Getting knocked out of any cup competition is never fun, but it especially hurts when you lose to a club three divisions below you. For Arsenal to lose to Bradford in the quarterfinals of the Capital One Cup was an unacceptable result for the Gunners.
However, this loss was especially damaging to Arsenal for other reasons.
In May 2005, Arsenal won the FA Cup over Manchester United. It was another great moment for a club which had so many in the previous years. Since then, times have been tough for the Gunners.
They haven’t been able to lift a trophy since then and have no longer become serious contenders to win the Premier League. The Capital One Cup served as a chance to break Arsenal’s run. They could have ended their drought and helped get the club going in the right direction.
After the Round of 16, it seemed as if Arsenal were the team of destiny to win the cup. They had pulled off one of the most remarkable comebacks you will ever see. At 4-0 against Reading, it looked as if they were done.
From nowhere, they climbed back into the match and pulled out a thrilling 7-5 victory. It appeared that the hex may have been lifted and that Arsenal were on their way. However, it didn’t happen, yet again.
The loss to Bradford may well mean that Arsenal finishes this season without a trophy. As the streak grows longer and longer, the Gunners risk losing their status as one of the elite clubs of Europe.
The end of Arsene Wenger’s reign may be coming soon as well. Some Arsenal fans will welcome this, as the team would be forced to go in a different direction.
However, Wenger would leave very big shoes to fill and would certainly not be easy to replace. In addition to that, the new manager would face additional pressure, as he would inherit the responsibility of trying to end the streak.
All of these factors show why the loss to Bradford was devastating. To top it all off, with only one big club remaining in the competition, Arsenal would have had a real shot at winning it all. It was a huge opportunity lost for the Gunners.