The draw has been made for the Carabao Cup and it sees us pit our wits against Nottingham Forest in order to progress in the competition.
This tie will be bittersweet for Gunners. Firstly, it will see an immediate return to Arsenal for the recently departed fan favourite, Carl Jenkinson, who was transferred to Nottingham Forest this summer.
Secondly, it will cause a lot of fans to recall what was a recent humbling at the hands of the former European Cup winners, when Arsene Wenger saw his side drubbed 4-2 at the City Ground in the FA Cup 3rd Round – the first time Wenger had endured an exit at the hands of lower league opposition in the first round proper.
So time to exorcise some demons perhaps.
How much do we invest into the Carabao Cup though? Should we treat it with the increasing gravitas it warrants, seeing as any trophy nowadays is difficult to lift? Any chance for glory should be grabbed with both hands and Arsenal’s record in the league cup is a poor one – we have only won it twice in our history – in 1987 and 1993.
Our squad is more than capable of putting out a strong side for this and simultaneously rotating the eleven. Should this fall in the eve of or before a big Premier League fixture, then the likes of Reiss Nelson, Dinos Mavropanos, Emi Martinez, Gabriel Martinelli, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Matteo Guendouzi, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Sead Kolasinac, Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith-Rowe and many more will be able to chuck themselves into this game with fresh legs and a point to prove.
The Europa League will remain our biggest cup focus, but just remember the joy we got from our Wembley days in the last few years when we won the FA Cup. Wouldn’t another opportunity to do that be such a big lift for us all?
Our bitter rivals Tottenham have won nothing since 2009 when they lifted what was then the Worthington Cup. Why can’t we proclaim this as a trophy should we win it? Isn’t it a piece of silverware that many clubs would love to get their hands on? Didn’t Man City and Man Utd recently win it?
We should go into this competition with two things in our mind. Firstly, use this to reward our fringe players with the gametime and chance to impress that they deserve.
Secondly, let’s try and win the trophy and create some more memories.