Welcome to Talking Heads.
Before and after every first-team fixture, our MatchDay Show guest and an Arsenal blogger will have their say on the game.
Arsenal took on Bradford City in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night and our Talking Heads for this game were Dan Roebuck and Jim of East Lower.
DAN ROEBUCK, COMMENTATOR
Well, I did worry about the game going to a penalty shoot-out. Bradford were absolutely terrific but Arsenal really should have had enough to win this game. Fielding a near full-strength side was a statement of intent by Arsène Wenger, but he will have been shocked by the display. The early goal seemed to shake them, and against a compact and organised home side they struggled to fashion chances until Thomas Vermaelen's late equaliser. The game was there to be won in extra-time, but Matt Duke made a series of fine saves to keep Bradford in it. And once it goes to penalties, it really is a lottery - but one Bradford seem to win on a consistent basis! A very disappointing night and a real opportunity missed.
This is another big test of Arsenal's character. They will be major favourites to progress through to the Capital One Cup semi-finals, but I expect Bradford to be tricky opponents. Phil Parkinson's side may be in League Two, but they are unbeaten in five games and will be bang up for this one. Backed by a fervant home crowd, they will try to unsettle their Premier League opponents and Arsène Wenger's side must keep their cool and play to their strengths. If they manage to do that, it should be enough. But they certainly don't want it to go to penalties - Bradford have won their last seven shoot-outs!
JIM, EAST LOWER
Where to start? Firstly, congratulations to Bradford who fought like bantams, hustled all night and defended superbly. They have been through the lows since relegation from the Premier League, and will have good cause to believe that that they are now back on the way up. For Arsenal though, this kind of result adds fuel to the fire of those who consider us to be heading in the opposite direction. We were worryingly toothless, only mustering meaningful shots on goal late in the game, and never truly looked like winning a match that we really should have bossed. The side is in a rut and our inconsistency is proving impossible to shake. The post-mortem will be uncomfortable. Overall, a night to forget.
There’s nothing quite like a win to lift the mood, both for the fans and for the players, but now the trick is to win again and to keep on winning. It sounds easy on paper but this season that kind of consistency has been hard to find where it matters most – on the pitch. This game is a good opportunity not only to build on Saturday’s three points but to regain some fluency and build up confidence. And lest we forget, it’s also a great chance to edge a step closer to Wembley. The League Cup might feature low-ish on the list of priorities, but you can’t pick and choose where success comes from and on that basis we should go for it 100 per cent.
* The views expressed in Talking Heads do not necessarily reflect those of Arsenal Football Club or Arsenal Broadband Ltd
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