Not Arsenal according to Arsene Wenger. For years now he has been continually told that he needs a commanding figure in his team, and for years (since Patrick Viera in my view) he has refused to go and get one.
Today it came home to roost. Never mind the second Birmingham goal, the first one wouldn’t have happened with a Tony Adams type figure on the pitch.
Can you imagine what would have happened to that ball that came into Zigic for his goal if Adams had been there? Everything would have been cleared out, as it was, Zigic effectively had a free header.
As for the second goal, well, he may well have sliced it into the back of his own net, but one way or another Adams, or an Adams type figure, would have dealt with it – rather than watch it bounce off his keeper and into the path of Obafemi Martins, like Laurent Koscielny did.
At times in the 2nd half it looked like only a matter of time before Arsenal scored what would probably have been the winner, only to be thwarted by Ben Foster. I’ve more than had my doubts about Foster over the years, but I have to say that I was impressed with him today.
Fair play to Alex McLeish as well, it was a brave decision to bring Martins on for a midfielder, rather than a like for like replacement for Zigic. It showed that he was prepared to go for it in extra time.
I was also pleased for Steven Carr, a few years back he retired through injury and was contemplating life outside football. A different prognosis of his injury later and he’s lifting the Carling Cup at Wembley.