Arsenal crashed out of the EFL Cup on Wednesday against Southampton as 10 changes proved a step too far.
Truth be told, I wasn’t that bothered with the match before it started. I’m heading off to London for some major surgery tomorrow and am naturally distracted. Plus, it’s the EFL Cup. Who cares about that apart from Tottenham fans?
It was an exciting game, though, wasn’t it?
The team was, more or less expected. Aaron Ramsey was a surprise given that he’s been playing with a broken toe but at this point it’s absolutely no use trying to work out what Arsene Wenger has going on in his head.
Arsenal dominated the opening exchanges but it was Southampton who took the lead with a thunderbolt of a strike. All week, I’d had a feeling we were going to struggle in this game, but I’m generally so rubbish at predicting how games will go, I didn’t pay any attention to myself.
We responded well. Instead of wobbling and looking like we could concede a couple more immediately, we steadied and upped the pressure, pushing Southampton back, lifting the home crowd in the process.
Despite that, we still managed to go two down.
As if things weren’t going badly enough, we then lost Elneny to injury just before the break. We’d lost a few others, including Iwobi, when the game started and they simply vanished.
It was a 45 to forget.
But never fear, we’re a second half team, right?
During the break, Arsenal located Iwobi who came flying out like a man in possession of Alexis Sanchez’s soul. A number of mazy runs, completed thanks to pure power of will as much as quick feet, saw the youngster try to set the tempo of the game. Wenger had clearly reminded them all to calm down during the break.
Despite looking better, Arsenal could have conceded more. Shane Long was again proving to be akin to Lionel Messi when paired with the Arsenal defence. Why is that? He’s small and quick. So’s my dog. Wave a sausage at him or something, it can’t be that hard to deal with.
In the end, Wenger made 10 changes to the starting lineup including one player with a broken toe, one only returning from an ankle injury and one shorn of confidence. That was always going to have an effect and not in a good way. Loans will come now for a number of this starting lineup, the bench for others.
Until we lose more players due to injury, obviously.