All that is left now is the customary springtime implosion in the league and succumbing to a stronger side in Europe. As discussed, there was little choice but to put out a weak team against Stoke. I wouldn't criticise Wenger because similar Arsenal sides have beaten better teams than Stoke in the carling cup. And to those who say he deliberately "threw" the game, I'd retort that if he was doing that, he hardly would have had Fabregas playing ninety minutes. The decisive factor was, as the manager said himself, Stoke being a very strong team physically and having too much for Arsenal in that regard. To be fair they were well worth their victory, and maybe deserved to win by more, and certainly we've no reason to look forward to the league game there. They are reminiscent of Bolton under Allardyce. Less flair, but just as obnoxious. Nobody should be too devastated by the result. The FA cup looked winnable this year and so it is disappointing to go out but the true extent of the dmage will only become clear in hindsight. The next couple of weeks go badly, and everybody will point back to this game and suggest that Wenger should have put out the strongest possible team but he's the manager and it's his prerogative to prioritise these things. He obviously believes we can win the league and in fairness, even if we don't win it, I'd probably prefer INVOLVEMENT in a title race to a good FA cup run.
A few worrying aspects to the Arsenal performance though. Fabianski took seventy seconds to show why the clown that is Almunia is still number one. I'd say, without exaggeration, we've the worst set of goalkeepers of any team in the Premiership, and that's unforgivable. Also, it's sad that Stoke's long throw strategy has been found out by pretty much every team except Arsenal. While campbell did ok, Silvestre was a liability again, almost giving away what should have been a daft penalty. Traore is defensively suspect too, hopefully that's the last we'll see of either of them this season but I won't hold my breath. Walcott is rubbish. The thought of him going to the World cup again makes me laugh. Vela doesn't look much better. Never seems to offer much goal threat. For all the talk of it being a weak team, these are two guys we are supposedly relying on for goals, according to Wenger. They've two goals between them. With Eduardo and Bendtner as the only two legitimate striking options, it still beggars belief that Wenger hasn't signed another. I know that we've scored an avalanch of goals but when you look at our front three most games that almost seems like a statistical aberration. I just can't see it continuing.
While Stoke 3-1 Arsenal was bad, Egypt 3-1 cameroon is undoubtedly good because it means that soon we can put out a proper midfield again.