Arsenal face the first game in a tough run on Sunday, no disrespect to Hull City, with a Premier League game at the Emirates against 5th placed Everton. Arsene Wenger will not want to take any chances, but the way that players like Monreal and Bendtner slotted seamlessly into the side in the last game should give the manager confidence that rotating is not risking the game.
Arsenal 2 vs 0 Hull City Match Report Infographic: by allarsenal.com
The Gunners cruised to a comfortable 2-0 win at Emirates Stadium against Hull City. The scoreline may not reflect it, but bar a couple of hairy moments, Arsenal dominated much of the contest and could have easily won by many more. And yet another clean sheet under their belt, making it three on the trot in the Premiership, the first time they’ve managed that feat since August/September 2012.
Arsenal 2 – 0 Hull City Player Ratings by KJ
Szczesny – 7.5
Was pretty much untroubled for the majority of the game. Had a couple of routine saves to make and he distributed the ball very well for the entire game except one poor pass to Koscielny that would’ve ended up leaving us in quite a bit of trouble had Hull been any semblance of a decent football team.
Jenkinson – 7.5
Did well today considering he’s played less than last season and seemed to be shattered mentally against Chelsea in the Capital One Cup. Got a great assist in the first couple of minutes.
The big news before kick off was the shock inclusion of Nicklas Bendtner in the starting line-up, giving Olivier Giroud a well deserved rest. A hamstring problem for Bacary Sagna meant that Jenkinson started, as did Monreal with Gibbs on the bench. Theo Walcott was on the bench again, with Rosicky preferred on the right.
It is nothing like the grief that Bendtner gets from the fans, but the young right back has been heavily criticised, so when Jenkinson produced a pinpoint cross and Bendtner headed Arsenal into the lead, there was as much shock as there was delight. There was less than two minutes on the clock and it was the perfect start for Arsenal, while Hull looked beaten already and Steve Bruce looked like he had been punched in the stomach.
Fans of most of the big clubs like Arsenal who have a lot of international players tend to dread the international breaks, especially when the games concerned are friendlies. I personally understand the need for them, and being an England fan want the national team to have their best players available and play well, but the concern is that you are going to lose one or more of your key players through injury.
There were two Arsenal players involved in international action last night and the good news is that both Thomas Vermaelen and Carl Jenkinson came through their respective games unscathed. Both Gunners are likely to feature for their countries again next week, as England play San Marino and Belgium play play Japan, but so far, so good.
While the Arsenal fans want our key players like Ramsey, Ozil and Giroud to get a bit of a breather during this international break, both Jenkinson and Vermaelen have been fringe players so far and it will do them good to get some competitive football under their belts. So the fact that both played the full 90 minutes is certainly no bad thing.
Another possible Sagna replacement? by AT
Reports in the English media have emerged claiming that the Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is plotting a move for the versatile AC Milan defender Mattia De Sciglio in an effort to add more defensive depth to the Gunners’ squad. The Italian international, who primarily plays as a right-back, is said to have been lined up by the Arsenal boss as a replacement for Bacary Sagna who has so far stalled on contract talks.
Like most Arsenal fans, I would love Bacary Sagna to stay with the club. But with his current contract due to run out next summer, there are plenty of rumours linking the France international right back with some of the top clubs around Europe.
Sagna will be 31-years old next summer, but looks like he has got many years left in him, although it seems like the Gunners are not really offering him the contract he feels he deserves. So assuming that he is going to move on in the summer, Arsene Wenger and his scouting network have got some work on their hands to find a suitable replacement.
He is the only first team player that Arsenal are in serious danger of losing, but Bacary Sagna is proving all his critics wrong this season and showing the kind of form and consistency that should have Arsene Wenger telling the Arsenal board, in no uncertain terms, to sharpen their pencils and offer the France international a deal that will keep him at the Emirates once his current contract expires next summer.
WENGER SETS ARSENAL UP TO FAIL by Uche
Watching yesterday’s game against Chelsea was like watching a re-run of Friends or Seinfeld on the comedy channel, and you know what happens with re-runs? There are no alternate endings. What you saw before is what you will see again. And it was exactly the same playing Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea.
Arsenal 0 v 2 Chelsea Match Report Infographic by Matt from allarsenal.com
Arsene Wenger opted to field a fairly senior side against an inevitably strong Chelsea team, and despite calling on a host of our big name stars, Jose Mourhino’s men were clinical and the Gunners are out of the Capital One cup.
Laurent Koscielny, Aaron Ramsey and Santi Cazorla were the only players to remain in the line-up from the weekend, but the likes of Thomas Vermaelen, Jack Wilshere, Nacho Monreal and Tomas Rosicky added plenty of experience and ability to the Gunners.
Arsene Wenger’s team selection for Arsenal to take on Chelsea in the Capital One cup was a good blend of fringe and first team players. Arteta and Flamini were out of contention due to injury and suspension, so that area was perhaps the most vulnerable, and Wenger chose to play both Ramsey and Wilshere in front of the back four.
Bendtner came in for Giroud, Rosicky for Ozil and Vermaelen for Mertesacker, giving us a chance to see the captain and Koscielny together. Ryo and Cazorla were the wider players, while Monreal and Jenkinson came in at full back, with Fabianski in goal. Chelsea made lots of changes but were still able to field a side most Premier League clubs would not be able to afford.