Posts Tagged ‘capital One Cup’

Football

Are Arsenal fans really serious about wanting Arsene Wenger to get the sack?

By Stefano on December 11th, 2012

Well, what an incredible game. First up credit where it is due, Bradford played like a side at least two divisions higher than their current league status.

However, this should have been an easy win for Arsenal, especially given the strength of the team that Wenger put out, and Arsenal really ought to have had this game wrapped up with many minutes to spare.

Incredibly it took 70 minutes before Arsenal got their first shot on target and it wasn’t until the arrival of late substitutes Oxlade Chamberlain and Rosicky that they looked like a team that really wanted to win.

Were Arsenal really that bad though? Carzola and Wilshere both had solid games but the team lack presence in the middle of the park. Also Arsenal’s front line of Podolski, Gervinho and Ramsey were woeful and for much of the game barely threatened Bradford’s defence at all.

So should sports writers now be penning Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal obituary? Not really. It is inconceivable that Arsene Wenger will leave Arsenal before the end of the season, even if Arsenal struggle to finish in the top four.

The clamour for the club to look for an alternative approach and a different manager will only grow stronger though. Already BBC Five Live has been inundated with callers suggesting that Arsene gets his P45. It won’t happen though.

Ultimately Wenger is paying the price for not properly replacing his star striker Robin Van Persie. He is also discovering that Gervinho and Podolski are not the players he hoped. A serious injection of new talent in the window could change everything though. The team are still in the Champions League and not too far off the top four in the Premiership.

Arsenal fans should be careful what you wish for. The last time Arsenal changed its manager half way through a season, back in 1995, it took two years for the club to properly recover. And the man who transformed the club then – his name was Arsene Wenger. Whether he has the energy or the vision to take the club further in the long term remains to be seen, but he is not going anywhere in the forseeable future. Wenger has shepherded the club through one of its most successful eras, he deserves at the very least to be able to leave with dignity and at his own choosing.

Update – Wenger told the BBC ‘we put a great deal of effort into the game, but it didn’t work for us. Upfront we were not really incisive and didn’t hurt Bradford enough. ‘ Asked whether he thought it was humiliating for Arsenal Wenger responded ‘It wasn’t humiliating more frustrating, I have to give credit to Bradford.’

Wenger is now 4-1 to get the sack.



Football

Forget Europe – Arsenal’s number one priority should be The Capital One Cup

By Stefano on December 4th, 2012

Tonight a significantly under strength Arsenal team gave Olympiacos a run for their money in Athens. Ok, so the Gunners had no answer to the second Greek goal, but there were some encouraging signs for Wenger in the sprightly performance of Alex Oxlade Chamberlain and especially the attacking football of Tomas Rosicky, whose direct style they have missed terribly.

On Saturday the Gunners face West Brom in what it already being billed as a win or bust match for the team. Lose that game and the clamour for change at the top will grew significantly louder. Ironically though as important as the Baggies’ visit is it is the game next Tuesday that may prove to be of greater significance for The Gunners.

The Arsenal cup drought now extends to seven seasons. If it is not going to be eight Arsenal will either have to win the FA Cup or the Capital One Cup. I am assuming that any number of European teams will be too strong for them and that the Premiership title really is gone now too.

So the Capital One Cup presents a great opportunity for Arsene to get his hands on some silverware. A win against Bradford, which even an under performing Arsenal side should surely manage, would propel the team into the last four. Of the remaining seven teams the only side that Arsenal really need fear is Chelsea and heaven knows what type of state (and indeed who the manager might be) they will be if they qualify for the semis.

The thing about the Capital One cup is that it does provide a club with chance to feel like they are winners. The current Arsenal squad do not have the look and feel of a team of winners, though many players have actually got any medals to show for their footballing endeavours, including; Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Rosicky, Arteta, Podolski, Giroud and Arshavin. The sad part is that none of them were with Arsenal.

Win one competition and the trophyless fog that has descended over The Emirates will be lifted for good. Also Arsenal have a bit of history in using the League Cup to kick start a run of success. George Graham’s first silverware was the League Cup Final of 1987 where they beat Liverpool 2-1 with both the goals coming from Charlie Nicholas. Two years later Graham had his hands on the Championship title and the FA Cup and European success, as well as another league title, followed soon after.

Someone else who knows the value of the League Cup is Fergie. Back in 2006 Manchester United overcame a Wigan side to win the trophy, a game which in many ways reignited his managerial career and lead to a run of Premiership titles.

Finally there is also the feeling that the team might bury that awful moment in the 2011 final when a defensive error gifted the trophy to Birmingham City.

So don’t expect Arsene to be playing down the Capital One Cup, it could be Arsenal’s most important competition this year.




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