Arsenal fall short once again

by admin

Sunday, February 27th, 2011

BIRMINGHAM CITY upset the odds at Wembley today after a stunning victory over overwhelming favourites Arsenal in the Carling Cup Final.

The victory was thoroughly deserved, as they exhibited both tenacity and élan in equal measure to lift their first major trophy in 48 years.

Much of the focus in the build-up to the game was how Arsenal would cope without two of their biggest guns, Cesc Fabregas and Theo Walcott.

Fabregas had of course done everything in his power to make the starting line-up, but at times during this enthralling encounter, they missed him albeit Jack Wilshere dazzled once again on the big occasion.

But the Gunners will be licking their wounds again after a terrible mix-up between keeper Wojciech Szczesny and defender Laurent Koscielny, prevented the North London side ending a frustrating six-year trophy drought.

The implications of this defeat could be massive, as this final was seen as being a springboard for further success this season. Of course more difficult challenges lie ahead, and the Gunners could struggle with the fixture pile-up as they take in four games within the space of 17 days.

Although the neutral will testify this was a humdigger of a game, Arsenal fans will ponder where their season goes from here.

More pertinently, the final questioned the underlining weakness that has plagued the Gunners for years- Why haven’t they invested in a decent centre-back?

Koscielny doesn’t quite cut it; in fact Arsenal have struggled to form a decent centre-back pairing since the days of the impervious defensive partnership of Tony Adams and Martin Keown.

They have missed the likes of Keown and Adams, but Wenger needs to go back to the drawing board and rectify things fast.

His obsession with frugality has hampered his side in recent years, and his priority should be to buy in the summer transfer market, and not be afraid to splash out on a first class defender; after all recent financial figures published showed Arsenal made £50m in profit.

In the meantime, their season isn’t in meltdown as they are still chasing a treble, but they need to recover and quickly.

At this moment in time, the fans will settle for any of the other three trophies on offer, but fail that, and they may just be waving goodbye to Fabregas at the end of the season.


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  • David Francis

    AW your time is up-which manager taught their team how to defend properly and to utilise set pieces, motivated them properly for a final, made sure they dressed properly for the occasion, made proper use of the transfer window, etc.?

    There was another who allows his players to turn up to Wembley dressed as a bunch of chavs (& in the case of Song a care in the community patient) or metrosexual poseurs in their snoods-doesn’t believe in buying quality defenders and spending time on defensive coaching especially set pieces is necessary. Never remedies the bleeding obvious-cannot discipline or motivate the players any longer-is answerable to no-one but his self-indulgent ego and blames everyone & everything but himself.

    And to think back in the late 80’s George Graham was nicknamed Gadaffi by the players-out with both I say!

  • Mystical Mike

    Without Walcott we have no pace, teams play a higher line putting us on the back foot.

    AW your time is up? Are you for real mate? We are re-building, this team is very close to being the finished article. Hopefully we’ll learn from today and it will make us stronger.

    It’s only the Carling Cup, the same cup we didn’t give a toss about for years.

    The best team one today, fair and square. Well done to the Blues, they deserved it, simple as

  • RandyAndy

    Shall we just ignore the Sol Campbell – Kolo Toure pairing that was the bedrock of an ubeaten season? Arsenal showed their usual weakness but it isn’t a lack of centre backs it’s a lack of bottle. Remember that Djourou and Koscielny managed to keep Barcelona to one goal – albeit it should have been two – but when the time came on the biggest stage the whole team couldn’t get it done.

    As for investment in a centre back, I’m sorry but I cannot agree with you. Koscielny was never meant to play as much as he has done this season. Vermaelen’s injury has thrust him into the limelight and since he has been paired with Djourou he has impressed. Once – please God – Vermaelen is back and paired with Djourou, and Koscielny is on the bench, developing, centre back will be a position of strength.

    You’re right in saying this was meant to be Arsenal’s arrival as a major force once more and it is concerning that they failed at the last but even if they do collapse – and they have shown more grit this season than previously – this side will largely be the one that kicks off next season, another year older, and ready to battle on four fronts again.

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