Arsene Wenger summed it up excellently last night when he jokingly claimed “that’s the first set to us.”
The Capital One cup has always been the lowest priority for Wenger over the last few years. You would think that this would excuse a woeful first half, but with several Internationals playing (Walcott, Arshavin, Djourou, Koscielny), it was frankly embarrassing to see them to be both outfought and outclassed by a willing but not brilliant Reading side.
That being said, the Capital One cup must also not be forgotten when talking about the rest of the game either.
Arsene Wenger, the board and mostly the Arsenal fans have been the butt of so many people’s jokes for several seasons.
‘I’d 8 2 be an Arsenal fan right now’
I even saw a 4rsena1 comment at half time of last night’s game!
Finally, this is chance for fans to quote something in defence of their deficiencies, and no, I’m not going to try and think of a ‘funny’ pun for last night. Wenger has often spoken about his team’s ‘mental strength’ *sigh*, but I don’t think fans have ever seen too much evidence of this. Sure, Arsenal have scored many late goals over the years, and I think they secured the most points from losing positions last season, but with the amount of times the fans have seen a complete lack of ‘mental strength’ and outright desire, I think what they were looking for with something on par with some of the things opposition teams have shown against them.
Newcastle 4-4 Arsenal
Arsenal 4-4 Tottenham
Arsenal 2-3 Tottenham
Are the three that really come to mind, group these with defensive lapses against Birmingham (Eduardo day at St Andrews and the Carling Cup final), several limp performances at home to Chelsea, and I’d 8 2 mention another one (I had to do it). Finally Arsenal fans can think of that famous night at the Madjeski, the night before Halloween, when Arsenal finally showed some spirit of their own and fought back from 4-0 down.
Ray Parlour, aka @realromfordpele (classic), tweeted last night:
‘Embarrassing Now! Can’t believe this what a opportunity for the Fringe players to give Wenger a selection Headache. No Chance of that!’
I’m sure Wenger was thinking this himself, but the second half and extra time performances must have changed ‘le Prof’s’ mind.
Francis Coquelin, Thomas Eisfeld, Theo Walcott, and Olivier Giroud all produced incredible performances which will put them in good stead for a) the rest of the competition and b) PL/Champions league starts/appearances in the coming weeks. We also saw Maroane Chamakh and Andre Arshavin finally fighting for the shirt, and their futures; the pair must have been motivated to perform to attract new clubs.
What a game, what a night, bring on Chelsea v Manchester United. I love the Capital One Cup. There, I said it.