbury in the early 1970’s, courtesy of Dad, my grown-up experience of match day began again in the 1990s with regular seats for FA Cup and League Cup matches. Whilst I rarely got in for Premiership games, the cup competitions seemed to pose little problem and I could never understand why the ‘regular’ fans routinely chose to miss out on these invariably riveting occasions.

    Apart from showcasing our most exciting youngsters there was always at least two or three first-teamers in the side, either returning from injury or just in need of games or simply there to bolster the side. For years, under AW, these were fantastic nights and we pulled off some almighty upsets, which some people forget these days.

    Hoping for no upsets tonight and lucky enough to again be returning to one of the world’s oldest cup competitions played out in one of the world’s newest and best stadiums.

    Can’t wait – COYG’S!


  3. Nice write up A_or_B

    This has been great week for the number of different contributors!!!!

    I would love to see one or two young ones tonight. I love the League cup for that reason. It’s a shame we got Chelsea this time around because we have been deprived of seeing some of our future stars in a few games. But this is the FA Cup!

    I love to see Bootoomee posting on here. I really enjoy Untold Arsenal and look out for Bootoomee’s comments. We are all cut from the same cloth.




  4. I’m actually looking forward to seeing tonight’s line-up.
    We might see Santi in the No.10 with AOC and Podolski on his flanks


  5. To be honest, I can’t remember the last time I felt disappointed by any line up AW has put out although I guess I really appreciate seeing the youngsters coming through. I think that’s a good sign – we are obviously not a one, two or three man team. I imagine fans of Manure our fraught every time Rvp and Rooney are missing from the line-up …


  6. Georgaki-pyrovolitis,

    Thanks for the kind words. I spend as much time here as I do at Untold. I just don’t comment much because others would have expressed my sentiments better before I get on most threads. The presence of the usual suspects at Untold means that I always have something to rebutt, no matter how late I get to the thread.

    There are loads of enlightening comments here that I thoroughly enjoy.


  7. Thanks AorB. Steven Pressley sounds like a football fan!

    I remember the 6-1.
    Walcott hat-trick *sobs*


  8. Yes, Boo.

    Thanks for another good article.

    And speaking of “something to rebutt”, ta also for your comments on the AISA evening thread on Untold (Smiffy v Barclay, kind of).

    I hope you and PG don’t mind me linking to Untold’s latest piece, “Why Arsenal fans are supporting Coventry City tonight”, as I see it as relevant to what you’ve written here:



  9. If Gunner Gnabry is booked in for a trip to Southampton we could hopefully see an in form Ryo tonight (still recovering against the Chavs) if the Ox or Bendtner are not ready for the start.
    Shame about Vermaelan, looked like he’d found his form in those last few appearances. Will Hayden get a start at CB? Zelalem’s home debut? I can’t wait.


  10. thanks for the kind remarks. Ive just received this from A.I.S.A.
    Tomorrow we play Coventry City in the FA Cup and City fans groups want to use the exposure of the televised match to draw attention to their plight. REDaction have been working behind the scenes with the main Coventry fan groups. They have used their contacts to help get approval for Coventry fans to be able to bring their banners into the stadium. Coventry are experiencing a range of off the field issues at the moment – which mean they are playing their ‘home’ games in Northampton (35 miles away from Coventry). See this article for a summary. As is too often the case, the fans are the ones who suffer most. After 35 minutes of the game, Coventry fans plan to sing a song asking “why” they are playing ‘home’ games away from home. And after 61 minutes, they will sing a song asking “when” they will return to Coventry. At both of these points, REDaction are calling on Arsenal fans to stand and applaud the visitors, to show support for their campaign, and AISA is backing the plan. If you’re at the Emirates Stadium tomorrow we hope you will join in.


  11. arse_or_brain

    I’m sorry. I meant to firstly thank you for this article. Thanks. I got mixed up when I saw Boo’s comment.

    I’d particularly wondered – having read that Coventry’s manager has been supportive of Arsenal’s Way – what exactly he’d said, and you put the quotes in your article. Much appreciated.

    I’m a bit worried for CC’s manager though. Talking positively about Arsenal, and mentioning the other C word (corruption) could be bad for health, or summat!

    Ah yes, Steven Pressley. One only need read the bloomin’ article, innit?


  12. Morning all. Sorry to have been MIA in the comments section for a while. I promise I read every day, though.

    It’s weird to me how odd Friday night football seems to you guys. Friday night (American) football is a time honored tradition in the US. It’s when all the high schools play. So, I love it. Too bad it’s actually Friday afternoon here, and once again I’ll be trying to listen at work. I’m recording it, though, (thanks FoxSports) so at least I’ll be able to sit down with it this evening. I can’t wait to see Zelalem again! Come on you Gunners!


  13. Thank you AorB an it is good to hear a little bit about Coventry and yet another set of long suffering fucked-over fans. I have no genuine understanding of the ins and outs dispute between the owners of the cub and the owners of the Ricoh – it gets a regular mention in Private Eye most recently in the Christmas issue;

    If you have a moment you may wish to grapple with the Private Eye outline of the CCFC debacle’s runners and riders;

    “Coventry City

    The sad demise of the Sky Blues – now a homeless former Premiership club playing League One “home” games in Northampton – has not been reflected …in the fortunes of Joy Seppala and Dermot Coleman, the owners of the London-based SISU Capital hedge-fund management group which effectively controls the financially precarious club.

    The recently filed accounts for SISU Capital show the chief executive and major shareholder Seppala shared with Coleman £359,432 during 2013 in drawings from their limited partnership interests, compared with £139,000 in 2012 and £145,000 in 2011. This is despite an increase in redemptions from the SISU hedge-funds – as happened in 2011. During 2012, management fees fell because the volume of funds dropped. SISU’s fees and earnings by Seppala and Coleman are much reduced since 2007, the year SISU took over Coventry.

    Last April SISU changed auditors – KPMG is out, BDO is in. Back in 2011, SISU settled an investigation by HM Revenue & Customs into the company accounts from 2006 to 2008 with a payment of £161,750.

    Any outside investors in the SISU-managed ARVO Master Fund would not have been impressed in the history of the Coventry City investment. The Club was forced into administration in March by the Cayman Island hedge fund, owed £10m as a secured creditor for money advanced to the club, as a result of a row with the owners of the Ricoh stadium over the £1m annual rent. ARVO is still backing the latest post-administration owners, Otium Entertainment Group, with a charge over its shares in the club registered last month and signed by Seppala as an ARVO director. But then Otium is in turn controlled by a Cayman limited partnership managed by SISU.

    No doubt Seppala enjoys discussing the vicissitudes of football finance with her fellow members of the City Takeover Panel, which exists to ensure that “shareholders are treated fairly, are not denied the opportunity to decide on the merits of a takeover and are afforded equivalent treatment”. Just like the Sky Blues fans.”

    So that is all clear then (?)


  14. Great stuff A or B, not to many kids in the starting 11 tonight hopefully! Realistically this is our main hope for a trophy that will stop the snidey brigade in their tracks,although if we won the FA cup the ‘how many years since you won the league’ brigade would start spouting I’m sure…Not at the game or even able to watch it tonight as in December I booked a night out for me & the wife to see Frank Skinner-he’d better be funny. COYG!


  15. Bleedin’ ‘eck, I know hedge funds are bad/Norty, but I didn’t know what that lot water up to at Coventry. Ta for your post, anicoll5.

    Undepression from GZ


  16. ARSE_ OR_ BRAIN.
    thanks for the pre game writeup. Today we might play with the following lineup.

    and don’t worry. With all due respect to Coventry, its in the bag.


  17. COLL
    thanks for that background info. Unfortunately it doesn’t look good for CC fc nor their fans . Ripe for a takeover, I’m afraid, by another suger daddy. I hope our fans give theirs the proper support and respect they deserve. PRESSLYS pre game words in regards ARSENAL and AW were pure gold. I hope the fa don’t come down on him for bringing the game into disrepute with his comments on the financialy doped clubs and their ways.
    C O Y G…..


  18. The transfer of j.mata to manIOU did not go through. Tragically his helicopter was inadvertently shot down over old turdfford by Phil Jones penalty kick, as he was attempting to land. 😛


  19. Nice video RANTTETA.
    Maybe we see a bit of him and few others in second half when the game is under control and score line is 3 or 4 nil to the GUNNERS..


  20. I used to love watching Mustapha Hadji play for Coventry. It’s a shame they’re notin and around the prem or the Championship.


  21. goonerkam
    January 24, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    yeah i was wondering how long it takes to go manchester from london on a heli? are they going via india and china first to sell replicas and pillowcases?



  22. “When the ball goes over Laurent’s head, for example, I know I don’t have to come out because he’s usually faster than most of the strikers.”

    heheh bring your minds back to occasions where he would rush out only to see the ball lob him as it deflected from a vermaelen or a kosnciely who were already going on the player.

    bravo woijech…keep learning!


  23. I hope letting go of Mata bites Moutinho in the ass. Do you hear me football gods?


  24. Very good write up on the kid in the Guardian Apropos , thanks for the link


  25. Mourinho


  26. You’re welcome anicoll. Not kidding, I think Zelalem is the biggest talent I ever seen. And I was biggest fan of fabregas. Anyway,



  27. Wenger out. We should be 5-0 up…..


  28. Nehalem for the final 30 ?
    Good so far


  29. Good win. They really should do away with that pink ball. I’m so color blind that I didn’t know where the ball was most of the time.


  30. Only 4-0? Its a disgrace…….


  31. A little bit erratic at times but all in all a solid 4-0.


  32. We played with 2 forwards, a winger and no holding midfielder tonight.

    Are we turning into Liverpool? Hehe.


    how do you like them Wenger balls… (0(
    Great win.. totally agree on the game ball. Go back to the black&white ffs.


  34. GP.
    take it easy doc. We aren’t the type of team to run up the score on decent teams from lower divisions. Now if this was Bolton or Leeds or Blackburn I wouldn’t have a problem with it.


  35. It is so interesting. Earlier this week I was wondering if we would see NICKY B. & OG OR POLDI playing at the same time on the pitch. A traditional 442. And it happens the next game we play. someone must be reading the stuff we write. OH OH.. (0(


  36. Goonerkam 10:26pm
    We are saving something special in reserve for Birmingham City.
    Let’s hope Stoke beat the Chavs and we get them next.


  37. Nicked this off AA’s twitter



  38. Lovely innit


  39. DC
    oh yah. Something super fu••••g special for them bunch.
    How’s a brand spanking new stadium have problems with its lighting. ? It got pretty romantic there for a while, I must say. Well done to CC too. They never lost their cool or drive. Good discipline those guys. Credit to their manager and good luck to them.


  40. There have been a number of highly imrobable lighting problems occurring at matches in England over the last number of years.
    Apparently I’m aisa lots of money is bet in things like this happening.

    Now, 2 + 2 = !???


  41. A bit late with my post game musings tonight. Strange game in some ways – German efficiency for the first 2 goals, followed by a little flurry from Coventry, ruthlessly put down late in the second half.

    I must say, I was actually impressed by Coventry. Despite their league one position, they played some good football and passed the ball on the ground. They did not resort to the usual route one stuff supported by kicking everything that moved. I’m glad for them that they had a little go and they managed to rattle us because we missed Flamini or Arteta doing their job of protecting the defence. Jack and the Ox left a little to be desired in that department, but it was an experiment tonight that we survived thanks to the limited abilities of the opposition.

    Zelalem is impressive – seems much more mature than 16. All the ‘returning from injury’ players got a decent run out, although Ox and Bendtner were clearly rusty and Podolski took his chances well. All in all, a good nights work. Here’s hoping for another home game in the next round. I love a bit of FA cup magic!


  42. i thought we were a bit disjointed last night and the beautiful football didn’t flow, but like D.C says how can you complain about a 4-0 win.
    Zelalem is undeniably a talent but in many reserve games he gets pushed off the ball. I think he’s like Merson when he first came through you could see the talent but was often bullied in games. He came back after the close season having done lots of weights in the gym and had bulked out and therefore was able to really show the technique he obviously had. The good thing for ARSENAL is GZ is being upstaged at the moment by other talents and although Daniel Crowley is injured at the moment he is another who is a pass master although he is more like Jack in style.


  43. arse_or_brain, I thought GZ looked a bit more robust last night than he has previously. He will probably never be really built, but as he matures he should become a bit more wiry and robust enough to manage the rigours of the PL as long as he doesn’t get broken before then!


  44. Glad you liked the pic Dups – not bad for a little phone camera, no tripod and tons of rain still coming down. Have to say the atmosphere in and around the ground last night was exceptionally good, a really great evening.


  45. We all liked it ANDREW and the pregame writeup wasn’t bad either. (0(
    Glad the little rain didn’t dampen the atmosphere. I could see everyone was having a great time. The magic of the FA CUP. what can one say. The oldest competition and full of drama. You guys did CC fan justice and the support you showed was super heart warming. GIDEON is only 16 and I agree he won’t bulk up anything like the OX nor GUNABRY but he does need to work some in strengthening before they get a chance to get at him. He must be so excited. I bet he is still on cloud nine.
    He looks like a decent kid.


  46. although the game was billed as a sell out there were odd seats not taken up, it was funny seeing people from the front 12 rows who are not under the canopy trying to sneak into the seats at the back. kept having to push them back into the rain.
    I thought the clapping from the ARSENAL fans all round the stadium and in all tiers in response to the first cov protest was brilliant, it was slightly muted in the second half due to a cov player having a shot and all the fans putting their banners down in excitement.


  47. Passenal , I agree with you about Gideon’s structure and that’s why I would liken him to Merse, Crowley on the other hand plays and is built more like Jack and so his transition when it comes should be easier.


  48. also heard a lot of people saying they would prefer a away draw next round. This is because a home draw would be the 7th cup ticket in the ST meaning Bayern would be added to the ST next year and being a A game cost more. Also cup away ties to clubs like Sheffield Wednesday or Wigan would provide more people with a chance to get away credits to use in the eventuality of a final. I know from the teams point of view we should be hoping for a home draw but there’s just a different take.


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