If Leeds gave fair warning about the dangers of complacency and dropping your level of application when playing lower league teams in the Cup, it was not one that was heeded by the Gunners.
On Saturday, Arsenal had a let-off. Last night they were deservedly punished by Ipswich in the first leg of the Carling Cup semi-final.
Yes, believe it or not, it was a semi-final. One step away from Wembley and the chance to, you know, actually win something. You might have thought that this would have negated the need for any sort of team-talk. The players, professionals that they are, would rise to the occasion and dispatch Ipswich in the same ruthless manner that Chelsea did at the weekend in the FA Cup. What we actually got was one of the most flaccid, toothless and woeful performances of the season - and there have been quite a few similarly lame displays to compare it to.
Tamas Priskin Celebrates His Winning Goal Last Night©PA Photos
Credit must be given to Ipswich. After a 7-0 drubbing by Chelsea at the weekend, they bounced back in the best way possible. Though Arsenal made them look better than they were, they defended doggedly, created more chances than their visitors and took their opportunity when it came along. They thoroughly deserved their victory and fair play to them for that.
Arsenal on the other hand were pathetic. They held the majority of possession and yet failed to turn it into much in the way of goalscoring efforts. There were too many misplaced passes and too many players looking completely off the boil. There was no cutting edge up front and the defence was slack and disorganised.
It would be charitable to call it “an off-night” - which it what Arsene Wenger tried to claim it was. More honestly, it was a lazy and complacent display for which there is very little defence. They players seemed to have the mentality that they only had to turn up to win. How wrong they were.
As infuriating as last night’s performance was, at least there is a chance for the team to make amends in the second leg. Even trailing by one goal, they really have no excuses not to get the job done and get themselves to the final. The real worry is how often they seem to let themselves down this way. Two weeks ago they were beating Chelsea in one of their finest and most determined displays of the year so far and now they are a goal down at the halfway-stage in the Carling Cup semi-final and, on Saturday, were clinging by their fingernails to a place in the FA Cup - both to lower division opposition.
It almost defies analysis as to how the team can be so good some weeks and so truly awful the next. Pundits, commentators, bloggers and messageboard posters can waste a million words on trying to work it out but the people who really have to get to the bottom of it is Arsene Wenger and the players. They are supposed to be professionals. Well, this season, it is now long overdue that they starting acting like professionals and sorted themselves out.
There is still much to play for, but unless Arsenal can remedy their extreme levels of inconsistency, they will finish empty-handed in May - again.
Follow ESPNsoccernet's Football Correspondents on Twitter and Facebook