Defeated but not disgraced. Arsenal 0-1 $ity

Morning Gooners,

On paper and in the bank Arsenal faced an extremely tough challenge in the quarter final’s of the Carling cup against Man $ity. The night started with a minute’s silence / appreciation for the late and great Gary Speed. He never played for us, I’m not Welsh but I really liked Gary Speed as a player, person and a manager. When I heard the news on Sunday morning I was surprisingly upset and am still asking the question ‘why?’ For the man that made Ramsey the Welsh team captain, I hope he rest’s in peace.

It shouldn’t have been a surprise to anyone that Arsenal stuck to their guns and brought in the fringe players.

Team versus City:

Fabianski, Djourou, Squillaci, Koscielny, Miquel, Frimpong, Coquelin, Benayoun, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Park, Chamakh

The City team cost over £119m (Arsenal £33m) to build plus a lot more on the bench.

The game kicked off for Nasri as it was going to continues as he was booed in every touch. I’m no Nasri fan and while I was pissed off with him for the entire summer his performance against Liverpool when the team was severly depleted was extremely professional. To the point the fans even sung his name. He’s said a few things afterwards but I really didn’t listen or care.

Things they make on Blue Peter now

The first chance of the night fell to Arsenal after a brilliant passing move leads to Park shot saved well from a Coquelin cross. On second viewing, Park’s shot seem to hit both his feet before the keeper did well to save.

AOC, who had a exciting first half pop up with a first time shot 30 yards out and the lanky City number 2 keeper saved brilliantly as it was dropping into the top corner. A stunning strike but an equally stunning save kept it level.

City flattered to threaten our goal but their moment of the first half came as City brought on one of their youth academy graduates (honest!), Aguero for Kolorov but Nasri trotted over to the touchline, shook hands as he was going off only to be bemused to why Kolorov is going off. Same ol’ Nasri, ready to leave.

The worrying sight of the night was Park and Chamakh huffing and puffing but their games were not suited together. Both are not the fastest and both want to link up play rather than beat the defender. I know they cost a few bob more but Aguero and Dzeko complimented each other very well on the night, could the ever improving AOC have played upfront? Potentially.

The breakthrough goal, in the 83rd minute, came from an Arsenal corner unfortunately. City picked on a stray ball when Yossi and Kos both went for the tackle which led to a lightening break to let Aguero tuck in the goal. A real sucker punch for the team and City’s FIRST shot on target.

We only really had one chance after that. A cross was flashed across the box and how Chamakh didn’t throw himself at it like an old school number 9 I’ll never know. Van Persie’s ‘Come on’ reaction from the bench summed this up.

City won 1-0.

However, even though I write this after expecting to be beaten I’m gutted for some young Gunners that really stepped up against 10 internationals out there. Frimpong, Coquelin, Koscienly, Djourou and Chamberlain were simply brilliant. They wanted to win every 50 50, they wanted to drive forward and they wanted to win it for the The Arsenal. Their performances, not only tonight but against Bolton and Shrewsbury, justify our Carling Cup policy on and off the pitch.

We’ve got nothing to be ashamed of tonight, the positives by far out weigh the negatives. We do need striker with a cutting edge to back up RVP, the world can see that. I think we will sign someone in January but that’s not for now.

Sometimes you have to step back, take stock of what you’ve witnessed and put it in perspective. Last night is one of those nights and we have to take pride in a defeat that does hurt.

Bring on Wigan, some well rested first teamers and a bench of younger players who have shown they can step up if needed.

Come on The Arsenal!

Follow yours truly on twitter – @Tottz82

  • pires

    I don’t want to start on Wenger over this, but that was our best and I feel our ONLY chance of winning a trophy (looking at the other sides that got through). Wenger should have started with the first team and we may/could have won that match. Another potless season…

  • gartailor

    This season’s Carling Cup has given some valuable game time to players who would not get much of a look-in normally. That Wenger, pre-match, said he considers them all first team players is a bit of a nonsense, otherwise we would have seen more of the Ox, by far Arsenal’s best attacking player last night. It would be nice to see him get some opportunities from the bench in other matches. Doubtless he will start in Greece next week anyway, as will many of the line-up that faced City.

    When one considers Ignasi Miquel is primarily a centre back, Arsenal’s entire backline consisted of good old fashioned stoppers. Perhaps this was the reason that Wenger’s men looked good at the back but unimaginative going forward. So the Gunners exit, with no disgrace. Beliefs about the paucity of attacking options were confirmed, but aside from that, last night did not tell us too much we didn’t know, except that Squillaci and Djourou are capable of having decent games for the club.

  • arsenal

    Only heard the game on the radio tonight but looking through the comments from others it seems I got a good impression of what we actually looked like. Fact is their ‘keeper kept them in the game and when you consider they had four or five players out there alone who cost more than our entire squad, we can certainly be very proud of the lads. Disappointed that Park didn’t have a better game, Chamakh has clearly lost whatever it was he had when he first joined us (although as someone else mentioned on here, getting on his back won’t help him) and as for Arshavin…well, I’ve said everything I want to say about that useless, lazy git and the sooner he packs his bags and gets lost, the better. Other than that, a great showing and it was great to hear the praise the commentators were showering on Kos. I said yesterday that I thought Verm was more deserving of the no.6 shirt and it’s true that he’s been excellent since he first kicked a ball for us and has that same never-say-die attitude that Big Tone had, but now that Kos is settling he’s really stepped up and I can’t help feeling that we’ve seen nowhere near his best yet. If he continues the way he’s going, he’ll be just as deserving as Verm of the shirt. Either way, with those two, Djourou getting back to his old self, Mert already an undoubted talent who just needs time to adjust, ditto Santos and both Miquel and Jenkinson clearly great defenders in the making (not forgetting Sagna still to come back), plus of course one of the best young ‘keepers in world football in Chezzer, I really think Wenger has finally sorted the defence. Now he just needs to turn his attentions to the front and I have absolutely no doubt we’ll be title contenders again. C’MOM YOU GUNNERS!!!

  • bergChamp

    Man City only had one shot on target all night. Their goal. £35m Aguero in the Carling Cup scoring the winner.

    For us, we played AMAZING and we have 14 shots, 6 on target. Our reserves & kids outplayed Man City. Nasri was nothing.

    We were unlucky to lose the game, but as things stand, best to be out of the competition. Our first team is tired and our reserves need to keep themselves ready for the first team outings.

    I think it’s a good thing we’re out.

    We need to concentrate on finishing in the top four.

  • arsefan101

    Tottz – awesome article