Tonight's League Cup tie against Liverpool at Anfield has been postponed at late notice because of fog, so delaying the return to action of Lauren. |
After inspection at 6.45 the referee decided that "conditions were unsuitable for play". The official site's announcement
has a picture, showing that you can't see as far as the other side of the pitch.
There's no news as yet on the new date, which makes me think they're not going to play it tomorrow.
But with the first legs of the semi-finals scheduled for January 9th/10th and two games per week between now and then (see calendar, it's hard to see how it's going to work.
One alternative may be to postpone the semi-final - as things stand there seems to be a free midweek available between the first and second legs.
Another possibility could be to postpone the FA Cup 3rd round tie
on January 6th and reschedule the League Cup tie for then. Seeing as the FA Cup tie is also between Liverpool and Arsenal, and at Anfield, this option would
cause rather less logisticial disruption than normal. But it'd screw up a lot of supporter's arrangements and be a nightmare as far as ticket allocations are
concerned, so perhaps it's not an option.
They couldn't consider 3 games in a 6 days, surely? Wednesday 3rd January is free but both Arsenal and Liverpool are playing on the Saturday and Monday beforehand, as well as the Saturday following. Looks to me like it's either tomorrow or postpone the semi. But having seen Jeremie Aliadiere start against Portsmouth on Saturday, I'm prepared for a surprise.
Both Arsene Wenger and Rafa Benitez have
said that it would have been possible to play the game. Benitez points out another potential problem with rearranging it... the possibility of the FA Cup tie being a draw and needing a replay.
Tonight's game was going to see the return (to the bench, at least) of Lauren from 11 months of injury, according again to official site where Arsene Wenger describes the Arsenal stalwart as "an exceptional human". Maybe we'll get to see him on Saturday against Blackburn. While Emmanuel Eboue is a fine player and could well push a fit Lauren for a place, Lauren has both the experience and determination which we have perhaps missed at times this season.
The squad list for tonight also included Tomas Rosicky, another player whose return from injury could make a difference. But probably the most exciting thing about this season's League Cup is the prospect of seeing the likes of Fran_Merida, Denilson, and Armand Traore in action.
Any Arsenal fans with tickets should check the official Liverpool site for ticket info about the (not yet) rearranged game.
Anfield stadium manager Ged Poynton says
that the idea of putting the game off by just 24 hours till Wednesday night, which has also been suggested by Wenger, is simply not possible because of "...the traffic management and so on," adding that local byelaws state that "there has to be ten days notice minimum for a football match to be staged at Anfield."