An Unbelievable Climax To The League (Cup) Season

What about that, eh?

Firstly, you’ve just got to give credit to Wigan, haven’t you? If Jewell is not named manager of the year at the end of the season, then I’m a Dutchman. They were fantastic last night.

Which is a shame for us of course, because we played pretty well – in fact, it was a humdinger of a cup tie. Both sides had bags of chances, but it was a game we should have won being 2-0 up with no time left to fart, so the way it ended did leave something of a sour taste.

Well, I say we played well, and indeed we did, with one glaring exception – central defence. Poor old Senderos and Campbell had the worst of evenings, and are nothing if not consistent.

Consistently troubled by long balls punted through the middle, that is. Exactly the same schoolboy defending lost us the game on Saturday, and an almost identikit clanger lost us a place in the final last night. Add to that two definite penalties for Wigan – one each from the two culprits in question – and you could say it wasn’t their finest hour.

Phil Senderos is a young player and needs leeway, but he does need to pick up the pace a bit, because the same errors he was committing in the Community Shield – legs turn to jelly, that kind of thing – he’s still doing now. He’s also prone to clamber all over defenders, and one of these days, his luck at not getting sent off or conceding a penalty will turn. Campbell, too, is not comfortable at the moment. Whether it’s because he’s coming back from injury, whether he can’t play with Senderos, or whether it’s something else, we just don’t know.

So Wenger went for it last night, but we fell short. The upshot of all that effort – or downshot – is that we will be without Lauren, Henry and Campbell for Saturday’s FA Cup tie, all of whom suffered injuries last night. Others may be rested too.

There’s nothing like doing things the hard way…


Arsenal since about 1979. Thick, thin and all that.