I have to say I was not expecting such a good performance from our second string last night, looking at the two sides on paper it really should have been a whitewash, but Arsene has been overachieving with these kind of elevens for years now, I really should not have doubted his skills.
In the end the side that cost about the same as Edin Dzeko was the better of the two in a battle against a side that contained Edin Dzeko. In the end our lack of quality up front was the deciding factor, for all our control of the game and composed passing, we just couldn't finish off the moves. It is sad that Chamakh has become such a shadow of the player that we saw at the start of last season, it is hard to see him recovering now after so many months of poor form.
Park came terribly close in the first half, forcing a terrific save from the City keeper with his deflected close range effort, while the Ox's stinging thirty yarder looked destined for the top corner, but he was again denied by the City keeper Pantilimon. City's millions told in the end but it could have been so very different.
I agree with Arseblogger in the fact that a lot more positive must be taken from this game than any negative. There were some great performances from some inexperienced youth products, all the young midfielders stood out for me. Le Grove's assessment is pretty much spot on.
One thing I find amusing is just how poor so many of City's multimillion pound players looked against our youth products and cheaper signings, particularly Samir Nasri, who faded away into nothing as the game wore on, just as he had previously done in an Arsenal shirt. It was cracking to see Frimpong confront his cowardly frame at the final whistle, we do not need players like Nasri, we want players that will fight for the shirt whatever the weather, like Emmanuel Frimpong.
The fact that we can take heart from losing a game says a lot about the grotesque corpulent beast that Manchester City have become. The money that they have been throwing around in such a destructive and disrespectful manner is a force for bad in the game of football. They have numerous 20-30 million pound players sitting around on the bench and on loan at other clubs, and on leave with depression!
I sense that a rather large number of City fans would rather look away that confront the ugly monster that they end up staring at in the mirror. It is more comfortable to live in denial than own up to the existence of the ghastly creature that has now taken over the club's soul. If City go on to win a few trophies this season then it is comparable to a father taking on his five year old son at tennis, winning 6-0 6-0 6-0. In the context of reality if they don't win the whole lot they should be ashamed of their underachievement.
Most normal individuals wouldn't get much satisfaction from such hollow victories, winning is all about the context of the victory, if one has infinite resources in comparison to one's competitors, where is the competitive edge and where is the pride in victory? It is a strange phenomenon and one hard to describe, but I would rather Arsenal never won a trophy ever again than become like the grotesque monster that City have become.
The great irony in all this is that City have become far worse than Manchester United ever were and their hypocritical fickle fans just can't see it. The title of this post is just trying to get across that it's more the way you do things that's important and the context of it all, perversely one can take far more pride from certain defeats than one can from certain types of hollow victory.