Arsenal thrashed as Eboue and Gallas lose their cool

Arsenal were dumped out of the FA Cup in astonishing fashion as Manchester United handed out a 4-0 drubbing at Old Trafford overnight. The home side were three up within 38 minutes as Wayne Rooney and Darren Fletcher scored with their head and Luis Nani clinically finished off Michael Carrick’s perfect pass.

Things only got worse for Arsenal after the break when Emmanuel Eboue was correctly sent off for a deliberate studs-to-the-groin challenge against Patrice Evra and Arsene Wenger’s side were lucky not to be down to nine when William Gallas kicked out at Nani off the ball. The rout was completed in the 74th minute when Fletcher scored his second of the game, heading home Nani’s excellent cross. You can see all the highlights here.

Gilberto Silva lack of speed was again shown up against UnitedFrom an Arsenal perspective there are few positives to take out of this game. The injury situation at the club meant that while Wenger was able to field a reasonably strong side, there were key players in crucial positions missing. Jens Lehmann started in goals behind a much-changed back four of Justin Hoyte, William Gallas, Kolo Toure and Armand Traore. Their lack of playing time as a unit was shown up on a ridiculously consistent basis, and not one of the back four played well.

It is clear that as Nani and Co ran riot that Arsenal missed the full-back pairing of Gael Clichy and Bacary Sagna. I don’t want to write off Hoyte and Traore as lost causes because they are still so young and do have potential, but they were shown up horribly against Manchester United last night. Each of the four goals came from crosses into the box and so often this season the first-choice full-backs have had the sharpness and tenacity to block a lot of balls aimed into the penalty area from out wide. At times, Hoyte and Traore may not have bothered even being out there.

In midfield Gilberto Silva started alongside Cesc Fabregas with Alexandr Hleb and Emmanuel Eboue taking up the flanks. It is no coincidence that each of the four times that Arsenal have lost this season Mathieu Flamini has not been in the starting side and the selection of Gilberto again meant the movement and distribution in the midfield was severely hampered. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, but Flamini is absolutely vital to any Arsenal success this season and as soon as I saw his name absent from the team sheet I feared there would be trouble.

As for the other three in the midfield, neither of them did much at all. Fabregas and Hleb were both very quiet, seemingingly wanting to avoid as much physical contact as possible. It seemed they really missed their buddy Flamini in the midfield and as a result a lot of the time they were unable to get forward and help the front two because of Arsenal’s inability to outmuscle United’s crowded midfield.

Eboue’s tackle on Evra was a selfish and stupid actSelfish Eboue

And then there was Eboue. What a frustrating and idiotic performance he put in. He was poor in the first half, very poor, but to get sent off in the manner he did in the second half has to be one of the stupidest things I’ve ever seen on a football field. Arsenal’s injury list is so long at the moment that Wenger needs every single one of his available players doing their best to lessen the impact of this difficult, yet what is Eboue’s response? To peform outrageously dangerous tackle that will now see him suspended for a minimum of three matches and that put a significant amount of extra physical demand on the Arsenal players who were left on the pitch. Stupid? Yes. Selfish? Certainly. It is not the first time that Eboue has done something this dangerous and stupid but it is the first time he’s been caught and Wenger will certainly have to take some disciplinary action over his performance.

Up front Nicklas Bendtner and Eduardo da Silva were paired together and I actually felt that they did OK under the circumstances. Given the absolutely dominating performance of United’s midfield the Arsenal attackers were never going to get a lot of chances but the front pairing worked hard to make the most of their chances and Bendtner in particular won a lot of ball in the air. However, when Eduardo made way for Emmanuel Adebayor arrived as part of Wenger’s triple-substitution in the 70th minute supporters got a glimpse of what the Arsenal attack had been missing. Although the Togolese man was booked for a hopeless attempt at a dive soon after coming on he genuinely troubled the United defence and even made a couple of half-chances between the end. With AC Milan just around the corner he still remains Arsenal’s best chance of goal.

On the whole the thing that disappointed me the most about this Arsenal performance was not losing, or even losing 4-0, but that the players allowed themselves to be ruffled so badly by the situation. As I mentioned previously, Eboue’s tackle was a disgrace while Gallas’ kick-out on Nani was almost as foolish and, given that Sir Alex Ferguson is rightly asking for a video investigation of the incident, could see the captain suspended as well. While many supporters will not be surprised with Eboue’s petulance and selfishness, Gallas really should know better and I feel Arsenal will be very lucky to retain his services for the next couple of Premiership games. Given the club’s injury situation, this is a serious concern.

In terms of the footballing performance I felt this match clearly outlined just how important some players have become to the Arsenal cause. Sagna and Clichy were badly missed, while it is plain as day that the Arsenal midfield cannot perform at their best without the tenacity of Flamini in the midfield. Up front, the same could be said of Adebayor.

The good news to take from the game is that each of the four players mentioned above will be available for the Champions League clash with AC Milan on Thursday. As such, Wenger and his players have an immediate chance to turn their fortunes around. A win against Milan, a very real possibility given the strength of the side that Arsenal will be able to field and the fact that the game is being played at home, will almost instantly erase the negative psychological impacts of this defeat. A loss or even a draw, on the other hand, will see the media continue to question Arsenal’s mental strength.

It’s going to be a tough week ahead and while the skies look very grey at the moment I think it’s important for supporters to remember that the boys are just one positive performance away from seeing the sun shining again.

What do you think?

Have your say on Arsenal-Manchester United by leaving a comment.



  1. One defeat agaisnt your daily rivals does not a crisis make.It depends on how you move on .Failure to qualify for cl qf and coupled with a draw against Bc will send the media into overdrive.
    I think AW will cull up to six players from next season. There was no fight from the aspiring gunners and AW tactics have been exposed.
    It remains to be seen whether this will derail the title bid. I think the gunners of 2008 are more competent than those of 2003 especially the defence. Of course we have to factor in the refs decisions with regard to yellow and red cards.Honestly I wouldn’t be surprised if we get some our key players suspended thru some biased refs. You never know.

  2. Felt it needed to be mentioned that I thought Lehmann was fantastic last night. Probably says a lot about the rest of the team that he shipped four and still had a sensational game, but I couldn’t fault any aspect of his game.

  3. Okay, as much as I hate to say it, Arsene Wenger will NEVER be as good a manager as Ferga-cocksucker until he stops being so thin skined. We need a squad with real depth and quality, but AW doesn’t want to upset the players that are in the waiting, like it is some delicate fucking thing. We are fucking Arsenal! You should be proud to be in our squad because we play the most beautiful fucking football there is!!
    We have the money why don’t we add more quality, experience. I still believe Arsenal are in a different league to Man U. We just need to start acting like it…

  4. Stonroy I don’t understand your perspective entirely. I think he’s just as good a manager as Ferguson is, he just works in a different way. We lost because we didn’t perform on the day and had some important players missing, not because Wenger puts his faith in younger players.

  5. “What a performance” First of all Lehman was our man of the man.He prevented the score line from hitting the doubles.Secondly i think Bendtner and Eduardo did okay given the woeful display of the team.they really struggled to make something out of nothing.Hleb was not influential enough because he was always forced to fall back and defend.Same for Fabregas.Fabregas has been overrated lately.he does not seem to pull his weight very much lately.I want to believe that he’s a little tired.Gilberto is permamently rusty.nothing more to say about him.As for Eboue the least said the better.Was a totally idiotic performance capped with an unprofessional tackle at a time when we are down to the “bare bones”.He claims some Italian clubs want him.cant wait to see his back.It makes me wonder how many assists he has amassed so far this season as a winger.I can go on about him forever.Traore doesnt know a thing about defending.he’ll probably make a better winger.
    Gallas was totally terrible given his recent decent run.Kolo seemed to just add up to the back four.The chemistry he enjoyes with Gallas seemed to have gone on holiday.
    Saving the worst for last.Hoyte was totally shitty.He was much more of an admirer than an opponent of Nani and Evra as they came attacking down his flank.He never made any meaningful attempt to clear any of the balls that came thru his side.Instead he watched them in stupid anticipation.He doesnt deserve to wear Arsenal shirt.The first team is good but the team depth leaves a lot to be desired.

  6. I must say that i was not too happy at the decision of mr wenger, although i agree that we have lost a lot of players to injury. Thus i wondered why we did not buy anyone in the january window even when we knew we needed extra legs. Gallas’performance on the day was appalling how could a sweeper allow long balls pass him consistently?
    when he refused to do the right things we had no choice bcos there was no one else on the bench.
    I disagree that eboue was at fault bcos here was a player who had problems playing at the nations cup and we then rush him back into the team.
    Like others i think this might be a blessing in disguise bcos it means we can focus on only two cups and thus win at least one.

  7. I got over this one pretty quickly, although the fact that I am writing this, nearly 20 hours after the game, tells you that I am not completely over it. That will happen when we beat Milan and Birmingham.

    First, kudos to ManUre. As most people will recognize, on their day they are the best team in the world. Most commentaries I have read have failed to notice that. But Nani, Anderson, and Rooney were really on the top of their game. Thankfully they don’t produce that form every week. Arsenal, on the other hand, has so far found a way to win the games that matter. In fact, I fully expect them to stumble a few more times this year.(Notice that I don’t think this game mattered much, but I am a newer, non-English fans. I realize that the English this cup matters.)

    Second, the game showed how dependent we are on Clichy, Sagna, and Flamini. I hope that Song can step up and become a decent copy of Flamini. Traore seems a long way off right now, and Hoyte seems to lack confidence; that may be because he just isn’t good enough. And Eboue, whom I have defended until now, showed that he is just too screwed up in the head to be a part of the drive for he CL and the title. I even
    have my doubts about Bendtner who looked fantastic as a sub against tired defenses earlier in the season, but just doesn’t work enough to trouble teams for an entire game.

    In other words, I agree with the rest of you that the squad is looking thin and that the gap between our first 14 or 15 (current eleven plus Senderos, Diaby, RVP if he comes back) is troubling large at the moment. That, I think, is the main lesson to take away from this game.

  8. I’m too frustrated with Wenger and his bloody excuses,I want Wenger to take all matches seriously because of records.(5-1)(4-0)this is very bad.

  9. As a rival, i hope arsenal morale will be further dented after they play AC Milan. Kaka did played in their last game against Parma, and I think the squad is good enuff to secure at least a 1-1 draw or 0-0 draw. Perhaps a resurgence Birmingham City can hold Arsenal for goalless draw or Sebastian Larrson can give a goal to remember for fellow gooners. Remember me.. Amiaq Ferguson..

  10. The quicker we get that nightmare out of our mind’s the better and look forward to wednesday.When we will have a first 11 out and focused on the job,which is awful to say when you consider what they get paid to do.What doe’s concern me is the le boss saying that our squad is not big enough to cope with the 4 competion’s.
    we all know how many trophy’s their are to challenge for at the start of the season and with our finance’s in far better shape than ever before’ it is frustrating that we do not buy player’s in their 20’s instead of 10 year old’s and hope to compete on all front’s.Whatever happen’s at the end of the season he will have to address the situation with a clear out of the player’s we all know should not be at the club and get the cheque book out to complement the younger player’s coming through.

  11. Bad game altogether. Nothing good at all.

    The only positive COULD be if we end up winning the league. We have a very stretched squad which cannot fight on all fronts, and the last thing we can afford is more fixtures. Our main focus is and should be the next 12 league games. Even the CL is an unnecessary distraction at this point, since our chances of winning it are very slim.

  12. Yesterdays game was a total mess. Hoyte having spent about 4 seasons is performing way below standard. How can Nani who,s just been in the premier a couple of seasons have a field day courtesy of Hoyte. I think Hoyte just can’t handle!!!! Traore is not the best subsitute for clichy. I believe Gibbs can do a much better job than Traore who seems to cowardize so much moving forward. Traore, by waiting for strikers in our half you attract them into our half and yet your defending is not so good. Try defending by putting in some attacking qualities. Wenger we have waited so long for a trophy. We are tired of watching other teams playing in finals and taking trophies!!! We also need to be seen taking trophies.

  13. I watched the game in Frankfurt and was really shocked at the deficencies of the defence.It was really appalling.
    The red faced will now think he has a team of world beaters.
    i hope they draw Chelsea in the qf,sf or f. I expect the blues to put the bull dog firmly in his place,an over rated bull dog.
    Aw has only himself to blame for placing too much trust in his young players only to be backfired.I am confident he can win the title despite the noises coming from the red faced and and the pro manure media.

    After clinching the title shd be humble enuf to take a leaf from the more successful managers and buy established players instead of nurturing talent where there is no 100% ggarantee of success.

  14. to say the least, yesterday’s game was a disgrace. Players lik eboue were a disappointment. Honestly, even if i trhought from the beging that our team was not good enough to win the match, i did not exepect such a score line.

    Our midfied was completely messed up. Also i never so any posotive contribution from eboue. gilbert also showed lck o pace. I wonder whethet he was playing under protest. As for the two wingbacks, theye were a disaster. Our captain and Toure were also not at their best.

    I only hope that they will all get over it and finish the game with AC Milan. We need nothing but a win.

    I also agree with those saying we need to get some backup prayers. while we have a number of young talented players, we also need experience. Otherwise we are on course.

    What we should not forget is that we played for almost 40 minutes with a man down. this made it worse for us to get even a face saver cinsdering that our midfield was not ticking.

  15. It was ugly and we know how abysmal the team were. I hope AW can lift them in readiness for Milan because they will have been mightily encouraged by that performance. We desperately need Clichy and Sagna back and ready to fight. Aside from the collective lack of belief, desire, application – whatever it was … you cannot field a side at Old Trafford when you know United will come at you like a steam train, attacking down the flanks, with Hoyte and Traore in those crucial positions but worse than that imho is the use of Gilberto to protect the back four. His performances this season have been below what is required. He lacks pace and aggression – with Flamini in there maybe the game would have been better contested but in the end they wanted to win and we didn’t believe we could. We had Senderos on the bench – so he was fit, right? We could have used him as a central defender and shifted Gallas out to the left back position but with all the injuries then Arsene had little option but to employ Gilberto in that crucial defensive midfield role … if Diarra had stayed he would be playing there, if Diaby was fit then he could do that job, and so on … as for Eboue, well it wasn’t his fault but he has been a liability this season and looks dangerously close to getting sent off far too often for my liking. His place in the side should and could be occupied by a reliable and goalscoring player, so he has to be replaced. Personally I would have preferred to see him play at right back yesterday. Maybe we could have drafted in one of our youngsters at wide right – dunno who was available though. Eduardo is at least getting better each game but not strong enough for a midfield role just yet.

    I believe we will recover and go on to win the PL but I think the CL might be a stretch too far.

    How much do we miss RVP? Hurry back mate – we need you up front.

  16. I need to say that for someone like Arsene Wenger to say that FA Cup is not in his list and PL and CL are more important than FA Cup is so stupid and rediculous;When will Arsene wenger will buy experience players and will start to spend money rather than keeping it????If we go on like this I can assure you that we might lose both PL and CL!!!

  17. Pathetic.Not the scoreline but the desire to compete against your main rivals.I was under no illusion that we’d win yesterday, far from it but what I did expect like all Arsenal fans was desire, tenacity and good old fashioned hard bloody work. We didn’t get that and that is unforgivable.I have said this before and I’ll say it again, unless AW dips his hands into those deep pockets and starts buying real world class footballers to compliment the kids we’ll always be also rans. Are Eboue, Hoyte, Gilberto and Traore world class? With the exception of traore (whose still young), Gilberto is past his best and the other 2 will never reach that status.This will probably annoy a lot of you guys but AW is starting to believe his own publicity in regards to finding young talent and nurturing them into world class players. I admire his philosophy to a degree but I believe you need to invest in some ready made top quality players and blend them in with the existing youth.

    Did you guys see Nani, Anderson and Rooney yesterday??Awesome but they weren’t part of Man u’s youth policy they went out and spent millions on top top quality players.Until Mr Wenger decides to spend on some real quality we will never be a force to be reckoned with.

    I really do hope I’m wrong but I cannot see us winning anything this season, I’ve said this from the start the squad is NOT good enough and only time will tell. Pessimist?? No just a realist. GET REAL WENGER and stop poncing about. I feel F-ing sick.

  18. To beat Arsenal without Clichy,Sagna,Almunia,Van Persie,Rosicky and Adebayor plus Flamini coming in as substitutes because of half fit,I don’t think Man United played to the Arsenal team that I know.Anyway that is football.

  19. Blaming Eboue for every Arsenal defeat is now becoming a blogging sport that is now sounding like a cracked record. It is self defeating and stupid

  20. I’m not sure everyone’s blaming Eboue for our defeat but it’s very annoying when a player doesn’t seem to learn from previous mistakes.

    We lost because we weren’t good enough.Simple.

    Get the cheque book out and start buying some real quality and stop relying on kids to when trophies.

    It’s been 3 seasons now since we won a trophy and all we keep hearing from AW is POTENTIAL POTENTIAL POTENTIAL.

    Lets buy players who are past this POTENTIAL crap who can deliver some silverware.

  21. I wasn’t the result that was so disappointing, it was the performance. No heart. No fight. No desire. it’s definitely the most gutless display of football I’m seen from a Wenger side.

    Right from the off we never looked interested and there wasn’t a single player who was willing to stick a foot it. Outfought and out-thought in every area of the pitch, it was the defense that corned me the most. I know their positional game might have been affected by the youthful naivety of our full-backs, but Kolo and Willy had a shocker.

    And in terms of Armand and little Justin, I’d suggest they should both be loaned out in the summer. Because right now I just don’t feel their at the level of Arsenal squad players, let alone first team players. Both seem to have gone back since last season.

    The press, as always, was a bit strong in it’s Arsenal bashing. Don’t know how much sky coverage you get Down Under SF mate, but Sky always seem to be in favor of those Man U media darlings.

    They can almost do no wrong, while our attitude towards the FA Cup, and Gallas in particular, was a disgrace. I swear I’m going to stop watching the Sunday supplement. The only thing more boring than hearing them prattling on about England’s lack of a number nine, is their Gooner bashing.

    I will admit, though, that every player should have given more than he did. Forget the FA Cup. I agree that’s it now almost as meaningless as the diddy, sorry, Carling cup. The most concerning this was that not one player showed any pride for the jersey of our great club or its 9000 traveling support. Disrespect the quality of the competition is you like lads. But always respect the caliber of the opposition.

  22. Nick:While on the point of “GET REAL WENGER and stop poncing about” and everyone else who thinks that a cheque book is the answer, REMEMBER the GALACTICOS. We had Thiery Henry for the last couple of seasons who in my book is one of the top players in the world and that didnt win us anything in those seasons. A team is all about roles different units supposed to play and for them playing them properly. Just one weak link, if not compansated for by someone else, and if the opposition can identify and exploit will make the entire team look awfull. We were just 2 weak links from a narrow win, Hoyte and Traore. Name any team in the world, including Man U who wont be streached thin with 11 injuries. It is simple dynamics of the game. While you have the ball, the opposition doesn’t, and while troubling your opponent, you are not being troubled. A well performing midfield depends on a solid defence NOT the opposite, and likewise a well performing attack needs a solid defense and midfield. Eboue has some issues to sort out, but for every arsenal fan who cries for him to be shiped out, remember he is a very good right back and before Sagna swept everyone off their feet, everyone was very pleased with him at RB. The person I won’t mind seeing sold is Hoyte. I think he has exhausted his potential and simply not good enough for the kind of play arsenal uses. I rate Diaby as a number 2 for Flamini but also think Gilberto, did very well, as well as Cesc. It wasn’t obvious because all 4 of our midfielders were covering/ helping/filling the void created by our wide defenders. That did not allow them to do their jobs as well as they should leaving the front men isolated. Eduardo plays well as the MAIN striker not the supporting striker. Both Adebayor and Bendtner(who if in a different league will be setting deffences on fire) are being played as main strikers but a more than capable playing as support strikers. Actually they function more effectively in the support striker role. we could get the most of our strikers if we let Eduardo linger around the box as the main strikers and let Adebayor, Bendtner and RVP do what they do best as support strikers. We will still get goals from them but it is a shame we let the killer insticts of Eduardo go un-utilised because he is pushed further away from the box.
    The best way to find a weakness on your team is when things go horribly wrong and not when things go well. This is because things going well “masks” the problematic areas of your team. I watched the match and while we were thoroughly spanked, I never thought we lacked the ability to beat United. We were just one Sagna,or eboue as RB to wiithstand the side Man U fielded yesterday and if Ronaldo was in, we would have needed Clichy also. A re-adjustment of our front 2 would have given us a better chance as long balls intended for Bendtner, would have proved something if Eduardo was the main striker. He knows how to read balls in flight and has one of the silkiest touches and ball control. With him up there, all long balls are potential goals, plus he can head too despite his size.

    WE DO NOT NEED TO BUY ANYONE. JUST SELL/DONT PLAY HOYTE.And adjust the role of some of our players.

    Frankly, the loss does not appear to have tenderized us at all. Even Man U cast will brace themselves for our return to OT and it is going to be the day they are deservedly humbled, provided we have at least half the injured available.

    I don’t foresee us losing the title.

  23. Arsenal never seemed to threaten United. Man Utd certainly showed how good they were against Arsenal. The passing was spot on and they were always attacking. Extra credit to the defence, they were terrific.

  24. Costanzo, we never threaten united for the same reason we lost the game. For your midfielders and attackers to defend, they have to run atleast twice the distance they normaly would. Which means when it is their turn to do their jobs they are always exhausted, which in turn affect their creativity and skillfulness, hence the passing. Arsenal’s game is about passing. You can’t pass well with heavy legs from extra duty. Trust me, with capable wide defenders as in Sagna and Clichy you wouldn’t be saying what you are right now. Man U defence didn’t have to do much. No extra credit to them as they were facing opponents who had been pulling extra duty all night. If I was to give credit it will be to Nani for exposing Hoyte. Everyone else was just reaping the benefits

  25. I think people are forgetting that we only transferred Sagna, Eduado (and Fabianski) this season. Yet it seems because of their performance this season that they have been here forever, and that the “failing” players were the ones brought in. I dont know, but i think people might just be over reacting slightly from this loss. But, when you step back and look at it, We were versing last years runnerup in the cup, with a B-Grade Arsenal team, and we lost 4 zip, and people are like “Wenger sucks” and “lets sell players”. Come on guys, it is dissapointing, but who really expects us to win with a team full of inexperience and injuries? Lets Give Credit where Credits due, and bloody move on, we have another, slightly bigger game this wednessday, and thos sort of attitude isnt going to help anything. (Sorry about the Long post SF, but i felt it needed saying. I still am an Arsenal Fan through and Through!!)

  26. I also agree with you. The Wenger-bashing is a bit of a joke isn’t it? Come on guys, we’re five points clear at the top and with an epic game against Milan to come this week to turn things around. It is becoming a bit of pattern that when we lose we lose badly but I’d rather take some beatings to make sure the boys win in the games that matter.

    With Flamini, Adebayor and the two full-backs in the side we will be a different proposition. Anyone as excited as I am about Wednesday?

  27. Yeah, I have a good feeling about it. I think the boys will be rallied up from the match, and with the others back, will be at giant-crushing best. I also have a feeling that, if not for the first, RVP will be back for the second leg of the milan game. Home game, with Ade, Flam and Edu all at top class, i think were the favourites with a 2-0 win first leg.

  28. I have read all the posts after the Man U drubbing and I must say I am disappointed. Imagine all if you were a liverpool fan? The FA Cup is not priority simple and short!!!! We have Milan mid-week with 12 games to go and we need not risk our best players for the game. For me this is a positive because after the 5-1 loss at spurs we went on to win 3-0, 3-0, 3-1 and 2-0.So if we can get 3 past milan then I pray we reverse the game and we get thumped 6-0. Lets analyse our season in terms of priority. Which would you prefer the FA Cup or the Premiership Title? Who remembers Chelsea being the FA Cup holders last season but everyone knows Man U are the current league leaders and in terms of extra funds I think the league and CL are more profitable to progress in/win than the FA cup and carling cup. In Nigeria there is this joke that the carling cup is made of wood.
    Lets anayse our weaknesses: Hoyte, Hoyte, Hoyte and Hoyte.I think Hoyte and Theo are in Arsenal because we need english players in the team.Hoyte is a total shame. He is in the same set with Diaby et all but seems not to develop at all. Eboue and Toure were off as I guess they were mourning their exit from the ACN.We need to get behind our team at this time so we as fans can be mentally balanced to watch the Milan game. Man united would not have beaten us with that team if we had our regulars on the pitch. Who the hell is Fletcher? Who!!!!! However I think we need depth because if there are injuries to Clichy or sangna our season might be over. In my opinion for financial benefite and prestige the league is the most important trophy!!!! Gooner for ever

  29. Yeah, good point. I hope they use this match as a motivator to really go and get through to the next round. Also, man utd might be a little bit over confident next time round. So if theres any Manutd fans out there, remember this: We might have been knocked out of the FA cup two years in a row, but who was the team who beat you twice in the league last year? Arsenal. so watch out next time round, well be back to pull that league cup out if your hands, and into our trophy locker!!

  30. If I were to slag off individuals I’d say Eboue is not worthy of the shirt, his endless stupidity lowers the tone. Eboue did one thing in the entire game and that was to make himself look a total arse. Traore hasn’t progressed and lacks positional sense – but he’s still very young. Gilberto is past his sell by date and although he really tried hard and attempted to rally others he regrettably no longer has what it takes. Bendtner worked hard but lacks pace and a certain degree of upper body strength. Gallas put in an awful performance – at a time when he needed to lead his back four he was one of the causes for our panicky defending.

    Eduardo was the only one who looked to be giving his all in a totally inept first half display by Arsenal. United played well but that was largely down to the fact that we let them.

    All Wenger’s second half substitutions were about saving players for the Milan game and the net result was an unwanted yellow card for a stupid and obvious dive by Adebayor.

  31. Emmanuel Eboue. The kid’s definitely lost his way. He must be feeling down with all the current criticism going his way. His current form is bad and his temperant antics on the field have not won him any favours. However, if he gets his head right and puts in the maximum application, he is still a hugely talented footballer. Yes, he lacks cunning and creativity. He is hardly an assistmeister but the current team have more than enough in Fab,Hleb,Rosicky. But, he can be a powerful marauding winger if we all remember his pre-season and early season form. Eboue is a powerful lad with pace and armed with a tricky and rather skilful jinkling style of dribbling and he can get past players. He did consistently power past a few decent fullbacks on a consistent basis in the Amsterdam tournament, esp against the Inter team. And we thought we finally had a messiah on the right wing did’nt we? He is never gonna make the sharp or incisive through pass with his “footballing brain”. But, he can still play to his strengths which other squad members lack. He was like a whirlwind, an “elemental force of nature” if I remembered the description correctly from you Myles. He just needs to produce it more often. I find that he needs to rediscover his confidence and sense of adventure in taking on defenders. He needs to have his head right. When tackled, get on with the gameplay fast and try harder next time around, instead of writhing on the ground feigning injury and getting sympathy marks from the referee. The kid just needs more bottle and stand up to be counted, and have the right attitude. He did put in a few good assists last season, where this season has gone horribly wrong for him. He could mixed it I remember, his crossing is average, like Glichy sometimes, but with his ability he can power off into byeline positions to cut back a pass or make runs from wide positions between defenders towards the edge of the box to square passes. He can be effective, and he needs to be for the crucial period of this season as long as Rosicky is always injured and Walcott is not ready.

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