EFL Cup Preview: Jobs To Do, Pension Rights & Second Strings

Odd Job Man

The growth of statistical analysis in modern football has led to a surge in previously unheard of jobs. Sunderland are offering one of the easier that you’ll find:

sunderland

£60 a day for writing, “The opposition have got it. Still got it. Still going. Back of the Sunderland net. We kick-off. They’ve got it back…”; money for old rope.

Southampton

So, the EFL Cup. What to say…what to say? Of course I care about it in the sense that I don’t want Arsenal to lose any match, even a friendly but if we exit the competition, it won’t cause me sleepless nights.

Nor Arsène judging by the tam he’s all but announced. We know Martinez will be in goal with a back four of Jenkinson, Gabriel, Holding and Gibbs.

Midfield appears to be the biggest dilemma. With West Ham and Basel to follow, I’d be inclined to put Elneny and Ramsey together tonight, saving Coquelin and Xhaka for the bigger games. Coquelin will most likely be on the bench as cover for tight back should the worst occur.

Lucas Perez returning to lead the line is timely; Arsène was relieved to report Olivier Giroud’s groin was the problem not his hamstring after Sunday. You can insert your own Carry On style joke here.

The XI is picking itself; most of the untried and untested I’d venture, are likely to be on the bench with the midfield completed by Iwobi and the Ox plus maybe Maitland-Niles.

Martinez; Jenkinson, Holding, Gabriel, Gibbs; Elneny, Ramsey; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Iwobi, Reine-Adelaide; Perez

Look, it could be anyone tonight. The boss underlined that he’s not going to play any of the ‘regulars’ but that goes out of the window because he has to play some to get an XI together which is not too youthful and raw. Southampton are playing the same game which begs the question as to why any club bothered to enter the EFL Trophy when most of the academies are playing the EFL Cup?

Retirement Age

Emi Martinez is already thinking beyond tonight’s game and of Wembley which for the younger players has to be the motivation and getting into the habit of winning trophies is good for them. Liverpool showed last night that the Premier League has the depth – certainly the top teams – to get a long way, especially missing out a round due to European commitments.

Certainly gaining experience in these matches helps when it comes to the semi-final. Two legs, two extra games in a busy time of the season; there’s not time to spare the regular first team players and experience of ‘high pressure’ matches helps the squad in other situations.

It’s been a while since we’ve reached the last four – 2011 – and with limited opportunities to play in the first team, these are important games as part of their learning curves. However, it’s more beneficial to the rest of the experienced first teamers that aren’t playing every week to get match sharpness in the short-term. And football is nothing but short-term in its outlook.

With so much riding on every other competition, the EFL Cup is something of a relief from a supporters point of view. There is pressure, of course, but this is becoming little more than a glorified preseason tournament with a route into Europe for the winners.

A glorious past didn’t deter UEFA from killing off the UEFA Cup, time for the EFL to put this one to bed as well. It’s close to retirement anyway. This is about the 63rd edition of the competition; another four years and the pension can be drawn.

Finally, over at Dad’s Jukebox, 1982 is on the radar with The End Of An Era.

Enjoy the match wherever you are watching it.

’til Tomorrow.

88 thoughts on “EFL Cup Preview: Jobs To Do, Pension Rights & Second Strings

  1. Mr Church says:

    It’s afternoon where I am.Good morning to you orson wherever you are.

  2. Highbury says:

    Spot on, Yogi. Where I would disagree with you is the midfield pairing for the “big games”. Rather than Xhaka and Coquelin, I would go with the former and Elneny.

  3. Jonny says:

    ” This is about the 63rd edition of the competition; another four years and the pension can be drawn”
    More like 7 years the way things are going.

  4. Jonny says:

    Pissed off the game isn’t on tonight. Who want’s to watch Man Utd FFS.

  5. Jonnygunner says:

    Jonny,

    Get yourself a cheapish device with ‘Kodi’ installed on it,go to Adrian Sports-every game is on there Jonny.

  6. C says:

    Tend to agree with Highbury, Xhaka and Elneny for West Ham meaning Le Coq plays tonight.

    Ramsey starts tonight for me in his preferred role against a Southampton side that will be a tough test. With Arsene hinting that Jenks gets the nod, I would either start Bielik or Maitland-Niles next to Le Coq.

  7. C says:

    I would they really like to see Mavididi tonight though highly unlikely from the start.

  8. Damon says:

    I can see that if you were neutral and had to pick, that Man utd vs West Ham has a touch more glamour to it. Barely

    With that said, with the number of digital channels there are now, some with interactive match choices available, why both games couldn’t be on last night and tonight is beyond me

    Jonny:
    Pissed off the game isn’t on tonight. Who want’s to watch Man Utd FFS.

  9. Bill says:

    Great preview Yogi

    I am certain that Arsene and the team would love to win this trophy as much as any of the fans, but that is obviously not going to be the priority and I agree with the logic of using it as a chance to rest our players. If we somehow can win then so much the better. Anything can happen but the odds of us winning are not great if we use a line up without even a single player that you would expect to have a reasonable chance to score a goal. We have to hope for a penalty or perhaps a CB scoring on a corner or hope for a surprise from Ox or Ramsey or even Perez. It would be a major upset if we score more then 1 so the defense and a clean sheet will be the critical factor for us.

  10. Orson Kaert says:

    Mr Church,

    It’s afternoon as well here now in the far east……of England

  11. C says:

    Ospina
    Jenks—Gabriel—–Holding—-Gibbs
    ——–Le Coq——–Maitland-NIles
    —————–Ramsey————
    Iwobi———-Perez———-Ox or Adelaide but probably Ox

    Or Maitland-Niles gets dropped and we see a front 4 of:

    Adelaide
    Ox—–Perez—-Iwobi

  12. HenryB says:

    I have to admit that news that rumours abound that Arsenal are scouring the coaches/managers available, in case Arsene decides to stand down next summer, dependent on how the season goes is a little premature.

    Common sense points to Arsenal having to make early plans to find a replacement coach should there be any chance of losing AW, but as the source is the Sun, I find it incomprehensible that the club would have whispered in that paper’s ear, don’t you?

    They are pushing the candidacy of Mr Hitzelsplashenburger the coach of RB Leipzig who currently are top of the Bundesliga – [RB = Red Bull, doncha know? + Not sure I have remembered the name correctly — but Orsey is the class swot – he’ll know!] 😀

    Sounds like poppy cock to me.

  13. Orson Kaert says:

    C,

    Now he has the job I hope he gets the support he needs from the FA, the clubs and the fans. I would hope the media also support him, but I’m not holding my breath.

  14. C says:

    Orson Kaert,

    You English supporters are a fiercly loyal bunch, think he will get the support. Problem he faces is the same as every other England manager, the lack of players.

  15. Orson Kaert says:

    HenryB,

    Almost right Henry, but it’s Herr Hitzelsplashenburgermitmustardundonions.

    As you say it is entirely likely that the club are in the hunt for Wenger’s replacement, I just hope the search is not being led by the man himself.

  16. Bill says:

    C @ 2:27.

    I know you have high hopes for Perez but the chance of him being “match fit” and scoring in his first game back is not very good and its even less likely that Iwobe or Jeff will score a goal. That does not leave us with many options. I think we have to use Ox if we really want to have much chance to win because he certainly has the higher probability of scoring of then any of the other players you suggested in your line up.

  17. Orson Kaert says:

    Orson Kaert,

    I don’t think there is a lack of players so much as a lack of players whose faces fit.

    Southgate now has the opportunity to continue the process of weeding out the has beens from the squad starting, I hope, with Rooney.

  18. Orson Kaert says:

    That was clever, I’ve just replied to myself, it should have been in response to C @ 4.13.

  19. Bill says:

    I agree with C. The problem is lack of talent especially upfront. Jamie Vardy had one great year but last seasons results were clearly well above career norms and regression to the mean was almost inevitable. If he is one of the players in contention for the lead striker of your countries international team then you are probably in trouble.

  20. HenryB says:

    I loved that Orsey!

    Not that you are egocentric or anything, and it was good to see that you agree with yourself. 🙂

    Schizophrenia eh? 😀

  21. HenryB says:

    I agree with Bill, who agrees with C who agreed with Orson, who agreed with himself – sort of! 😀

  22. HenryB says:

    There is hope for you Orson – I used to be schizo myself but we made up and are friends now. 🙂

  23. -DFS says:

    Interesting discussion concerning selection for this cup on the Arsecast.

    Andrew called for finalizing a selection of youth and a few peripheral (for want of a better word) first teamers…such as Ramsey and Perez etc.

    The key reason being the potential demands on the squad through a crazy period.

    Having just emerged from the endurance fest of Christmas and New Year, a semi-final would contribute to another potential fixture pile up of 5 games in approximately 10 day or so at the start of January.

    When you bear in mind possible FA Cup games, upcoming CL fixtures and the backdrop of a PL battle royale, this is not a ‘non-priority’ but not one where we should even think of risking any key regulars.

  24. C says:

    Bill,

    Like it or not, if you think Perez, Iwobi and Adelaide aren’t likely to score, then I scratch my head at how you think Ox has more of a chance. I think we should see how fit Perez is before we say, “Nope won’t score.”. Given he has shown an ability to be a threat is his appearances, I think he can easily grab a goal tonight.

  25. Bill says:

    C

    We are not playing Nottingham Forest or Reading today so we can’t assume it will be easy. Ox not much of a scorer but even you would have to admit that he is more of a threat then either Iwobe or Jeff. Perez would certainly be the biggest threat if our starting forwards were Perez, Iwobe and Jeff but counting on Lukas to score puts us on very shaky ground. Anything can happen and Jeff and Iwobe might both score a hat trick today but the prospective probability of either scoring is low. Ox does not need a rest and logic would argue that starting him would improve our chances of scoring and getting a result. If the objective is to give yourself the best chance to win, you have to make decisions based on what is most likely to happen rather then what you would like or hope to see. No?

  26. Damon says:

    Bill

    I guarantee Ox gets some minutes tonight. I’m interested to see what happens with this line up. I quite like it

    For me, it’s all about Aaron Ramsey tonight. He has goals in him at 10

  27. HenryB says:

    The team for tonite.

    Martinez, Jenks, Gabriel, Holding, Gibbs, Le Coq, El Nen, Jeff, Rambo, Iwobi, Perez

    Away you go lads – smash ’em. 🙂

  28. HenryB says:

    Forgot to say:

    The subs: Oxlade-Chamberlain, Xhaka, Bielik, Bola, Macey, Maitland-Niles, Mavididi.

  29. Bill says:

    Ox was our leading scorer in this competition but I guess he is now a starter with the first 11 so he stays on the bench.

    Le Coq and Elneny should give us a solid defensive midfield and a lot of ball possession. Not sure who might score so a clean sheet will be imperative if we want to win this game.

  30. SV says:

    Wenger is giving up on this one. The bench is toothless.

  31. Bill says:

    Damon.

    I like the players in our starting line up also but that does not mean they are the ones that give us the best chance to win.

    You might be right about Ramsey but we thought he would rediscover his inner Frank lampard when he moved back to central midfied last season but it did not work out that way. Perhaps he needs to have more freedom in the #10 position but he is not going to play there as long as we have Ozil.

    No clean sheet. We had better bring in Ox pretty quickly.

  32. Wavey says:

    Southampton defending in numbers now they have got the goal. We have to be moving the ball quickly if we are to going to shift them around and find the gaps. Too many touches at the moment.

  33. Wavey says:

    Bertrand was under no pressure at all for the goal. Had plenty of time to pick out his pass and we were just hoping it wouldn’t bounce out to a Southampton player after that. Unfortunately it did.

  34. Wavey says:

    Bad enough with the packed defence in front of us without the bloody ref beginning the way as well.

    Good in possession, by no cutting edge. Not sure we’ve actually had a shot, certainly not one on target.

  35. Wavey says:

    Should say “getting in the way”. Very random from the tablet.

  36. Bill says:

    Wavey

    Any team with Elneny and Le coq is going to be good at maintaining possession. It made sense to have 2 ball possession/defensive players in the midfield in the hope of keeping a clean sheet but now that they have scored the ball possession is not really what we need. I would bring in Ox and move Iwobe or Jeff back to the midfield. That might sacrifice a bit of defensive solidarity but we need to score

  37. Wavey says:

    Dreadful. Might as well pack up and go home. And we still haven’t managed to get anywhere near their goal. Wenger has given up on this one. If I were at the ground I’d be tempted to get an early journey home. Time to get our arses kicked. Great for morale when your dressing room is so fragile.

  38. SV says:

    Wenger’s ambition for the season: top four and CL play offs.

  39. Bill says:

    Perhaps not even worth the risk of using Ox now. If we don’t get one back before half time lets bring on Mavididi, Macey, Maitland Niles or Bielek.

  40. Wavey says:

    Bill,

    Can’t really see why we needed to be that defensive against a team like Southampton. Didn’t really expect them to swamp the midfield.

  41. Bill says:

    Wavey

    Our best chance to win was a clean sheet and nicking a goal somewhere so it made sense to play the players who might give us the most defensive solidarity. They are a good defensive team and we were not going to beat them with our passing or creatativity. Even if we carved out a good chance we did not really have anyone who was likely to turn a pass into a goal.

  42. Wavey says:

    Build up to both goals has come down our right. Hmmmmmm, I wonder if they are targeting a weakness?

  43. Jonny says:

    Just playing better.

    More verve, more energy, more belief.

  44. Wavey says:

    Jonny,

    Why? 2-0 down and suddenly we work out we need to be a bit more dynamic. Could be end to end in this half. Great if you are neutral, but I’d rather we didn’t fuck around in the first place.

  45. Wavey says:

    Pretty sure I don’t want Jenks as our RB back up and Debuchy is mostly crocked, so Wenger needs to go shopping in January. If Bellerin is going to pick up little niggles (very possible after an injury) we are going to be very weak down that side.

    We are all over the place at the back still and Perez is having a mare with those little lay backs. He’s hardly found a red shirt with one of those all night.

  46. Bill says:

    Wavey

    I am confident that all of our players came into the game ready to work hard and try to impress. The difference between the first and second half is probably more related to Southampton feeling a bit over confident and letting down after half time.

  47. Bill says:

    Perez is just coming back from his injury so he is probably a bit rusty and I think this is the first PL level defense he has faced. The only other appearances I remember are in the league cup and against Ludogrets

  48. Adam Singh says:

    Did Elneny get injured? Just seen that he was subbed at 43 minutes?

  49. Bufallo says:

    we went down on, i like a moron lumped on expecting us to react, we concede literally seconds later. i double down, expecting a reaction. oh my good god not a sausage, pretty depressing when a team as ‘big’ as arsenal show this little reaction to being knocked out of a cup by southampton. limp biscuits, it pervades through the squad. thank goodness i put my money on chelsea for the league this year. we are not doing anything differently, as some have said, we’d lose the title with a world eleven. 17 minutes to pull off result, i have literally zero faith.

  50. Bufallo says:

    scary that perez though he was going to be an automatic starter…..who was telling who what or is he just a little bit daft ? doesnt show a great attitude imo he’s hardly a world star or even one in the making. squad type for a club like arsenal at the very best. maybe he will become first choice but if he does we aint going anywhere very high. and he will now score a hattrick in three minutes…

  51. SV says:

    Wenger should apologise for this performance. It was a capitulation before the kickoff. His capitulation.

    Feel sorry for the fans.

  52. Wavey says:

    Bill,

    Sorry, but we have seen the team come out ill prepared too often. I accept that he made a number of changes tonight, but they turn up with no thrust at all too often.
    Perez has just come back from injury, but that really doesn’t excuse him not finding a player in red for pretty much the whole of the first half. Yet again we have started playing when we are trailing and tonight we decided to wait until we are 2-0 down. And the shooting has been dreadful across the whole team tonight, even when we have had sight of goal the shots have been off target or straight at Forster.
    The margin of victory could have been wider, but I guess we were chasing the game. If we didn’t give ourselves a mountain to climb, we wouldn’t leave gaps at the back in having to chase the game though.

  53. Orson Kaert says:

    Well no surprise there.

    Didn’t Wenger say a week or so ago that this is his strongest ever squad? It looks like we have a reasonably good first team, but the rest are pretty crappy.

    Only one realistic chance of silverware this season, the FA Cup.

    Good night one and all.

  54. Bufallo says:

    i predict we will not win the fa cup. or the league or the champions league. we just blew our best chance at silverware this year and we went out like a box of fireworks at the bottom of a river. show some fight wenger and the players oh my goodness, leave absolutely everything out there, not absolutely nothing. i would not be able to look my manager, team or family in the eye if i was some of the players in this squad, just rolling along picking up a fat cheque, going nowhere fast, unlikely to be remembered in time. what a legacy boys. the not so quite soft men.

  55. Bill says:

    Every year Southampton is a top half of the table team and they are always well drilled and organized and statistically they have conceded the 4th fewest goals in the league so far this season. No other team in the league or in the world would have had much success if they used a mixture of non-starters and U21 players. The probability of our team getting shut out was very high and we needed to keep a clean and hope for some luck. The bottom line is that the most important part of the game was having a chance to give our first 11 the day off and from that point of view it was a success.

  56. thebigM says:

    Yet again the team don’t turn up until it’s too late and when they did bother to actually make an effort there was not much there.
    But who in the starting line-up/bench was realistically going to score for us? Perez or Ramsey? Not much chance of that.
    We are just so passive/reactive at times – Wenger looked pissed off and angry but did you really expect us to win with the team he put out? I hope not.

  57. Jonny says:

    Ramsey should be banned from shooting from outside the box – he never even looks like hitting the target. His shooting stats this season must look like a horror show.

  58. Wavey says:

    Bill,

    So therefore being knocked out in the last round and giving the whole of the squad a complete week’s rest would also have been a success. Players like Perez and the Jeff gain nothing from playing against Prem sides in games like this when they haven’t been playing regularly. It doesn’t give them some playing time to stretch their legs, it shows them that they aren’t ready. Great for morale then.

  59. Wavey says:

    Jonny,

    Not as bad as Coquelin though. Amazing that all the good chances for a shot outside that box fell to him.

  60. jjgsol says:

    This is not first time we have seen that our 2nd 11 is good enough against lower division teams but not against Pl teams even if they rest a few players

    I did not see the match but it went as I suspected it would.

    I daresay that aw is not too upset, although I am sure the fans who went to watch are.

  61. consolsbob says:

    Sorry, YW. I care.

    Two more games to win a trophy? Jump at it.

    Mental toughness? Squad strength?

    Just give it a bloody rest.

  62. Jonny says:

    Over the season – way worse than Coquelin.

    Ramsey prob shoots about 4 or 5 times every game – just a woeful return.

    How do Soton have such a conveyor belt of young talent – it’s getting ridiculous.

    Josh Sims’s debut against Everton was unreal enough but Harrison Reed was amazing today and basically ran midfield for them.

    Their academy has been putting ours to shame – hence we keep buying their youngsters.

  63. Bill says:

    Wavey

    This is exactly what the league cup has been used for during most of the Emirates era. We drop out of the league cup almost every year when we hit the first decent EPL team. It is what it is and there is no reason to expect anything different. It does not matter how well prepared you are because a combination of the B squad and a few U21 players are not going to break down a team like Southampton. That is why players like Jenks, Holding Gabriel, Perez and Iwobe are not be first team regulars. The reason we played better in the second half was more about them losing a bit of focus.

    If we want to progress in this competition then we need to start Alexis, Ozil, Giroud, Walcott, Kos etc against a team like Southampton and how many of us think the results are important enough to use those players?

    By the way, I have always thought it was a bad idea to keep players like Jeff or Iwobe around just to play in the league cup. They should be on loan. We should have kept someone like Joel Campbell around for the cup games.

  64. Bill says:

    When we looked at the line up prior to the game who thought that any of the players on that 18 man squad had a good chance to score a goal?

  65. C says:

    Didn’t watch a single second but it sounds like our attack was, well it wasn’t. How did Ramsey play? If we were as bad with Ozil, people would be talking about we can do better….

    Just saying

  66. Bill says:

    A lot of us have said that we want to use the league cup to “blood youth” which is fine if that is what you like. To each his own. If we are going to do that we have to be willing to accept the results.

  67. Bill says:

    C

    You can rest easy. Perez, iwobe, jeff, elneny and xhaka all did really well. The problem was mostly Ramsey with some help from Ox Jenks Le coq and Gibbs. 😉

  68. Wavey says:

    Bill,

    Against a team like Southampton? They only played 3 of the players they played at the weekend. So our second string is vastly inferior to theirs? Wenger appears to tell the team to play it like a friendly, or some kind of training match and that just isn’t good enough. I feel sorry for those who paid to go to the game tonight. It maybe only £20, but you still expect the team to turn up. If the belief is that the players on display aren’t going to score it just shows how weak our strike force is.
    The BBC website summed it up well as it said, “Perez was a peripheral figure as he and his team-mates lacked energy and urgency, especially in the first half.” A team that basically wasn’t really up for it. They surely get their drive from the manager and if he can’t lift them for the quarter finals of a cup game then why doesn’t he just pull the team out of the competition all together, or just play the real kids and stop giving demoralising run outs to players like Perez and the Jeff.

  69. C says:

    Bill,

    Honestly, I don’t know. I’ve read some reports that he didn’t impose himself at all others saying he looked okay.

    I didn’t make that comment purely about Ramsey but, and I’m including you, most would kill Ozil if he was played in his favored position and we were as dreadful as most are saying we were.

    Again, just interesting to me.

    O and apparently Elneny was ill so why even start him, only Arsene knows.

  70. Bill says:

    C

    Ozil is supposed to be our talisman and our best player and one of the best players in the world and that type of player is supposed to have a positive influence when he plays with our starting 11. Ramsey is a good player when put into a situation that is perfect him such as with Wales but we certainly can’t compare the level of importance that Ramsey has to our squad as a whole. Ozil is always going to treated differently and he should be held to a higher standard because he is a better and more important player. Ramsey is not the sort of player who can change a game when we are playing poorly and if he does not play up to expectations you can bench him. However, we need Ozil to at least play up to expectations because we are dependent of him and he should be a player who can change the game and make something happen when we are struggling. That all seems very straight forward to me.

  71. Bill says:

    Wavey

    I didn’t realize that Southampton had rotated that much so you have a valid point. I think part of the issue is their system is built around defense and its less dependent on which players they play.

    I guess the issue is expectations. When I looked at the squad I knew it would be a struggle to score against an organized EPL team and we got exactly what I expected. The major disappointment was conceding 2 goals. Arsene has never taken this competition seriously and has used it to blood youth and a lot of us have applauded him for doing that. Next year we will forget what happened today an we will be be asking Arsene to play the next round of academy players and B squad players. That has not changed at any time during the Emirates era. I would expect players like Iwobe, Jeff, Perez Ramsey Gabriel, Jenks to be really anxious to play well and impress but I guess their mentality is not strong enough to overcome the Arsene effect.

  72. Bill says:

    C

    I know you don’t like Aaron Ramsey but other then 13/14 he has not been an impact player for this Arsenal squad and there is no reason to think that will change. We can’t expect him to be what he isn’t and we can’t hold him to a high standard he can’t achieve. That is why I was saying all summer that if someone was interested we should sell him when his value was high after Euro 2016. Like most squad players he looks good when the team is playing well but looks bad when its not. The problem is that a he has drawn the short straw now and a lot of us focus on him and expect him to be a negative influence when the team is playing bad and we find what we looking for. Henry called it bias confirmation which fits perfectly.

  73. C says:

    Bill,

    Actually your wrong, I think Ramsey is a good and can be a really good player. The thing is, he has it in him especially in a match like that, he should be the one to boss the match and dictate play. Say what you want but if in a match like that, he can’t take the game by thr scruff, then you have to wonder how so many think he should deputise Ozil. The thing is, Ramsey was in a team that was actually built for him: Le Coq and Elneny sit, Ramsey can roam free.

    Again, I can’t say too much because I didn’t watch the game just going by yalls comments and some of the match reports I read of not just Ramsey but our attack in general.

  74. Damon says:

    Not happy, nor surprised at all

    It’s so predictably boring each and every year. Anyone who harbours illusions of anything beyond a top four finish this year, best of luck to you.

    The grit and determination to win a league has been absent for decades now and I see nothing to show that it’s back. A lot of noise that it is, but they’ve been saying that each and every year

    A cup is a maybe. Ride our luck a bit and a favourable draw like the recent two wins, it could happen. The league is beyond us. The UCL title is on another planet to our squad

  75. Bufallo says:

    So basically our second string is not as good as southamptons playing away…..worst excuse ever.
    if these chickens were motivated and drilled properly they would win that game last night, they know there are zero consequences to failure…..my boss asked me to do loads of work, i said no and he doesnt even fire me. i’m actually beginning to lose respect for him because of it. wake up arsene time to seriously rattle some cages before it’s too late….if they knew at half time that there careers/chance of a first eleven spot were on the line if they didnt win that game then there may have been a reaction, at least. instead no doubt it was the old try to move up a gear/take the handbrake off nonsense and hence they played soggy biscuit in the second half instead.

  76. Wailesy says:

    Damon,

    I could not agree with you more Damon. I think a top 4 finish is a big ask, even as it stands now.
    I don’t see this squad as being a good cup team either.

  77. thebigM says:

    C – They were not booed off the pitch, as most Arsenal fans had already left before the final whistle.
    There was a slight bit of booing at half-time.
    Even the fans have given up…

  78. Bill says:

    Damon

    Yesterdays game demonstrated the reason Arsenes teams have never won this trophy but to be fair to him, none of the big teams care about this one. Look at the list of teams that has won the league cup over the years.

    The other thing is we have been asking for Arsene to play as many of he youth players as possible in this competition for years and if we are going to do that we can’t be upset when U21 players struggle against a a good team. That is what U21 players do. You said yesterday before the game that you were happy with the line up which started 3 forwards who had a total of about 4 goals in 60 appearances between the 3 of them. When you look at those numbers you had to realize that we were probably not going to score against a team that is one of the 4 best defensive teams in the PL. However I will bet that next year a lot of us will forget what happened today and ask Arsene to play as many of his youth players as possible and the same thing will again next year. We can’t have it both ways.

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