Wenger not embarrassed by defeat to Bradford
Updated: Wednesday, 12 Dec 2012 11:11
Arsene Wenger insisted Arsenal's players should not feel embarrassed despite the Gunners losing the Capital One Cup quarter-final to a Bradford team which cost a total of £7,500 in transfer fees.
The League Two side, currently 64 places lower than the Gunners, triumphed 3-2 on penalties after the match ended 1-1 after extra time at Valley Parade.
Only one Bradford player commanded a transfer fee - James Hanson, from who cost £7,500 from non-league Guiseley plus the proceeds of a friendly.
Asked if his players felt embarrassed, Wenger said: "You feel embarrassed when you don't give everything but I feel the team did fight and they will be more disappointed and frustrated.
"It's disappointing but congratulations to Bradford. They defended well, started stronger than us and in the second half and extra time it was all us but we couldn't convert our chances.
"It was a typical English cup game on a difficult pitch and overall we lost on penalties but I cannot fault the efforts, we kept going until the last minute and in the end Bradford got on top of us."
"Where does it leave our season? To focus on the next game, sport is about that" - Arsene Wenger.
Wenger added: "Of course we missed three penalties and that's a lot to take."
The Gunners did not force a save out of Bantams keeper Matt Duke until the 69th minute but Wenger insisted his team had created enough overall.
He said: "They defended very well, very deep in their own half, the pitch was a bit slippery and there was no space.
"We played with a very offensive team and for over an hour played with five strikers but couldn't score.
"Where does it leave our season? To focus on the next game, sport is about that."
Bradford boss Phil Parkinson said his players - who won their ninth successive shoot-out - should be given credit for out-performing a full-strength Arsenal side.
He said: "I don't think the enormity of our achievement has quite sunk in. When get up tomorrow morning and see the headlines in the newspapers they will realise what they have done.
"There is a big gulf between the two teams in terms of finances and places in the divisions.
"I don't want the talk to be about the penalties, I want it to be about the performance. Arsenal have played their best team tonight and we were three minutes away from beating them, then we have had the setback of conceding a goal and had to dig deep again in extra time.
"I hope this can be the first of many nights like this for Bradford City. We want to put Bradford on the map again. I want them to have a team to be proud of."
Bradford are appealing against a decision to expel them from the FA Cup for fielding an ineligible player but Parkinson said he was not too concerned about the outcome.
He added: "We have enough going on in cup games this season so if we do lose the appeal I won't be losing any sleep over it."
Midfielder Gary Jones, a scorer in the shoot-out, called it "one of the best nights of my life" before adding:
"I can't believe we've just knocked Arsenal out of the Capital One Cup. It was 11 v 11 and we had to keep our shape and frustrate them."
Goalkeeper Matt Duke saved a penalty from Santi Cazorla and said: "We set our stall out and the men in front of me were fantastic. We are really fit as a team and that showed."