Wenger started German international striker Lukas Podolski alongside Gervinho and finished the match with attack-minded players Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Marouane Chamakh and Tomas Rosicky on the pitch, but it was left to captain and centre back Thomas Vermaelen to send the match into extra time when he equalised in the 88th minute.
Gervinho squandered a glorious chance in front of goal and Francis Coquelin hit the woodwork in the 38th minute. The end-of-match statistics showed Arsenal had registered 28 shots with 12 on target compared to Bradford’s five shots with three on target. “We played with a very offensive team. What is disappointing is (we played) basically over an hour with five strikers and couldn’t score,” Wenger said.
“We created a lot of different situations. You have to say they defended very well. It’s difficult to play this kind of game. “I know people will say: ‘it’s League Two’, but a cup game is a cup game. In football you always have a chance if you give everything.”
Asked whether he was embarrassed by the defeat, Wenger said: “You feel embarrassed when you don’t give everything. I feel the team did fight and will be more disappointed and frustrated. “I cannot fault the effort. We have put the effort in (and) have given absolutely everything until the last minute. It was a typical English cup game and Bradford got on top of us in the end. We missed three penalties — that’s a lot to take.”
Arsenal have not won a major trophy since the FA Cup in 2005 and the latest setback in a disappointing season could trigger another departure at the club with Manchester United having their eye on Theo Walcott. Walcott, who did not play against Bradford, has yet to commit to Arsenal after contract talks broke down in August and the 23-year-old becomes a free agent at the end of the season when his current deal expires.