Carling Cup, so close yet so far.

Arsenal FC

0 - 1


Manchester City

Sergio Aguero

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So many times in this competitions we’ve looked like it will be our best chance of winning a title , yet again we’ve not been quite able to make it.

This time, whether there’s been a change in attitude, or was the quality of performance on display, or the cost of opposition, this time does not feel as bad as the others.

We’ve been knocked out in the past by, Burnley, Spurs, thrashed by City away, bullied by stoke, and had our hearts ripped out by Brimingham at Wembley, but this time it feels different.

Fans left the Emirates with a positive feeling, a sense of pride, proud of the young-1 men who showed that they can perform with the best of them, proud of the older-2 heads who instilled a sense of calm, and assurance.

It shows that there is still life left in the old youth project, we also learned that the backup in some positions are not as bad as we thought, most of all it shows that there a togetherness and a fight in this Arsenal team and shows there is a “team” in this team.

Not that there isn’t anything to worry about though. The bluntness of our attack is something of a bother. Neither Chamakh or Park gave us any hint that the reliance on Robin van Persie can be abated with confidence. Sergio Aguero showed what a quality striker looked like, seizing on his only real chance to give City the win.

While Arshavin’s cameo—the less said the better.

More an more it’s likely that there will be a foray in the January transfer market to sharpen our attack. The problem lies in the availability of good attacking stock during that period. The better players surely won’t be released by their respective teams.

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The best we can hope for is that a good but unsettled striker can be found. There has been talk of Podolski being the top target for that role. A well respected striker in the Bundesliga that has indicated his preference to move to new pastures. If that happens then it will go some way to alleviating the pressure on monsiuer van Persie.

Nasri eventually asked to be denched…I mean benched

Where we seem to have good options is in the center of midfield. If Coquelin or Frimpong—who made it his personal duty to make Nasri know what we think of him— can replicate their performance on a consistent basis then there is not much to worry about in the case of Song or Arteta being absent.

Defensively we already have ample backup, yet the left back position is one of some concern. Miquel played there against City but he is not a left back, in fact it may have been his 1st game in that position. His lack of experience showed earlier on in the game with Johnson getting the better of him in the early exchanges.

To his credit though he improved as the game wore on, to the point where he had the upper hand on the opposition and was quite comfortable until his substitution in the 80th minute.

So the Carling Cup has ended the opportunity for fringe players to get a run out. Some may move out on loan, and while the player of Coquelin would benefit from being farmed out it’s more likely that one of he and Frimpong will be kept back to relieve the current centre midfielders.

We all wish that we could beat moneybags City  but we didn’t. and the focus must be reset to moving up the premier league table. Wigan is up next and it is imperative that we get all 3 points from that encounter.

Thanks for stopping by, please leave your thoughts in the comments section below or @wengerball on twitter. Until next time… Forward.

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