The fallout from the Carling Cup exit has been the talk of the Arsenal during the last twenty-four hours. Mikael Silvestre says that the kids must learn the lessons of this defeat. Am I the only one who thought that they may be more inclined to do so if the seniors set an example and followed that sage advice? <thwack! Show more respect – Ed>
Arsene has meanwhile poo-pooed the notion that the Carling Cup team will get an outing in the FA Cup Third Round tie at home to Plymouth:
Will the Carling Cup team play in the FA Cup? Not at the moment. Some of them maybe, but in the FA Cup I am planning to play a normal team.
It perhaps says more, as the Telegraph headline suggests, that Wenger is placing greater importance on the FA Cup than he might have done in previous seasons. Certainly the absence of a trophy since winning that competition in 2005 will be hurting him as much, if not more, than it is hurting us in Arsenal-land.
Wenger had a ‘Duracell Bunny’ moment and went on:
Some of the youngsters will go out on loan to continue their education
Of the starting line-up, there are two or three potential candidates for loan spells. Randall, I think, needs to learn defensive discipline having some culpability in both of Burnley’s goals. Gibbs also has the potential to be ready for the first team now and with the number of players who can deputise for Clichy, it is questionable if playing for the reserves is beneficial for Gibbs or whether he would benefit from a loan spell at another club. For those two, it is a matter of building on their knowledge gained last season during loan spells. Gavin Hoyte is a different case. He needs the experience and it has to be gained quickly. Arsene is short of serviceable right backs and whilst I would not expect Hoyte to be a long term solution, this season has already proven that when injuries strike in that position, Arsenal are vulnerable.
The cup run has been beneficial for the players but Wenger is well aware of the limitations which were exposed:
We produced a great competition and we have the quality to win it but you have to make the maximum of what you have. That’s a mixture of intelligence and experience – we do not have the experience with these players but we could have made up for that with intelligence
In other words, he feels let down by the fact that the players did not use their heads? It is a lot to expect from youngsters. The experience that they lack is in part driven by their intelligence, knowing what to do in certain situations. Even so, the forward line was not inexperienced; Vela and Bendtner are both internationals who have scored at that level against (half) decent opposition. The latter had a night of poor finishing. Whilst I would not expect either to be sent out on loan again, there is perhpas too much expectation for them to come into the side and score every game having not had regular match practice.
Finally, everyone is going to need to revise their January transfer wishes with Huntelaar on the verge of joining Real Madrid, Toure not prepared to get his Ya-Ya’s out for Arsene and Cesc apparently going to Milan (or maybe Barcelona as Alex Hleb seems to want). The silly season is fast approaching.