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View From The Town End - Arsenal (H) (League Cup)

So it's no wins in nine against Arsenal and just two wins from 10 games in all competitions this season for the Royals... the omens sure do look good... But while pessimism might be abundent among Reading fans right now how do Arsenal fans see tonight's game going? We spoke to Ted Harwood from fellow SB Nation site The Short Fuse

Richard Heathcote

How would you sum up Arsenal's season so far?

So far, it's been strikes and gutters, or that is to say, sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes the bear...why, he eats you. After a really solid start, Chelsea was a bit of a letdown, and the Norwich result was tough as well. Arsenal aren't doing any better points-wise than they were at this stage last year (although goal difference is much better), and there are issues with both the attack and defense right now. So it's a little tough to tell which is the real Arsenal.

The League Cup is a competition that you always seem to do well in by playing youngsters, is that something fans support or would you like to see stronger sides?

I think the fans support the youngsters by and large, yeah. It's served Arsenal pretty well in recent years, although, of course, not many youngsters featured in the final loss to Birmingham City two years ago (which still hurts to think about).

On the subject, any particular League Cup memories you're fond of?

Well, having lost two finals in the past six years, the more recent memories aren't super great, but see really good play from younger players over the years like Theo Walcott, Kieran Gibbs, Jack Wilshere, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has always been exciting.

And not so fond of?

Obafemi Martins running towards an open net after Laurent Koscielny and Wojciech Szczesny somehow ran into each other. (Man, I'm starting to sound negative here...)

What have you made of Reading's start to the season?

Offensively, Reading look to have enough to stay up, and they have secured some draws against quality teams like Newcastle, Fulham, and Swansea. The goal difference isn't nearly as bad as some teams above them, either, but the question is going to be whether the defenders can start equaling the performances of some of the guys up front like McAnuff and Robson-Kanu (which, by the way, is the best football name I've seen in a while).

Anyone you're worried about from the Reading ranks?

McAnuff and Pogrebnyak, due partly to the experience they have and the quality they have stacked up against what could be a partly young Arsenal side.

Any younger player that we might not have heard of that could make a name for himself Tuesday night?

The two names that will probably flash a bit are Serge Gnabry and Thomas Eisfeld, who might both start, if not definitely feature off the bench. Gnabry's played a bit in the Premier League this year in the loss to Norwich, and Eisfeld has basically been tearing up the U21 league lately from the attacking midfield.

Score prediction.

I think there will be goals for both sides--I'll go with a 2-2 draw. That should be good and exciting/palpitation-inducing for everyone.

Thanks again to Ted and you can follow