Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A New Low for Arsenal

Normally, Arsenal virtually ignore the League Cup (now known as the Capital One Cup), which is the second-sister to the far more prestigious FA Cup. Usually, Arsene Wenger fields a team of second-tier players, and they normally get to the advanced stages of the competition before bowing out to stronger competition.

This year is different. The Gunners have gone without silverware for so long now that they cannot afford to overlook any opportunity, however meager the prize. So, yesterday, Wenger fielded one of his strongest sides against League Two (which is actually the fourth tier of English football after the Premiership, the Championship, and League One). And they lost on penalty

There's an old saying from American football that "on any given Sunday," any team can beat any other team. But this would be like the New England Patriots losing to Iowa State University (which is not intended to insult either ISU or Bradford City).

This season Arsenal's critics have been trying to figure out where to lay blame for their poor performances (despite a reasonably strong, on paper, roster). Some have pointed at the lack of goal-scoring; others on the "fragile" defense; others on the manager, who they claim has "lost the plot," and still others on the owner and general manager who control the purse-strings. A loss such as this clarifies that responsibility falls at the feet of everyone associated with Arsenal football club, including supporters who do not demand better.

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