Arsenal’s League Cup game at Brentford could be decisive for some Gunner’s futures

So, here’s my yearly, traditional stance regarding the League Cup. by Dan Smith

I don’t agree with those Gooners who mocked Man United fans for celebrating lifting the Carabao Cup last season.

My viewpoint Is; if you’re in Europe, that gives you 4 opportunities to win a trophy, to create memories, to add to a club’s legacy and immerse yourself in a team’s history.

Why wouldn’t you want a day out at Wembley?

We have won 4 FA Cups in 20 years so are not good enough to be putting our nose up to any silverware.

Nonetheless it’s a competition that if you get knocked out of you can quickly shrug off and move on from, pretending you never cared in the first place.

Most manager’s prioritise the tournament based on how well they are faring elsewhere.

Top of the table 12 months ago, most didn’t blink to a third-round exit at home to Brighton.

A year prior, a two-legged Semi Final with Liverpool was treated very seriously, when it became clear it was our only route to success.

It says a lot about how far some Gunner’s careers have fallen that a tie at Brentford has become a massive chance to prove themselves, for some perhaps a final moment to do so?

I sensed the same regarding the Under 21 Euros in the summer. Yet no matter Smith Rowe’s triumph in Romania and Georgia, it hasn’t changed where he sits in our attacking pecking order.

Over 100 million has been spent on Havertz and Vieira to occupy positions that suit Smith Rowe.

When we have needed a goal off the bench, Reiss Nelson has been picked ahead of him. Even with Trossard and Martinelli injured, Jesus was chosen to move out to the left on Sunday.

Arteta had the audacity to pat the midfielder on the shoulder as he brought him on with a minute left of the NLD.

Our boss doesn’t do irony. There he is, trying to motivate a youngster whose confidence has been drained by the man, now trying to boost his self-belief.

The hope was that after a long-term injury, his boss felt it was harsh to throw the 23-year-old into the deep end of a title race last campaign.

Hence releasing him for international duty would help improve the talent’s fitness.

The fear was that something has been spotted in training that means Smith Rowe now doesn’t suit Arteta’s ethos.

History shows us Arteta is not shy to wash his hands of someone once he feels you don’t match his principles and won’t feel the need to put his arm round your shoulder to explain his thought process.

If nothing else that attitude has seen value decrease in assets worth millions.

It’s worth stressing that it’s believed Villa were willing to pay over 30 million for someone nowhere near our first team.

So, there’s zero guarantees that whatever any of our players do against the Bees that will alter the odds of them then starting at Bournemouth on Saturday.

It’s not just Smith Rowe.

Ramsdale’s body of work since arriving in North London means he shouldn’t be in this position, yet suddenly he’s desperate for a clean sheet at the Getch Community Stadium.

Still waiting for our keepers to be subbed for tactical reasons. In other words, that’s a lie?

Reiss Nelson benefits from the same protection some supporters give Eddie Nketiah.

Both earn each a 100,000 pound a week to be bodies for occasions like this.

Havertz and Vieira need to show some personality in West London. Who is brave? Who demands the ball?  Who tries to make something happen? Who just plays the safe pass?

Unfortunately, I sense Smith Rowe and Ramsdale have to do something exceptional to change Arteta’s mind, because the past shows he doesn’t want his mind changed.

It’s more likely he’s willing for Havertz and Vieira to prove his faith in them – correct?

It’s funny.

A fixture that might not mean a lot to some could be decisive in one or two Gunner’s careers.

Dan Smith

Tags Brentford ESR Ramsdale Vieira


  1. I care about every Cup we enter. I want us to win silverware

    I don’t look down at any Cup including the League Cup

  2. Our thirst for this team is not quenching………………….
    ——————-Mad about Arsenal———————Happy birthday Granit

    1. Not Fit? You mean he is not skinny like Viera, or Ozil !was!

      Muscles add power and energy. Muscles is what ESR has and not a skinny mid teenage boys weedy body.

      He quite possibly suffers from not being match sharp, as our manager seems to prefer anyone else to him, FOOLISHLY too!.

      ESR is shamefully underused, with no viable reason at all, IMO!

  3. Like Wenger Arteta will not take the match serious. He’s going to gamble with the selection and get us out.
    He should remember we need this competion to keep our fringe players fit and good.

  4. Winning a cup that means you are a champion isn’t it?

    I wish all the lads who will be taking Brantford tonight all the best. By reading this article it looks like Arteta has sharpened axes to what be a failure.

  5. Smith Rowe is a worry. The lad needs game time. It wasn’t long ago that he was Arsenal’s top goal scorer. I’m in Japan at the moment with the Japanese Women’s team having Friendly Internationals. Getting things regarding Arsenal on laptop and Silly Phone is a task. But was able to get into Charles Watts’s Podcast. I’ve usually regarded Watts as quite gutless when calling out Arsenal. I was so glad to hear him call out Mikel Arteta’s regarding his press conference leading up to this match against Brentford. Arteta contradicted himself with comments regarding Smith Rowe, and where he fits into things as an Arsenal player. The way Watts put it, it’s as though Arteta has washed his hands of Smith Rowe, and doesn’t rate him. It was good to see Watts have a good bitch about Arteta for a change,, yet at the same time talk constructively with his criticism. Gotanidea earlier on suggests Arsenal throw this match away. I’m dead against it ( of not taking this match seriously). The deeper Arsenal go into this competition, the better for the fringe players ( hate calling them that. I’m not disrespecting those players). They are so important to Arsenal’s season. The deeper Arsenal goes into the competition, the more confident these players become. Most importantly, these players will feel wanted. Going deep into this so called crappy Carabao Cup helps with winning mentality. The same goes for the FA CUP. I find it hilarious with Arsenal supporters stating that the Carabao CUP is beneath Arsenal, yet they will flock to Wembley Stadium and madly celebrate the cup win. Very strange that

    1. I agree that it’s important to take the competition seriously but having seen the team sheet there is a strong line of defence and otherwise it’s a case of an old head, ESR, Nelson and someone I’ve never heard of

      1. Hi Sue. Charles Sagoe Jr must be an Academy player. Good on him. Great experience for him. I was expecting Wonder Boy to start. The young 16 year old that made a guest appearance in the Premier League last season. To take this seriously and go deep can only be positive. Winning this second rate can lead to bigger trophies. People don’t think of that. People are strange. Just before I left Australia to join the Japanese Women’s team who played last Saturday in a Friendly International against Argentina, someone asked me, what’s the point in Friendly Internationals. It’s a bloody big deal. They are not friendly matches. Our squad of 23 players was the same as the recent 2023 World Cup. So was Argentina’s. The girls were on a mission,,, played to the match plan like a book. 4-0 in the first half,,, ended 8-0, with 4 of the second half substitutes each scoring. Argentina collecting yellow card through shear frustration. As I said, some people think Friendly Internationals are worthless, and they think competitions like the Carabao Cup are a waste of time. Some of these players are playing for their careers. The problem is, say if Smith Rowe has a blinder, I still doubt Arteta will recognise him. Just hoping my old mate Tomiyasu smartens himself up a bit. He had a great match for Japan the other week in their Friendly International. Actually he played in his rightful position at Centre Back. But then, Arteta would not think of playing Tomiyasu there. Problem with Arteta, he can’t,,,or refuses to think outside of the box. Arteta is starting to get on my GOAT

        1. You obviously have a fantastic footballing life.
          Goat or GOAT? Only kidding… that was an even worse pun.
          I certainly agree that although the Carabao Cup isn’t for the top clubs in the early rounds, it does genuinely give the youngsters, or returnees from injury a chance to break through

  6. I really want us to take one or both cups seriously regardless of prize money involved, our cabinet has been starved of trophies.

    1. Not sure what Dan is talking about when he said gooners were mocking utd for winning the league cup. I mean why would anyone mock another for winning a trophy?

    2. @vamos,,, people don’t understand, winning the minor Carabao Cup can lead to a winning mentality in winning major trophies. But people can’t/refuse to think outside of the box

  7. Smith Rowe isn’t there yet physically. Arteta said after the match the he isn’t fully fit to play 90 mins atm.

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