Cup Distractions Over, Now Concentrate On The League

FA Cup Quarter Final
Manchester United 2 – 0 Arsenal

1 – 0 Fabio (28)
2 – 0 Rooney (49)

Arsenal’s quest for silverware is now down to one. Following on from the midweek defeat and failure to lift the Carling Cup – where did this new media angle of being ‘dumped out’ of a competition with two teams left, spring from? – the exit from the FA Cup is deeply disappointing, especially as Arsenal were the dominant team. And we had the obligatory poor challenge from Paul Scholes that went unpunished. It was usual Old Trafford fare…

Manchester United though have made a fine art of absorbing Arsenal pressure and lining eight players across their penalty area proved a barrier too far for the visiting talents. The lack of guile too often left Robin van Persie isolated in attack, reducing the attempts on goal to be restricted to efforts from distance, gobbled up gleefully by Edwin van der Sar.

Matters took a turn for the worst when Johan Djourou dislocated his shoulder, the manager advising that the Swiss defender’s season is over. With Thomas Vermaelen seemingly unlikely to return before the next campaign, Arsenal’s injury list is growing just as the business end of the season is upon us.

Post match, Arsène bemoaned how bad the luck of the squad is at the moment yet in conceding both goals, his XI were architects of their own downfall. The first goal came as a result of a direct counter-attack by the hosts. van der Sar relased the ball quickly following the breakdown of Arsenal pressure. Rooney broke and found Hernandez at the far post, his header pushed away by Almunia, Fabio the quckest to react, pouncing and putting United ahead.

It was a poor goal to concede; Arsenal were slow to react across the pitch, starting with the forwards and midfield when van der Sar released the ball to Djourou and Koscielny who were beaten by their opponents rather too easily. Arsenal had received a warning prior to that, Rafael blazing a header over from another swift United break.

Arsenal almost clawed the deficit back immediately. van Persie had a curling shot clawed away by his countryman before he met Nasri’s corner with power but could not guide his header into the net. Arsenal continued to press but the only real chance in the remainder of the half came when Samir Nasri tried to catch van der Sar unawares with a low shot through a defender’s leg; he didn’t and Arsenal were left trailing at the interval.

Within minutes of the restart, an opportunity to equalise had gone begging and the deficit was doubled. Koscielny and Arshavin fashioned an opening for the centre back who hesitated and in the ensuing challenge, fashioned a cross. van der Sar saved, the rebound came to the Frenchman who found once more the Man of the Match in his way.

It was to prove costly almost immediately. Rafael beat Gibbs comfortably, Hernandez found Djourou in the way, the ball squirming through the air to Rooney who guided it in via the far post, tantilisingly away from Sagna.

Arsène immediately brought Chamakh into the action, the Moroccan followed Nasri in shooting straight at van der Sar. It was a common theme of the match, Arsenal keeping the Dutchman busy with routine saves. Only once did it seem he might be beaten, Chamakh meeting Sagna’s cross but alas nothing could be garnered from the header. Rosicky tested with a venomous strike, more of a test than his air kick when unmarked on the edge of the six yard box late on.

It is a poor result, capping a miserable few weeks. Yet such is the nature of professional football, the manager, the players and coaching staff must all dust themselves down, pick heads up and get on with it. And we must do the same. Allow the media to conduct the bitching, backbiting and derision; they are so good at negativity.

Still it could be worse Arsène, you might work for MirrorFootball and the Sunday Mirror, never noted for its reporting accuracy…

’til Tomorrow.

407 thoughts on “Cup Distractions Over, Now Concentrate On The League

  1. Obviously, you’ve not read the Art of War Block4.

    Why do you think a team like Man City comes to the Emirates and sets up to play for a draw? Why do you think a team like Man U sets up to play rope-a-dope against us? Do you thing they’d play that way against Wolves?

    When you need to decapitate a turtle but cannot break through the shell, you must coax it out with trickery and subterfuge

  2. Disappointing doesn’t come close. Both the goals were so soft it was a joke. The way they strolled through us for the second was hold your head stuff. Still though, on the balance of play we deserved to win the game. We passed them off the park and we should have put at least three past them and I think we will do at home. I also think we’ll go on to win the league.

  3. There is no doubt we have suffered a disappointing couple of weeks, however, all that matters now is getting our heads right for the WBA game on Saturday. Three points is an absolute must and regardless of who is injured and who plays where, the team must come together as a solid unit and put the disappointments behind them. The title is there for us to claim, we just have to want it bad enough. Winning the title will mean far more than the F.A. Cup and Carling Cup.

  4. Denilson had a really good game, very unlucky that his one bad decision led to the first goal. He needed to either go in full steam or stand his ground I thought. Very easy to say in hindsight as the ball was popping forward and it was a bit of a no-man’s land judgement call, but at the time I thought, stand your ground, Denny. Even then it was 50/50 Almunia’s parry falls to Fabio rather than Koscielny. Rooney’s was even luckier.

    Better run of the ball is round the corner. Not the POV of a “realist” perhaps, but the point of view of a football fan.

  5. Hopefully we can over take Utd and win the Prem this season. I can’t see this happening without our first choice players on the field though but, hopefully I’m wrong.

    I am fully behind our club and have been ever since but, I am honest and refuse to back Wenger any more because of his personal philosophy that I believe has taken and still taking the club backwards and turning us into a easy to suss laughing stock when we should be moving forward.

    You can’t slate another team for not coming out to play total football.
    8 out of 10 teams who try to play like for like v The Arsenal will get destroyed like a deathstar so why would you do that as an opposing manager?

    Fergie takes great pride in parking the bus v us but, it’s down to Wenger to employ a tactic that will undo that but, time and time again we see the same thing and the same type of result. And we play the same way without changing it even when 2-0 down.

    What was so sad was that utd had players in untried positions which indicated that no matter what type of personnel you have it doesn’t matter because we already know what Arsenal will come to the table with. All you have to do is stick to the game plan.

    Now we have Lehman back which I am glad to see but for the media and the rest its more fuel for laughter because for me there was no real reason for Wenger to get rid of him in the first place. He made some costly errors but, he’s errors have nothing on the ones committed by Almunia & Fabi.
    No where near! He’s a winner and knows what it takes to win but, like the rest of the world class players we had he was shown the door simply because of his age and one man’s philosophy when any other club would of kept him and the rest at the club just to guide all the young ones we had at the time.

    For me the home result v Barc didn’t count for shit in the end as it was a job half done which we didn’t complete. The result v Chels at home was beautiful and I hope he puts out a proper team and more over get his fucking tactics right v Utd next time round as they do not have the quality players that we have but, it seems their team had us sussed when really we should of turned them over.

    Not got over the weekend yet and won’t do until our next game but, I have calmed down a bit and will try me best not to annoy the shit out of all the Gooners on here who love Wenger, hangs off his every word and think he’s still doing wonders for the club.

    I just thought that after getting to a Milk Cup final and bearing in mind it’s been a while, the players would of put their bodies on the line but, I just don’t think they did that but, that’s my silly opinion and there are many top football experts who know much better.

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