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  • John, what would you like to say about this weakened side fielded by Spud at WHL against Shakhtar Donetsk in last season's UEFA Cup despite been 2-0 down in the 1st leg?

    Spurs (4-4-2): Gomes; Gunter, Huddlestone, Chimbonda, Gilberto (Bostock, 77); Giovani, Palacios, O'Hara (Parrett, 71), Bale; Obika, Campbell
    Subs not used: Jansson, C Butcher, Smith, Mason, Townsend

    If my memory still serves me well, Spud had a bigger fish to fry back then - RELEGATION DOGFIGHT.

    NOW, compare the above team selection against the team played 3 days later after the Shakhtar match against Man U in the Carling Cup

    Spurs (4-4-2): Gomes; Corluka, Dawson, King, Assou-Ekotto; Lennon (Bentley, 102), Zokora, Jenas (Bale, 99), Modric; Pavlyuchenko (O'Hara, 65), Bent
    Subs not used: Alnwick, Gunter, Huddlestone, Taarabt

    OR 6 days later after the Shakhtar match against Boro (a more or less EPL relegation match)

    Spurs (4-4-2): Gomes; Zokora, Dawson, Woodgate, Assou-Ekotto; Lennon, Palacios, Jenas (Huddlestone, 64), Modric (O'Hara, 73); Pavlyuchenko (Bent, 53), Keane
    Subs not used: Cudicini, Chimbonda, Corluka, Bentley

    Fact of the matter was, Arsenal fielded a 2nd string team against your 1st team because we set our target much higher than the Carling Cup.

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    • And you have been trophy-starved since 2006 gunner!

      But I am not about to split hairs with you over the petty facts of which team did what in order to save the strongest team for upcoming matches ( it was Arsene W*nkers perogative to field an understrength team against us in the Carling Cup Semi-Final and we cannot be held accountable for AW fielding kids ).

      And I seem to remember we beat Middlesbrough 4-0 ( not bad if it can be classed as a relgation dog fight )

      Oh and I also believe there was a tiny matter of us being unbeaten against you lot last season!

    • I would say that the team should be able to win. They are all quality players that were bought to do a job. If they can't (and they couldn't on the night) then that highlighted a fraility in our squad (and our managers selection). Pick any one of those names and tell me what they're doing now. Only two opr three stand out as not EPL.

      It does not detract from what Shaktar did. They got through over two legs and we didn't. That doesn't mean they were the better team, played the best footbal or any other issue - it just means they got the result. (I only say that as people often confuse getting a result with being the better team, playing the best football etc ). They won, we lost - no excuses about the result. Criticism of our manager from my point of view over who he picked - yes. But then I criticised when he picked Jenas last season over the Hudd, Gomes over Cudicini (or even Alnwick), King over Daws, O'hara over Two Saints and when he picked Ekotto over Bale and ....

      BUT 'array admitted we just didn't have the depth of squad to compete in 3/4 competitions. Personally, I think for £100m we should have and it just showed poor control over purchases in the past. And that's not an excuse, just a cricism of our purchasing policy under the Holy C.

    • I think you're confusing criticising you're own manager (or others) with making excuses for a loss.
      Most of the EPL managers field a 'weakened' (or should I say 'not regular choice') team at some stage during a season, if their squad allows. When we did it last season (and this) sometimes we won and sometimes we lost - we play in the Carling Cup with a second string team - but do you expect to lose? Does 'arry? I hopefully doubt it. If any manager purposely puts out a team he thinks will lose - then I really do give up.

      Also, look at it from the other perspective - if we put out a 'second string' that won at say Old Trafford - you couldn't then crow about it any more than winning with a first choice selection. Football is a game that involves the club (you saw the effect of Comolli on the squad) - so to say '....that was our 'weakened' team...' is a nonsense as all those players (and this is the point of a squad) should be able to step into the first team.

      The same as when Liverpool played Leeds - it just simply exposed Liverpool's complete lack of a decent squad.

      The Game has changed - it's not how it was 10-20 years back - where your fisrt team and a few subs was it. Now the top teams have 25-30 players - and they expect to use them over the season (and they expect them to win when they play).

      And to Fab - I wasn't having a go. To me it's a serious issue - if you're playing 60+ games a season - you can't just have 15 players. And if (in the case of Spurs and other teams) you have spent millions on building a squad to cope - ANY of those players should be able to step in and get results. So, As I said, I would never use the managers selection as the excuse for the loss - you should blame your manager for his poor selection or your squad for not being good enough.