Arsenal strolled out of the FA Cup after a woeful display at the Nottingham Forest. The Gunners were second best as they lost 4-2 to the Championship side who were without a win in 5 previous games. The Cup holders are out.
It was the first of Arsenal’s three games of which Wenger is banned from the touchline and the Gunners were disappointing. A poorly defended freekick was headed in by Eric Lichaj to give Forest the lead in the 20th minute, but Arsenal responded within 3 minutes. Just before halftime, the home side went ahead after a poor clearance from the Gunners – Lichaj with his brace.
The home side screwed the knife further in the 64th minute from the spot after a missed tackle from Holding. Welbeck pulled one back in the 79th minute to set up a hopeful finish. Another penalty in the 84th minute after Debuchy’s tackle made it 4-2 and beyond the Gunners.
A mixture of experience and youth used to be good enough to defeat a championship side but that used to be when the experience is valuable. What Arsenal have now can be classified as deadites. Welbeck, Walcott, Ospina, Metersacker, Debuchy and Elneny were the experience players in the starting line. Holding, Maitland-Niles and Iwobi will not be seen as inexperienced with their caps in the Premier League but the Gunners managed to make nothing out of it.
Two English international forwards and a Nigerian star all failing to light up the forest. My friends will call them frauds. Miserable shot of goal. How do Arsenal keep producing trailer loads of deadites? Was it not few seasons ago that their was a major offload? Gosh. Elneny could only look on as Palace went 2-1 up before the break. He could have pressured the American but he allowed him like he was his teammate. Ospina could even do nothing there. The Colombia pulled out a couple of saves but could do nothing to prevent the goals. Deadites.
Arsenal and Referees
It best to now agree that the English referees have decided to make at least a wrong call capable of hurting the Gunners every game. While you can blame the clumsiness of the Gunners in the box for the 2 penalties, you could wonder how the referee failed to spot the double-kick penalty by Dowell to make it 4-2 for the home side. Where is VAR for heavens sake? Wenger is currently banned from the touchline for his comments against the referees but you can see how woeful they continue to be. Thank goodness they won’t be at World Cup to spoil the fun.
Sometimes you wonder how a single decision can change the direction of the game. The Gunners were on the ascendancy when they conceded the penalty at 3-2 down. If Moss had made the right call, the 4th goal wouldn’t have been counted and Arsenal may have fought for a third goal. While the referees continue to screw the Gunners, Arsenal must find a way to live psychologically above the wrong decisions.
Arsenal’s bench were made up of Academy players still feeding on milk and liquid food. When the Gunners needed support from the bench, Bould could only throw in Eddie Nketiah and Chuba Akpom. What can those two do? Yes, Eddie did save the Gunners in the Carabao Cup but you can’t be lucky every time.
The injury concerns may have added. No Giroud, No Ramsey, No Xhaka, No Koscienly etc. Wilshere has played so many games in recent time that a rest was needed. Nevertheless, one would have expected Mesut Ozil or Alexis Sanchez to be on the bench in case of such but Arsenal thought otherwise. Now, they have only the Carabao Cup and Europa League to challenge for. Forget about the Premier League.
Arsenal just Arsenalled it. The trip to Stamford Bridge is next for the first leg of the Carabao Cup. Congratulations Nottingham Forest, Lord Bendtner would be proud of you. Shame on you Arsenal – a first third round defeat for the Gunners since 1996. When is Wenger leaving again?