Eboue Djourou Koscielny Gibbs
Vela Bendtner Walcott
Arsene Wenger elected to put out a team that was about 80% exciting. Eastmond in the starting line up was a mystery to me, he’s a bit too similar to Denilson for my liking and a little too light weight.
That didn’t stop the game opening up like a classic cup match. Carlos Vela was played in almost immediately after Rosicky did well to dispossess his man, the young Mexican pulled the trigger a little too close to the keeper.
Down the other end, JD showcased his talent for getting the wrong side of his man again allowing Ranger to slip Vucic in who lashed at the side netting.
Eboue was in mazy run form, making mince meat of on-looking Newcastle players, failing to deliver a final ball or decent shot as always.
Nik B was hungry to impress. Clearly the having a tall Moroccan in the side who can finish and provide has sparked some sort of ‘I have a point to prove’ thing with our big Dane. He was shooting on site and making a nuisance of himself with his presence.
Ranger was slipped through again, JD’s pace and mobility were grossly exposed, Chesney came out and missed wildly. The rolled out the area, Denilson didn’t arrive quick enough to block and Alan Smith fired a rasping shot that Chesney just managed to get his finger tips too which sent it bar-wards.
Vela’s back post corners were getting irritating. They were all hitting the back post, yet no one had the intelligence to stand there. It’s nice to see that set plays are awful whatever the level at Arsenal!
Our positive started to fall away as did our crisp passing. The midfield didn’t really have a creator without Cesc and Wilshere in the side, this left us looking a bit flat at times and our forward players lacking in support. Eastmond really was struggling in the middle, his build doesn’t suit the role at the moment.
Just before half time, Nik B jumped on a cross and headed it at the Newcastle goal, the keeper missed it, Taylor on the goal line nodded it back out against Krul’s back and the ball found its way in the back of the neck.
A Krul way to end a half you might say? Not even funny… I apologise.
The second half picked up where the first left off, Theo latched onto a route 1 defensive header from JD, he raced on and as he was bounding through, Nik B cut across the Newcastle defender, knocking him to the ground, Theo chipped past Krul and we scored our second. Pretty naughty by Nik but…
1) No one was catching Theo so it didn’t affect the outcome
2) Nik said in the post match prezzer that he was looking to get back into the box to help out
JD continued his woeful form with more dodgy play letting Carroll in for a shot.
Cesc came on for Vela to a mixed reaction from the risk assessors out there. I think it’s great we have a captain who doesn’t feel he’s too good for the Carling Cup. Jeez, at times, we’ve had kids who think they’re too good for it!
JD cut out a cross acrobatically towards the end. I thought I’d mention it.
Chesney still wanted to shine and Arsenal were keen on allowing it. The Polish upstart saved superbly, blocking twice from a corner, he really put himself in the firing line of Ryan Taylor.
Cesc picked up the ball the other end, cut the ball to Nik B who jinked inside his man and flew a thunder bolt into the top corner!
Up the other end Chesney kept out Taylor’s freekick out superbly, the parry landed in front of his goal. Theo cleared up I believe.
Andy Carroll was impressing up top. He’ll be some player if he can stop bottling clubbers, assaulting team mates and beating up women.
Walcott broke away again from a Cesc Fabregas pass and slotted home low and hard. A super show of pace and finishing and a great way to cap a first team return for Theo!
Chesney had one more chance to impress with a superb save from a one on one with Andy Carroll. From resulting corner he punched the ball 40 yards!
A superb win in a very strange match. We saw impressive performances from Chesney, Theo and Bendtner and a great cameo appearance from Cesc Fabregas.
I’m still a touch perplexed as to why Wenger went so far out of his way to praise Lansbury and JET, but decided against playing them? The coach doesn’t seem to have too much time for Vela and I’ve never been overly impressed with Eastmond? Maybe those two will get their chance in the next round.
Arsene Wenger keeps the Carling cup alive and the fans have a quarter final to look forward to again and hopefully, a well deserved trip to Wembley for Arsenal!
Chesney: When you announce yourself on the scene and champ yourself up, you’d better have a performance in the bag when you’re called upon. It didn’t start well, he came bounding out his area Lehmann-esque and narrowly avoided an embarrassing howler. From there on in, he was superb. He demonstrated his agility, he used his massive frame to full advantage and he commanded his area. A truly magnificent introduction to the season and a real worry for Fabianski who looks like he’s caught something terminal (get some Saint Tropez on your face son!) 9
Gibbs: Well, we only saw him on the pitch for about 20 minutes before he was clattered and limped off. The boy gets no luck, lets hope it’s not ligament damage. 6
Koscielny: He’s a class act and he did very well last night playing next to the more erratic JD. Some great headed interceptions and super tackles against rough opposition. 7.5
JD: Another shocker. He constantly gets the wrong side of his man and he’s always making risky tackles in places he shouldn’t be. He’s a disaster waiting the happen, which for the moment, I’ll put down to a lack of match fitness. 5
Eboue: I know he has this cult status amongst fans these days, he is pretty funny, however, I do wish he’d work on his final ball, his shooting and cutting out the drama. He played well for the most part yesterday, he defended well and he bombed forward, it’s just the end product that is lacking. 7
Denilson: He improved in the second half, but playing in the more advanced role doesn’t really suit his game. He’s not a creator and he takes all the directness out of our midfield when he plays there. 6.5
Eastmond: Not a very polished performance, his passing wasn’t particularly good and he was hussled off the ball on more than a few occasions. He needs to bulk up if he wants to make it with this team. I hope he doesn’t go the way of Randall because I like having English boys around the team, but the indecent exposure and average performance don’t ease my worries. 5
Rosicky: He’s a terrific worker and he speeds our passing with his quick one touch moves. He now needs to look at adding a few shots to his game he needs to be braver and more decisive sometimes. A great player, proving his fitness, now we need some product! 7
Vela: I feel sorry for the lad, he’s under even more pressure now Chicpearito is doing well at United. He caused trouble for Newcastle yesterday with his trickery, it’s just a shame his final ball is often misguided and his finishing is often tame. He’s a massive talent, but then again, so was Quincy. There are mumblings of focus problems and I fear this is his last chance to prove himself at Arsenal. 6
Bendtner: Here is a boy with something to prove. He worked tirelessly tonight, his positioning was superb, he looked technically sharper with the ball at his feet and his finish was fantastic. I’ve supported Nik since day dot on here and after 4 years, I’m hoping that support is finally paying dividends. A great game! 8.5
Theeeeeooooo!: Now here is a player I’ve given a lot of stick to over the past three years. Finally he’s learnt how to go round players, finally he’s become decisive and finally, he’s starting to harness his pace and power. A superb display of finishing last night and a taster of what he could possibly look like bombing down the centre. Things are finally starting to look good for the man the papers used to dub the future of English football! 9
Sagna: Didn’t have the best game when he came on. 6
Cesc: Came on, bagged two assists, left to go home. All in a days work. 8
JET: Came on, had some nice touches. Not much you can do in 8 minutes! 6