Arsenal Out But Are They Down?
Carling Cup Quarter-Final
Manchester City 3 – 0 Arsenal
1 – 0 Tevez (50)
2 – 0 Wright-Phillips (66)
3 – 0 Weiss (89)
This morning’s news that hardware stores around the globe have been reporting a run on the sales of rope to people wearing red tops is of great concern. There is a concerted attempt by Arsenal supporters to prove that Disney’s fiction about Lemmings jumping off a cliff is indeed now fact; an unseemly rush to usurp the position of the manager is in full flight, disenchantment, disillusionment and general dissing is occurring.
Unsurprisingly, Manchester City progressed last night at the expense of a mixture of youth and experience. The match undertook a predictable pattern with City having the better of the opening twenty five minutes, culminating in Tevez bringing out a good save from Fabianski. Prior to that, Bellamy skewed wide of the near post with Adebayor having a free header as Song and Eboue struggled to co-ordinate their attempts to marshall the defence.
Thereafter, the youngsters gave as good as they got for the remainder of the first half and in that they will draw confidence. The second though was a different matter, City energised by Tevez’s opener five minutes into the half. Like a high percentage of goals, it was avoidable. Rosicky lost possession too cheaply, blocked from recovering the situation, unfairly some might say but based on the officiating last night a freekick was never going to be awarded because it was City gaining an advantage. Eboue and Song committed enough sins in defending from there, that a whole host of Hail Mary’s would not be able to save their footballing souls. The finish was, however, quite emphatic.
The second joined that list of goals. Wright-Phillips had been reasonably well chaperoned by Traore throughout the evening but when Silvestre had those duties, the City winger had a field day, forcing the Frenchman backwards and not allowing him the opportunity to dive in. Or rather, capitalising on Silvestre’s desire not to do so. A hattrick of avoidable goals came with Song and Wilshere not handling Bellamy at all well, the Welshman skipping through to cross for Weiss to finish. Merida’s effort against the bar as the whistle loomed was the closest to breaking the zero against Arsenal’s name.
The post-match brouhaha about whether or not Wenger wanted to shake Mark Hughes hand is a media diversion, distracting from the City manager’s own obnoxious behaviour throughout the match. Equally bellicose was Bellamy, unable to seemingly handle an hour of stalemate mixed with City holding a slender lead. The ill-feeling of the Premier League fixture is a hangover that has yet to be shaken. More so, Arsenal were deemed to be the ones that City would replace in the top four, unlikely to happen even at this stage of the season.
Alex Song picked up a booking and misses the Stoke fixture this weekend. If he was going to miss a match, this would probably be one that would be high on a list of choices. For Arsenal, three defeats out of four is not good form yet there is no reason to necessarily include this one in any run such was the changed nature of the side and the fact that even though there was a chance of winning given the hosts form, defeat was imaginable.
I am astonished by the gloom, a legacy of Sunderland and Sunday no doubt. Wenger has made it clear that the Carling Cup is the lowest priority and will be used as a breeding ground for the youngsters. Given the vitriol directed at him last season by those who know better how to manage a team yet sit in the stands, this morning’s reactions are unsurprising.
Were Saturday to end in defeat then there may be some rationale in the anguish, three Premier League defeats on the spin constitutes a run that has to be broken. A Carling Cup defeat is not something I will lose sleep over.
Posted on December 3, 2009, in Arsenal, Carling Cup, Champions League, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged Arsenal, Carling Cup, Football, Manchester City, Soccer. Bookmark the permalink. 239 Comments.