Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Tottenham 5 - Arsenal 1 (Adebayor 70')

As bad as it gets

Arsenal crashed out of the Carling Cup at the hand of the same man who masterminded their only Champions League defeat of the year in Seville a couple of short months ago.

It was as comprehensive of a defeat as the Gunners have suffered in recent memory - the defense looked lost and constantly outpaced, the midfield showed no creativity, and the attack never received much service.

Despite having half of the first team on the field for most of the match, we were devoid of any cohesion, from the lack of initiative at Jenas' first goal ("Are you going to block? No? Oh, you want me to block?") all the way through the end.

As if the defeat itself was not damaging enough, the incident between Adebayor and Bendtner (which, needless to say, the entire press is running with) is particularly troubling. Not only does it reinforce the idea that this young team is far from reaching the maturity required to prevail over a lengthy campaign, it also creates a disciplinary dilemma for Wenger. Given how thin the squad has suddenly become, he can not suspend either of the two players. They are two of our only three bona fide strikers, after all. With the goal-scoring from midfield all but dried up, he doesn't have much of a choice.

The (very brief) ratings:

Fabianski - 5
Sagna - 6
Gallas - 4
Hoyte - 4
Traore - 5 (Eduardo 6)
Hleb - 5
Denilson (Fabregas 5)
Gilberto - 5
Diaby - 5
Walcott - 4 (Adebayor 7)
Bendtner - 5

Let's hope for a quick rebound against Newcastle to avoid the Black Week we experienced last February... Odds are, the team is rather unsettled right now.

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