It was nothing like the Final 7 months ago at Wembley; at times drab, with some flashes of liveliness. Wenger wouldn’t care, though, neither do we – we’re in the hat for Monday’s draw.
With several players handed renewed chances to impress and Alexis not willing to take a rest, we picked up a quintet of lessons.
- Unconvincing Campbell
A player pushing to be handed more opportunities to show is worth should take every chance he gets to impress and blowing a point blank 4th minute chance has not done Campbell’s bid to be more regular in the team much good. Surely, Podolski would have done more with the shot he scoffed in the second half and maybe it should have been the 22-year old going out on loan. It’s far from a foregone conclusion that he will stay for the next 6 months, given Wenger would not have seen much to hand him League starts.
- We should score more Corners
Scoring from set-pieces has not been our forte and it’s not because of a lack of targets as Mertesacker is easily one to pick out from a crowd without hassle. Maybe the problem has been with the takers, in which case an Ozil return should help. Or that the targets don’t make themselves visible enough, in which case, they should stop standing zonally.
- Walcott would be vital
A first start in a year, and it showed in his rusty touches. Yet, he could have finished with a brace, his pace and ability to stay close to goal still proving to be as sharp as ever. With more creative players to return, you get the feeling Theo will only get better, especially if he gets enough games to overcome the psychological part of being injured for so long.
- Chambers is a Center-back
The 19-year old has been one of the regulars this season despite having just arrived in the summer but there has continued to be opinions on what should be his best position. For one, he is not (yet) a defensive midfielder as he seemed overwhelmed at St. Mary’s on New Year’s Day, perhaps due to the emotion of returning to the place of his formation. However, in partnership with an experienced Mertesacker, Chambers showed more calmness and control in his role, further confirming the feeling that he is better suited there than at right back.
- Coquelin is saving Wenger’s money
Bar the rash sliding tackles – for which he could have been sent off without complaint – Coquelin has had yet another very good game and it is the kind of thing that makes Wenger lock his cheque book up in the bottom drawer. For all we know, we need a defensive midfielder as neither Arteta nor Flamini will stay fit for the remaining half season, but if Coquelin continues to make those vital interceptions and distribute wonderfully, we might see his squad number changed mid season.
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