Carling Cup: Tottenham 5 – Arsenal 1

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Football
January 22nd, 2008 • 6:53 pm


The 3-1 defeat at Sevilla was painful, but this is going to hurt much more, not just because it kicks the Gunners out of the competition (whereas the Sevilla defeat was not as meaningful, although it did ultimately mean that we got first-place Milan in the Champions’ League draw).

What hurts more, of course, is the score, and the comprehensiveness of the defeat. Losing something like 2-1 here after drawing 1-1 at the Emirates would probably have been a predictable outcome for this “second-string” team. But the truth is that today the “second-string” team did feature more than a sprinkling of first-team regulars. But it was only when Adebayor and Eduardo came on that something started to click at last, although it was of course far too late by that time.

Adebayor got the consolation goal, but this is not a team that needs consolation. This is a team that is going to have to show some steel and unity in the face of adversity and, in that respect, the scene late on between Gallas, Adebayor and Bendtner was the most worrying aspect of the night. What the hell was that about? I sure hope that there is a decent explanation for this (like Bendtner being stupid, which I guess he’s still allowed to be at his age), and that it won’t affect the team spirit.

As for the rest of the team, yes, it is quite obvious that some of the “young Guns” still have a lot to learn before they can really challenge for a first-team spot. But it is also clear that maybe the fact that Arsène Wenger has never taken this particular competition very seriously has finally backfired big time. It could really be argued that, once he got to the semi-final, he should have played a stronger team.

Yes, put the young Gunners on during the early rounds by all means. If they lose, too bad. If they win, it’ll be a great experience, like it was last year. But the same thing was never all that likely to happen twice in a row and so the team fielded two weeks ago should probably have been stronger and should have achieved a better result at home. In many respects, the tie was lost there and then, because the result (and particularly the performance) did not lead Wenger to really change his mind about the whole thing.

And now the whole team has to digest this really bad result and try to bounce back right away with a couple of good performances against Newcastle, both in the FA Cup and in the League. Had the team gone out earlier in the competition, this would not have happened.

Oh well. Let’s just hope this is just what it objectively is, i.e. a bad defeat in a fairly insignificant competition, and that it has no lasting impact. I guess we’ll see on Saturday.

Comments are closed.

Leave a Reply

Comments are closed.