An unhappy end to Arsenal’s Carling Cup run. Their defense was shambolic.Tomas Rosicky lost two balls that led to two goals, the first by Carlos Tevez who ran around Song and Eboue before unleashing a shot to put City ahead and the second by Shaun Wright Phillips whose pace was too torrid for Armand Traore and Mikel Silvestre. His long range blast was too hot for Fabianski to handle.
The dazed Arsenal defense had not seen the worst yet when Ireland swung the ball wide to the left for Craig Bellamy who took the ball upfield slicing through Song and Wilshere and then nutmegging Silvestre for a pass to Vladimir Weiss for his first City goal.
Wenger has been clear in his priorities. He does not give too much importance to the League Cup.
“We’ve not won a trophy since 2005 but I do not consider that if we win the Carling Cup you will jump around and say, ‘We have won a trophy.”
The bad blood continues with Hughes. His refusal to shake hands with City’s manager after the match was over is rooted in the bitter feud that developed between the two men when Hughes was the manager of Blackburn.
The 2005 FA Cup semi-final saw a very physical Blackburn side make some very hard challenges which led Wenger to call them “Bully Boys”. In turn, Hughes had accused Arsenal of practicing the ‘dark arts’ which carries xenophobic connotations. Fabregas had also featured in the war of words questioning Hughes accomplishments at Barca as a player.
However even Wenger will concede, the way Arsenal lost today is unsettling. Three matches and the same pattern. Ominously old failings are resurfacing.Too soft and reactive on defense and at the other end very little return for all that ball possession.