Hmm... Does this give Birmingham a shot?

It had to happen, didn’t it? Walcott out, Fabregas doubtful

Maybe Theo won’t be too badly missed…

Things were going so well. They’d just got the best result in the history of the world ever by beating Barcelona, they are still in with a shout of the Premier League and they’ve got cup final coming up. Bliss.

Then, with all the certainty of Charlie Sheen jumping head-first off the wagon and into a hoard of whores, Arsenal go and get Cesc Fabregas and occasional star performer, Theo Walcott, injured ahead of their most important few weeks for years.

Does this give Birmingham a fighting chance?

The Spoiler had pretty much written off Birmingham for this Sunday’s Carling Cup final. Don’t know why. We love an upset and think the Blues are very tidy team, but there seemed to be a crushing inevitability about the Gunners winning this weekend.

Not so much now.

Anyway, Fabregas is looking unlikely to feature after limping off with a ‘hammy’, but is determined to be fit for Wembley and fancies a bout of self-imposed insomnia will cure him of his ills. He twittered:

“I don’t know if I’ll make Sunday or not, but all I know is that from this moment to Sunday I won’t sleep if it’s necessary. I’ve waited too long to captain a final for Arsenal and I won’t give up till the last second.”

Meanwhile, famous children’s author, Walcott, is definitely out with a sprained ankle. Gutted.

Does this give Birmingham a chance? What would Arsenal fans rather win – the final or the Barca second-leg? Let us know with a cheeky little comment below…

4 responses so far
  • brian // February 24, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    Fabregas is a quality player, but why Barca are chasing him so hard as he is so injury-prone is beyond me. Injuries are a part of the game, but when they happen early and frequently, talent often becomes wasted (see: Michael Owen). If Walcott was able to stop getting injured by things so stupid, like getting cut by a blade of grass, he might turn out to be a decent player one day. At this point, I can’t see him as anything more than unfulfilled talent. He’s always going to be in and out.

    Walcott turns up to infrequently to be truly noticed as someone who’s gone missing for the Carling Cup final, but Fabregas will be missed more. That said, Arsenal without Fabregas still have a great team, and a better one than Birmingham, so they’ll still win. If you had, say, Nasri and Wilshere out, then that’d be a better question.

    Remember: you heard it first from me. I am predicting that after Arsenal lose against Barca, the fans will go on about how many of their players are missing/coming back from injury, and that’s why they lost while not even slightly acknowledging what Barca are missing. Nevermind the fact that Pique is out that game, and Puyol, Xavi, and Valdez are all injury doubts. I love Dani Alves, but he’s better going forward most of the time than going back. And with no one truly steadfast in LB, Barca’s back 4 may be a mess and very exposed. Arsenal would have a real treat on their hands if Valdez is out as well, although given that V. Persie goal, maybe it wouldn’t matter?

    Anyways, they’ll likely get beat at the Camp Nou and everyone will have to endure the “they’d never make it in the Premier League against Stoke or Blackburn, etc.” argument. Why we have to hear the excuses every year why an English team got beat is beyond me. If Barca lose, then they lost to a better team. Period.

  • braheyes // February 24, 2011 at 5:33 pm


  • Tim // February 24, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    Right, Brian. Marca and the many Barca fans just “accepted” their loss at the grove. Delusional. Every team and its fans look for ways to explain a defeat or find a scape goat. No team or its fans are immune to this.

  • brian // February 24, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    You are always going to have fans who make excuses for their team. That’s understandable. When it’s a huge proportion that just don’t accept defeat (along with certain commentators) in spite of what is clearly reality, it’s just plain stupid and annoying. Arsenal got beat by a team last year that made up the majority of the team that won Euro 2008, WC 2010, and the Champions League 2009. They were the better team, period. Complaining about this, that, or the other thing is like trying to find excuses about why a team like Birmingham would lose to ManU. Arsenal have improved a lot this year and deserved their win. Are they better than Barca yet? Probably not, and I think they’ll lose at the Nou Camp. There’s no shame in admitting that your team gets outclassed! When Barca lost against Inter last year, they lost b/c Inter had better tactics. Ibra didn’t fit into their system and proved to not be what they needed. When you have big Inter defenders shutting down the game against Barca’s small forwards (Messi, Bojan, Pedro, Jeffren anyone?), then it makes sense. My issue is when there is a complete gulf between the teams, like last year, and when people complain about how they shouldn’t have lost, that’s delusional. Chelsea vs. Barca 2009? That’s open for discussion. ManU vs. Barca 2009? Less so.

    To be honest, I enjoy both of their styles of play. I don’t think Arsenal would make it as far in the Champions League, so I would rather Barca go through. However, I do want Arsenal to win the CC because they need a trophy and I think it would improve them by providing even more confidence that they so desperately need.

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