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Arsenal 1 Birmingham City 2

This really did feel like out chance. Arsenal had lost their last two finals previous to yesterday, but those defeats had been meted out by Chelsea in their prime and Barcelona. I honestly thought we would banish the hoodoo. I was nervous, but rather excited making the trip to North West London. A smooth journey into Marylebone was had as we journeyed to the Castle pub in Harrow on the Hill for some lunch and a few pre match jars. Marylebone seemed to be a sea of blue as Birmingham fans arrived earliest, determined to enjoy their day. Indeed, by the time we swung through the doors of the Castle shortly before noon, we were greeted by a minibus party from the Midlands who roundly booed our entrance. As I`d departed home mid morning, London was bathed in a watery, but cool spring sunshine. Come 2.45pm and departure for Wembley Park, sheeting rain greeted our walk down Wembley Way. There`s something very visually correct about a team in red and a team in blue playing one another at Wembley in a glorious contrast of colour.

We arrived in the stadium at about quarter to four, tense, but confident that I had seen the ingredients in the team over the last few months to conquer the proverbial monkey on the back and get the job done. But within 120 seconds, we were counting our blessings. Gardner aimed a high ball for Zigic, not for the first time, Arsenal stood off the gangly Croatian, he chested the ball down for Lee Bowyer, who had raced past the idle Alex Song and found himself taken down in the box by Szczesny. Fortunately we were rescued by one of the worst offside calls you`re likely to see this season. Sat where we were, on the halfway line in the upper tier, it was rather obvious Bowyer was well onside and we realised we had escaped. Maybe it was to be our day, we thought aloud. Deprived of Fabregas, Arsenal struggled to establish any emphasis in their passing game. But Nasri did weave an intelligent ball into Arshavin in the area, the Russian turned Roger Johnson but hit his shot straight at Ben Foster`s legs. Nasri again looked to provide the spark in Cesc`s absence, but in truth, it`s a rather massive void to fill. Nasri did dip and dummy and feint around three Birmingham defenders before lashing the ball over from a tight angle.

Birmingham were closing Arsenal down rabidly and the pressing game indirectly led to their opener, as Wilshere allowed himself to be intimidated by Bowyer`s urgent pressing, allowing a Sagna pass to escape him. Fahey sent in a cross which Koscielny headed behind for a corner. Seb Larsson pinged the resulting delivery to Roger Johnson on the penalty spot; he beat Koscielny to the ball whilst Djourou inexplicably wandered away from Zigic, allowing him a free header to put Birmingham into the lead. Arsenal`s response was good and they almost equalised immediately, when Wilshere found Sagna on the right and his excellent delivery was headed millimetres wide by van Persie. However, disaster nearly struck when once again, Arsenal refused to try and attack a long ball, this time to Gardner, who flicked the ball onto Zigic. The Croatian went clean through on the keeper, but Szczesny made himself big and made the stop. Considering Birmingham`s main tactic was to provide flick ons on the edge of the area; it is simply astounding that Song was nowhere to be seen time and again in tracking Birmingham`s runners. I have to say I think the occasion rather got to Song, given how careless he was in possession to boot.

But the Gunners prodded and eventually found an equaliser. Arshavin teed up Wilshere on the edge of the area, his shot crashed the Wembley crossbar as he began to wheel away in celebration. Arshavin was alive to the rebound, controlling it in the area and accelerating past Ridgewell to the by-line, before clipping the ball back to van Persie, who swivelled and hit a right foot volley into the bottom corner. In doing so, he wrapped his knee around Jiranek`s hip and eventually had to go off. With Fabregas and Walcott already missing and the prognosis for van Persie "not good" according to the manager, it is difficult not to get the feeling that injuries are threatening to rip a promising season apart yet again. The end of the half looked promising for Arsenal when Nasri fired in a shot from range which Ben Foster palmed away. I was convinced that the Gunners had got over their wobble and would complete the job in the second half.

A few minutes into the second period, the Gunners put together their best move of the match. Arshavin hit a cross field pass to van Persie, the Dutchman flicked an intelligent ball down the line for Sagna and his cut back found Rosicky, but his sweeping shot flew just wide. But the Gunners game quickly went stale again. Without Cesc on board, we really are a good deal less than 50% of the team, as evidenced in the last 3 matches. Wilshere over hit a pass intended for Djourou, Beausajour muscled Djourou off the ball, teed up Fahey, his initial shot was blocked by Koscielny, but when the rebound fell to him, he prodded a shot against the inside of the post. We breathed a sigh of relief, in hindsight, it might have been better had it gone in. At least we would have had time to recover. Van Persie eventually had to come off, whilst Arshavin also made way for Chamakh. With Clichy on a yellow card and Arshavin continually standing by and performing a watching brief as 34 year old Stephen Carr showed him a clean pair of heels time and again, it was the correct decision to remove him.

Arsenal had a renewed impetus and began to pin the Blues back into their own area. Roger Johnson could barely walk (McLeish later revealed that he hadn`t trained all week). Bendtner picked his way through a crowded penalty area and forced a save from Ben Foster and Foster showed quick hands to prevent Rosicky from nudging the rebound home. Nasri`s low cross found Rosicky, but Foster was quickly out to smother the Czech`s back heel flick. Arsenal were beginning to pepper the Birmingham goal and Foster was again called into action when Nasri fired another shot from range. Foster deservedly picked up the man of the match award, but in truth, he would have been disappointed not to have saved any of the shots he did. For the most part, Arsenal`s shooting lacked precision. Only van Persie`s goal and Rosicky`s attempt from Sagna`s cross went anywhere near the corner. Extra time looked to be on the cards, Birmingham were out on their feet but still plugging away on pure adrenaline. But catastrophe was afoot. Foster sent a long free kick into Arsenal`s area, Zigic won the flick on but the ball was dropping harmlessly towards Szczesny. The goalkeeper gave a shout as Koscielny prepared to hook clear, both players neglected their duties and the ball broke loose to Obefami Martins, who was merely standing still in the area. He rolled the ball into an empty net and Birmingham are League Cup winners this morning. The total c*** that slapped Koscielny on the head as he wheeled away deserves nothing but bad things for the rest of his career. If Fabregas only giving away two of his shirts to Huddersfield players is worthy of the scorn it received, then surely this deserves at least one or two column inches. Anyway, I suppose it doesn`t really matter now.

What matters is that Birmingham won the game and we have blown an inviting chance to get the trophy monkey off the back and build a platform for better things. I do wonder if Fabregas looked on yesterday and asked himself, "Do I really have to do everything myself?" We rather shot ourselves in the foot in a way that is becoming alarmingly regular. I really thought we were going to win yesterday and show that we`d changed, but the collective schizophrenia reared its head again at the worst possible time. The clucking of tongues and the sharpening of knives will be heard in the distance and it is a worry as to what effect this will have on the rest of our season. But whilst losing a final is incredibly gutting, it`s a part of life when you support a club that gets to so many. (United have lost ten finals since 1981). The recriminations will be swift and biting, but there really is no point in performing any diagnoses until May. This stands as a huge test of our resolve and character. I`m talking about supporters as well as players. There`s still silverware to be had in this season if our resolve is correct. The best thing we can do is turn up on Wednesday night in force and in full voice. As tempting as it is to pout and strop, that is only going to be counterproductive. The players will be very down and we need to do everything we can to pick them up and forge something memorable for the season. There are still plenty of chances to do so. "What is defeat? Nothing but education; nothing but the first step to something better." Wendell Phillips.LD.

53.SZCZESNY, 3.SAGNA, 20.DJOUROU, 6.KOSCIELNY, 22.CLICHY, 17.SONG, 19.WILSHERE, 7.ROSICKY, 8.NASRI, 23.ARSHAVIN (29.Chamakh `76), 10.v.PERSIE (52.Bendtner `68). Unused; 1.Almunia, 15.Denilson, 18.Squillaci, 27.Eboue, 28.Gibbs.

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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday February 28 2011

Time: 1:11PM

Your Comments

I was just as gutted about not being surprised as I was the end result. Very disappointed.
I can't remember your lot in many finals lately, Barcelona in the CL and Chelsea in the CC both of which you lost .Perhaps you can jog my memory....The winning goal showed you something that you need. A decent goalie and centre back,plus bottle, but Wenger won't see it...which suits everyone bar you.
Song is a strong player, but he's alarmingly imprecise and unquestionably clumsy. He invariably gives away free kicks in dangerous positions and has a habit of stumbling on the ball when put under pressure. I want to see him succeed but my gut feeling is he isn't a terribly intelligent footballer, in the way that Jack is.
Wyn Mills
Brilliant report, LD. Summed up the event and the issues quite nicely. I, for one, was so certain it would be a win for the Arsenal and had begun preparing a "monkey off our backs" post in readiness for the victory dance; so, I imagine the players must have had a tinge of complacency, as well.

It isn't the end of the world and certainly not the end of our season but a lot will depend on how the players react to this. We need to put this game behind us and settle down into the task at hand: going as far as possible in the FA and CL while staying close enough to United to take advantage of their eventual slip-up in the EPL. If the lads don't recover, it will be deja vu. The team do need the fans as much as the fans need the team to get a firm grip of things and show some character. From now, it should be talk less and do more.
Finals Galatasaray 2000, Liverpool 2001, Chelsea 2002, Southampton 2003, Man United 2005, Barcelona 2006, Chelsea 2007, Birmingham 2011. League titles in 2002 & 2004. 8 Finals & two leagues is not to shabby is it springy.
Arsenal are without question a fantastic side, but again it seems clear that the defensive side to your game is what will let you down again, add the fact that there doesnt seem to be a natural leader in the squad, I can see this again being another season of close but no cigar.
Their first goal started from a sloppy pass from Sagna to Wilshere and I think generally our back five had a collective bad day. My reaction to the Birmingham goal was rather muted because I somehow felt it was inevitable that they would score like this in the 89th minute. This is a season defining moment where implosion is a very real possibility. We need to exorcise the defeat and develop some inner strength from the indignation and disappointment. Sadly, our injury list is growing ever longer and so the squad needs to step up and carry us through. Squeaky bums all round.
Sir Henry
Even if we’d won, no doubt the media would start about how we’ve only got the Carling Cup to show and haven’t won any major trophies for 6 years, so we’ll never win that battle. It’s amazing really, the way that Wilshere tried to take the game by the scruff of the neck and drive the team forward. Not everyone is the same and can play like that, but you would have expected more from Song. Rosicky just isn’t made for that role he played yesterday; Nasri would have been the better option even without hindsight. We’re really going to learn a lot about this team’s character and mental strength now and as fans have to play our part. Absolutely pivotal two weeks coming up now with our games against Orient, Sunderland, Barca and Man Utd, and Man Utd’s games against Chavs and Scousers. Don’t feel confident without RvP and Cesc not there.
I don't even think there is a massive issue with the defense plus keeper. Stoke played the same tactics as Brum on Wednesday and got no joy at all, there was far less pressure in that game and no panic from the back 4. Dealing with pressure and game situations is what does for this set of players time and time again.
And i know nothing would make you happier Oxford Spur. Maybe you can dedicate another article about the joys of Arsenal not winning. Spurs fans have a need to collectivly jer*k off everytime Arsenal fail. Everytime we lose Facebook & my inbox are flooded with Spurs fans rejoicing & mocking, its looks sad and small time really. My satisfaction comes from Arsenal Success not Spurs failures, but hey thats the way it is
A lot is being made of koselny being slapped around the head. But this was not the case. The player in question meant to ruffle his hair, it was a sign of sportmanship and soldarity, a sort of "chin up son", a bit like the manly grab around the back of the neck. But in the chaos he got too much purchase on it, and it jarred Kos's head somewhat. Nothing sinister, the opposite. Players understand what players go through and can react emotionally in unexpected ways even if the they happen to be benefitting from the incident. Nothing compared to what Rooney did.
Tony Rocky Horror
I normally think you post some decent stuff on VS Ox but that Birmingham article was pretty small time. Its not like we flooded your site after defeats against Fulham and Blackpool.
Song didn't have a particularly great game, but he wasn't particularly bad either. He's had a great season so far and is still a young player so will continue to improve. I would rather him than Essien, De Jong or Fletcher as he has ability to create as well as defend. I would rather not point fingers at individual players and get behind the team as there are more important trophies at stake. I'll feel a lot better if Chelsea can take points off Man Utd. tomorrow.
Oxfordspur, another one with the "no natural leader" comment? Without this mythical natural leader, this team has continued to play in the top echelon of competitive soccer for the best part of a decade now, certainly in the last 5 years. In doing so, we have been ahead of teams, purportedly, with natural leaders, on the league table and done well all round. So, where is the place of this 'natural leader' in a team with such consistency? What we need is a healthy dose of belief, fewer errors and some luck and that's that.
Bowie, hate to admit it but United losing tomorrow will be the right tonic for the team as it negotiates the path to recovering from this. If that doesn't happen, we have to find another way :-)
A Chelsea win and we knock the mighty Orient out of the cup, things will start looking rosy again within 72 hours, shame Rooney didn't get a suspension tho (",)
A shame or a f'@king disgrace of epic proportions?
The problem is Iceman that there are rules in place which state that if the referee has dealt with it, then the people above are powerless to act. The disgrace is that these rules exist. The idea that reviewing a referees decision undermines hims is ridiculous and needs to be changed. Especially when it comes to violent acts. Even that rules that says you cant dispute a yellow card, even if the ref has got it completely wrong. That yellow could mean a player misses the next match.
Agree with the write up, we should have been down to ten men after the linesman cocked up the offside. If that had have happened we would have been well and truly out of the race. I think Song forgot Cesc was not there. Surprised they did not start with nick and would I think have been better bringing on Arshavin as a sub. Starting to get over itnow looking forward to Wednesday, come lads do us proud.
A fackin disgrace about Rooney iceman. There has not been a more blatant and obvious elbow in the whole 2010-2011 season and yet Rooney gets away with it. Ofcourse it has to be said that if Rooney played for any other team barring United he would probably have been punished. Instead Sir Alex F word says "it was nothing" before putting pressure on the media. Can you imagine what would have happened if Arsene Wenger had said the same thing about a similar incident. Hope the chavs undo the mancs tomorrow.
TRH, your take on Bowyer's slap on Kos' head is contradicted by his teammate Seb Larsson - who went over to Bowyer and barracked him for it (Larsson was on twitter all night sending very classy tweets to our players-wishing them well in the league & the other 2 comps, trying to cheer them up - very classy guy). Oh, what am I thinking? Talking about a concept such as "class" to a TRH-sorry, forgot it's an alien concept to you.
"What is defeat? Nothing but education; nothing but the first step to something better." If that were true Arsenal would have completed their education years ago. There is only one lesson, any successful team needs one, preferably two, dominant centre halves. Unfortunately for Arsenal Wenger seems unwilling to learn it.
Th thing is the FA set a precedent when they retrospectively banned Ben Thatcher for the Pedro Mendes elbow even though the ref had given a yellow card. They are hiding behind the rules and you cannot help but think there is some kind of agenda, as for Clattenburg...... His credibility is shot, he wont be able to send off a player for violent conduct for the rest of his career without the Rooney incident being mentioned. Hopefully United rewarded him well for his work because he'll be unemployed within a year.
And on the same day you post a financial loss, how does that happen? I know you have a very high wage bill but with your stadium and minimal spend in the transfer window that should not be happening at all surely?
I truly hate it HATE IT when my negative feelings before an Arsenal game are proved correct. The thing about this result is that it truly did not surprise me. I know a few gooners who felt the same way. I know I wasn't the only gooner who went into this game actually dreading it because I knew what the fallout would be after losing it. Giving so much joy to the spuddies whose entire football universe revolves around our failures (TRH, raise your hand); giving such joy to the manc/Lpool-dominated media pundits to pontificate about us. And most importantly, what the effect will be on our squad. Every year now I've come to hate Feb/March/April - whatever promise our season has falls apart right around now. There really is no point in talking about what was wrong on Sunday-Kos & Szeszny are fine players, one cock-up doesn't change that. I could talk about how tired our players were, how much fresher Bham were, Rosicky, AW's substitutions... yadayada...none of them really convince. Bham were just the better team on the day. Fact is the league cup has some sort of curse on Arsenal, long before AW arrived in England. That's the 5th league cup final we've lost, only won 2. Our losses to lower league teams in the competition decades ago made us the laughing stock of English football. We then went on to win a few trophies after that. Let's hope the same happens this time.
OhNoGaryDoherty, that reported financial loss is not surprising, the AST already reported it last week. It's no big deal. Read this from last week:
jaelle, all the big teams get right royally ripped if they lose.
Tony Rocky Horror
Agree with your sentiments jaelle, we tried but our performance was not upto par. Birmingham had a good day at the office especially Ben Foster and Bowyer. The manner of the loss is especially negative. We need a slice of luck in the next few games the mancs play. How they play doesnt matter ofcourse if we dont pick ourselves up and hit some form in the rest of the games.
We only play 2 league games in March. Both winnable. If we can get those 2 wins with united dropping 2 or more points then we go into April in a really good position. Hopefully by then Fabregas, Walcott & RVP will be fit and we give ourselves a great chance of winning the league. Also if Arsenal, City, Chelsea & United invest all there money into shoes for pigeons and blow the lot, go in to administration and get deducted 10 points each then Spurs have an outside of winning the league too
Lol! Paul. Good one.
Just hit me that the result yesterday ended JD's "winning run" and is the first defeat we've suffered in 2011.
Strange a lot of posts here about us needing better defenders and a goalie albeit mainly from non Arsenal fans. If memory serfs me right this defense withstood the barracking of high ball from Stoke and Kosser was arguably the best Arsenal player against Barcelona. We don't need to strengthen the defense or get a new goalie IMO. What we need is correct balance in the team. We have that when our strongest side is out but when Wenger needs to chop and change we simply lack the balance in the team. Brilliant in defense or attack or midfield but never get all three going in the same game. He needs to work on that because I think the personnel he had yesterday should have been enough. I am not overly worried about collapse though I think they will come back again strong and see this through.
Thing about yesterday's game was it was probably the easiest tilt at a trophy we will have this season. 9 times out of 10 we would beat Birmingham, especially a team with half-fit defenders. Johnson was a walking crock yesterday and we still couldn't take advantage. But come the important matches we seem to lose concentration. We look nervous and tentative. I worry about this team's ability to truly focus on the task and put body and soul on the line in the way we saw some of the Birmingham players do. Only Jack seemed to really understand the urgency of closing down and harassing when we didn't have the ball. We really didn't start playing until they went 1-0 up. Do we always have to go behind for this team to go up through the gears?
Wyn Mills
I also thought the "slap on the head" was just a sympathetic pat on the head... but if it was Bowyer, as jaelle said, then I take it back. That guy's a c***.
In contrast to Barca where Arsene got his selections and substitutions spot on, he badly cocked it up in this game. After Arshavin and VP went off, who was gonna score goals? Rosicky is just not the answer, particularly in the Cesc position. I would have gone for Diaby actually. As for Kos, some of the reactions to him have been extreme. He's not the finished article, but he's no chump either - the best player vs Barca. I think looking ahead he has to be our 3rd choice centre half once TV returns though.
krismon1, it seems that was Barry Ferguson, reported by mail. I thought the better team on the day won. It was not as if Birmingham parked the bus and nicked off a lucky goal. They really did play well. Arsenal defense does not give me jitters. Koschelny could ve done well against Barca, but end of the day current Arsenal defense is vulnerable to english clubs. The key is midfield & playing as a team. Against Barca, it was the entire Arsenal team that put in a good show including Schezney. But on sunday, they were just poor with Midfild failing miserably and no team effort. As a spurs fan, I am not unhappy with the result and hope Wenger doesnt buy any goalie, reinstates Aluminia in XI and Flapahandski as his deputy and brings in a unknown french defender.
And we hope Agent Harry continues to be your club's manager and drives it off a cliff - a courtesy he reserves for all the clubs he has managed.
hahahahah oh god i am lovin it all the bla bla bla young gunners nasri van persie bla bla bla and wenger le professeur hahahah nothin changed oh ya quadruple is in the card but what the same moaning starts again .the young gunners oh but the team consisted of old gunners none young but still couldn,t win the trophy and now prepared to get battered and tattered by messi extraordinaire hahahhahha loving this moment
Who said anything about the age of the team? Who said anything about winning the quadruple? Identify those comments on any of the last 20 articles on this site.
Little Dutch
yadadadada, the same typical trolling! [campaign to add an ignore user button goes here]
Generally the team is more mature than it has been in recent seasons but 'old gunners none young'? It's true that Jack reached 19 more than a month ago and Szczesny left his teens behind almost a year back but they're still young surely! In part it was Szczesny's youthful inexperience that led to the defeat though the more mature players should have been able to ensure that his blooper didn't matter by the time he'd made it.
Looking at it again i would put the blame more on Kos. Once you start swinging your leg like that, whether you heard a call or not you just clear your lines.
Kos couldn't have cleared the ball without taking Szczesny's head off. He had to pull out once the keeper was there. Szczesny didn't have to fumble the ball though.
Slightly off topic....and this isn't a dig at Wayne Rooney but rather the whole mess surrounding the furore over his wayward elbow. I'm most disappointed by Mark Clattenburg's failure to properly review his decision. It appears he alone has the ability to ensure justice is done and quite frankly he has bottled it. The video coverage is quite damning and the fact that Clattenburg is showing neither the courage or common sense to change his mind means, in my opinion, he drags the name of referees even further down in the mud in the minds of players, fans and spectators. This is not good for the sport.
Wyn Mills
This is a dig at Wayne Rooney. It was a calculated act of violence and should be punished for the integrity of the sport. Forget about the fact that the forearm could have smashed the jaw of the Wigan player, look at the image of Rooney running up to and then inflicting the blow. This is an act that has no place in society let alone the football pitch. The FA must show their legendary wisdom and deal with the incident regardless of Clattenburg’s action on the day (pat Rooney on the back whilst saying “they won’t be able to touch you now Wayne because I’ve pretended to deal with it”). Here we have a snarling, offensive footballer consistently shouting abuse at officials and getting away with assault. Great advert for English football.
Sir Henry
The FA's non-response to Rooney and Cole is a disgrace. And where's the media outrage over Chelsea's refusal to take Cole's victim to the hospital until his father complained? Where's the media outrage over Chelsea's refusal to punish Cole until his victim's father complained? Chelsea were far more concerned about bad publicity than the safety of the kid Cole shot. He was bleeding badly, then bandaged up - then later started to bleed again. Cole's father complained and finally the club decided to act. What a club - zero class, zero character, zero integrity. Arsenal are no saints but I can't ever imagine them acting like that in the same circumstances.
Both incidents...great adverts indeed.
Wyn Mills
Interesting to compare Chelsea's treatment of Mutu compared to Cole.
Little Dutch
Chelsea obviously have strict rules about snorting cocaine, but none against shooting people.
Wyn Mills
RvP confirmed as out for a minimum of 3 weeks. Can/can't believe it, if you get my drift. He's made of porcelain and is sadly just too unreliable. It's unbelievable really when you have the likes of Ronaldo or Messi or Rooney that hardly ever get injured. Have to say, that's made me very pessimistic about our chances for any of the remaining trophies. How disappointing the way things seem to turn out for us every season.
lol i watched ur game and couldnt help but notice that rosicky who was supposed to be the man replacing cesc seemed awfully isolated from the rest of the midfield? i take a special interest in ur forgotten no 7 since a particular performance by him before he was injured against spurs in the CC couple of years bak, where he came on and completely dominated the game. reminds me vert much of our own modric. hate to say it but that guy was everywhere that day, pure class i must admit shame he got injured. was a master of the one touch, pass and move, keeping possession style and also had some grit about him, was simply in awe of him every time i watched him, would loved to have him at spurs (then) wouldve fitted in perfectly. unfortunately for u guys he hasnt seemed to have recaptured his pre-injury form but it doesnt help the fact that his teammates (especially wilshere) dont seem to pass to him. ah well, on the result hardly a surprise, its not impossible to play good football and win u just have to be solid collectively as a team, your team lack the winning mentality needed. but ur coachs a very stubborn man so whos complaining.
I'm sure there is no connection with them being England golden boys whatsoever.
Wyn Mills
question for all the spuds blues reds and aany other tossers who rubbish arsenal, since the inception of the football league many many years ago, who is the only team never repeat never to have been relegated from the top tier of english football cluue, they play at the emirates
cornish gooner
Like many people you've read Rosicky's contribution poorly. He isn't the player he was at his peak but he was the player to keep the ball moving while continuously probing and trying to find space. He is past his best, and like most other players, doesn't fill Cesc's boots but is still a very good player in his own right which is why he played the full 90. He still saw a lot of the ball and was a significant factor in us pressing in the second half particularly.
First Cesc, then Theo and now, RvP.....Cannot say I fancy our chances in the CL 2nd leg with Barca, with any 2 of these players missing. In fact, Theo was to be a potent weapon for our need to play counter attack at the Nou camp. This isn't looking good, at all.
how in gods name did u interpret that i read his perfromance poorly? i dont get it did u not read my comment i never said he wasnt a good player completely the opposite i said while he wasnt the player he once was u still cant lose someone with such class, and that maybe his teammates ought to pass it to him more often. it hasnt been only this match everytime i c him play he hardly gets the ball. before he would almost single-handedly run any team he would be playing for now he just isnt getting the chance, maybe his teammates have lost faith in him for whatever reason.
What kind of deranged adolescent weirdo brings an air rifle into work and shoots someone of a lower status? Probably the same sicko that sends pictures of himself being weird to strange women behind his wife's back. Alan Sugar had it right: If today's footballers were not footballers they'd be in prison. And even then....Ashley Cole and the England team are people you'd cross over the road to avoid.
Tony Rocky Horror
When will we EVER go to the Nou Camp with a full strength squad? A mischievous part of me says this is Wenger preparing an excuse for defeat, but that would of course be nonsense. However without Walcott (still a question) and Van Persie our chances are significantly diminished.
Wyn Mills
Wyn I think the injuries to RvP and Walcott were impact injuries which were there for everyone to see. Agree that our chance of getting a result at the Nou Camp are low now.
Well if Rosicky was isolated from the rest of the midfield and nobody was passing the ball to him his performance is likely to have suffered. As it happens he was consietently looking for and getting the ball and looking to get others into the game. He doesn't do it as compellingly as he once did but it's still pretty impressive for those that can see it which is one of the reasons our midfield was able to dominate possession and control much of the game - though not to good enough effect ultimately.
Rosicky looks increasingly lightweight and on a different wavelength from the rest of the team. I think his injuries have done him for. Sad abouut RvP but i am not losing hope with the Nou Camp. Cesc, Arsh and Nas should give us a chance to win in any game. Theo would have been a good outlet but that's it.
Chelsea does do us that favour. Its up for grabs now.
And hopefully chelski doing it AGAIN. this certainly lifted my mood.
Yep, those Russian west londoners really did us a favour tonight! Let hope we can make it count on Saturday! Come on Arsenal!
Vidic to miss Anfield as well with that late 2nd yellow.
Even more interesting is some team has been knocked out of the top 4. :-)
think we'll have to agree to disagree amos. i follow him closely (always check ur team news to see if he plays or not and then decide whether to watch the game accordingly) and last few matches ive seen him in have all been the same, few touches but largely anonymous and not dominating the play in the way he can. i just saw some highlights of his performance against us in the CC to compare and i can safely say that he had more touches in the short period he was on the pitch (he was a sub that day) then during the whole match at wembley. while he isnt as mobile moving everywhere like he once used to do there are simply lots of instances where i notice that the players could pass to him and chose not to. a statistic of how many touches he gets would be useful here obviously maybe im imagining it but i doubt it.
For some reason, I still have faith in this team. A pity about the mix up as it was very obvious we would have killed Brum off if we had gone into extra time. Now that RVP is injured this is Chamahks time to show why he was a much sort after foward, also Niks time to pay the club back for putting up with him all this while. I have an inner feeling that all will be well. Chelsea got the job done today, all my Chelsea friends keep saying they did it for Arsenal, so I urge all of us to forget Sunday, join hands in picking up the team by showing that we still care. Remeber what RVP said about the Barcelona match that "we knew we were not alone". Let us show them that we stand by them. All FANs please stand up and be counted by cheering unreservedly!
Rosicky hasn't been all that bad really, it is just that he is replacing a far superior player in Fabregas. Partly, I think Rosicky suffers because he is playmaking for the second string; the likes of Chamakh don't provide him with the same kind of outlet as say, Theo and RVP. But the main problem is that Rosicky lacks confidence in front of goal, and that's a big liability in that position, especially since Chamakh isn't offering much either.

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