Carling Cup Final Preview: A Time For Winners

Hardaker’s Folly*’ is fifty this year, today the 51st final of the League Cup. It is also Arsenal’s first final at the ‘new’ Wembley Stadium. It is always a privilege to be at any final in which Arsenal participate, that this is the ‘debut’ adds a little extra spice to the occasion.

And this has the air of a Débutante’s Ball. This is the Arsenal squad’s Coming of Age, the chance to cross the Rubicon, acknowledged as Winners rather than potentials. Victory today ends the ‘Trophy Drought‘ of five wilderness (© lazyhacksrus plc) years – yes, it is still five years since Arsenal last won a trophy until May, when six will have passed.

In keeping with Arsène’s reign at the club, a victory will have to be achieved with key personnel missing. Despite the inconsistency of the final ball, Theo Walcott will be missed on the right and centrally where he offers another avenue of danger for a lightening break, eleven goals and five assists cannot be taken lightly.

More painfully, Cesc will not lead the team onto – and on – the pitch, injury robbing him of the chance to add to his FA Cup winners medal. There is a certain symmetry in Robin van Persie replacing him as captain, mirroring that afternoon in Cardiff when the Dutchman was the Spaniard’s replacement with five minutes of normal time remaining.

Fàbregas’ absence in the middle of the pitch is the hardest to replace, such is his influence on the side. And his replacement will define Arsenal’s approach to the match, as well as who will come in on the right.

The obvious combination seems to me to be Nasri / Bendtner. The Frenchman has been in imperious form this season, when the ballot papers go out this week to the PFA members for their choice, forget Gareth Bale, Samir Nasri is the only serious candidate for Player of the Year.

Bendtner meanwhile has shown he is capable of producing telling involvement from the right side of the attack, despite his self-professed loathing of that position in the team. Equally, he provides more aerial threat at set-pieces and having exposed Stoke’s supposedly well-organised defence at The Emirates last week, we should perhaps not be too quick to dismiss this option.

Tomáš Rosický could likewise come to the right of midfield, this afternoon I cannot see him dropping into the central role simply because Andrey Arshavin has recovered his best form. Had the Russian still been out of sorts, I suspect that Wenger would have left Nasri on the left. As it is, Arshavin is back towards his best and surely the best option with the current injuries. Bendtner though, I think, will get the nod.

Wenger could go with Diaby or Denilson, moving Nasri to the right but each has drawbacks. Whatever the player may say, Diaby is not match fit. He could provide the physical presence to counter Birmingham but it is not going to be necessary. The size of the Wembley pitch means Arsenal can spread their play to neuter any attempt by their opponents to compact play.

Denilson meanwhile would offer the opportunity for Jack Wilshere to showcase his talents, allowing the England youngster to push forwards more assertively than he perhaps might do with Fàbregas in the team. Wilshere is being identified by all and sundry, including his manager, as the key to this afternoon. The England international has progressed beyond expectations this season and must surely be the Young Player of the Year, if such awards are to be taken seriously.

Birmingham know all about his good and bad points, Fàbregas’ absence means he will take a more dominant role. Without doubt it is the biggest afternoon of his club career and the continued highs have not seen the player overawed by anything thrown at him this season. He has had week’s where his performances have not met with the expectations thrust upon his shoulders yet there has been nothing to suggest in his recent form that a dip with additional responsibility can be envisaged.

The starting line-up I expect Arsène to field is:

Szczesny; Sagna, Koscielny, Djourou, Clichy; Nasri, Song, Wilshere; Bendtner, van Persie, Arshavin

Crucially for Arsenal, this game is being played out in their minds. Birmingham have not beaten Arsenal outside of the second city since October 1957; Arsenal has lost just once in the past nineteen meetings between the two teams. Much talk in the press recently has been of psychological tests used on the younger players.

This is a familiar pressure on the squad in unfamiliar surroundings. This is about taking the tag of overwhelming favourites and not letting it become a burden, complacency robbing play of its usual vibrancy. Bacary Sagna hinted that this barrier will not exist this afternoon, hunger and desire for victory focussing their minds.

A time for winners to emerge, wearing the red and white of Arsenal. Enjoy the match wherever you are watching it. ’til Tomorrow.

* When Alan Hardaker, then Secretary of the Football League,  first conceived the Football League Cup, he envisaged a structure in the professional game that had five divisions of twenty teams and less fixture congestion. It is a tournament that had it’s heyday for two decades from 1967, the first Wembley final, until the lustre started to wain as the Premier League came to fruition.

Hardaker got it wrong, his baby is now consistently viewed as a cause of fixture congestion and derided by most top clubs as a result. Five divisions of eighteen teams had less chance of success than his original plans  which were vetoed by the club chairmen anyway, but is the only way this competition can be ‘happily’ accommodated into the league season.

Posted on February 27, 2011, in Arsenal, Carling Cup, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 519 Comments.

  1. COYG’s!!!

  2. Really don’t think Song will start. Played 70 vs Barça, 90 vs Orient, 90 vs Stoke. Denilson will start, as he has done in every Carling Cup game this season. Also think Gibbs will play instead of Clichy. Eboue might replace Sagna, but Sagna has been brilliant, Eboue not has much. Rest of the line-up is spot on

  3. Larry

    Wenger will go with his strongest line-up today. Song will start, Denilson on the bench. Gibbs possibly but more likely on the bench.


  4. I think he’ll go with Diaby.


  5. Would be delighted if he did. But I think in some positions he might go with the players who “got us to the final”. I wouldn’t mind being wrong though. It doesn’t matter who starts or who doesn’t, we just need to win the Cup

  6. Hope Cesc is Not benched, regardless of sentiment. We may well need every reserve we have. I have the feeling that Brum will be very physical on and off the ball. And the ref we are lumbered with won’t help.

  7. Cant wait to see Jackie Wilshere pull the strings. Total faith.

    The Anus Cup is ours

  8. Still at home, Yogi? Pubs not open yet?

  9. Larry

    That’s why he’ll go with the strongest line-up. He knows that winning is a big thing for the squad.


  10. cbob

    Tempting but it will only take an hour to get there so 11am departure time is fixed.


  11. Diaby will start, not Bendtner. He was lively before he was sent off against Newcastle, and he provides better balance.

  12. agree 100% on the starting XI

  13. Well, you and all the others that wear the Red and White have a bloody good one today, Yogi.

    It’s the time of the season.

  14. Loved this from the BBC football website yesterday:

    1743: Nice to see that Aston Villa fans are thinking of their neighbours Birmingham ahead of Sunday’s Carling Cup final. On display at Villa Park today… a big banner reading “Good luck Arsenal”.

  15. The bloody embed god isn’t having any today.

    YW – he’s not but I am.

  16. YW,

    Agree with team but am not certain if who’ll he start with out of B52/Diaby/Rosicky. Any one of those three seem a good option but obviously will have different impacts on the shape of the team and starting position of Samir.

    I am confident and excited. Maybe time for new sheets tonight!!


  17. How do you do that Yogi?

    I haven’t heard OCS for years. Hearing it now it could be from the same era as the Zombies.

  18. i saw cesc’s subsitution against stoke as a tactical one
    AW said ” get an early goal, fake an injury and we’ll rest you for the final”
    let birmingham think hes out then come sunday we’ll fit them with the news ” cesc plays ” leaving them venerable.
    Lets hope im right.

  19. cBob

    Just post the ‘Share’ Code rather than the embed. Just changing the OCS vid as Mr U Miserable Git doesn’t want anyone to watch the video other than on youtube. Pillocks. UMG and WMG that is. Not OCS.


  20. Have a great day out Yogi and lets hope the boys deliver as we know they can. Come on you Gunners!

    Thanks for the tune Cbob, you old hippy! I’m listening to it as I compose this post!

  21. Great stuff Passenal. To mark the mood my ipod has gone into 60’s mode, Hendrix at the mo. Funny how ipods do that.

  22. Good post, YW. Enjoy the match. Don’t see why pressure would lead to complacency, though?
    Good luck Arsenal boys, whoever playes – will always love you, whatever happens. Hope you slept better than I did!

    Been for a long walk. Had breakfast. Cleaned the flat. Still nearly six hours. till 4:30pm.

  23. Just getting ready to leave. Will be in the Walkabout for a pint or ten then off toWembley.I think it will be really tight.No final involving us is ever a walkover remember Swindon and Luton .1-0 0r 2-1.Could be extra time.Chamakh to come on and get the winner

  24. Dan – agreed they are older than us but I don’t see the relevance to your Cesc theory.

  25. Have a great day everyone. Beginning to feel a few nerves.

  26. Come no you gunners!
    It’s going to be 3-0 to Arsenal.

  27. Oops..
    I meant Come On….

  28. Longtime reader, first time poster. ACLF has been my best place to get an Arsenal fix, whenever I need it. YW, thanks for your outstanding work.

    Like the Barca match, Gooners round the world will be pulling as one today. The sense of expectation as our kids take their first championship step– it’s a proud moment, after a long sometimes impatient gestation!

  29. Massive game today & I believe pivotal in our season.

    I`d go with Yogi`s starting line up & have convinced myself that Cesc & Theo won`t be missed. Cesc has a habit of trying a bit too hard in the big games. Also Brum will have spent a large part of their build up working on how to negate us with those two in the side.

    I hope the players aren`t as nervous as I`m feeling & just get the job done. RVP may be wearing the arm band but I`m expecting little Jack to lead us today.

  30. COME ON ARSENAL! Time for the heroes to step up!

  31. as a gunner from africa,i would like to know where wembley is.

  32. Every since we stated our respective blogs none of our clubs has won a major trophy. Hopefully the jinx will end today? I’ll even forgive you the picture you sent me last time we won it – one of a Liverpool player lifting a Mickey Mouse head, instead of the cup!

  33. Trugunn,

    In the middle of a big fukin dump.

    Apparently McCliesh is keepeing his tactics close to his chest! what the get in our faces then lump it up to the big lump tactics.

    Will be tighter then a ducks arse as frank says today. although i remember the fa cup final v Chelsea as a breeze. 2002.


  34. Bloody Tendulkur when is he going to retire,

  35. Thanks Redfloyd – & good luck next Sunday

  36. Trugunn, can’t stop laughing!

  37. Of course it’s not a grudge match; but when I think of how good Eduardo could have been for us (and himself) …
    Time for the Arsh to prove he’s got a big-stage winning mentality – I’ll take him to bag a brace today.

  38. My main concern is injury as the loonies will be out to prove a point.Mcleish is hilarious keeping his tactics to his chest! We all know they are going to park the bus n lump it to Zigic. For me the key is Song if he makes the late runs into the box I fancy him getting on the score sheet. Won’t be suprised to see us score from set pieces as well.

  39. My main concern is that some idiot ref doesn’t redcard any of our players!

  40. Duke,
    Sorry mate. Not in near future.

  41. This is a bit strange I’m confident and bloody shit scared at the same time

  42. No doubt its going to be intense but we are going to be more up for it than them n with the injustice of cesc the eduardo saga we will be all over them, but heavy rain is on the way n that may just favour them

  43. Adam, no fear. As Mohammed Ali would have said: We gonna beat them so bad!

  44. Im sorry that this is not about the final, which is an exciting prospect, but we seriously need to do something about the FA and the referees. Did anyone see rooneys blatant elbow on McCarthy? The ref did not book him and gave him a ‘friendly talk’ with an arm around his back. Now tell me how DJ cambells face push vs wolves was worse than this? or diabys throat hold? The FA are too inconsistent and the majority of other fans feel that this way. its quite fustrating when refs are way too leniant on UTD while the rest of the teams get treated like dirt. there must be a way to let the FA realise how bent the system really is…..maybe through banners or chants or a petition. everyone needs to stand up against this

  45. Men,

    To believe as we do is to fight with conviction. Today is the first of three. Three 90 minute periods which you will cement your names in history. Three 90 minutes which will culminate in silverware and glory.

    Today is 90 minutes to fight for. We know the enemy. We have beaten them twice before, but I am always weary of the third. It’s always the one that counts, but today it must count in our favour.

    Today there must be no room for complacency, only passion. There can be no room for arrogance, only desire. Fight as we can, and today there will only be victory.

    You are in control of your destinies like none other before you. You will eclipse all your predecessors because you are the evolution. And the first step to proving it to the naysayers begins here. Do it not for anyone else but do it for you. Do it because you can.

    Become the legends.

    For your teammates, for your team, for yourselves. You are the Arsenal, so get to the slaying.

  46. Truly nervous about the match. Can’t watch the match but planning to download it as soon as possible.

    @Gadget: Very, very inspirational stuff.

    Here comes one of many trophies that are going to be conquered by The Gunners.

  47. @duke – I know how it feels on the receiving end!

    A nervy 2-1 to the Arsenal!!

  48. Nice one gadget.

  49. i think for the fact that AW said JW19 will play an important role (am guessing the creative midfield role) today, suggests that he’s likely to use AD2 or ND15 alongside alongside Song and Jackie.

    This means Nasri will play out wide and I believe he’s more efficient out wide than Nicky B.. All in all, I have total confidence in whatever team the gaffer puts out, we have enough quality to deal with brum.

    My nerves are janggling though.


  50. Gadget

    Become the legends.
    For your teammates, for your team, for yourselves.
    You are the Arsenal, so get to the slaying.

    Simply inspiring

  51. I would rather abou starts ahead of Alex song. in the matches he has started in the song role(blackpool and newcastle up to the 60minute) the team was just out of this world! surely it cant be coincidence?

  52. Whats all that about, apparently our players have gone for an afternoon nap!! just as i put my little girl for one as well. oh bless. hope we see the pitta patta of tiny little Arsenal feet running all over the brum defence later.

  53. where are all the big guns on the blog? Kinda slow in here today.


  54. HERE WE GO!
    So many of the faithful have waited for this day…
    The 1st verifier…
    The first final…for
    That first piece of silverware that validates, for all believers & non-believers alike, the stupendously wonderful work that AW and the new best team-in-the-world have put in for the past 5 years…

    For those gooners present at Wembley, u must SCREAM, CHANT & SING at the top of your voices IN SUPPORT of our boys. All of us will be doing the same in front of televisions, radios & computers all over the world.
    This day is ours..for ARSENAL Football Club
    There must be NO letting them down today!

    After the game:
    Let your tears of joy flow unabated
    May we have many more days like this
    ARSENAL for LIFE!!!!!!!!!

  55. Tateezee, the big guns are probably londoners so they’ve gone to Wembley!

  56. Larry Mbaco says:
    February 27, 2011 at 7:59 am

    Song, Clichy and Diaby will all get achance to rest midweek.

  57. Kenyan gunner says:
    February 27, 2011 at 1:28 pm
    Tateezee, the big guns are probably londoners so
    they ’ve gone to Wembley!

    Guess I’ll join them in a few hours on my TV screen.

    Btw, you live in Kenya? Am a Nigerian though and am home based.

  58. Time to kick the fucking ‘no trophies for 5 years’ monkey from our back..


  59. Time to write a new chapter and bring the first piece of silverware to the emirates. The occassion can only be spoilt by inept refereeing ala Howard Webb or Lee Boyer hospitalising one of our players. However I feel we have lost any mental fragility many moons ago and Birmingham are in trouble. The game will pan out in one of two ways. An absolute mauling for brum 3 – 0 or a gritty amd physical pitched battle with a hard fought 2-1. Bendtner the most in form player at the moment having been provider and creater of our last 3 winning goals. He must play a part though I think he may come on as a sub for rvp.COYG. Get in there.

  60. Greetings fellow Gooners!

    We shall beat Birmingham, that much is i know. My fear is for our squad not to accrue further injuries.

  61. *that much i know*

  62. Enjoy it all wherever you are.I think it’ll be a tough game but we’ll win.As for me I’ll be following the game at work this afternoon.Yeah it really sucks!

  63. Keep calm people.

    Steady nerves win this one.


    When we beat Birmingham at home in October 16, by 2-1, our line-up
    didn’t include Fabregas, Sagna, van Persie, Walcott or Koscielny. And
    still we won comfortably with 10 men against their 11, after Wilshere
    was sent-off for a challenge on Zigic. Both Nasri & Chamakh supplied
    the goals, after an early Birmingham lead. Those who featured were:

    Fabianski; Eboue, Squillaci, Djourou, Clichy; Song, Wilshere, Diaby,
    Arshavin, Chamakh, Nasri

    Subs: Mannone, Rosicky, Gibbs, Vela, Bendtner, Denilson, Walcott

    Diaby, Wilshere, Chamakh, Nasri all had an exceptional game then.

  65. I am going to watch the match and if we lose I am going to slay myself!

  66. Tateezee, Nairobi based and it’s bloody hot here.

  67. No need for that Maria.

    I promise.

  68. Thanks Bob! Let’s hope so word on twitter is Arshavin and Rosa in for the missing boys. Any confirmations?

  69. Great rallying call Gadget – really enjoyed that

  70. Maria – glad you’ll be on board.
    I have spoken with enormous disparagement about the league cup, but now the day has dawned. Well, heck it’s Arsenal in a Wembley final isn’t it?
    Shivers, chills and butterflies. Hating the opposition certainly helps and at least we know they can’t injure Cesc or Theo…

  71. West Ham leading ‘pool 2:0! Half time.

  72. Steww – “Shivers, chills and butterflies.”

    Me too!!!!!!!! I am I feel is sick, this is SUCH an important game. The boys have done it against Barca and Chelsea in the bug games now for the biggest game so far.


    Everytime I think of Birmingham I think Eduardo……cannot phantom how I will feel if we hand them their first victory for decades, under that dog handler Mcleish!

  73. Yes, I know what you mean steww.

  74. .. and you Maria, once I’d deciphered your post.

  75. Last month, on the opening game of the year. We, again, reminded ’em that they were still our footstools, by unceremoniously thrashing ’em 0-3 on their turf, with a much stronger line-up (as you may all recall) of:

    Fabianski, Sagna, Koscilney, Djourou, Glichy, Song, Fabregas,
    Wilshere, Walcott, Nasri, Van Persie

    Subs: Szczesny, Rosicky, Denilson, Squillaci, Arshavin, Eboue, Bendtner

    Our magnificent scorers were:

    van Persie, Nasri, Fabregas

    Birmingham’s line-up on the day were:

    Foster, Carr, Johnson, Dann, Ridgewell, Larsson, Ferguson, Gardner,
    Bowyer, Beausejour, Jerome

    Subs: Taylor, Phillips, Derbyshire, Fahey, Zigic, Hleb, Jiranek

    8 of their starters also featured at the Emirates stadium loss.

    In their hearts, Birmingham will acknowledge Arsenal’s natural hegemony over them; knowing that when they step on that Wembley pitch today, we shall overcome them. Lest their tactic is to resort ungamesmanship acts.







  78. HAHA – Bob

    Forget typing I can’t even keep still……….


    Bring on 4pmmmmmmmmmm




  80. Greetings from California…’tis 6:35 in the am and I am having my first cup of coffee. Waking up for the first final we have all witnessed in years…COME ON YOU GUNNERS! It is time for this team to shine…Can’t wait for kickoff!

  81. Maria/ Cbob: Thanks; laughed aloud just now, steadying the nerves..

  82. I love this League Cup, always have since AW started playing the baby gunners in it. I would take it over the FA Cup, actually.

    I am so nervous. I wish I wasn’t, but I am. 75 minutes to go.

  83. What with pb? Tangle Foot is my beverage of choice at this minute.

    In the absence of consolslel I have a roast coming out of the oven in about 15 minutes. Might switch to red wine then.




  85. Why are people saying what if we lose?
    It’s not a possibility for this Arsenal team.
    Team believes in itself, and it’s hightime for all of us to feel the same way.

  86. Why the fear? We are the greatest. We gonna kill them!

  87. I was more tense before the CL tie because it’s good to watch a team like Barca tested against the very best and it is, lets face it, a bigger tournament, but the level of hatred we all feel towards to vile Birmingham City makes this more than just a final.
    Do it for Eddie; do it for all the Arsenal players who’ve been broken by the tactics employed by the likes of Mcleish.
    Above all do it for football, for the beautiful game played as it should be played.

  88. Me too FG!

    How for the big boy Gunners to finally lift the trophy.

    I hope Diaby starts today. Even though his just come back from injury, he was fantastic against them earlier on this season.

  89. Maryland Gooner? Another Gunner in MD? Where?
    Missing the rally in DC today unfortunately but have to watch us win the game today

  90. I second that, steww.

  91. Sorry guys, after the recent two semi-final and final disappointments I am still a little raw.

    We are The Arsenal.

  92. Hope Denilson gets to play even if it’s only a second half cameo appearance.

  93. haha – Steww

    This game really will be beauty and the beast mark 2.

    Let’s hope beauty wins this time.


  94. What’s the weather doing in London? Will heavy rain screw up the pitch?

  95. New pitch apparently. Like Arsenal’s they say. We will see.

  96. MD,

    It’s horrible in Holloway rain has stopped for a while though. Not sure about Wembley. That turf is a joke though so it could be a problem if it continues to rain!

  97. My last comment hasn’t showed up…

  98. Poppadums and scrumpy, Consols; not the real thing, naturally, but can get “Scrumpy Jack” out here.

  99. Coffee and more coffee for me.
    Sober for five years this month.

  100. 30 seconds in and they show that blank space.

  101. Still grinning at “Dog-handler” ~ a classic mix of wit, pun and truth.. thx Maria!

  102. 7am California time now…on to the second cup of coffee…and, the West Ham v. Liverpool game is serving as a nice warm up for the final…game is being played at a frantic pace right now…

  103. How are they going to fill an hour of build up on BBC?

  104. Team news anyone?

  105. I always wonder why the pregame build up is so long with sports here in the states…at least I only have to deal with thirty minutes of Warren Barton over here on Fox Soccer Channel and not a full hour of shit pundits and their “expert” opinions…

  106. FG,

    Everywhere I have seen have Rosa and AA in for Theo&Cesc.

  107. OneOfUs, aren’t you going to Wembley?

  108. Sadly not.

  109. Liverpool just scored…now it is going to get nutty in the last five minutes…

  110. Pb,

    Well I do try

  111. Starting to get nervous now…I really think we should go with a forward line of Shava…RVP…Nasri as someone mentioned above…gives us the most creativity and ability to play our brand of football from the off…Use Bendtner as an emergency option if needed…

  112. Chesney
    sagna Djourou Kos Clichy
    wilshere Song
    Rosicky Arshavin

  113. Did anyone guess that lineup?

  114. Midfield 3 of Rosicky…Song…Wilshere…

    At least that is what I would like to see…

  115. @Kenyan Gunner

    Heat!!! one of those great things about living in Africa.

    Blessing in disguise.

    Just see the sunny side of things…lol

  116. FunGunner:

    Is that the official lineup? I ould have thought Rosicky and Nasri switched, but that is essentially what I wanted to see…

  117. awfully quiet here where is everybody? oh i forgot WE ARE GOING TO WEMBLEYYYYYYYY! 😀

  118. Trivia…
    January 1st 2011 Arsenal vs Birmingham RVP 13′
    First Goal of 2011 for Arsenal.
    First Goal of Season for RVP.

    Highest Scorer in League for 2011? RVP.


  119. Good to see West Ham winning…don’t want to see them relegated. There are many more deserving of going down than them…would prefer Newcastle and their group of leg breaking neanderthals to go down instead…oh, and Stoke as well…

  120. That was the BBC graphic, but they may have been assuming Nasri’s and Rosicky’s position.

  121. Getting ready for the match..really nervous here.

    A question though…
    What do we expect to hear from the pundits after today’s game?
    1. “Well, they’re yet to win a major trophy”.
    2. “Once again, Arsenal have shown they don’t have what it takes to win a trophy”.

    I seriously hope its the first above.
    In a few hours time, it’ll be “one down, three to go”.

  122. Does anyone have the Samir Nasri song to post…would like to hear that a lot today…and a little of this too:

    “Robin Van Persie”
    “Robin Van Persie”
    “Robin Van Persie”

  123. Nobody seems happen with Ricky starting, would have preferred Benny.

  124. Unexpected line up today. Pretty sure Rosicky does his job perfectly today. COYG!!

  125. Hanson being very positive about us today…bad omen?

  126. I think this lineup gives us the biggest chance to continue the flowing style of play that is present when the first eleven are on the pitch…Wilshere and Song to provide the platform for either of Rosicky or Nasri…Interchanging of Shava, RVP , and Nasri/Rosicky…I see this team picking them apart.

  127. Diaby not on team sheet at all, apparently.

  128. Bob Wilson a wonderful Arsenal legend.

  129. FG, I had Bendy in for Rocky.

  130. @ Maria
    Or Hansen accepting the inevitable? Every thing crossed!

  131. There is no way Diaby could have been match fit…especially for the pace of a cup final. Not that surprised to see that.

  132. Scrumpy? In Spain pb?

    Well I never.

  133. Szczesny, Sagna, Djourou, Koscielny, Clichy, Rosicky, Song, Nasri, Wilshere, Arshavin, van Persie. Subs: Almunia, Denilson, Squillaci, Eboue, Gibbs, Chamakh, Bendtner.

    This version puts Ros in the centre.

  134. shotta? Where are you? Your day too, man.

  135. Off to the loo for the 10th time in the last hour!

  136. Off topic a bit, but nice to know if your name is Rooney and your team has big matches coming up that you can just punch/elbow people opn the pitch with no threat of punishment…would be nice to be above the law like that…

  137. Ro in the middle with a fluid front line to best make use of the “Mozarts” orchestral capacities..


  138. Done with coffee…time to move on to beer…nothing like tying one on at 7:30 in the morning…COYG!

  139. haha FG

    Bench: Almunia, Denilson, Eboue, Chamakh, Bendtner, Diaby, Squillaci

  140. Cometh the hour cometh the team. We gonna kill them. COYG!

  141. And Paul N? G69?

  142. very strong team by Arsene, i think Diaby might have suffered a setback, that might explain his exclusion from the team.

  143. Yeah, where are you people? Get out from behind the sofa!

  144. Someone on the panel just said English players get Ref favoritism and Warren Barton got his panties in a twist…was great to see the shocked look on his face that someone actually called a spade a spade…well done to the guy who said it…there is hope after all!

  145. Bob/FG

    I think we have lost those guys to the pub. I am to nervous to be amongst others…..!!

  146. Wow. What a strong team Wenger has put out

  147. I wish there was a place to go and celebrate the game with some fellow Gooners here in Sacramento , California…unfortunately, I think I am one of the only people out here that supports the Arsenal, and who also gets up early enough to watch all of their games…

  148. Good luck everyone, I’ll try to stay connected during the game but might be too tense to type…

  149. Hansen with more original thinking “get in their faces”.

  150. My girlfriend is still asleep upstairs…I am predicting I wake her up celebrating a goal in about 25 minutes!

  151. Wekll we know that ZP is in the ‘Book cafe’ before moving onto the match. shotta will be here, Paul too. Lots of nervous gunners out there today. We’ll see them all here before long.

    The ‘others’ are on our side too Maria.

    As Paul would say, ‘No Fear!.

  152. Van Persie to captain us to greatness! He will not let us fail…

  153. Any idea of the thinking behind playing Rosa instead of Benny?

  154. I think Wenger wants to keep as many [eople in their natural positions as possible Maria…when Bendtner is on the right the balance of the team is not quite right in my opinion…this keeps the balance the team is used to…

  155. I think the selection of rosicky is spot on, this game will be won with guile and fast movement. If things dont go to plan then we have players on the bench to change the game and boy what a bench! Side note- Ryo Miachi has had another electric game for Feyernoord, this kid is something else and I think he will slot in the first team as soon as gets his work permit. I expect him to be called upby Japan soon

  156. people*

  157. esc4official Cesc Fàbregas Soler
    We all want to see @persie_official lifting the trophy at 18pm so we need the best from you gunners today! Let’s give it all!

  158. Rosicky will prove to be the little Moazrt once again…he is due a big game!

  159. @ Maria
    Only guessing, but..experience, leadership, speed, defensive reliability?

    Having wanted time to stop earlier today, I now can’t wait for the game to start.

  160. Thank god Shearer has gone for Birmingham to win!

  161. Talk to everyone at halftime! gametime

  162. Actually, what Runebreaker said! 🙂

  163. Arsenal fans singing their hearts out!!

  164. Yeah, but that other Alan… fukin jinxer!!! Right, come on lads! PLEASE!!

  165. Whatever happens please keep posting, guys. You’re my only source of info.

  166. I am jelly all over.

  167. gonna wait till after we lift the cup to pour jelly over myself tbh…

    fair play tho!

  168. Decent first 15minutes… Cautious start from our players…

  169. The game seems more of a classic 1-0 win with every passing minute…

    Need an early goal to settle my nerve…

  170. B’ham score from a set piece…

  171. Not from them, though!

  172. Close. Good response – come on, boys!

  173. RvP goes close with a header…

  174. Oh fvuck. Chat about big tall forwards blah blah

  175. They are getting on top if we are not careful

  176. fukin el they got us on the ropes.

  177. dont know who is more nervous, the fans or the players.

  178. Rosicky ineffetive in the middleo f the pitch so far…Personally would ove to see Nasri play in the middle..Tense moments…

  179. Jack is getting caught up in the heat of the moment too

  180. agree nasri needs to get in the fukin middle.

  181. RvP!!!!

  182. Bugger this…. crossbar! Wait! RVP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  184. 1-1 Van Persi right foot volley….


  186. What a move.. Gr8 shot from RvP but He looks hurt.. Hope He is fine..


  187. Yes brilliant Jack AA and RVP Click click click

  188. Please let it jst be a knock

  189. Better than Rooney’s goal.

  190. Great assist by
    Arshavin…RVP has taken a knock….how serious we wait n see…Still on ground after having scored….taken a ick after scoring….Bendtne warming up…..We NEEED to steady the ship n go (5 Mins) into half time level…..

  191. Oh no is RVP done for? We can’t afford to lose him in this game

  192. RvP back on.. Hope He is fine..

  193. lawro you cunt.

  194. Jack the ripper. He ripped Birmingham apart!

  195. Com on boys!
    Lets settle down and win this game!

  196. Theres only one robin van persie. Great assist by thr Meerkat

  197. lawro you cunt

  198. Blatent dive by Bowyer injures himself?

  199. cant believe lawro gets paid to do this. its like a peodphile whispering in your ear

  200. Just for the record I was watching SKY when they scored and turned over to BBC for RVP goal!

  201. What a Rocket from Super Nasri,… But shot straight at Foster..

  202. Remi please stick with the BBC then. Larsson should shut his big mouth, perhaps not,

  203. Sagna was right on Bowyer – it could never have been a red card. Penalty for sure though.

  204. Lawro would just love us to lose. He is a bitter man.

  205. Birmingham really looked up for it before they scored, but can they keep it up (the harrying) for 90 mins on this big pitch? Hopefully not and we can exploit that with our greater skill and perhaps a piece of tactical change from AW. Hoping for a 3-1 result to us in the end.

  206. Looking better and better all the time.

  207. Me thoughts on the proceeding:

    The mid-field seems a little flat at times, but Jack is a sight to behold! He deserved to score that rocket.

    Lovely goal by RVP and I hope that it’s a little bruising at worst – imagine he’ll be sore tomorrow. In any case Big Daddy B will get a goal.

    On their goal, it galvanised them. I think Kos needed to get to that first ball, but he’s been solid otherwise. Zigic is their only real threat with the knockdown, so we need to start winning those second balls. Birmingham’s getting those too much and moving through the d whenever they do. I don’t like that.

    And pressing, we’re not doing it enough. In general, it feels like we’re giving them far too much space. Could be intentional, but I like it when we press

    Nasri is outstanding. such close control dribbling by three people like that. amazing.

    Come on Men!!!

  208. Was that a Brum penalty? Was distracted at that moment, need to see it again

  209. I have to say we are lucky to be level at half time…Great goal by RVP, just hope he isn’t seriously injured at all…we really have to have him fit for the rest of the season…

    I think we will take control second half and put it away, but the first half was deifnitel tough.

  210. Bloody cricket is good tho’

  211. Get dynamic, no more flat midfields. Triangles baby, yeah!!

  212. They press really high up the pitch. They will tire after 70 mins. My prediction : 3-1

  213. It should have been a pen for Brum in the first few minutes…Clichy kept everyone on and the linesman blew it…we were lucky to escape that one…

  214. We are nervous because there is so much at stake. Birmingham are fearless because there is nothing to lose for them.

    Still our quality told, and will tell to greater effect in the second half.

  215. How about the shot from Nasri at the end of the half…I thought that was going to end up in the back of the net when it came off his boot…same with Jack’s off the crossbar…

  216. Wow just watched last over in cricket, what a result, England looked odds on for the win, then out of it, then completely out of it, then end up getting a draw!

  217. I see us [pulling away second half…we are just now getting a real grip on the midfield…Here we go!

  218. Fucking jug eared twat Linekar suggesting Foster’s had nothing to do and Birmingham have dominated the first half.
    You could not make it up.

  219. Vantastic goal.bowyer another diving dickhead though they could have got a penalty early on we are the better team.let’s win this

  220. bob????

  221. cbob,
    Agree abt the cricket.. watched the final 3 overs…

  222. COME ON YOU REDS!!!!

  223. Even if we win comfortably the media have their excuse ready with the Bowyer ‘penalty incident’. Which was of course an ‘off side’ incident.

  224. I think the world expected Brum not to turn up, and now they’ve competed well the praise has been totally over the top.

  225. What a move… TR7 shoot just wide…

  226. Sounds more like hansen eh?

    from the bbc chat
    More from BBC Sport pundit Alan Hansen at Wembley: “Arsenal are lacking leadership without Cesc Fabregas and are playing like a team of strangers. They are so lucky to be on level terms at half-time.”

  227. FFS stop theses stupid free kicks

  228. Where is this game going!!!!

  229. Need to score one soon…

    Lil jack shooting well from the distance..

  230. anyone got any tamazipams. this is nervy stuff.

  231. Ive taken my quota already Duke!!!

    Its not helping!

  232. This is really nervy and I second the sentiment that we are lucky to still be level. In all honesty we had the possession and dominance but the Brummies simply had the better chances. We seem nervous and several solid key players have been caught in possession. Everyone seems to unsure. We need another goal fast.

  233. It is clearly noticeable however that Birmingham are giving everything they got, as evident by the injuries they are picking up. This is probably the most important game in the lives of all those players and they really want to win it badly.

  234. Really hope RvP’s not too bad.

  235. ol big bendy bollocks. c’mon.

  236. RvP off for Big Nic…
    hope RvP is fine..

  237. Bendy to score!

  238. Chamakh on for AA…

  239. As usual, the opposition keeper is having the game of his life..

  240. In my experience finals have had to be endured, not enjoyed, and this one is no exception.

    Oh, and by the way, the cricket was a tie, not a draw.

  241. We are finally playing our normal game. The goal must come now, surely.

  242. Rosicky has been playing very well … just needs to score one…

  243. what a bad game this is.

  244. Fuck!!!!!!

  245. Oh fuck

  246. holy fukin shit, we all knew it thats why we were so fukin nervous.

  247. we lost another final.

  248. this is gunner fuck our season

  249. fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck

  250. what a shocker.. jesus

  251. im fukin hybernating

  252. My fear has become a reality… Until we scored the 2nd, I felt something like this was going to happen..

  253. We need a miracle now.

  254. no excuses, just plain embarrassesing. tomorrow is going to be shit.

  255. I’ve never enjoyed finals.

    I’ve seen too many lost. Probably 50-50 in my time.

    That’s what finals are like.

    No point in brooding on it. We move on to the next game.

  256. Its over…
    I just hope this doesn’t effect our season…

  257. Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck

    Oh f

  258. Ah well – like I always say only shit like Spurs get excited about winning the Carling cup. Now lets get on with the real tournaments.

  259. Are you kidding me? That’s what happens when you underestimate anyone

  260. Koscielny has to be one of the most unfortunate players ever. Plays great 99% of the time, but has still been involved in the most mistakes.

  261. what a joke. very bad performance all around and that goal beggars belief

  262. Synchronizing watches….2 week media shutdown startiiiiiinnnngg NOW!!!

  263. We had the chances but Foster was too good. And the mistake in the end … well … I am not sure if Szczesny didn’t give Kos a shout or not but that’s just plain embarrassing to make such an easy mistake at this stage of a game. In the end though as I already said Birmingham wanted it more and they won it. And, dare I say, not completely undeservedly. Congrats to them and we need to make sure that this does not affect us mentally.

  264. Please – this is bad. At least let people vent for a while. Full lockdown for me.

  265. And for chrissake, don’t start banging on about the bloody media circus that will follow. Seriously, who gives shit about them, we know what they will say in any given circumstance.

    Stand tall, take it and look forward.

  266. Worst imagineable result possible…its one thing to lose, but to lose on a calamitous miscommunication between Koscielny and Chezzer is heartbreaking…we can only pray this doesn’t derail our entire season.

  267. Bottled it. It’s always shitty when a game ends like that, but FUCK ME, whyyyyyyyyyyy

  268. Well there you go what a way to loose,unbelieveable,this could destroy the whole season,the signs were there from the begining,nerves,sloppy,defence,shit!

  269. Fucked that right up. What a stupid goal to give away to feed the useless pundits, now we will never hear the end of it. We did miss Cesc and Theo today (who could have countered Brum’s game plan) and as I think Gadget said earlier, no triangles today.

  270. Darius:

    “A lot has been said about the possibility of Arsenal winning a historic quadruple. Some may think that it’s a task too far, and to them it must be said – “Ye of little faith”. He who dares wins.”


  271. Can’t really believe that actually happened…I am in shock…goal from nothing…don’t even know what to say at this point…just shocked.

  272. What a fucking waste of everyone’s time.

  273. So we lose and we say this is not a real cup?

    Guys…. stop being in denial like Wenger is in all the time.


  274. Please don’t start with the underestimating nonsense. If anything they were too nervous.
    This is so horrible, but we have so much still to play for. It’s not going to mess up our season.

    1-2 again. I hate that score.

  275. I came here so someone could tell me that we deserved it..but I figured out myself – Over reliance on our match winners has done us yet again. I feared this all game, just hoping we haven’t got too many knocks & our morale doesn’t get affected.

  276. @ Joe
    We lose a final and you come on here to gloat?

  277. win the premier league and this won’t matter


  279. I have to believe that Koscielny could just not here the call from Chezzer…wow…lets just hope there aren’t any injuries physical or mental…too many things to play for from here on out…now time to go drink myself to sleep…

  280. Oh fuck me, that toady Joe, who has not been on here for weeks, comes out from under his stone. I am off for a few days. Can’t read his shit.

  281. Yes, of course we wanted, expected, to win. Football is like this. Finals are like this. For every game you don’t expect to win, and for we Arsenal fans, they are few and far between, there are those that you do, against the odds.

    Come on, it’s the Carling Cup , nice to win but it doesn;’t actually mean anything – unless you play the media’s mind games.

    Personally I’ve never swallowed this ‘if we win this everything will fall into place’ argument. The next game will decide that, and the next, and the next, and..

  282. gutted but oh well

  283. Agree that a match like that can be isolated from the rest of the season. Shouldn’t do too much damage. Important thing is to keep the team fit, get winning again starting wednesday and maybe give Koscielny a little time to recover. Although I’m not sure if he got the call from Szczesny.

    Joe’s clearly a spud.

  284. I am in tears..

  285. we gotta thrash man u in the FA now (orient goes without saying).

    4 fronts is tough tough business and if you had to drop one of those 4 its the tacky tin cup every time so fuck em.

    looks like i need another beer run

  286. On to the league and Champs league…we take either of those and this fucking game is no more than an afterthought…hurts now, but still 3 trophies to go for…

  287. Joe, LeSolitaire, please shut up!

    A match has two teams, one must win and one must lose.

    That mistake is a joke but such is life.

    Onto Tuesday, its not gonna do any good to talk a bunch of crap and cry about it.

    Credit to Birmingham!


  288. Gutted. Theo and cesc have been missed. Foster won the game.What a way to go out . Birmingham have done a job. Played to their strengths. Bigger fish to fry I think indicated by Wengers subs and taking rvp off early. Thought we had done enough. Cue the hysteria and the pundits dream headlines , 6 years without a trophy and crap about team spirit and soft centers. We still believe we will win a trophy this season. I think the pain of watching those dirty bastards win a trophy will be motivation enough. To the next game.COYG.

  289. You must have had that post all polished and ready for a few hours or days Joe.

    What a pathetic excuse for a supporter. Gloating over a defeat for your own team and bothering to take the piss out of a positive post made hours ago.

    Really pathetic.

  290. I was nervous as hell before the game, but couldn’t help but laugh when their goal went in. Turns out we managed to lose the game in the least painful manner I could think of, for me at least.

    I don’t think this loss will derail our season, except if it turns out RvP is seriously injured.

    Chin up people, we are still in three other competitions.

  291. Hey those of you who can’t take a defeat or come here to say we played badly – grow some fucking balls. Like C’bob says, stand up and take it you pussies.
    We utterly dominated them they got a fluke winner end of story.

  292. What a disaster. I cannot believe what I saw.It was a tough match and we were not at our best, but it did not deserve that.

  293. Fair play to Birmingham. Better team on the day, their goal keeper had a great game. We were far too nervous and well bellow our level.

    Can this loss be a springboard? I am going to be imminently optimistic and say yes.

    Wake up my beloved Arsenal!

  294. I am sad 😦

    It was a silly goal to concede and a little communication error. I know the men will be feeling it. So close, and yet a little too far. Foster had a great game, and on another day or quite simply in a parallel universe, we would have won 10-1!

    There’s only one thing for me to sing:


  295. were dissapointing to lose, but it also a sign of worse things, our back 4 have a habit to totally painc at the slighest pressure or even no pressure and unless they calm down we’ll keep concedign ridiculous goals, and as long as that continues well struggle to win anything.
    On the match itse;f how many succesful takes from behind did birmingham manage to pull off, plus how mnay times were Arsnel players shoev off the ball etc. Ref should have been dishiung out more yellows but he was happy to let Brirmingham rough us up.

  296. We are cursed as a team

  297. Who was the birmingham player who smacked Kos on the head too? if you delibretaly hit a player on the head with your hand it’s a red card isn’t? why should that be different if it’s during a goal celebration.

    still helps to highlight their lack of class i supose.

  298. It wasn’t an unreasonable or unfair result. If the cock up had happened at the other end we wouldn’t have thought we were lucky. These things happen.

    Brum won and we can have no complaints.

    I remmeber losing in 1968 in the same competition and it really upset me.

    Of course, I was a teenager then.

  299. People are already blaming the selection choice of Wenger but if the team he put out can’t beat Birmingham well fook me.

    The players neither did themselves or us justice. We should have won full-stop.

    Third final defeat, says allot about that elusive mental strength Arsene talks about.

  300. We were so nervous today, didn’t even settle after the equaliser. Could have conceded a penalty and Chez sent off in the first few minutes. Birmingham played well, we didn’t impose ourselves.

    Arsene has a huge job making sure this does not derail our season. We need to go on and win the league.

  301. I think the most positive thing is that we’ve bounced back from the disappointments this season – and everyone’s going to be writing us off for the rest of the season, which should lift a lot of pressure. It’s a test for the players, but also one for the fans – and we do have bigger fish to fry.

  302. Back to re-education camp. Time for self criticism. But it’s lockdown for me. Badnight all!

  303. who wants that minor cup anyway.

    let’s move on

  304. It’s days like this when I hate football.

  305. No FG,

    Not gloating – I, and some few others, have been ridiculed for some years now about talking about this defense – and our inability to just do the basic things right: being competent in the air, defending set pieces, attacking the ball, pressing the opposition, maintaining concentration – basic, basic stuff for a team with superior talent to most other teams in the world. While the 2nd goal was comical – the first goal was in every way, just as shameful a goal to concede.

    It was you FG and Darius, to my sheer disbelief, who spoke about “quadruples”. ffs we can’t even defend a 4 goal lead and you were harping on about quadruples..!!

    Pathetic and laughable.

    I fear sadly, that I will be right this year again – and we’ll end up with fuck all to show for all the hard work and effort. And its utterly sickening.

  306. a pshycologist would say winning breeds winning, this loss will hit us, as above Wenger needs to work overtime to get us to win anything this season now, dont under estimate the hunger to win from winning. thats why we were so nervous coz this would have been the springboard. it isnt a media thing but just plain old pshycology.

  307. Maria, how can people blame the team selection?? It was arguably the strongest available!

    My heart bleeds for the team, but they’ll come back stronger. ‘Twas the indecision that did it. I think next time Kos’ll just put his boot right through it if he hears the call too late.

  308. Credit where it’s due Birmingham deserved this as much as it hurts me to say it. This is quite possibly the worst defeat of Wenger’s reign, worse than Galatasaray and worse than the 5-1 hammering we took at OT with Stepanovs and co and I honestly think that he has a real task to get this team back up and winning again. Let’s not kid ourselves this loss is a big, big blow. All the old talking points are going to re- emerge with double force seeing as our defence let in 2 very regrettable goals. C’est la vie.

    On the positive side Lil Jack stepped up to the plate today and really came of age as an Arsenal player. I would have loved to have seen Nasri play the Fabregas role and Rosicky pushed out wide… Nasri was too peripheral and Rosicky too inconsistent but hey, I’m not a manager.

    Well done Birmingham. Bastards.

  309. Outraged!!!!!!!! But I’ll get over it tomorrow.

  310. Well played to Birmingham.
    Two school boy errors for both their goals.
    Lets put this behind us.
    And push on.
    Come on You Gunners.

  311. Drop dead Joe. Singular bastard!

  312. Joe, what is wrong with you?

    If Arsenal are so poor how did they get to this stage. Your comments make no sense at all for a team that is doing notthing right defensively couldnt be in 4 competitions. really silly, childish stuff from you.

  313. how does one defend against a 6 foot 7 ??

  314. @ Joe
    You are gloating. Ha ha, I was right, our defence is rubbish, is what you are saying. Notwithstanding today, you are plain wrong. We have one of the better defences in the league, according to the figures. Similarly, it is not ridiculous to root for a quadruple when you are actually in ALL FOUR competitions.
    When we win and do well, you are on the back foot. When we do badly, you are cock-a-hoop. Is that not a strange position for an Arsenal supporter to be in?

  315. Joe, fuck off, bitch

  316. Unbloody believable I feel numb totally cold

  317. It’s heartbreaking, but congratulations to Birmingham.
    Perhaps the press will now stop taunting them with not having won a major trophy for 47 years.

    And Joe, I know it’s bitterly disappointing, but your reaction is contemptible.

  318. Joe …

    Please don’t spout rubbish. A young goalkeeper made a mistake. It happens. People like turn up at every disappointing result and start shouting the odds… how poor is our defense exactly? amongst all the teams in the EPL where does our defence rank?

    You say you’ve been saying that our defence isn’t good enough for yonks… where you saying it last week or after the match against Stoke? And I’m sorry but only someone with no sense can even begin to bring up the Newcastle match… Newcastle was nothing like today… if mike Dean had refereed the Newcastle match we’d have won.

    We lost, it happens… suck it up and move on.

  319. @ Maria | February 27, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
    It’s days like this when I hate football.

    Sums up how I feel. And it hasn’t even quite hit me yet.

  320. Joe, you don’t fear you’ll be right. You look forward to it, craving for it like some power-tripping crack head.

    I’ll ridicule you for throwing out stupid statements and expecting people to believe it. You say the first goal was comical without even explaining why you believe so, without putting your reasoning before others to judge the strength of your logic. That’s a cowardly act right there.

    You’re a cowardly whore and gloating is your crack-pipe. Get thee to a nunnery bitch

  321. You don’t have a leg to stand on here, Joe. Are you even aware how bad it looks that you only show up when there’s disappointment? You’re a Spud all over, and as bad as at feels for all of us right now, at least we don’t have to contend with that label.

  322. Gadget,

    They thought Benny shoudl have started with Nasri in the middle la de da.

    Personally my heart does not bleed for the team. They were the better players, but weren’t good enough on the day and got turned over. They should be humbled. If the Barca game taught us nothing is that being favourites doen’t mean jack.

  323. MASSIVE DISAPPOINTMENT. Fuck Stoke. Fuck Birmingham City. Fuck the Monday where its going to be so painful. Arsenal season is going to collapse in 5….4…..3…..2……………….
    prove me wrong

  324. When will people stop pretending that we are the only team that is making mistakes? While the miscommunication from Kos and Szczesny was bad we have seen worse from Chelsea or do I have to remind anybody of the fisticuffs Ivanovic and Cech had in Chelsea’s match against Everton? And those two have been playing together for years and still could not communicate properly after a cross.

    Yes, this is a bad loss that should not have happened. But no, this is not a reason to pull out all the old and tired cliches. We win against Barca, we have great defensive displays against the likes of Stoke, Chelsea, Wolves or even Birmingham in the league and no one says anything. But as soon as we lose ONE game the same old sh*t keeps getting repeated. Stop acting as if we are the only team to ever concede from a set piece or that have miscommunication errors or even goalkeepers making a blunder.

  325. We lacked a leader once RVP subbed off..

  326. Credit to Birmingham….
    I’m now going to shut myself away for a week, oh lord Im going to the Sunderland game next week – not in the mood for that! 😦

  327. A strong win against Leyton Orient and Sunderland will bring us back on course. All is not lost yet, troopers. 3 trophies still to be had. Keep your heads up.


  328. i feel sick but agree with joe. we desreved what we got

  329. I find Joe quite sad. I am sure that attitude affects every area of his life, he cannot be happy at all.


  330. Was RVP injured?

  331. remember there is nothing stable in human affairs so therefore avoid undue elation in prosperity or undue depression in adversity!!

  332. Joe reminds me of Rimmer in that Red Dwarf episode “Better than life”

  333. dukeG you are a Taoist

  334. I am hoping that this will have the same effect as the loss to ManUre in the autumn. We have kicked on from there.


  336. Only the Carling Cup….move on….
    Don’t think we really raised our game sufficiently (because we would have won obviously)….Samir a little selfish towards the end.

  337. Respect, Birmingham. Still in it for the three major trophies. Hope the team can keep believing. Some fans don’t even try.

  338. Gutted?…i am
    Sad?..i am
    Desolate?..i am not
    Inconsolable?…F**k NO!
    Lost on an error at the worst possible time (like against Leyton Orient)

    Clearly still have concentration issues that need to be addressed
    But we must bounce back immediately..there’s still work to be done.
    3 more to go boys…LET’S GET AT IT!

    ARSENAL for LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  339. Borges Spinelli | February 27, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
    “A strong win against Leyton Orient and Sunderland will bring us back on course. All is not lost yet, troopers. 3 trophies still to be had. Keep your heads up.”


  340. Cheer up people, look on the bright side, at least Joe’s happy.

    And, AIC’s not yet posted.

  341. ^ ha ha consolsbob

  342. “I am hoping that this will have the same effect as the loss to ManUre in the autumn. We have kicked on from there.”

    And if there are any jitters at the back then at least we can expect Vermaelen in a couple of weeks. Szczesny also seems to be one of those crazily confident guys so he should recover OK.

  343. Well said FunGunner.
    I can only hope this result will push us onto greater things.
    We can all learn from this defeat.

  344. As fellow fans can we preform a mercy killing on Joe?

  345. didn’t watch the second-half,

    but can someone please explain why Rosicky was on that pitch for 90minutes?

  346. well, some of us are making too much of this defeat. From the start, Birmingham were playing quite well. Shouldnt be an offside there early in the first half and the consequent foul by Szczesny warrants a penalty for them. The occassion got to them I think. Not much clear-cut chances for us. And when RVP was substituted, I had a feeling this is not gonna be good. In the second half were dominated possession and pressured them for large parts of the half. Their keeper had the game of his life.
    The media will enjoy this defeat the most. The same old garbage about us needing a keeper and a defender, blah blah blah…

    any way, on to bigger & more important tasks ahead…
    no need to bang the heads on the wall

  347. la la la la wait till we get our heads right……

  348. Well, rahl, then you missed Rosicky creating several chances as well as having one really good effort himself but unfortunately Foster proved unbeatable in the second half.

  349. But Maria, that makes little sense. With all the chances we created, that would mattered little. Although Arshavin drifted out the game earlier than anticipated, I though we played well, despite the midfield not being anywhere near as dynamic as I would have liked.

    In truth, I thought we performed much better in the 2nd half. We were winning the first and 2nd balls for long periods , but just couldn’t find the sharpness we needed, either through being a second too early or too late. I think I would have preferred Bendy on for Arshavin giving him some play time with RVP.

    I think losing the way we did, I can’t help but feel sad for the team. I don’t think this loss was down to complacency or anything like tha at all, just a simple error at the worse possible time. That’s not to take anything away from Birmingham, they played really well for the most part, playing to their strengths.

    Ultimately, the team came so very close. I think had it have gone to extra time, we probably would have won. If it had gone to penalties, well I hate penalties as the percentages are ridiculous, so the loss would definately be an ‘ah well c’est la vie’ one, however, to lose the way we did seems passively cruel.

  350. When Birmingham won it and held it up it looked so farty and small.

    Like a serving dish for a roast chickin only without a lid….and a chicken.

    We have bigger…er….chicken to fry.

    I’m a vegetarian by the way.

  351. At least nobody is blaming Denilson or Almunia.

  352. Shall we blame Yogi.

  353. @FunGunner


  354. These things happen, it’s a cup final and sometimes they provide surprises.

    Thankfully we have the next game very soon so the team can get this out of their system quickly.

    I do think we only had ourselves to blame though.

    As much as I dislike Birmingham, they deserved this win.

    We have had more than a few games over the last few seasons where I think our “patient” approach has had a negative impact, and we have just not learned from it.

    We fuck around and only wake up in the last 10 or less minutes when it’s too late.

    By then it’s a complete lottery, it’s not a risk we should be taking.

    Maybe the pain from this might register this time round?

    The longer it went on without us getting a second goal, the more the odds stacked up that something like this was going to happen, so that’s life, and it’s a lesson that this side has refused to learn for a few seasons now.

    I hope this hurt translates into a burning anger in the team that drives them on from now.

  355. or maybe Bob wilson for saying szesney was world class before kick off, when he said that i knew chezz was gunner make a mistake but not right at the death and a killer one but i knew he put the heepy fukin jeepeez on im.

  356. Speak for yourself fun, I’m blaming Denilson for not telekinetically ravaging the ball to bounce just as Martins struck it. If he had, I’m assured it would have found concussed one of the Brum fans.

    Also Almunia didn’t perform voodoo magicks upon Foster as he should have done. Bastards

  357. dont go into seclusion folks! why on earth would you do such a thing? its times like these that you stand up.

    Lets not worry about what others have to say, when we have done the best ad beaten the best they have still talked rubbish. If we won this cup it wouldnt have changed, we would hear that its only the Carling Cup.

    Its dissapointing but lets keep believing and supporting our great team!


  358. Van Persie came off with a knee problem.
    They will be looking at it in the morning says Arsen.

  359. Gadget,

    This team got themselves to the final but what I saw wasn’t the best of them thats all I am saying. If we lacked something we have to look within.

    And yes, it was cruel for the boys that made the mistake Arsene said they are crushed.

    Feel for YW and co who wen to the game.

  360. haha that trophy does look a joke it’s so bloody small…lol

  361. I blame Denilson, Diaby, Almunia….you know the French-African boys

  362. Birmingham wanted it more. Pissed off about this, but what can you do? Just move on. Unfortunately I expect us to have our usual slump after a dissapointing result. Hope we have the mental strength to get over this.

  363. must be masochism, always find myself heading to le grove after games like this

  364. Diaby! I knew I’d missed one out.

  365. I would agree with MikeSA that sometimes we dont seem as aggressive as I think we could be. We seem to be waiting for a space to appear at times instead of attacking the gaps in the defense.

  366. Jo Bo, actually we have bounced back well after losses this season.

  367. The loss is a real blow…loss of concentration in the end cost us…Birmingham played well for a change…we should made the most of an injured Johnson and finished of the game…we played well though

  368. Question did we attack the ball today like we did against Chelsea??

  369. Anyone have a link to Wenger’s reaction?

  370. I don’t think I’ve ever resorted to swearing on this forum before, but I’m going to now. When you fucking deluded dreamers wake up, this is the reason people like me have been callbg for investment is this squad for years. If you cannot see that defensively we need quality/experience you should just give up watching fooball bcause you know nothing. You are so fucking naive it’s untrue, wake up and smell the coffee. This squad is not good enough you fuckings idiots, that’s the end of it. If you can’t see we need extra quality and experience at the back you should just go and watch badminton instead.

  371. We did attack the ball…but Birmingham did the same….not the same Birmingham which gifted 5 goals to ManU

  372. We’ve set ourselves up. We built up the Carling Cup into the big test that will provoke the avalanche of trophies.

    I’ve always hated the bloody cup anyway. I’ve never thought it proves anything. You win it, does that mean you’re champions of England? Maybe just the champions of Carling.

    Birmingham have won it and might still be relegated. They’ll probably just survive.

    The real prizes are won in May. The problem with a stupid final in February is it can affect everything we’ve worked for, to be in a good position to win the big trophies.

    I just hope this makes the players more determined than ever to win the major prizes.

    If we’d won today, I’d have been here saying it’s not a new dawn, a massive sign. Just a weird little cup.

    What will be a new dawn for this team is winning the league, the Champions League, the FA Cup. If we win those, there will be no doubt that this side would have proven themselves true champions

  373. Devastated, were really needed Cesc for this, he makes us tick. We have to pick ourselves up no point on dwelling on this. Just the manner of the loss is baffling to me.

  374. Russ, there are may things that could be debated and discussed, but your little rant is complete crap.

    Just fuck off, you’re using up oxygen.

  375. Russ, I dont even think you know what naive means.

    For you it means that a team is in 4 competitions by a fluke.

    Stupid comment from you, void of common sense and facts.

    A loss can never mean that a team is not good enough, stupid as heck.

  376. I think we should field our second choice players against Orient and bring on the rest only if required…Sunderland & Barca will be crucial and we need our best players fit and ready

    Rosicky played well in the Cesc role…he should play against Orient to get back his sharpness…

  377. Russ u retard, your simple mind is a waste of space on this site nor is it of any value for this team.

    Find a more suitable team for your superior mind you buffoon. It’s ok, u can use ACLF as reference, we fully support your “defection”.

    ps: it doesn’t matter if Herbert Chapman was your grand dad and you’ve been a fan for 80 years, we still don’t mind u leaving.

    U Miserable RUNT!

  378. The worst part about this loss for me is that the same old guys who were anonymous and nowhere to be seen when we won against Chelsea or Barca or even when we managed to grind out a win in a difficult game against a mid-table side like Stoke are suddenly coming crawling out of their holes to gloat. I am ashamed that those people dare to call themselves fans of Arsenal as it puts the proper supporters in a bad light.

  379. What a shame.
    ..Still, on to bigger things. Suck it up and on we go.
    I’d put an arm round you if I could, mj.
    …Arsenal forever…

  380. Rosicky played well? Are you having a laugh?

    Rosicky didn’t press, he didn’t pass well, didn’t win his duels, didn’t create chances. His work rate was piss poor.

    It was baffling to me since he’s 30 years old, he’s never won a trophy with us, was captain after RVP left……

    At that age, with that experience, with the time lost in his career, not showing up for a cup final is unacceptable.

  381. You know what is the worst thing about people like Joe and Russ, had we won they would be celebrating with the rest of us. If we do win other things, which I believe we will, they will dawn their favorite Arsenal jersey and start bragging.

  382. Russ…

    You call people idiots, how would you know an idiot given the garbage you spout. You’ve been calling for investment have you? Great, so why don’t give us the money to invest. there are contracts that need to be signed to keep our good young players at the club but you want us spunk more money on a big name signing so that you can say we’ve “INVESTED”…. I never understand where people like you get off calling others idiots… Chelsea have just spent 70 odd million and they are actually looking a whole lot worse off! That’s the type of investment you want ain’t it? Clowns like you crack me up.

    We lost a match and it is a big, big blow but what this great club of ours doesn’t need right now is doom mongering fools crawling out of the wood work and out from under their rocks to undermine all the good work that has gone into this season. I haven’t sworn on this forum before but I will swear at you Russ. Bugger off fool.

  383. Agree ole thought that rosicky and song didn’t have good a good game

  384. Before you look at the players, the team performance on the ball against Brum needs to be assessed. Defensively, they had exactly the same tactics as ManU in December and Stoke last week – no surprise as McLeish also suckles at Slur Alex’s teat.

    They get players behind the ball and wait until we pass the centre circle before their back line pushes up and the midfielders start pressing. It looks bloody difficult to counter, but we need to find away around it sharpish because the rest of the league’s going to follow suit. I’m not even going to pretend that I know what to do there, but I do know that we’ve struggled every time against those tactics, and Bruce will be drilling his players as we speak.

  385. How we respond to this loss would definitely be a sign.
    May either signal the beginning of the end of an Era(Wenger) or we could pick ourselves up and show them just how glorious the next ten years would be.
    Truthfully, I became a little nervous after the first 10minutes and I think it showed in the play and the mood of the fans at wembley!
    The Senior players in this Team should at least be able to pull their weight(Rosicky).
    Whenever we are on the backfoot in recent games only ONE player as stood up!that shows the dysfunctionality in the team.
    I could go on and on,but i guess there’s a game at the grove which can’t come soon enough,we need answers from both that match and Nu Camp,answers to questions that were raised today!
    Nobody’s gonna give it to you,you’ve gotta take it!

  386. Paul N, niave means not recognising that we are in four competitions at the start of the season you fucking idiot. Unless we win any of them it means not alot. There are alot of teams in that position, but the very best go on to win. Get fucking real and fucking come round to the reality of the situation…collectively we are not good enough,you mug!!

  387. So who is good enough Russ? Chelsea?

  388. Russ… Naive means calling for “investment” in the quite staggeringly stupid belief that big money players win you trophies… We are ahead of both ManCity and chelsea and they have done what you want. We were in that final not Chelsea or ManCity or even United! We lost it and we shouldn’t have lost it but shit happens… that why people watch the game.

    Fools like you make me sick to the stomach… if we’d won, and we could have won, you be out celebrating you blooming hypocrite. STFU

  389. Or maybe Manchester City? They both have made massive investments and would say that they are “collectively good enough”?

  390. ok russ, your last statement proves that you are not such a smart guy.

    Starting in 4competition’s and being the only PL team in 4 is very different but I dont excpect someone of your mentality to get that.

    You can swear and all you want, but I think my 11 month old could come up with a better conclusion that you.

    Plain stupid!

  391. At least it wasn’t as bad as Robert Green…

    Or was it?

  392. In the end, Russ, you are just a plastic, nothing else. You are angry because the manager did not listen TO YOU when you said he should buy the players that you yourself have scouted using Footie Manager. And somehow, because the manager did not listen TO YOU you take this quite personal because, somehow, in your deluded dream world you believe that if the manager had done what you would have said we would be winning everything without giving a goal away and going unbeaten for 255 games in row in all competitions. You yourself should follow your own advice, especially the one about “smelling the coffee and waking up” to see how wrong you are when you think that pumping money into a team equals instant success. I think Real Madrid, Manchester City and from this season on Chelsea are great examples of the foolishness behind thinking that spend spend spend is going to solve all problems.

  393. And just to let you know, of course I would gave celebrated…what Arsenal fan wouldn’t?!! But at the end of the day i wouldn’t have been estatic, it’s not a big competition. That’s why so many Arsenal fans laughed it off previous CC seasons. let’s win the Pl or CL, then I’ll be happy and it would prove something.

  394. Russ, for real, I cant believe you said “niave means not recognising that we are in four competitions at the start of the season…”

    thats really dumb for we are not at the start of the season which means that team had to be good enbough to remain in all 4. Do you see the difference?

    No other team as of today had a chance to win all 4. Chelsea, I would say only have the chance to win the CL while only United and Arsenal can win the remaining three, in that they (United) didnt get to the CC final.

    Can you see how stupid what you are saying is?

  395. time to pick ourselves up we’ve got a replay on Wednesday against orient. I hope the players can get over this loss as soon as possible, no good throwing away all the hard work we’ve done up to this point. We are still 4 points behind leaders united and have a chance to compete in the other cups. all is not lost but we mustn’t dwell on this for too long.
    congratulations to birmingham but we need to move on. And whoever pushed Koscielny in the head as birmingham were celebrating; fuck you that was classless.
    Hope RVP is just short term.

  396. Russ, a supporter supports at all times, if not move along.

    We have beaten this Birmighman team with the same defense. the boys made some mistakes but its obvious that they are good enough or else we wouldnt be where we are. Maybe that is a little bit too much for you to comprehend.

  397. maybe we’ll be written off now and hopefully that takes the pressure off the team so they can just quietly go about their business.

  398. I thought Rosicky was poor today and offered little. For me we lost when RVP went off and Rosicky took the armband.
    We ultimately lost because of our inexperience at the back. Kos and Szc. are good players and have bright futures but they are still very inexperienced at his level. Our day will come!

  399. MikeSA called it right in my opinion early on this season. And got a right bashing for saying that, “we are too nice when it comes to defending”.
    We got done by two set plays. With a bit of basic defending skills and with foul means. We could have dealt with them more effectively.

    We do lack, ‘know how’. When it comes to the dark arts of defending.
    But on the plus side, it can be taught and trained into the team.

    Come on The Arsenal.

  400. Well, I think that Rosicky did play well in the spell from the 60 – 85 minute when we were dominating the play. He had two great opportunities and did manage to create one or two more. However I agree that in the first half he was visibly invisible.

    I think that Song was tired as I can not remember him contributing to the attack and he did not really have to do much in midfield since play went over the wings most of the time. Somebody already pointed out that he had played full 90 minutes in almost all of the last few games and it showed. Not sure if starting Denilson would have been a better choice though because of B’ham’s physicality.

  401. WE played much better today than we did against Stoke. And it looks like we can add Rosicky to the ever-growing list of goats

  402. oh well that was a waste of a game. We loose and RvP is out. In a retrospective look it would have made sense to play Bendy up front save RvP for Barcelona and just play it as an ordinary game instead of a fina.
    We lost anywya today, so mightaswell have saved the key players.
    Anyway, onwards and forwards! Birmingham will be happy today and they have not won shit for a decade. They really will love this, they will celebrate it like it was the CL cup they just won. And that is great. For ones no top 4 team won cc.
    We should be happy for them and look forward towards Barca and United in 5th round.

  403. I support my team, at all times, that means even when I think we are not good enough! So I support my team now, are we good enough no, but I still watch the arsenal game in game out…in the hope we might improve and win something! But am I fucking deluded? NO. Slit of you are, you are the reason other fans us the phrase ‘red tinted glasses’. Wake up. we haven’t won anything for six years for a reason, why else? Answer that????

  404. Injuries, Russ. You can’t deny that having major injuries to players like RVP, Cesc or Gallas last season derailed our train. Same thing happened in 2008 after Eduardo got his log broken. 2008/2009 we were not good enough.

  405. F*ck it. Too much emphasis on winning this bloody thing anyway…all this fostering a “winning mentality” bollocks. It became some kind of weird symbol about Arsenal’s intent. F*ck that. Anyone hijacking our disappointment to vindicate their own stupid theories (hello Joe & Russ)….can f*cking do one as well. It’s a cup final….shit happens. We had BAD luck with injuries. Them’s the breaks. Onwards…
    Let’s win the league and shut all the f*ckers up once and for all.


  406. I’m disappointed and hurt. Went for a long drive to get myself up…

    I like others just hope that this doesn’t affect our season and hope Cesc, RvP and Theo are back soon.. COYRRGs…

  407. Yet more excuses, injuries??? What a load of bollox, if we haven’t learnt that we get injuries every fucking season by now, well, then we will??? just goes to prove my point even more. You can’t have excuses about injuries for six years, because if you don’t learn your lessons from previous seasons then you must not be good enough!!!!

  408. Just back from Wembley fucking furious with Wenger.Birmingham have one tactic hit the balll long to Zigic.Everyone knew that exceptWenger.Dont give away stupid free kicks and corners so Birmingham can expliot him.We were fucking awful for the whole 90mins.Excxept for Jack no one played well.Birmingham are a poor premiership team and they deserved to win because we took them so likely.Who in Birminghams team would get in our team?NONE so the blame lies with Wenger

  409. Russ why don’t you go somewhere else and moan, most on here could not give a fuck what you think anyway.

    Bad result, move on.

  410. Please do not show your stupidity so openly on the internet, Russ. I clearly said we were not good enough in 2008/2009, so no, I am not having an excuse about injuries for six years. You are obviously in denial if you say that injuries to key players do not matter. You can not plan for having someone like Fabregas or RVP out for a whole season. Look at how Chelsea coped with injuries to Lampard, Essien or Alex this season and you will see that injuries clearly matter and you can impossibly plan for having your spine out for half a season.

  411. I need a trophy!! any fukin trophy!! come on Wenger im fukin clukking.

  412. It’s not an “excuse” you miserable bellend it’s a fact.

  413. “Who in Birminghams(sic) team would get in our team?NONE so the blame lies with Wenger”

    What a daft statement. Wenger is to blame for having better players than Birmingham. hahaha

  414. We are AFC we’ll do it the hard way. This loss could have two effects, 1) it could derail our season and 2) it could strengthen the players resolve to actually put things right and win something. Let’s hope it’s the latter effect they experience.

  415. Haha, showing your stupidty on the Internet??? Well by that rule you lot should given up a long time ago!!! Have you ever played football?? If so, guess it was over the park with your mates!

  416. Russ, it’s a simple fact that you do not present any kind of evidence for your observations. You make some statement and when people call you out on it, you just do not have arguments to defend it. That you try to change the topic now is obvious proof of that.

  417. Russ

    You are the weakest link. Fuck off.


  418. One in the bag 3 to go that all wanted to say after the game but it wasn’t to be. We are the better team we were the favorite and rightly so. if we play Birmingham 100 times we would beat them 90 times. but today it was a one off game and we lost it, well we gifted it to them really, the goal was a wrapped gift. The nervousness never went awy throughout the game everytime that long ball pumped to the big guy we looked nervous. ha d it gone to extra time there was going to be only one winner Arsenal, because Birmingham players worked their socks off, they were dead on their legs I could not see how they were going to play another 30 minutes. They showed huge commitments for that 90 minutes. Wilshere was the best thing this evening. Can this loss drive this team on ? time will tell.

  419. We will be back to Wembley this season i am sure of it.

  420. well we did not win. You are all hurt. If AW leaves most of the players will leave to. You can hate him and the team as much as you wont.It will not change the fact we did not win. It will not give us more trophies., You will still be loosers tomorrow. We can buy 11 new players, it will still not guarantee wins.
    But yeh it helps to hate, does it not?
    And when did people start caring so much about the Carling Cup anyway? Most just saw it as a “steppingstone” to get bigger trophies.
    The entire team is to blame, aslo Jack. If they had scored we would have won. Simple as.
    GET OVER IT! You have to. Its the only choice you got. Nothing you do ever can change anything anyway. You still wake up a looser tomorrow.

  421. that post was for Russ btw. It seems like he thinks that if he acts like a twatt everything will go away tomorrow, and he will wake up in a perfect world. …
    IF there is another reason you act like a twatt i would like to know, cos we are all dissapointed and angry. But most of us do not act like twatts.

  422. Dups,

    >Short and sweet YW.

    Rather like the stay that the Brum fans who were sat near to me, had in the stadium. ‘Stand Up For The Arsenal’ and they stayed rigidly in their seats. Zigic scores and they leapt straight into the arms of four stewards who ejected them from the ground. Two families in Birmingham will forever believe the final score to have been 1-0 because that’s what Grandad told us the score was…


  423. HaHa. That was funny Russ. That was killer retort. You are one seriously funny guy Russ. And you know all about managing top flight football as well. ‘Cos you’ve played the game innit? genius.

    Anyway….we lost. I’m gutted. No time to for anyone to wallow though. I hope and pray this disappointment is not blown out of all proportion and becomes something that derails our entire season. It shouldn’t. We are very close.


  424. I’m going to treat you to a selection of the bollocks that I had to listen to this afternoon and evening. Before I start, I have to say that I think that when I hear these sorts talking, I appreciate those of my friends and this blog’s extended family even more.

  425. YW, I have to say I’m really disappointed. I’ve read this blog for years, not daily, but nervertheless, for many years. At times I thought you were more intelligent and more aware than most. I think you are now letting your emotions take over. Let’s be realistic, none of were 100% confident today and those were deluded. This team is not good enough, if we win something this season I’ll come back on here and eat my fucking hat and I’ll take any critism that would rightly come my way. But it won’t, I know that, because I’m realistic about the team I support. Get over it, you write some interesting reports at times, bit it will really mean nothing if it’s not realistic.

  426. Number One:

    Wenger’s never won a big match since he got rid of George Graham’s back four.

  427. I know one thing , we should be winning these games, we have the better team the better players so why didnt we win, we looked scared from the off. we can rally behind our team all we like and get our optimistic war paint on but the brutal truth is we didnt beat an inferior team to win a trophy.

  428. ..girlfriend’s rissotto has helped. I made the vinaigrette. I’ve always made a good vinaigrette.

  429. Russ

    If you’d been reading the blog for years, you’d have been expecting that response. I’ve just walked in from Wembley and am not happy; if you want to pick holes in a performance, do so but do so intelligently. You’ve failed to do that thus far, stooping to tabloid voxpops instead.


  430. LA

    I’ve found my evening is being helped by the bottles of Fullers Vintage Ale quaffed at the Mad Bishop at Paddington on the way home. And the bottle of Marston’s Owd Rodger now being necked. Got to be honest, expecting a bit of a hangover in the morning.


  431. bradys right foot

    Gutted but beaten by a better team. Granted we were poor but Kozzer and Chezney will be distraugh, massive job to lift the players but a bit of perspective is needed. All this shit about not being good enough is complete bollocks, we are currently 2nd in the league because up to now weve been the 2nd best team in the league, the 2nd most resilient. How do we cross that line simply by doinbg it. If we put ourselves consistently into contention we’ll have our day just like Birmingham today. Congratulations to Birmingham but whoever hit Kozzer on the head after the winner is an absolute cunt very unsporting. One big plus is we have so many games coming up we can put this result behind us, poor Orient are in for a smacking.

  432. c’mon birmingham are shite, we dint lose to Chelsea or Man utd but fukin Birmimgham..dont know what to say about it, it’s a shock result fuck all that its afinal anything can happen, we should be winning against inferior opposition regardless of there will to win.

  433. I agree with Ole Gunner.

    I think we should ignore the media analysis from this result. We lost for several reasons, but I don’t think we particularly deserved to lose, nor Birmingham to win. Singling out a poor performance from Rosicky is one analysis, but I think it was the players out, or could have been available that robbed us of our attacking edge, not the inclusion of Rosicky. Ramsey, Diaby, Walcott and Cesc were all absent. Vermaelen is also absent. VP going off early also influenced the result.

    We can’t make too many excuses, as what we had should have been enough. On the other hand, this does not feel like previous cup final defeats, in that we know that the quartet of Cesc, Walcott, VP and Nasri was missing, and that the team performance is normally at a much higher level.

    Our congested fixtures have not helped. Physically, I think we were 2nd best today. But we are still 2nd in the league, and we have the best away record in the country. The media analysis will focus on weak defence and lack of leaders. But they won’t explain how we have the best away record in the country. Their analysis will be fundamentally flawed.

    Also, all this guff about 6 years and no trophies. Remember that 95% of the market in the last 6 years has been cornered by £1.4 billion of expenditure of the mancs and chavs. And that’s what they’ve declared.

    I still think we will have a good FA cup run and we have a great chance of the premiership. The CL will depend on injuries. If Cesc/Nasri and Wilshere play we have a chance.

    COYG !!

  434. Number Two (after an Arsenal corner came to nought and ball was dead)

    “1,2,3,4,5,6,7…come on Djourou you lazy bastard, get back you’re out of position”

    Now given that JD covered 60 metres in around seven or eight seconds, I thought this was harsh. And then I turned around and saw that the vocal critic was a pissed 18 stone man who would have had a heart attack walking 60 feet let alone running 60 metres.


  435. I believe Arsenal should win every game dg as I think we have the best team but in a one off anything can happen.

    barcelona were the best team last season and all they could come up with was to win a league with only one rival, which was no rival.

    As far as russ, I feel foolish for arguing with an individual that doesnt understand the difference between now and the beginning of the season and respect the accomplishments of the team thus far.

  436. CG, Chelsea or United were not in the final though. Birmingham played better than them in this competition.

  437. Number Three:

    “I’m burning my season ticket”

    Pleas to be given said season ticket fell on deaf ears…

  438. even me little one is stressed out, she is only two but she is very upset tonight.

  439. Cup Finals are nearly always great levellers & as usual there is more than one reason for todays defeat.

    It was the first `major` final for more than half the side & we looked off the pace from the start. Tactically I thought Arsene got it wrong with Rosicky & Nasri but that`s being picky. Brum didn`t outplay us but you can`t concede goals like we did today & hope to win big matches.

    My biggest concern is the mental issues the defeat brings with it. Try telling the team it`s `only the Carling Cup`.

    Still , we go on. We are Arsenal – win , lose or draw !

  440. its hilarious when someone comes on here saying stupid shit like that Russ character because immediately after i see at least 10 people just completely turning his argument to shite. quality. Pretty disappointing today, but we also have 4 or 5 more games to watch in the next two weeks! sounds good to me.

  441. From our players on twitter:

    Persie_Official: I’m very sorry that we didn’t bring CC back to north london!Thanks for ur support today!Sorry again!

    cesc4official: Congratulations to Birmingham.This team has great potential and there r still great targets to play for this season.Thanks for ur support.

    Sagnaofficial: Just feel ashamed..sorry.

    jack_wilshere: All i can say is sorry to the hurts alot i know but we must all stick together,still in 3 other comps!We have to move on!Sorry ❤

  442. Bradys right foot

    As if this week didn’t start of badly enough I have to cheer on the Chavs on Tuesday night, the ends justify the means. We should have had enough to win today but we did miss Fabregas hope he’s back for the Sunderland match and for the rest of the season.

  443. I think everyone is delight with birmingham winning except Arsenal and Villa fans, we love the underdogs in this country. I so badly wanted to rub their noses in it but we have to acccept what has happened and move on, I will not be surprised to hear things like “Wenger should go” and all that crap. the players need to react positively to this result starting against Orient. I’m sure they will be itching to prove a point.They simply can’t feel sorry for themselves.

  444. YW – it makes you wonder why they don’t take up knitting instead of going to a football match.

  445. Paul N, again, I dont know how many times I need to poin this out, but at start of the season we’d won nothing. Six months on we’ve won nothing. That is fact. If at the end of the season this situation changes then have your day in the sun but, until then, why don’t you shut the fuck up. You talk dreams but not reality. Of course it’s comforting, but not it’s not real.

  446. Russ, do you wake up every morning thinking you are one day closer to death?

  447. Birmingham have beaten Arsenal twice in 29 games and one of those victories is this final. Very unfortunate.

  448. Russ, how many people win things at the start of the season? why dont you take time to read what you write before you click on post comment.

    The only team that isnt dreaming of winning is Birmingham right now but thats their lot, isnt it. They would prefer to be in our position, dont you know.

    so you would have me to believe that we would win nothing so I can be a jerk after a loss and say “I told you so, wake up, we are not good enough”?

    Thats no support at all and for me you are a glory hunter.

  449. Numberten or Number 10

    Parc de Princes, Copenhagen, Stade de France, Millenium Stadium. All defaets and I was there. What really pissed me off today was the way the Arsenal end emptied. Our team don’t deserve that; in fact they don’t deserve the fans who claim to be fans! A guy behind me was calling the team a bunch of losers at the final whistle; which of course was factually correct but what an absolute CUNT!
    If you only want to support success well, I really don’t know what to say.

  450. I will not shut up I will keep defending the team against characters such as yourself. Remember it was you who came on here disrespecting people for keeping the faith. It would be better if we were all as miserable as you, innit?

  451. First time poster, long time lurker… I actually laughed at the result… Just what the meeeja wanted, the irony is not lost on me… Fair play to brum, but honestly, I dont care, never have done, and not about to start now just cos we were supposed to end the so called drought… Its defeats like these that make the victories all the more worthwhile… Come on, lets be honest, who genuinely cares about the cup and who cares about all the bullShit that will come our way? I was in the latter for 10 minutes after the whistle had blown but soon realised that feeling that way is bollockS…. We are brilliant this season, dont let the result change your view…

  452. Oh yeah, big respect to all the regulars for keeping it real, this blog is one of a kind, same as our team…

  453. Disappointed for the boys that they couldn’t quite make it happen in the end. Hopefully with our support they get over it quickly and move onto the other targets, which are still within our reach as long as we don’t overplay the significance of this result. It may have been a final, but it was just another game and like Arsene says, we cannot afford to throw away 38 games (PL) for the sake of 1 game.

  454. At the end of the day Birmingham won because they wanted it more.They stuck by their game plan.We were awful. And once again we lost because of DEFENSIVE ERRORS.Its time Wenger admited he knows nothing about defence and brought in Martin Keown as Defensive coach

  455. Fake Frank- You make me laugh

  456. Upset. Devasted. Unconsolable..
    Now we will see what this team is truly made of.
    Over the years i’ve witnessed my fair share of cup final defeats combined with absolutley shocking goals so its not a biggy. Thats just football. We’ll win one again soon but will it be this year? I dont know.. I’m not as confident as i was but i’ve just watched my team play like shit in a final so maybe i will feel different in a few days when its sank in.
    Well played Brum they totally outplayed us and deserved to have their time in the limelight. We cracked and never turned up and the game should have been over in the second it was the right result in the end.
    But losing a final in feb could have massive consequences on the rest of the season.
    It’s time to sink or swim.
    Can this team do it?? I dont know after watching that performance. I really dont..

  457. Big ups to Kaotek, comment of the day for me!

  458. JonJon, totally outplayed? no way, we were the better team for most of the 2nd half.

    Not suprised by your comment though.

  459. It is highly disrespectful to the team to say that we were outplayed. We had a flurry of chances all only denied because Foster was having the game of his life.

  460. kaotek
    of course you are right..
    but i must say i care about the bullshit cos ive got to go to work tomorrow with a load of spud, chav and manc fans and im going to get slaughtered left right and centre..for about a week..maybe a month..and if we win nothing this year it will go on all summer…
    its pretty much gone on for the past 6 seasons lol..

  461. Not The Real Frank

    1 loose cannon Are you seriously telling we we didnt lose because of defensive errors?

  462. Wasn’t Foster given MoTM? If he was it shows we had a good few chances but not a lucky deflection.

  463. Its funny how all these so called fans are so delusional. You want to label me, and everyone like me, well go ahead…in just the same way that I complain and it makes no difference, you slag me off and it makes no difference. I don’t give a fuck what any of you think. Tellme to fuck off, tell me I’m a negative cunt, it’s doesn’t matter…it’s not the point. The point is this, I love Arsenal football club, I regard it asine of the best in Europe, but WE CANNOT carry on pretending. We are not good enough, it’s bot because I say so, it’s because the last 5 or so years prove it. I want us to fucking win, more than anything, and that is where my frustration comes from. But when you want to win so badly you cannot accept defeat, especially for nearly 6 years. I know you want believe we are better than this, but results (this one and those in recent history) don’t lie.

  464. Frank – how can you talk such nonsense about our defence. We have the best away record in the league. You could not have that with a bad defence.

  465. @Russ
    You repeat the same thing you have been saying for hours but you still do not have one single argument.

  466. After a few hours of it settling in a bit, this really meant nothing. I would still feel like shit if we had won and then lost on all other fronts. This year we’ve seen a massive improvement in our team and we are certainly capable of reaching greatness. The only way to do that is to have a fucking plan ‘B’. When RVP and Cesc are out were a completely different team. This has to change if we have any chance of gaining anything from any season.

    The litmus test for our team is in the next few weeks, reserve your judgement until then. For now show the boys some fucking support, please. I felt like Wilshere did after the game i’m sure many of you did too but some people on here don’t have half the passion shown by Wilshere today. Judge the team after the season is done but for now give 110%. The team knows they fucked it up theres really no point in piling into them with emotionally fuelled comments that are devoid of any logic or reason. C’mon these are the same guys that beat Barca just a week ago. C’MON PPL!!!! Show some fucking heart.

  467. Russ – did the win over Barca tell you we were not good enough then? Utter crap.

  468. i think theres no shame to be gracious in defeat and accept the better team won
    we didnt play well today at all and credit must go to brum for their dogged display..

  469. Not The Real Frank

    Paul N
    other than JW who played up to their ability. The truth is no one.Birmingham are a team looking relegation in the face.Memories of Luton 88

  470. Not The Real Frank

    Paul N
    other than JW who played up to their ability. The truth is no one.Birmingham are a team looking relegation in the face.Memories of Luton 1988

  471. dont be angry russ
    weve done well up until today..
    remember the newcastle result..everyone was down and out and then wolves went and kicked man utd in the balls for us and it all changed round.
    we need utd to drop a few points in the next seven days and then we’ll assess the situation again after tues..
    u never know..

  472. I keep thinking that if we’d won, a big stink would have been made about the poor offside call that denied Brum a penalty and would have led to us playing with 10 and Big Al in goal. So we weren’t going to win either way as far as the plundits are concerned.
    That said, I don’t get Arsene sometimes. Brum basically has one tactic for scoring- get the ball to the head of the tall guy either with free kicks or long balls. So first corner they win, we concede on a header. Meanwhile, our fullbacks are beating their markers and getting crosses into the box for a 5’3″ Russian when we have a 6’5″ Dane and a 6’2″ Morrocan on the bench who are both good in the air. Call it second guessing if you want, but did it make sense to leave our height on the bench in this match? Arshavin did get a nice turn early and was denied by Foster, but from a purely tactical standpoint he should have been used as an impact sub today- in fact on most days that seems to be where he’s best used. Brum would have had a lot to deal with if either Bendtner or Chamakh had been lurking in the box on some of those crosses in the first half.
    I think from this point we need to play as many reserves as possible against Orient and hope they can get the job done. If not, so be it. It’s not the worst thing to miss out on a trip to OT right after playing Barca. The Prem should be priority 1, 2 and 3. It’s actually our best chance at winning anything. We’ve hurt ourselves by having to play unnecessary games against the likes of Leeds and Orient in order to advance in these Cups when what we really should prioritize is the league.

  473. One of the problems today was the sheer weight of expectation.

    I think everyone needs to get some perspective (a complete media lockdown will help) & get behind the team.

    They`re going to need us.

  474. Not The Real Frank

    Best away defence in the league but not when it mattered.Lo0k at the league table and see where Birmingham are.They are a shit team

  475. And i think its time we taught our defenders how to hoof and clog as well as play with twinkle toes cos it was only a matter of time before composure and finess ( or a momentery loss of) lost us a valuable game.
    its games like those where the ball needs to be kicked into space and not fucked about with in the last minutes of a cup final..
    I dont care if someone shouts..if your foot is closest to the ball in a dangerous area then its your foot that goes through said ball and you argue the toss with your GK about what you should or shouldnt have done once it goes over the fucking stands and not when its in the back of the net..
    our defence and goalkeeping was shocking today…shocking

  476. Fake Frank- To suggest keown is better than Wenger is rather silly and laughable. Just because a player was a good defender it does not make him a good coach. Yes we lost because of one silly error I put it down to lack of experience and not coaching or quality. The basic rule in defending is clear the ball to row Z then think about it. There was a mix up, things went wrong. but next time Kolcieny will make sure it lands in row Z. this is all part of learning yes a costly lesson but we’ll bounce back. Its fresh and it hurts Birmingham will go back to the championship at some point and no one will ever remember this final except the Brummies. Arsenal will move on to better things and it will be forgotten.

  477. both goals were silly errors really..

  478. and does anyone know what the crack is with robin cos once he scored he stopped running..

  479. it just gets worse

  480. Szczesny’s hype is in danger of outstripping his actual performances.

  481. It’s obvious Szczesny called out to Koscielny to leave the ball. But his call was late which is why Koscielny didn’t boot the ball into Preston Park.

  482. Thank God the Chelsea-Manu game is on tuesday. The right result for us could ease some of the pain from today and it also means we only have to endure the media barrage tomorrow before the hype moves on to that game on tuesday.

    Chin up guys

  483. “Szczesny’s hype is in danger of outstripping his actual performances.”

    It’s interesting how silent certain people are about this issue – had Fabianski or Almunia been in goal we would not be hearing the end of it. I’m not going to slate a young defender or goalkeeper for an error, but there are many who would had it not been one of their favourites.

    Two games a week since Christmas seem to be taking their toll. I just hope Arsene can get them motivated and focussed again for the next game. This one is history and no amount of bitching or apportioning of blame is going to change that fact. I think the ones who are most upset are those who bought into the media hype, which suggested we had to win this one to win anything else. We’ll never know until the end of the season, but we could have won this and lost everything else, or we could lose this and win a more important trophy. If you’re a supporter, you just get on with supporting. There’s another game on Wednesday and these boys need us to be behind them to lift them after the disappointment of losing today.

  484. JonJon, I have no issue with saying Birmingham won but saying we were totally outclassed is over the top, thats not the case.

    People keep harping on the fact that they are relegation bound but the fact is they got to the CC final, not Chelsea, Spurs, United, Man City, etc. Lets use common sense, they obviously have played well in this competition and better than the best.
    Saying they are relegation bound, misses the whole point. How the heck did they get to the Final?

  485. Great comment Passenal!

  486. Just got back from the game.

    I agree with Passenal. And, I have never ever been convinced by this tin pot piece of crap called The Carling Cup. And, I am now utterly unconvinced by the Wembley experience. Great sight lines but sadly it is like watching football in a morgue, with a disembodied voice reminding you every thirty seconds that you should not throw bottles, leave luggage or smoke. All they want is your money. Drink piss, queue up to piss and then fuck off as quickly as possible.

    However I have to say that Arsenal fans are the worst in the EPL. Within seconds of the Brummy cunts second goal our half of the stadium was empty. No applause for our players…nothing. When RvP lead the lads to get there losers medals I doubt if there were more tham 2000 of us left.

    A disgrace.

  487. i am really disappointed with paul merson for his comments after the match. to paraphrase he thinks arsene should stop buying players from france, belgium, and holland because the leagues there are not good enough. he also thinks rvp should have played on because it would have been worth th the risk to lose him for a couple of weeks had we won

  488. Oh I see someone is commenting on my behalf? Why is that? I thought the better team lost today. By a country mile. RvPs goal was astonishing. clickclickclick

  489. mj_gunner @ 6.26 – use a step ladder I guess. There should be a rule banning giraffes from playing football.
    At least it wasn’t Swindon.
    Self-imposed exile over, bring on the next game.

  490. RvP came off because he needs to be available to beat Barcelona. Simple. Anyone who does not understand that is a simpleton.

  491. I know I am not a frequent or even popular contributor on here these days, YW, but I would appreciate you letting me know who this person with the same name as me is. Maybe we just have the same name? If not then I assume that there is a little malevolence abroad. I would like to seek satsfaction if that is the case.

  492. In the wee small hours of the night, in this very quiet time, I have just handed over my season tickets to the next generation. Our support needs more energy than I can provide. We have become very poor supporters but my next of kin are real stayers and very vocal.


  493. We will be back!!!Can someone lend Paul Merson a big bag of grit. He, like some fans folds too easily as a pundit when the chips are down. Still a lot more to play for.COYG. We still believe.

  494. We love you Frank! The fake one can f*** off!!

  495. Is it weird that I care more about VanPersie’s health than losing that game? We absolutely need him for the real competitions this season…he has to be there for Barca, we are not the same team without him…Please be ok RVP please…Fuck this Carling Cup, just give me a fit RVP…

  496. Feeling bitter. Disappointed.

    But this is just another game we didn’t take our chances. Our own doing. Can’t blame others for our fall. I hope our guys have mental strength to bounce back from this setback and gun down all the remaining opponents.

    Really feel sorry for Kos and Chez. And I am certain that they have learned a valuable lesson.

  497. “Lets just blame it on Denilson, he always passes the ball side ways.”
    “He wasn’t playing playing!”
    “But he was on the bench wasn’t he?”
    “Yes! But what has that got to do with us losing?”
    “He kept looking sideways!”

  498. was winning the carling cup important? Ofcourse it was! Winning any cup is important especially as no team has yet won the quadruple and I was hoping we’d be the first. Well, there’s always next year. Still three more cups to be won!

  499. Jon jon- I get that, I really do, but that’s football innit? Come on, it’s the carling fucking cup, I mean at the end of the day, we’ve still won more trophies than 95% of other teams, so those that parrot “5 years” really should shut the fuck up unless they are mancs or chavs…

    Paul- thanks man, when I woke up I had to check that I hadn’t left an illegible mess, as I was a bit drunk and on my phone when I wrote it…

  500. Seriously I was way more angry after the spuds match, which says it all about the meh-ness(?) of the cc… Would have been vaguely pleased if we had won, but more because it would have shut up the media than because we’d won a trophy…

  501. I guess we all react differently to disappointment,

    The russ’s of this world act like petulant brats and throw their toys out the cot, generally kicking out at everyone else in frustration.

    Others become introspective.

    We are all different.

    Basically russ, if you barge on here, wailing like a 2 year old, calling everyone deluded etc, without any logical argument or even any vague point worth making, clearly lacking any modicum of intellect, people are not going to spare you much time or have much patience with you.

    So, to make it clear, you are too stupid to be allowed to breathe, fuck off.

    For the rest: the team don’t have the luxury of doing anything other than getting back on the horse, which they have to do on Wednesday vs Orient.

    Personally I think blaming the two youngsters in defence is pointless.

    If we’d focused and taken advantage of our superior control and possesion, one seemingly calamitous mistake in defence is always possible, no matter how well trained etc etc your defence is, these things happen.

    At the end of the day, if we hadn’t dawdled around till the last 10 minutes of the game, the chances are strong that we would have had at least a 1 goal cushion to take it into an extra 30 minutes.

    The fact that we did not have that cushion is what cost us, not the fluke mistake.

  502. Frank

    The bit about not smoking was interesting, well, not as mundane as it could have been since they will only kick you out of the stadium if you are a ‘repeated offender’. So if you want a fag there, have one at half-time and they won’t kick you out.


  503. Bitterly disappointed yesterday, but believe the two players involved in yesterdays mix up to the second goal were our best players on the pitch yesterday and i believe will still be, but how prepared were we both as a team and fans? I guess we had the cup in the bag before kick- off with i being no exception to that, with the belief that we could out run birmingham but lack of communication was not only for Szcezny and Koscielny but with the team as a whole there were lots of loose passes which is uncommon for arsenal, I stand to be corrected or informed more on what i may say next but for the fans looked like we were at an away game, most part of the stadium was blue except for just the section behind Szcezny’s post in the second half were some fans where, not many for a team based in london compared to other finals I have seen arsenal play at wembley.

  504. I have lost count of the number of games where the opposition keeper is man of the match and we lose to a stupid mistake. It’s annoying and depressing.

    And “miscommunication” or “communication problem” is a complete misnomer. Koscielny obviously heard the shout from Szcezsny, that’s why he pulled out of the clearance and got the slight touch which lead to the fumble. What he should have done was go through with it and boot it into touch and they can argue about it afterwards. Inexperience and feeling the pressure, nothing more, nothing less.

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