Wembley turned out to be a pain in the Brum

Arsenal and Birmingham prior to the Carling Cup Final 2011.

Arsenal and Birmingham prior to the Carling Cup Final 2011.


Not every pint you’ve ever ordered would have been finished, but that won’t mean that the pint wasn’t enjoyable. There was just something that meant not every last drop was taken. It happens.

So too our Carling Cup run.

If the purpose of the Carling Cup this year was to embed some of our younger players bordering on the first team into future first team stars and provide a run out for what is a large squad than arguably it served it’s purpose.

If the aim was to simply win it at all costs we failed. But remember, the line up he used at Spurs in the third round could have seen us go out – this cup run could have been all but a distant memory – I’m glad it wasn’t.

That we didn’t win the trophy today is of course disappointing, for there is little doubt we will unlikely find ourselves with a better chance. As fans we turned up and everyone had said we were going to win – most of us probably thought we would. However, our players didn’t look completely relaxed, we were misplacing passes in a manner most unusual for us and Birmingham got a few breaks. In the cold light of day it’s hard to begrudge them their success.

Of course we took the trophy more seriously this year. Desperation from Wenger to win a trophy?  It’s an argument but I’d point out that our squad is probably better as an 18 or 21 man group of players than the last couple of years.

Look at our bench when we have our first eleven out this year – you’ll probably find the likes of Almunia, Gibbs, Arshavin, Denilson, Bendtner, Rosicky, Koscielny, Squillaci, Denilson, Diaby or Chamakh – it’s not all bad. When you add players like Ramsey, Emmauel Thomas, Traore, Vela and Lansbury who are out on loan – we do have a huge group of players who we’ve seen in first team action. There wasn’t the need to play some of the lesser-known names that we’ve seen in previous years.


A great cup run

Let’s not forget we’ve had some great moments this year as well and Wenger rather than putting loads of kids in the team has chosen to carefully bleed certain individuals in.

Remember White Hart Lane in Round Three – how we tore them apart in Extra-Time with three goals? Henri Lansbury started that game. Remember the way we took Newcastle United to the sword in Round Four when a Walcott double saw us on our way to winning 4-0? Craig Eastmond started that game.

We brushed Wigan aside in Round Five and that night we saw Jay Emmanuel-Thomas for the first time in the season as well as Craig Eastmond again. When the pressure was on against Ipswich we came good in the second leg.



The disappointment of today will linger or otherwise depending on how the rest of the season pans out. Losing a final hurts, losing one when you’re huge favourites and you’ve gone six years without a trophy probably hurts more. But we’re still fighting on three fronts.

Let’s hope it’s quickly put to the back of our minds. The 2010/2011 season could still be one to remember – today won’t change that alone.

2 Responses to “Wembley turned out to be a pain in the Brum”
  1. I wish (and hope) you are right. But I fear not. I just can’t see how they’ll recover from this.

    I still believe we’ll beat your beloved Orient on Wed night, but that results in a meeting at Old Trafford – can’t see us winning that.

    Moving onto the league, I’m afraid that could be out of our hands, if Utd beat Chelsea and Liverpool (A) in their next two games it’s curtains for the PL; even if we continue our strong form. And of course let’s not forget Barca, which I think you’ll agree we shouldn’t look past the reality that they should beat us, although we can but hope!

    In sum, my heart tells me we’ve got a fighting chance on 3 fronts, my head tells me this season will go down as another disappointment.

    I for one enjoyed my pint today, alas I left the glass half empty

    • joshlandy says:

      They’ll be a lot of people agreeing with you about this being the beginning of the end of the season. The truth is we’re not favourites in anything we’re left in… so in one sense it won’t be a shock if we end the season with nothing – that is the most likely option I would say now – that’ll be odds on at the bookies.

      Maybe this will be something that looks worse in May if it’s another barren year, but I don’t think this will be a turning point personally.

      If we go and lose 2-0 in Barca, it can happen anyway. What would be a worry is messing up Wednesday night or losing to Sunderland at home next week – when 2/3 of those results creep in within a month, then yes, it’s potentially the turning point.

      And to conclude, pint is probably ‘half empty’ than ‘full’ tonight, but it’s still got liquid in…

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