Posted on Wednesday, 1st December 2010 by Tony Merakli
Here are the 5 things I learnt whilst watching Arsenal beat Wigan in the Carling Cup last night at the Emirates:
1. RVP sharp on his return
Robin Van Persie started his first match in over 3 months, and looked sharper than ever. The Dutchman suffered an ankle injury against Blackburn at the start of the season, which kept him out of the first-team line-up. Van Persie showed last night, that although he is an injury-prone striker, he is still a class act. The 27-year-old orchestrated the attack, and showed some wonderful deft touches with his cultured left-foot. The striker managed to play 71-minutes of the match before being substituted for youngster Craig Eastmond. Great to see him back in the team, but he still needs more game time before we see the true Robin Van Persie. Nonetheless, the Dutchman’s sharpness is improving.
2. Another clean sheet for Szczesny
The 20-year-old Pole gained another clean sheet in the Carling Cup after Arsenal’s win last night. Wojciech Szczesny seems to be the number one choice goalkeeper in this competition, and has performed exceptionally well between the posts in the last two ties. No doubt about it, he will be the man with the gloves in the semi-finals after impressing once again in front of the Arsenal faithful.
3. Walcott is NOT a winger
How many times do I have to say this, Theo Walcott is NOT a wide-man…he’s a striker. We all know he has pace (this is probably why Wenger deploys him out wide) but his decision making is still questionable. Having watched the game last night, it seems to me that the 21-year-old is uncomfortable when he plays on the wing. He lost possession far too much and was inconsistent throughout. He had a couple of chances last night, and these all came through the middle, not from the flanks. The player himself stated that he wants to be used as a striker, but Wenger believes he is better utilized out wide. Well, for me he is a better striker than he is a winger. Just because he has speed does not mean he can play out wide.
4. Bendtner still has a lot to prove
Despite getting his name on the score sheet last night, Nicklas Bendtner still has a lot to prove to the Arsenal fans and Wenger that he is capable of holding a regular place. The 22-year-old’s future has been in some doubt over the past few weeks, after demanding to be played on a regular basis or sell him in January. Wenger obviously believes the Dane has a future at the Emirates following his inclusion into the first-team last night. To be fair he did bag a goal, but his overall play was poor. The striker struck an uninterested pose throughout, and if he believes he deserves a regular place in the team, then he will need to show more fight and commitment in future games.
5. Arsenal on course to end trophy drought
Without a shadow of a doubt, Arsenal are clear favourites for the honour, following their win against Wigan at the Emirates, as well as West Ham’s against Manchester United at Upton Park. Wenger’s army are on course to end their trophy drought which has hovered over them for nearly 6 years. Some fans may say it’s only the Carling Cup, but we’ll take anything at this stage. It would also be a boost for the team if they can win the cup, which will only make them hungrier for more success in the future.
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