Will Cup defeat help or hinder Arsenal?

By Avenell Dave

I didn't think I would care about losing the League Cup game last night.

I didn't think that Arsenal would field such a strong team. 

But if I'm honest, it hurts.

It hurts to lose to Chelsea. It hurts to lose to Mourinho and it hurts to see our side play so poorly in any game. 

The fact that Arsene Wenger played such a strong side underlines his desire to win it, to compete against what would have been a strong Chelsea side whoever played. 

But the fact that such a decent Arsenal side did little to inspire those watching, calmly contained by a determined visiting team speaks volumes for the progress we have yet to make. 

It's ironic that we were all up in arms at the weekend when Match of the Day pundits highlighted an age-old problem that we get caught out at our own corners. 

And yet again we showed that habitual problems continue to haunt us.

Forget the fact that Santi Cazorla's corner was poor.

Time and again we get caught out by opponents breaking fast and killing us from our own corners. It happened against Villa on the opening day of the season and for it to happen last night was criminal. 

Carl Jenkinson had probably his worst every game for Arsenal but while his error cost us the goal, the fact is, we let sides break through us without the protection we should expect. 

Watching the goal again, Wilshere leaves it to Jenkinson when the England midfielder was better placed to head the ball out for a throw. 

And that was part of the difference.

We can argue that Chelsea's reserve team is good enough to be most club's first team but the fact is, whoever plays for them, they're hard to break down, they're well organised and disciplined.

Wenger said afterwards that he disputed the fact that Chelsea were "worthy winners" which seems crazy given how much they dominated and how efficient they were but maybe he has a point.

We had a period where we could have drawn level had we been a bit more savvy but we only had one shot on target when Giroud came on and that is not enough against any opposition.

Back to Jenkinson and his main problem was not his defending, really. He got forward with zest but his delivery and passing leave a lot to be desired. 

He wasn't the only one. Wilshere was poor again apart from one run that carved his way through the Chelsea team and he needs to improve in the manner of Aaron Ramsey if he is to justify his place in the team.

Ryo Miyaichi showed that he is out of his depth against top quality opposition and the fact that Wenger didn't want to comment on Bendtner's performance said it all about how abject TGSTEL's performance was.

Cazorla showed yet again that for all his effort and enterprise, he is still off the game-changer we know he can be and Tomas Rosicky showed a lot of endeavour but never really hurt the opposition.

This is the first time in 11 years we haven't made the quarter finals of the League Cup and Jose Mourinho's unbeaten record against Wenger continues. 

It underlines why we need to go all out in January to buy a world class striker to give us another option to Giroud and we need someone of brutal quality to provide defensive midfield cover for Flamini. 

Saturday marks our first big domestic test. We simply cannot lose.