Can we penetrate without Captain Fantastic?

Captain Cesc Fabregas

For fuck's sake, not the hammy again

In the first 14 minutes against Stoke, Fabregas made three key passes: setting up Walcott for his shot against the post, lobbing forward to
Bendtner who failed to control adequately, and pushing another ball through to Walcott who scuffed his shot. After he went off injured the entire team failed to produce as much for the rest of the match, running out of ideas in the final third.

Our win ratio with Cesc playing is 70%. Without him it’s 43%. A scary statistic. I would imagine most of the times we fail to win without him are draws as we fail to open as many defences than when he’s pulling the strings.

So can we create enough chances tomorrow without him?

Birmingham will defend deep with a well drilled back four and look to use their weight and height advantage from set pieces utilising the excellent delivery of Arsenal old boy Seb Larsson. I hope we can be as solid at the back as we were against Stoke. It’ll be crucial to get the first goal to draw them out and as long as we do that I’m confident of victory.

Birmingham will give the proverbial 110% so we must match them effort wise. I hate to keep banging on about us being casual and nonchalant against supposedly weaker opposition, but it has happened a few times this season and if we underestimate the Blues we will screw up our first final in five years.

Defeat is unthinkable given the psychological damage it will do, while victory is crucial for the mental belief it will give this young group of players who’ve yet to lift any silverware. it’s a huge day for this reason more than actually being the Carling Cup holders.

Ill be there cheering on the boys. Come on you Reds!

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