Arsene Wenger was clearly disappointed after seeing his Arsenal team beaten at home by a strong and determined Watford side, and not just because it destroys the chance of the Gunners winning a third FA cup trophy in a row and all the records that would have gone with it, for the club and the manager as an individual.
The other reason the Frenchman was so cheesed off at the end of this thrilling cup tie was that he felt that Arsenal deserved a lot more out of it. In fact he seems to believe that, but for the collective defensive lapse from Mertesacker, Chambers and Gabriel early in the second half, Arsenal would have gone on to win the game.
As reported by the Arsenal website, Wenger said after the match that he thought Arsenal were the dominant force and all the chasing done by the visitors would have paid off as they tired towards the end. In the end that nearly happened anyway but for that second goal courtesy of an unstoppable screamer and the miss by Welbeck with the goal at his mercy.
Wenger said, “Our long, long run has come to an end in a very sad way because I don’t think that we deserved to lose. We have to look at ourselves for the first goal. The second goal was a fantastic shot. I felt that it was a real cup game where they defended very well and took their chances on the break, the few chances they had. As long as we didn’t score the first goal they kept their belief. They were physically very strong but we had enough chances to win the game.
“We knew that before the game. We had enough technical superiority to win the game and to score goals. It was down to not making a mistake and keeping it 0-0 until the last 20 minutes. If we would have done that then we might have won the game. Unfortunately we made one. It is sad. We’ve come out of a very long run in the FA Cup. The FA Cup is the FA Cup, you cannot guarantee you will win it.
“It was difficult to understand how we didn’t score [at the end]. I want to watch it again. It was a typical cup game against a team who comes here to fight and take their chances, with us trying to score. It was just like that, there’s not a lot more to say.”
Do you agree with Wenger’s comments and think that the Gunners were a bit unlucky and would have won on another day? Or is this defeat just symptomatic of a big problem at the club?