For argument’s sake
Yesterday we all lay witness to possibly the best match in [Sponsor] Cup history, maybe one of the best ever. Not in importance but, as a spectacle this game will be difficult to top for a while. And predictably we saw a lot of non-Arsenal and non-Reading fans who, simply for the sake of getting a word in, running their mouths about it.
As fans we’re used to facing a lot of ignorant abuse. Of course, we’re used to dishing it out as well. Without such arguments and friction among fans, sport ceases to have a point. So in the wake of what was really fantastic to watch as a football match those fans inevitably got talking.
So let’s set things straight shall we?
1. “Arsenal let in five goals against Reading! They’re going to get smashed at Old Trafford.”
Oh my God, we are! Because we will be playing Johan Djourou despite the fact that he hasn’t played in the league in what seems like a year. Ignasi Miquel will power through an injury he picked up in the game and failing that Jernade Meade will back him up. Because Andre Santos is that bad. And Gibbs may not be fit.
Let’s get real. This is going to come up a lot. This was a second string side, a majority of whom aren’t wanted or are not going to make the grade at Arsenal. Okay, Koscielny’s performance for most of the game was inexcusable. Two of the five can be attributed to Walcott’s and Koscielny’s complacency in the first half but other than that very little connection can be made between the side we saw yesterday and the one we’ll see on Sunday.
We haven’t taken this competition very seriously and it’s unfortunate that it ended the way it did the one time we did take it seriously. Obviously the early rounds are great for seeing what the younger or fringe guys can do. Gnabry who, to be fair to him, didn’t have much time to play in the reinvigorated second half side still did a decent job from the little we got to see of him. Eisfeld was the one that really impressed me and there’s no doubt that he could be in the first team some day. Arshavin ran the show, passing Reading off the park in the second half. We saw Chamakh carry out his business in a way we’ve never seen before. Walcott, who I have given a lot of stick in the past, showed that he’s just a better touch and better passing away from being a truly world class player. And all of that came through Arsène who himself proved he has the ability to turn things around.
With a lot of the first team players watching this match, it’ll help to have them realise that they can turn games around like that too should they need to against United this weekend.
2. “I thought the League Cup wasn’t important?!”
No, Liverpool fan, it isn’t important. That doesn’t mean we don’t want to win it. But pretending it’s anything more than a morale booster or a stepping stone to bigger trophies is stupid. Once again, we were playing a very different side that honestly didn’t deserve to win after that first half. So the comeback was a miracle and it deserved the hysterics from Arsenal fans towards the end.
In a way I can see why this even came up. They did get it from other fans for celebrating the victory. It seems every team that wins the [Sponsor] Cup does. But I think most of the abuse Liverpool received after winning the trophy was for things like Damien Comolli saying that it would help them convince best players to join the club.
Normally I’d let this slide but their fans took out the frustrations of being the most hated team last year on us, rubbing the Birmingham loss in our faces so I’d love a chance to throw it right back at them.
3. “Do Arsenal win a ‘trophy’ for the comeback?”
Yes, Liverpool fan. We’re putting it right next to your Europa League playoff trophy.